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I am very confused when it comes to distinguishing between the different grades of red and blue Loctite.

  • Are the different grades of Loctite intended for different torque ratings?
  • Which Loctite(s) is/are the most universal for automotive DIY maintenance/repairs?
7

When and what to use is sometimes specified by the part manufacturer and sometimes it is just intuitive.

If you have something that keeps getting loose and you've done what you can to minimize the vibration you need a threadlocker. It is not a Band-Aid product. If you have a bent drive shaft that vibrates the bolts loose you need to fix the problem not just lock the bolts down so they won't ever come out.

The three kinds I keep on hand are:

  • Loctite 222 for small screws and bolts generally under 1/4". Using a stronger compound on small hardware may cause them to break before you can loosen them.

  • Loctite 242 for general purpose use. It is considered medium strength. I use it on hardware that I will have to remove at some point but that sees some vibration. Think of things like a transmission mounting bolt or driveshaft "U" bolts in a light duty vehicle.

  • Loctite 262 for hardware subject to higher vibrations. This I would use on off-road or heavy duty use items like the "U" bolts that attach the axle tubes the springs, trailer hitch to frame mounting bolts and others items that may not see a lot of vibration but are likely to be installed and rarely removed.

  • In a pinch, you can use nail polish in place of Loctite 222. It's been keeping my turbo's wastegate actuator screw nice and tight. – Captain Kenpachi Apr 11 '14 at 9:49
  • @mikes : I like what you've put down so far. Any thoughts on the other grades like Loctite 271, 272? – Zaid Apr 11 '14 at 12:58
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    While the three products I listed won't cover every job they will be sufficient for the majority of tasks for a home mechanic. They will work for all but the most extreme cases I avoid using the "heat required for removal" line (like the 271,272 products) unless it is specifically required. – mikes Apr 11 '14 at 22:20

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