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Garage and Workshop This forum is for discussions of what goes on in the garage - "the tools, the techniques, the tricks" ...or something like that. DO NOT POST QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR CAR HERE.

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Old 08-18-2009, 06:50 PM   #1
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Red face Removing RTV?

What do you use to clean off RTV? About to replace my oil pan and not sure how to get off old RTV. Does water harden it (so I should avoid using water)? Do you use alcohol or what?

I know it's a noob question but there are only 3 threads with "rtv" in the subject and I've never dealt with this stuff.
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:38 PM   #2
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Acetone or lacquer thinner, available at Home Depot or Lowes, and a good quality gasket scraper. You can get one at Sears. Still, it takes time and some elbow grease to get RTV off, and you have to be careful not to gouge anything. Permatex makes a gasket remover product but I've never seen it in an auto parts store. Alcohol or water won't hurt anything but won't work either.
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Old 08-19-2009, 06:15 AM   #3
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that gasket remover helps but you still need elbow grease.
i use a red scrubbie pad to get the last small bits off.

3M makes a gasket remover on a roloc but thats a bit of overkill for most.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:13 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses ATTappman and DanNY, I appreciate them!

I'll try some acetone...can get that at Walgreens and then Sears for a gasket remover tool. I would have to avoid Roloc dics since I don't have a Roloc. Hopefully all goes well and I don't end up causing more damage.
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:05 PM   #5
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I also use fine steel wool if it's a part that I'm taking off and cleaning. (like the oil pan itself where I can wash it well with water afterwards). I WOULD NOT use it on the bottom of the engine as you may get small bits of metal on the insides of the block that you don't want stuck in a filter or bearing..

But for things like water pumps, cleaning parts off the car, etc... the stuff is great.
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:35 AM   #6
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Laquer Thinner is the WORST (but the best) of a bunch i've tried. It works but it goes right into your lungs if your not careful. I stopped spraying it. It ruined one of my engine cleaning guns, I had to return it. That said, it is the best cleaner i've used, but I need some better industrial mask to use it...with vapor protection, but I don't have one right now. Spraying it in those air engine cleaning guns creates a toxic mist cloud.

I tried those Scotchbrite Rolocs, I bought 3 of them, but they take off metal almost instantly, I'll take a photo. Maybe that wasn't the right disc? Is it a specific gasket remover disc?

Last edited by 1993-VG30E-GXE; 09-05-2009 at 01:38 AM..
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:50 PM   #7
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lacquer thinner is not supposed to be used in a spray. well, not unless you've got a REAL respirator on. to use lacquer thinner, pour it on a rag and start rubbing.

but not much fo anything will dissolve RTV silicone. you must mechanically remove it. steel wool, scotch pad, sandpaper, razor blade, etc.
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:39 PM   #8
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OMFG DONT USE ANY CHEMICALS..... Use a razor blade it takes like 2mins and no effort at all.... elbow grease my ***.... its a breaze. I would recommend you buy a gasket for the new oil pan so you dont have any leaking/rust problems in the future. Im pretty sure the oil pans go bad quick simply because nissan didnt use gaskets on them...FTMFL
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:11 PM   #9
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FWIW, I used a putty knife & acetone, and used Ultra Black RTV for the gasket. So far so good though.

These were my tools for the pan replacement:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzelinsky View Post
OMFG DONT USE ANY CHEMICALS..... Use a razor blade it takes like 2mins and no effort at all.... elbow grease my ***.... its a breaze. I would recommend you buy a gasket for the new oil pan so you dont have any leaking/rust problems in the future. Im pretty sure the oil pans go bad quick simply because nissan didnt use gaskets on them...FTMFL
That's funny. Carmakers have been replacing fragile gaskets with RTV for many years because of the reliability and longevity of RTV over a cork/rubber/paper gasket, especially in the presence of oils. Corrosion isn't an issue with the pans. it's sandblasting and salt from the roadways. sand kicked up front he car in front of you sandblasts the underside of the car and then the salt attacks the fresh metal. so on, so forth.
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanNY View Post
that gasket remover helps but you still need elbow grease.
i use a red scrubbie pad to get the last small bits off.

3M makes a gasket remover on a roloc but thats a bit of overkill for most.
Click the image to open in full size.
I use those but buy the replacement pads from harbor freight most of the time.
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:07 PM   #12
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Another cheap alternative is just to buy a gasket scraper...it looks like a screw driver handle with a blade on the end. It worked for me (that and laquer thinner).

Last edited by 1993-VG30E-GXE; 09-12-2009 at 01:10 PM..
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridinwitha35 View Post
FWIW, I used a putty knife & acetone, and used Ultra Black RTV for the gasket. So far so good though.

These were my tools for the pan replacement:

Click the image to open in full size.
Good call on the putt knife too, this is what I used to separate it from the block, I tapped it lightly to slip between and separate the 2, in various spots. I wouldn't stick the gasket scraper in between or it could damage the flange.
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzelinsky View Post
Use a razor blade it takes like 2mins and no effort at all....
That's a sure way to scratch and mar the surface in my experience. The only scraper I'd ever use on pans is one made of brass.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:41 PM   #15
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In removing GE Silicon Adhesive Sealant and GE RTV Silicon Rubber by a Technical Center that repairs GE function boxes. They had to replace the entire box due to the inability to remove the sealants without any damage to the face plates.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:03 PM   #16
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I like the Roloc wheels with the rubber fingers....worked well when we did the IM on my truck....
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:56 AM   #17
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I plan on removing my upper manifold to replace my spark plugs and I have spacers with RTV on them. This is helpful thread. I'll be taking the razor-blade/chizel approach. I can't risk getting chemicals into my manifold area.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:46 AM   #18
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Putty knife run down the grooves angled one way then back down it again angled the other way, then quickly scrape the flat parts, then follow it up with brake cleaner & a drill mounted wire brush with soft bristle's. On the parts that you can't fit the wirebrush, or don't want to use it such as the parts of timing cover still on the motor or the block part of the upper pan I do the putty knife first & then instead of the wire brush I use the maroon 3m auto scuff pad. Follow it all up with a microfiber & brake cleaner so you have no traces of oil etc, tourqe to spec & use permetex ultra grey & you won't have any problems. It's also helpful your first couple times to measure the thickness of your bead per the fsm. When you're putting that pan back up don't forget to remove the dipstick & make sure the crank sensor wires are out of the way.
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