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Degreasing threads #4496349
08/23/17 06:43 PM
08/23/17 06:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,439
Indiana
VeeDubb Offline OP
VeeDubb  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,439
Indiana
I wanted to degrease some threads on my bike before using the torque wrench since the torque specs are for dry threads. I'm curious - what is a safe way to degrease aluminum and steel threads? I thought about using a speed degreaser and then it occurred to me it might be harmful to aluminum. Would rubbing alcohol be okay?

Thanks





Re: Degreasing threads [Re: VeeDubb] #4496359
08/23/17 06:50 PM
08/23/17 06:50 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 18,654
PNW
ZeeOSix Offline
ZeeOSix  Offline
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 18,654
PNW
Originally Posted By: VeeDubb
Would rubbing alcohol be okay

Yes, I use it to clean threads and many other things when I work on all my stuff.

Re: Degreasing threads [Re: VeeDubb] #4496367
08/23/17 07:01 PM
08/23/17 07:01 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 9,334
Central Coast, Calif.
tom slick Offline
tom slick  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 9,334
Central Coast, Calif.
Mineral spirits degrease well and doesn't affect most surfaces.


You get what you pay for...
So keep in mind how much you paid for this advice.
Re: Degreasing threads [Re: VeeDubb] #4496383
08/23/17 07:18 PM
08/23/17 07:18 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,139
USA
ArcticDriver Offline
ArcticDriver  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,139
USA
I have no proof but I don't believe a degreaser is going to damage aluminum threads.

Perhaps a resident metallurgist will chime in.


Multiple Diesel and Gasoline vehicles
Re: Degreasing threads [Re: VeeDubb] #4496391
08/23/17 07:26 PM
08/23/17 07:26 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 489
New York
NoNameJoe Offline
NoNameJoe  Offline
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 489
New York
Rubbing alcohol or brake cleaner. Be careful about getting the brake cleaner on painted or plastic surfaces. Both of these are volatile and will evaporate with no residue, except for the alcohol leaving a little bit of water behind depending on the purity but usually the common 70% leaves so little water it evaporates as well. I use these two to clean everything, my tools, auto parts, et cetera.

Originally Posted By: ArcticDriver
I have no proof but I don't believe a degreaser is going to damage aluminum threads.

Perhaps a resident metallurgist will chime in.

Certain degreasers can cause awful etching/staining of aluminum if left in contact for too long, allowed to dry or directly in the sun. For steel, degreasers can cause hydrogen embrittlement. There are metal-safe degreasers out there like Simple Green Pro HD. If you're going to use degreasers make sure to rinse it well.

http://www.velonews.com/2005/11/bikes-an...le-green-2_9216

I left an aluminum casting for a distributor soaked in Purple Power + water mixture to degrease and it came out stained a dull gray.


2015 Civic LX Coupe
Re: Degreasing threads [Re: VeeDubb] #4496398
08/23/17 07:38 PM
08/23/17 07:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,085
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
JHZR2  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,085
New Jersey
Id use brake parts cleaner.

Re: Degreasing threads [Re: VeeDubb] #4496401
08/23/17 07:40 PM
08/23/17 07:40 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 117
northwest pa
justintendo Offline
justintendo  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 117
northwest pa
we use starting fluid alot at work to clean. seemed odd at first but works well and is mild on painted surfaces.


2013 escape 2.0 awd
2008 fusion 2.3 mtx
1996 f150 4.9 2wd mtx
1999 kaw zrx 1100
many husqvarnas
Re: Degreasing threads [Re: tom slick] #4496409
08/23/17 07:49 PM
08/23/17 07:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
Merkava_4 Offline
Merkava_4  Offline
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
Originally Posted By: tom slick
Mineral spirits degrease well and doesn't affect most surfaces.


THIS + TOOTHBRUSH!

Re: Degreasing threads [Re: VeeDubb] #4496428
08/23/17 08:12 PM
08/23/17 08:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,738
North Carolina
rooflessVW Offline
rooflessVW  Offline
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,738
North Carolina
Isopropyl is what I use to clean basically everything. I keep a 5 gallon can around. In a good spray bottle, it's very good for flushing out contaminants and quickly.

Many common degreasers are harmful to aluminum if left in contact long term - like inside a blind hole or a lap joint. Simple Green stands out as a common degreaser that is harmful to aluminum. It should be diluted for use and flushed heavily with water afterwards. Even then, you may get some streaking on an aluminum part.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: Degreasing threads [Re: rooflessVW] #4496440
08/23/17 08:22 PM
08/23/17 08:22 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,139
USA
ArcticDriver Offline
ArcticDriver  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,139
USA
Originally Posted By: rooflessVW
Isopropyl is what I use to clean basically everything. I keep a 5 gallon can around. In a good spray bottle, it's very good for flushing out contaminants and quickly.

Many common degreasers are harmful to aluminum if left in contact long term - like inside a blind hole or a lap joint. Simple Green stands out as a common degreaser that is harmful to aluminum. It should be diluted for use and flushed heavily with water afterwards. Even then, you may get some streaking on an aluminum part.


There appears to be two different conversations going on.

The OP asked specifically about aluminum threads and many of the responses have discussed aesthetic issues on aluminum surfaces.

Can someone please tell me how these various degreasers destroy aluminum bolts or threading? Do they cause oxidation? Do they cause brittleness?

I have used Brakleen and PB Blaster for decades on aluminum bolts with no apparent ill effect. I have never later had one of these bolts snap off or show any other signs of fatigue. I would like to know how degreasers destroy an aluminum bolt.

Acids? Yes.
Degreasers? Please explain.

