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You might have some luck getting a corroded fastener unstuck by heating it, but you probably want to avoid soaking the fastener with penetrating oil or lubricant before applying a flame to it.  With Freeze & Release, you can do the same thing with cold — get a fastener cold fast enough and the bolt and nut should contract at different rates, hopefully freeing the fastener — plus there’s no problem using penetrating oil to speed the job.

While most people have a torch of some sort lying around, there aren’t very many commonly available methods of freezing — that is, until now.  Loctite recently released their Freeze & Release product that not only freezes the fastener to cause the needed differential contraction, but the spray also features a lubrication component to penetrate as the contraction cracks the corrosion.

A container of Freeze & Release can chill seized parts to -45ºF.  Just shake the can and spray the seized fastener for 5-10 seconds, then wait 1-2 minutes for maximum effectiveness.  If Freeze & Release doesn’t work after a few tries, you haven’t ruined the fastener and you can still try some other method.

There aren’t a ton of places carrying Loctite’s Freeze & Release yet.  If you can find it, you could pay up to $10 a can.

Freeze & Release [Loctite]
Street Pricing [Google]

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9 Responses to Freeze Your Nuts Off

  1. Ted says:

    Great concept, not terribly effective though — tried a couple of cans the loctite rep handed out a few months back, ended up breaking out the torches. If you follow the instructions faithfully you’ll blow through a can in two or three applications so, at ~$10 a can, pretty expensive as well.

    Properly utilized, it’s tough to beat an Oxy/Acetylene torch. Reassemble with the correct grade of anti-seize and you’ll be a happy camper down the road as well.

    Cheers, Ted

  2. It’s not hard to find freeze spray – get a can of CO2 keyboard duster stuff for $4 or so and hold it upside down. Liquid CO2 is -109F

  3. KMR says:

    CRC beat Loctite at this… we’ve been using CRC’s FreezeOff for two years in the shop, one of my favorite products and definitely works better than any other nut-buster-in-a-can that we’ve used before.

    http://www.crcindustries.com/files/Freeze-Off%20Brochure.pdf

    The CRC stuff is cheaper, we pay about $4.50 a can.

  4. fred says:

    We’ve used liquid nitrogen in the shop – for this and other tasks.
    Dispense it into a styrofaom cup and pour it on carefully.

  5. der5er says:

    I’ve just got to say: Best. Post Title. EVAR!!!

  6. Jim K. says:

    Having worked in a shop at a museum where an exhibit used dry ice, we’d sometimes snag a bit to put onto a stuck bolt to cool it down and loosen it up a bit. Worked pretty well for the few times we needed it. (Kids usually present the other problem with exhibits by loosening every possible bolt with amazing proficiency.)

  7. Ed says:

    Forget all that other crap. Since I discovered Kano Labs (Kroil) their products are all I use or need. Check ’em out. My only association with Kano is that of a satisfied cash paying customer.

  8. John says:

    Before buying anything, trying tightening it up and then undoing it. As backwards as it sounds, it sometimes works like a magic trick when you do it in front of someone who’s been struggling for hours.

    Or, try vibrating it. I’ve freed stuck bolts and screws by touching the metal tip of an electric toothbrush over the bolt in various places.

    • Larry Hendrickson says:

      Impossible to remove harmonic balancer (flywheel – old school) on a 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse. The repair garage broke his special puller. Towed it home. Bought the Lisle Eclipse special puller. Would not extract until I did three applications of CRC freeze off. Used up most of the can, but, guess what. I was able to extract the previously un-extractable harmonic balancer. A whole can so you can finish the job is a lot cheaper than breaking an expensive special tool and getting nowhere, except to go out and buy another expensive special tool.

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