How to Remove Red Threadlocker

    February 13, 2014

It can be difficult removing Loctite® red threadlocker, and it’s a common vehicle maintenance question. While the strength of our red threadlockers is formidable, and meant to be a permanent assembly method – don’t believe the myths… red threadlocker can be disassembled with the right technique.

When disassembling red threadlocker the process is a little different than for other threadlockers. The key is to apply localized heat greater than 550° F.  Then, once the threaded assembly is hot, the bolt can be unthreaded. Without applying heat to the assembly, it’s likely that over time, a bolt would break before coming loose.

Watch this video for a demonstration on removing red threadlocker:

 

The ideal placement of red threadlockers is on bolts ranging from 1/4″ to 3/4″ diameters for some of the following:

  • Bearing caps
  • Motor mounts
  • Suspension bolts
  • Heavy duty equipment areas

To find more information, and download resources and selector charts on Loctite® threadlockers, click here.

Don’t let our high strength threadlocker scare you, just remember…“heat things up to loosen it up!” Just don’t use it on plastic parts… that’s a whole other story.

Have any questions or blog post requests? Leave them below and I will get you the answers you’re looking for!  In the meantime, check out some other auto repair and maintenance how-to videos.

 

You might also be interested in: The difference between Red, Blue, Green, and Purple Threadlockers

About the Author, Andy Scott

Andy Scott has been with Henkel for 7 years and is currently an application engineer. He started with Henkel in 2007 as an intern while attending school. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Central Connecticut State University. Andy has been interested in how anything and everything mechanical works from the time he could walk. From his personal and professional projects, Andy has brought his expertise in fabricating and building cars, trucks and ATVs.

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67 responses to “How to Remove Red Threadlocker”

  1. Jon says:

    Besides using the high heat technique, how would I remove red Loctite from my threaded coil over shocks?

    Thanks

    Jon

  2. Andy Scott Andy Scott says:

    Hello Jon. Thank you for your question. I’m afraid I would need more details on your application to give you the best advice.

    However, I can say that if the threadlocker was used on the adjustable spring perch/ locking perch and made of an aluminum alloy, they have lower adhesion and without heat you could potentially use a spanner wrench and pipe for added leverage to free them. If it is aluminum use caution as it’s a softer material and there is the risk of breaking a tab off of the perch with the spanner wrench.

    If you’re referring to the bolts that hold the shock to the body of the vehicle/ suspension those are hardened and can handle some abuse. In that case a breaker bar (with an added helper pipe for leverage) may be the best bet.

    I hope this was helpful and thanks for reading Jon.

  3. Jon Paul Morris says:

    Hello Andy,

    Thank you for your prompt and comprehensive response to my inquiry. To answer your question, yes, the threadlocker was used on the threads of the adjustable spring perch and the locking perch. I have been using a spanner wrench and lots of “elbow grease”, albeit without the desired outcome. And I have yet to employ any type of breaker bar for the reasons you stated; and because of the high possibility of damaging some other part/system should the bar/wrench slip.

    Is there a temperature where the lower adhesion adhesive would become softer?

    Thank you again.

    Jon

  4. Andy Scott Andy Scott says:

    Hello again Jon. Any heat that can be applied will ease in the disassembly, the higher the temperature the easier it will be to loosen. If your able to heat the perch and locking perch up to 250F at a minimum the red threadlocker will be at about 50% of its original strength. Use caution and try to use the spanner wrench to loosen the perches while they are still hot, as once it cools it will rebound and be back to high strength.

    I know heating can be a challenge with various components surrounding the shock assembly, such as break lines, ABS wires and worrying about the pressurized shock. MAP gas and a pencil flame will be the easiest to pinpoint and avoid touching other parts. Thanks again for reading.

  5. Jonathan Armstrong says:

    I had trouble removing the downrod from my Hunter ceiling fan, for about 6 months, and I finally succeeded. The downrod is threaded and was secured with red Loctite. I put a clamp on downrod coupler and inserted a screw driver through holes in other end. Took so much force. Didn’t want to use heat because I was afraid it would damage a motor.

  6. Clay says:

    I have some wheel studs that I bought used to put on my racecar. They still have dried red loctite on the threads that I need to remove so I can clean up the threads, add new loctite and put them on the car. I’ve seen lots of suggestions on how to do this ranging from heat to acetone. What do you think is the best method?

  7. Loren Nauss Loren Nauss says:

    Thanks for the question Clay. Personally I would wire brush, wire wheel them, then spray them off with some brake part cleaner.

  8. Christine Paine says:

    It looks like my petrol cap has had red loctite put in it. Luckily, it wasn’t locked at the time. Is there anyway I can remove it please?

