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Have any of you used CRC "Freeze Off" as a penetrating oil?


JamesR
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Hi. I'm trying to loosen the distributor on my old Ford Y-Block to adjust the timing. It's seized in place, however, due to corrosion from many years of exposure. This is apparently a very common occurrence on old Y-Blocks, even though the shaft housings seems to be made of aluminum. Something about dissimilar metals (steel and aluminum) being in contact with each other over long periods of time.

 

I've used several different penetrating oils that have worked in other applications  - PB Blaster, Zep Twister, 3-in-1 Penetrating Oil and others over the past week, but to no avail. I've done some light tapping on the base of the shaft housing, but I've been warned not to tap too much or too hard so as to not wreck the distributor.

 

Haven't tried Kroil or liquid wrench penetrant yet...I will, but I bought something today called CRC Freeze Off. Didn't want to use it until I've had some first hand feed back, though. One of the Y-Block guys said he loosened his distributor by spraying it with the freeze from a fire extinguisher and it froze the metal enough to create a fissure in the corrosion layer. Don't want to use a fire extinguisher, but sounds like Freeze Off could be a less extreme approach using the same principle. I'm still kind of worried about the freezing approach on the possibly aluminum housing. Has any one used this stuff successfully on this kind of automotive application? here's a video:

 

 

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)
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  • JamesR changed the title to Have any of you used CRC "Freeze Off" as a penetrating oil?

Might try the Freeze off to chill/shrink the dist and then use the penetrant of choice while the dist is still chilled. Repeatedly. Aluminum/steel interface corrosion is nasty. I always use a good anti seize when assembling those types of surfaces. Good luck..........Bob

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On 7/11/2021 at 7:34 PM, Bloo said:

Haven't used it. Aluminum changes changes size more with temperature than cast iron, so I might concentrate on the aluminum. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

 

 

17 hours ago, Bhigdog said:

Might try the Freeze off to chill/shrink the dist and then use the penetrant of choice while the dist is still chilled. Repeatedly. Aluminum/steel interface corrosion is nasty. I always use a good anti seize when assembling those types of surfaces. Good luck..........Bob

 

Thanks for the tips guys. I tried using the stuff the other day, but probably not in a way that was optimal. I first warmed the engine up, because I thought that the chilling effect might be more pronounced if the two joined parts were warmed. Instead I think that just made the aluminum shaft housing cool rather than really really cold. I'm going to try it again with no pre-heating. Then try more penetrating oil immediately after as Bob suggested.  Appreciate the input.

 

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I’ve used “freeze off”
They should probably have named it cool off because it’s not powerful enough to create freezing conditions. It’s as good as any other penetrating oil. 
In the last 90 years your distributor shaft has possibly expanded slightly, in addition to dissimilar metal oxidation forming only making matters worse. 
keeping it soaked with penetrating oil through several warm up cycles may eventually free it up in time. 
Just be patient and consistent and you will eventually save it. 

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2 hours ago, rusty_apache said:

I’ve used “freeze off”
They should probably have named it cool off because it’s not powerful enough to create freezing conditions. It’s as good as any other penetrating oil. 
In the last 90 years your distributor shaft has possibly expanded slightly, in addition to dissimilar metal oxidation forming only making matters worse. 
keeping it soaked with penetrating oil through several warm up cycles may eventually free it up in time. 
Just be patient and consistent and you will eventually save it. 

 

Yes I tried the Freeze Off again today - this time without warming up the engine first - and it didn't seem to go on any colder than my first attempt (with the engine warm.) From that perspective, I'd say the treatment isn't very effective. The ambient temp in the garage I was working in was about 85 degree F or better, so that may have something to do with it. The stuff might work better when the ambient temp is 50 or less. I'll keep using my other penetrants and running the engine. Thanks for your input, rusty_apache.

 

The car runs good, but the only issue is that the timing is retarded about 3 degrees from where it's supposed to be and I can't adjust the distributor. I have a good spare distributor that's been refurbished, but I'm not going to mess up the good functioning unit currently in my car just to get it out.

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If you are serious about chilling the distributor I'm not so sure a spray chiller will be very effective. The dist has a lot of mass for a bit of spray to chill to it's core. I would try packing dry ice around the dist and wrap it in a towel for at least an hour then hit with your penetrant. A bit of tapping on the shaft as the penetrant soaks in wouldn't hurt.  Good luck .........Bob

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Thanks Laura and Bob. I'll try those methods when I get back to my car. It's in storage.

 

Whichever way I get it loose, I'll follow up and let other people know what worked. One guy on the Ford Barn forum said he used a fire extinguisher to freeze and loosen the dist., and it worked...but it was very messy. 😄 That'll be my last resort.

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If you used a CO2 extinguisher it wouldn't leave anything on the engine.It would frost up the distributor but as it evaporated there would be nothing left except maybe a little water from the frost.

Try some Mopar Rust Penetrant.It worked well for me when all other penetrants wouldn't.

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Right, CO2 extinguisher! A dry chemical extinguisher just leaves a mess with no cooling effect!😉

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So sending the part to Ballston NY solves the problem?🤔  Either the Jiffy Lube or many restaurants there. That's the Google results using Ballston Penetrant or Ballston Oil.

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