Reversing the Rust-Weld

We've all encountered a rusty situation of some sort, be it a simple nut or bolt, or that well bonded exhaust system. The following is pulled as written in the Fido Old_Engine echo.

   JD>I'm still wrestling with changing a burned out muffler. Stub end of
   JD>muffler is rust welded onto intermediate pipe and two different brands
   JD>of rust solvent have had no discernable effect. Even tried to change
   JD>out the intermediate pipe which is held on to the catalytic convertor
   JD>by a flange with four bolts through it. These bolts are  rusted also
   JD>and the rust solvents did no good here either. Even with an air wrench,
   JD>nothing turned. I'm heading out with my Dremel grinder to do some
   JD>damage. Tiz amazing how sometimes the simplest car jobs can become a

_Anything_ to do with exhaust systems is a pain!

Your best rust "solvent" is plain old water, and the price can't be beat! Of course, once you've got everything covered with all those oily commercial compounds, you may have to run around the block a few times to burn off the oil, before the water can get into the joint.

Manifold studs, exhaust clamps, flanges, whatever, wet them down _good_, tap "generously" with a _small_ hammer while keeping throughly wet, and you can usually unscrew them with your fingers.

Oil and rust _don't_ mix, but water and rust were made for each other! :-)

For a large connection like that muffler end, soak a strip of rag in water and wrap it around the connection. Let it sit 5 or 10 minutes, tap gently, re-wet, and tap again. Don't dent the pipe though, as that makes it more difficult. :-)

Same with tools. Got any pliers, dykes, needle nose, with rusted joints? Toss them in a bucket of water for an hour or so, and them tap with a small hammer. Keep rinsing and tapping until the joint is clean, _then_ dry and re-oil quickly.

Good luck... M.

* Origin: Matt's Hot Solder Point, New Orleans, LA (1:396/1.4)

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This Page Created By Alexander M. Bilan (
Page Contents by Matt McCarthy Fido 1:396/1.4
All Rights Reserved.
June 18, 1997
Revision 1.0 June 18,1997