  9. Loren Nauss Loren Nauss says:

    Hi Christine, thanks for the question! Before I respond – what makes you think it has threadlocker on it?

  10. Jonathan Armstrong says:

    Had you ever bought Hunter or Casablanca ceiling fan? Seems like they put red Loctite on downrod. Seems overkill as long as set screw is tight enough, but not everyone would tighten set screw enough, and Loctite would protect these people.

  11. Brittney says:

    Hello I have a question, mu husband used lock tight on our fan for the water pump and now we need to replace the water pump and need to release the fan from it. But the bolt won’t budge. We tried a heating gun but still no luck. My husband is afraid of applying to much heat and bending the nuts for the pully and melting the fan. Any ideas plzzzz

  12. Loren Nauss Loren Nauss says:

    Hi Brittney, thanks for the question. Heating it up is really your only option here. A narrow tip torch directed right at the nut should do the trick. Be safe and good luck!

  13. David W says:

    I was told “nitro methane” would remove threadlocker.
    Anyway you can have your chemist check it out and confirm.
    If it works, would be a great addition to your line and save a lot of us a lot of effort.

  14. Andy Scott Andy Scott says:

    Hi David. I have checked with our labs, and since testing has never been performed with nitro methane, we cannot recommend this method for removal. Thank you for reaching out to us.

  15. Charl Smith says:

    I have placed locktite green locker on my mk4 jetta inner cv joint bolts…I worry that when its time to replace the new one that I might find difficulty to remove the bolts…does the samr heating method also apply to the green locktite thread locker?

  16. Loren Nauss Loren Nauss says:

    Hello Charl. Yes, heat will work to remove all Loctite threadlockers, no matter what color. Thanks for your question and have a great weekend.

  17. Shane says:

    Dear Sir, I recently used red loctite on some components that secure an aftermarket magazine extension to my shotgun. I got a bit overzealous with the loctite and have gotten some on the surface of the shotgun barrel. Is there anything that will bring it off the surface of the barrel?

    Thanks,

    Shane

  18. Loren Nauss Loren Nauss says:

    Thanks for the question Shane. If it’s uncured, the threadlocker will wipe off. If cured, it can be removed with Methylene Chloride. It may take a while, depending upon how big the spot is, and all hazards of dealing with the MC should be addressed appropriately. I hope this helps!

  19. Bob Papaleo says:

    Hello Andy, I had my gunsmith install a scope mount on a pistol. The mount manufacturer recommended using non permanent loctite on the screws. The gunsmith used red loctite and he even applied it to the surfaces of the mount and pistol. He said if we want to remove it later he would heat it to take it off. I noticed that some of the loctite has weeped from under the mount. It is not cured and I was able to wipe and clean it with wipes and cue tips. This application was done about 2 months ago. Shouldn’t this loctite have cured by now?

  20. Andy Scott Andy Scott says:

    Hi Bob, thanks for the question! The excess threadlocker that leaked out has not cured because threadlocker only cures in the absence of air and in the presence of metal. Hope this helps!

  21. Ryan says:

    How harmful is the smoke from red locktite when burned?

    we heat up pistons on hydraulic cylinders that are attached with red locktite and the smoke fills our shop.
    how toxic are the vapors when inhaled?
    thanks.

  22. Mike Oliveira Mike Oliveira says:

    Hi Ryan, which red Loctite are you using? Thank you, Mike

  23. Ken says:

    I have a Suzuki RM250 dirt bike, 1994, that appears the previous owner used red loctite on the kick start bolt. I have tried to loosen this bolt to no avail. I am VERY HESITANT on using heat as, first, the bolt threads into a “pin” that lies underneath the aluminum kick lever and into the motor casing. The casing is magnesium also.

    How in God’s good name can I get this bolt loosened? I’m going to attempt an EZ Out Extractor Kit tomorrow but doubt it’s going to work.

  24. Loren Nauss Loren Nauss says:

    Hi Ken, is this the assembly on your bike? http://imgur.com/XhVnr5P

    If so, are you referring to #15? I can’t tell what the bolt head is, but think it is likely a hex head style. I expect that the threadlocker is a normal temp, so 350/400 F should start to soften it. If you heat the center of the bolt with a standard torch slowly and keep trying to loosen it with a 6 pt socket or wrench, it should come loose without damaging anything else. For a last attempt without heat, you might try a manual impact tool with a hardened 6 pt socket. See picture: http://imgur.com/qdNGAFs

    This method may break the head off of the bolt, and you then have to drill and clean the threads back up with a tap (and of course use a new bolt). I would try the heat first if it were mine. Good luck!

  25. Patrick Wible says:

    I have dried red loctite on the inside threads of a gun sight part. The hole is for a number 4 X 3/16 set screw. I can not get a wire brush in theory small hole. Is there a liquid I can soak it in to remove the old dry thread locker?

