I had this unique opportunity presented to me, so decided to give it a go. Do the experiment. In case anyone’s interested in the result, posting here.
What happened is I dug up a short section of 50 year old 1/2 inch galvanized iron pipe a couple of weeks ago. From an ancient lawn sprinkling system. You know it was ancient b/c practically nobody uses iron pipe for the low pressure part of lawn sprinkling systems these days. Anyway the pipe section had a fitting where a sprinkler head could have been placed. Instead it had a 1/2 inch iron plug screwed in. You know, those square shaped iron plugs. Everything is totally, unbelievably rusted. My goal: See if I could remove that plug!! This was done under ideal circumstances; I could do everything on the work bench. The question: If I applied everything I’ve learned here at Car Talk, would I be successful?
I wire brushed the area until most of the external rust was removed. Then soaked the threads w/rust-dissolving penetrant daily, for 7 days in a row. Wouldn’t budge. Tried clockwise, counterclockwise, wouldn’t budge. Next I heated it with a propane torch to the point it was glowing. Wouldn’t budge. Heated it again, pounded with a hammer. Wouldn’t budge. Next I heated it until it was glowing, then applied candle wax. Wouldn’t budge. Pipe wrench, Crescent wrench, whacked the wrench with a hammer to shock it loose. Wouldn’t budge. Heated it up to glowing again, then poured cold water. Wouldn’t budge. Tried more leverage, used a pipe over the handle of the Crescent wrench. This time something budged at least. The 1/2 inch plug head sheared off. … lol…
My conclusion is this problem I took on for scientific purposes either was completely unsolvable, or it required tooling I didn’t possess, such as a major heavy duty impact wrench and an impact socket designed for a 4 sided bolt head. Any other ideas/conclusions?