Threadlocker, also known as Loctite, is an essential tool for a reliable FPV drone build. It’s used to secure metal threaded fasteners to prevent them from loosening due to vibrations. In this guide, I will share insights about Threadlock and how to utilize it effectively.
Where to Buy?
You can purchase your threadlock from these vendors:
I’ve been using this TL242 bottle for years. The liquid is blue, which is the one you want. Steer clear of the red liquid type as it’s meant for permanent use, making it incredibly tough to remove.
What’s ThreadLocker and Benfits
Loctite threadlock is frequently used for motor screws in FPV drone builds. It helps prevent screws from unintentionally loosening due to vibrations. Unlike standard glue, Loctite feels similar to oil or paint. It often requires hours to thoroughly dry and cure after application.
In certain scenarios, such as when using a nyloc nut, it’s best to refrain from using threadlocker. The reason? The nylon insert in the nyloc nut will securely lock the bolt and nut in position, rendering threadlock redundant.
How to Use Threadlock?
Many motors and frames come with bolts that already have threadlock – indicated by the blue paint on the thread. If not, simply grab a bottle and apply it yourself. A small bottle can literally last for years; I bought mine in 2013 and still have some left.
- Pour a small amount of threadlocker into a tray – a dab is all you need.
- Wipe the screws’ threads using a paper towel. While have a little grease isn’t a problem, it’s always good to clean off any residue or dust before applying.
- Dip only the screw’s tip into the threadlocker. Avoid over-application as it might make the screw challenging to remove later. However, using too little may not provide the desired strength. If over-applied, simply wipe off the excess.
- Install the screw. The threadlocker will secure everything in place. Allow it to settle for several hours, ideally a day.
Removing Threadlocked Screws
Applying too much threadlocker can sometimes result in screws being too tight to undo. If the screw won’t turn at all, apply heat to that screw. A hot soldering iron placed on the fastener and held for several seconds might help. Repeat as necessary.
Avoid Threadlocker on Plastic
Note that threadlock only works on metals, such as steel, titanium and aluminium, but not on plastic, nylon and wood. Avoid using threadlockers on plastic threads. Even though there’s no harm using it on most modern nylons and quadcopter parts, some plastics can react adversely, so avoid if possible.
Never apply threadlock to the motor shaft as it can compromise the plastic of the propeller hub, potentially causing it to weaken or even crack. A nyloc nut should suffice to prevent propellers from coming loose.
- Apr 2015 – Article Created
- Jan 2018 – Updated with purchase link
- Jul 2023 – Refreshed information and updated product links