  26. Jim says:

    Hi, I recently used blue loctite on my scope mount screws and the muzzle device on my rifle. I did put quite a bit on them. I need to make some adjustments. I understand the heat thing and I can use it on the muzzle device but how do i remove those mounting screws without damaging my scope? They are tiny screws in close space. Please help thank you.

    • Brandon Gearing says:

      Hi Jim, thanks for your question. Loctite 242 or 243 (blue) may have been too strong for such small screws. We still suggest heat to remove those. The product is rated up to 300F so I suggest heating to at least that temperature. For the future, I suggest Loctite 222 (purple) on those screws smaller than #6.

      With a difficult situation like this, my advice is to just take it slow and gradual. If you’re totally unable to use heat, you would have to drill them out and re-tap them.

      I hope it works out for you.

  27. Rolf Theile says:

    I have red a loctite bottle leaked over a set of dial gauge vernier calipers into the tiny gears etc what solvent should be used to disolve the product

  28. Greg says:

    I have used Loctite 262 on crankshaft centre bolt,(stupid, should have been used weaker threadlocker) which secures belt pulleys, which was tightened at 450Nm according to an instruction, so now i have to heat a head and hope that temperature will reach the end of the bolt, does the 550F heat wont weaken the bolt, which have 12,9 or 14,9 strength class?

    • Brandon Gearing says:

      Hi Greg, thanks for your question. We suggest trying lower temperatures and working your way up. Start around 400F and move up to 460F. The 550F range may be overkill. The challenge when heating is how the assembly absorbs the heat, like a heat sink when trying to soften the threadlocker for removal. Thanks, Brandon

  29. […] Loctite and may me one of several types. They often require heat to remove – 500 to 550 F!! See: How to Remove Red Threadlocker – Henkel Adhesive Technologies Blog Unfortunately, different manufacturers of various thread lockers do not follow a common color […]

  30. Bryan says:

    I Need to remove a muzzle break from a firearm and the rifle maker informed me that they used 272 (high temp) loctite. Just how hot do you recommend that I get the connection to get the 272 to break down? Thanks for your help.

  31. Robert Reck says:

    I have a brass light fixture that does not work properly. It appears that one of the orifices is blocked. When I attempted remove the bunsen from the tube to get to the orifice it was very tight and appeared someone had used loctite on it. What is my best approach to loosening this joint?

  32. Hi Andy, Would you use Locktight on a spark plug helicoil?

  33. john says:

    Hi, I’m attempting to remove the upper wish bones on my F10 BMW 5 series. There is a pinch type clamp with a ~ M10 bolt to lock the ball joint into the pinch clamp. This seems to be using red Loctite and although it possible turn , with great effort, removing will be some what of a challenge. Is heat the only option? I don’t want to damage the aluminium suspension parts.

    • Brandon Gearing says:

      Hi John, thank you for your question. Yes, heat is the only practical option. The hotter it is, the weaker the threadlocker will be. You can start with a lower heat and test it occasionally as you slowly increase in temperature to find the lowest temperature you need for the amount of torque you can provide. Typical max temperatures for disassembly would be 300-400°F, but could potentially as high as 500°F if a high temperature product was used. Hope this helps. – Brandon

  34. Bill Bryan says:

    Will normal soldering iron get hot enough to loosen red loctite in a 3mm set screw? This is on an installed cable end 8 stack injection

    • Brandon Gearing says:

      Hi Bill, thanks for your question. Yes, the temperature required to melt solder will be sufficient to heat high strength red thread locker and allow disassembly with hand tools. The power (or watt rating) of the iron will affect how fast the screw gets heated. – Brandon

  35. Joe says:

    I have a plastic collar threaded onto a plastic fitting. I think some sort of threadlocker was used. If it was, is there a safe way to dissolve the threadlocker on the threads of plastic? The plastic is like an abs plastic.

    • Brandon Gearing says:

      Hi Joe, thanks for your question. Most solvents which would be able to loosen the adhesives we have would be too aggressive for the ABS plastic. So, your best strategy is to heat the connection up, possibly with steam or boiling water, and attempt to disassemble while hot. – Brandon

  36. Graeme Jamieson says:

    Hi there,

    Do you have any FTIR data on your red threadlocker range?
    I found a red deposit somewhere it shouldn’t have been in a process I am working on. I have sent the deposit of for infrared spectrum analysis and need this information from you if possible. Then I can compare the two samples.

    Cheers,

    Graeme

    • Daniel Wergeles says:

      We do not perform FTIR testing on our products. If you need the data, The Henkel lab has the ability to perform the test.

  37. Antwan says:

    When us a 120v soldering iron to loosen red loctite what is a round about time it will take to loosen the loctite?

