Talley’s Pick’s: Permatex Threadlocker

Threadlocker is a liquid that seals and locks threaded metal fasteners. Choosing the right threadlocker for certain applications can get a bit confusing due to the variety of colors and brands available. 

Permatex threadlockers

Applying threadlocker to the threads of a fastener makes it flow into the gaps between the threads to fill them. When it came time to explain which color threadlocker to use for certain types of applications, our own powersports pro John Talley chose the Permatex line of threadlockers for his presentation. 

Here’s what John Talley says about the Permatex line of threadlockers:

John Talley: Looking at the Permatex line …  what you're going to find is that there's a lot more out there than just your typical blue and red thread locker. They make several different formulas that can address just about every single application that you're going to run into no matter what you're working on. As a general rule of thumb, you can’t go wrong by using thread locker on just about every single bolt on your machine, and there's a couple of advantages other than just holding the nut or bolt in place. But because this is an anaerobic type sealant, it actually forces air out and seals in the absence of air. And what that means is when you actually put it on the threads, it doesn’t activate until it’s actually put together. At that point, it forces out all the air and then cures.

Permatex Green Threadlocker

Strength: Medium

Application: Wicking threadlocker that can penetrate into the threads of engaged fasteners, so there’s no need to disassemble them for the threadlocker to be applied. Green threadlocker is commonly used on electrical connectors and instrumentation fasteners.

Buy Permatex green threadlocker

John Talley: The first question you need to ask is, can you apply this before assembly? In some cases you may have already had something that's put together that you want to make sure it holds. This product addresses this particular application. You actually put it at the top of the threads, and it’ll wick down into the threads and then actually seal it up and hold it in place.

Permatex Blue Threadlocker

Strength: Medium

Application: Can be used on fasteners up to ¾ inch in diameter, and withstands temperatures up to 300°F. Blue threadlocker is commonly used on valve covers, oil pans and water pumps. Fasteners with blue threadlocker can be disassembled with regular hand tools.

Buy Permatex blue threadlocker

John Talley: Now if it's a really small, fine thread, let's say anywhere from a quarter up to a half inch even up to three quarters, then you want to look into the blue thread lockers. Your application for the blue thread locker would typically be for valve cover bolts, water pump bolts, oil pan bolts, rocker arm adjustment nuts, carburetor studs, shift lever, brake caliper parts. Typically for bolts that you know you're going to have to hold in place, but there's a high probability that you're going to have to pull them out three or four times during the life of the vehicle, and we want to do that with the minimum amount of effort.

Permatex Red Threadlocker

Strength: High

Application: Has a shear strength of up to 225 foot-pounds of torque before the threadlocker’s hold is broken. It can be used on fasteners up to 1 inch in diameter, and can withstand temperatures of up to 300°F. Red threadlocker is commonly used on internal engine fasteners, vehicle suspension fasteners and wheel studs. Fasteners with red threadlocker require extreme heat (over 450°F) before they can be disassembled.

Buy Permatex red threadlocker

John Talley: Next let's look at applications for bolts that may go from half inch, three quarters of an inch, and even larger and they're going to be in a high strength application and/or a high temperature. That is where you're going to want to use something in the red threadlocker line. I love using the red on the inside of an engine. That way, I know whatever nut or bolt that I've put in there it's going to get held in place. Some of the applications are going to be cylinder block studs, rocker arm studs, ring gear bolts, frame bolts, shock absorber bolts, transmission shaft bolts, camshaft sprocket bolts, idler bearings. I mean, you name it. If it's inside of your engine, that's absolutely where you need to use the high temperature threadlocker to make sure those nuts and bolts and fasteners stay in place. 

Permatex is one of the most trusted manufacturers of threadlockers used by the pros. Watch the video below to learn more about Permatex threadlockers and how to choose the right one. 



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