Thanks


Multiple Diesel and Gasoline vehicles
Re: Degreasing threads [Re: ArcticDriver] #4496446
08/23/17 08:29 PM
08/23/17 08:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,738
North Carolina
rooflessVW Offline
rooflessVW  Offline
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,738
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: ArcticDriver
There appears to be two different conversations going on.

The OP asked specifically about aluminum threads and many of the responses have discussed aesthetic issues on aluminum surfaces.

Can someone please tell me how these various degreasers destroy aluminum bolts or threading? Do they cause oxidation? Do they cause brittleness?

I have used Brakleen and PB Blaster for decades on aluminum bolts with no apparent ill effect. I have never later had one of these bolts snap off or show any other signs of fatigue. I would like to know how degreasers destroy an aluminum bolt.

Acids? Yes.
Degreasers? Please explain.

Thanks

What do you think streaking or oxidation on aluminum is? It is corrosion. Normally it stops by itself - the oxidized layer acts like a barrier.

Most degreasers are heavy alkaline solutions and will continue to corrode aluminum. Think Simple Green, Purple Power, Grez-off, etc.

Brakleen and PB Blaster are solvent degreasers, PB Blaster has oil in it as well. Much safer for aluminum, and not what came to mind when I posted.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: Degreasing threads [Re: NoNameJoe] #4496450
08/23/17 08:32 PM
08/23/17 08:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,139
USA
ArcticDriver Offline
ArcticDriver  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,139
USA
Originally Posted By: NoNameJoe
Rubbing alcohol or brake cleaner. Be careful about getting the brake cleaner on painted or plastic surfaces. Both of these are volatile and will evaporate with no residue, except for the alcohol leaving a little bit of water behind depending on the purity but usually the common 70% leaves so little water it evaporates as well. I use these two to clean everything, my tools, auto parts, et cetera.

Originally Posted By: ArcticDriver
I have no proof but I don't believe a degreaser is going to damage aluminum threads.

Perhaps a resident metallurgist will chime in.

Certain degreasers can cause awful etching/staining of aluminum if left in contact for too long, allowed to dry or directly in the sun. For steel, degreasers can cause hydrogen embrittlement. There are metal-safe degreasers out there like Simple Green Pro HD. If you're going to use degreasers make sure to rinse it well.

http://www.velonews.com/2005/11/bikes-an...le-green-2_9216

I left an aluminum casting for a distributor soaked in Purple Power + water mixture to degrease and it came out stained a dull gray.


I read the link of hydrogen embrittlement on a SRAM chain which was left soaking for 6 months. The concern is the mixture became acidic over that long period of time.

When I read the OP, I did not see that he intended to soak the aluminum bolts for several months.

I don't use Simple Green or Purple Power since a thorough rinse is necessary and that defeats the point of it for cleaning threads IMO. I would use a wire brush and brakleen.


Multiple Diesel and Gasoline vehicles
Re: Degreasing threads [Re: VeeDubb] #4496453
08/23/17 08:34 PM
08/23/17 08:34 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 6,988
Texas
4WD Offline
4WD  Offline
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 6,988
Texas
Kind & gentle - WD40 to remove grease & Dawn to remove WD40 ...

Re: Degreasing threads [Re: rooflessVW] #4496458
08/23/17 08:38 PM
08/23/17 08:38 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,139
USA
ArcticDriver Offline
ArcticDriver  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,139
USA
Originally Posted By: rooflessVW
Originally Posted By: ArcticDriver
There appears to be two different conversations going on.

The OP asked specifically about aluminum threads and many of the responses have discussed aesthetic issues on aluminum surfaces.

Can someone please tell me how these various degreasers destroy aluminum bolts or threading? Do they cause oxidation? Do they cause brittleness?

I have used Brakleen and PB Blaster for decades on aluminum bolts with no apparent ill effect. I have never later had one of these bolts snap off or show any other signs of fatigue. I would like to know how degreasers destroy an aluminum bolt.

Acids? Yes.
Degreasers? Please explain.

Thanks

What do you think streaking or oxidation on aluminum is? It is corrosion. Normally it stops by itself - the oxidized layer acts like a barrier.

Most degreasers are heavy alkaline solutions and will continue to corrode aluminum. Think Simple Green, Purple Power, Grez-off, etc.

Brakleen and PB Blaster are solvent degreasers, PB Blaster has oil in it as well. Much safer for aluminum, and not what came to mind when I posted.


Yes, its corrosion. So you are saying that the threads on the aluminum bolts will corrode right off?

The alkaline degreasers that you mention...how do you stop them from causing corrosion? Rinse them thoroughly with water?
I guess I never considered that someone would not rinse a bolt in water after it was soaked in a Simple Green or purple Power. I used PP once and found it left a noticeable film of the surface of the material I was degreasing even after I rinsed it. That is why I stick with Brakleen. It evaporates quickly and displaces water.

To the OP...I will include a disclaimer that i did not think was necessary. If you are going to use a degreaser such as SG or PP, then don't leave the bolts in there for several months and do be sure to thoroughly rinse the bolt in water when finished.
grin


Multiple Diesel and Gasoline vehicles
Re: Degreasing threads [Re: VeeDubb] #4496466
08/23/17 08:46 PM
08/23/17 08:46 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,738
North Carolina
rooflessVW Offline
rooflessVW  Offline
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,738
North Carolina
I'm saying that given enough time and vibration, bad things can happen. With enough time to work, I suspect aluminum threads could come right out with the fastener the next time it is removed.

He asked about cleaning threads but he never said bolts specifically. If would think that cleaning bolt threads would be obvious and wouldn't merit a post, so my mind went cleaning blind holes. Plenty of steel fasteners pull out aluminum threads to begin with - no need to help the process along.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
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