    • Sara Lopes says:

      Hi Antwan, thank you for your question. Unfortunately the time is unknown as to how long it takes to remove threadlocker. – Sara

  38. Eric Rodriguez says:

    Some threadlocker 271 ran off a wheel stud and dropped onto my wheel. Not thinking it would be IMPOSSIBLE to clean off I didn’t pay it any mind. Now I have a red line on my silver wheels that have a clear coat finish on them, I don’t know what to use to try and remove the red line without damaging the wheel. Any suggestions on chemicals I can get from Home Depot or maybe an auto store?

    • Sara Lopes says:

      Hi Eric, thank you for reaching out. Uncured threadlocker can be removed with a damp cloth. Cured product can be removed with a combination of soaking in methylene chloride and mechanical abrasion such as a wire brush.

  39. Brian Heady says:

    Hi Andy. I’m about to install wheel spacers on my jeep wrangler. What color threadlocker would you suggest? Thanks.

    • Sara Lopes says:

      Hi Brian, to best answer your question we’ll need some more details. Our tech support line will be the best resource for your current situation: 1-800-562-8483. Thanks!

  40. Yuri says:

    Hi There,

    I used Red Loctite to secure some 3/8″ Studs onto a cast piece. I need to remove them again and I am afraid the heat application might not work well on the cast piece. Any advise??

  41. Gary Norton says:

    Removing the rear sight on the Beretta PX4 Storm is reported to be extremely difficult, even with a quality removal tool. Do you have a suggestion for a product or method to loosen the bond. It was made in Italy. Thank you.

    • Sara Lopes says:

      Hi Gary, thank you for reaching out! We’ll actually need some more details about the specific product that was used. Our tech support line at 1-800-562-8483 would be your best resource to help you with loosening and/or removing the bond.

  42. Lou says:

    How do I remove Red Loctite from my flywheel bolts?

    I recently had to remove the flywheel from my Land Rover 300tdi engine for resurfacing using an air wrench (Torque is 107-foot lbs.) Upon disassembly, I notice that red Loctite had been used. After resurfacing the flywheel and ready to mate it back up to the crank I noticed red Loctite has been used, is like concrete and is very difficult to remove from the threads. A wire brush does not work. I’ve started picking at the material but its a losing proposition. Your recommendation is greatly appreciated.

    • Sara Lopes says:

      Hi Lou, thank you for your question. High heat of 450-600 F would be required to separate parts where red threadlocker was used. Heat this up and remove at temperature. The product temporarily softens at elevated temperatures, but will resolidify when it cools down.

  43. Curtis says:

    I have a flywheel retaining bolt on my 16 year old v-twin sportbike that was installed at the factory with 648 green at 95 foot lbs.. I have thrown all kinds of heat at it and with a heavy duty electric impact gun it doesn’t even want to think about moving. Do you think the age of the Loctite with heating and cooling over and over has just permanently locked it in place? The only place I can hit it with heat is the head of the bolt and I have no idea how long the bolt is.

    • Sara Lopes says:

      Hi Curtis, our data shows that heating the part to 400F-450F roughly cuts the initial strength in half. You would need to remove while hot. If you are unable to do this, the bolt may need to be drilled out. There is no solvent that will wick into the bond joint and dissolve the 648.

  44. Ron says:

    I bought a 06 Kia after one week the crankshaft bolt broke off. I’ve ground and drilled remaining bolt I applied heat with acetylene torch. I heated for 5-7 minutes. could not get hot enough to loosen with EZ out and large adjustable wrench.
    Any ideas for heating process?

    • Sara Lopes says:

      Hi Ron, thank you for your question. We will actually need more information in order to give you our best recommendation for your project. Please call 1-800-LOCTITE and one of our tech support team members will be more than happy to help you with your question. Thank you!

  45. Lee says:

    How about removing blue threadlocker from a knife pivot screw and scale screws. The scale is made from Carbon Fibre and G10. I assume solvents wouldn’t penetrate or could cause damage to any glue used in the assembly of the scale material.

    • Sara Lopes says:

      Hi Lee, blue threadlockers are generally removable with hand tools. Once disassembled, the threadlocker can be cleaned from the screw using a combination of organic solvent (methylene chloride, MEK, acetone, etc.) and wire brushing. Please contact Technical Information at (800) 562-8483 for additional assistance.

  46. Chris McNab says:

    Once heated, if a nut is not removed at that time, will the Loctite Red regain its original strength when it cools?

    • Sara Lopes says:

      Hi Chris, if a heated nut is allowed to cool, it will likely regain most of its strength. It would depend on the product and the actual temperature and duration of the exposure. I suggest contacting our Tech Info team at (800) 562-8483 if you would like to discuss in more detail. Thank you!

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