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Author Topic: Interesting "study" on the effects of WD-40 on chain O-rings  (Read 8803 times)
Alon
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« on: January 09, 2011, 02:27:33 AM »


http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=345397


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stormcat
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2011, 10:12:15 AM »

The debate will rage on regardless. I'm interested to see the longitudinal findings.
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smith.p.sean
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2011, 10:26:37 AM »

From wd-40 themselves:
"Originally Posted by a WD-40 rep
Dear Mr. Popsicle,

Thank you for contacting the WD-40 Company concerning the use of our product. WD-40 contains cleaning solutions, and for this reason we do not recommend using WD-40 first and then applying another lubricant.

WD-40 can swell rubber or buna rubber gaskets when the gasket is immersed in the fluid. If the fluid is sprayed on and wiped off, the gasket will not swell. This swelling will not ruin the gasket, however it will swell the rubber. We use buna gaskets in every single can of WD-40 aerosol. We build the valves in our cans with this swelling in mind. After swelling the gasket retains its integrity.

Thank you again for contacting the WD-40 Company. Please let us know if we may be of further assistance.

Best regards,
Eva Zabowski
WD-40 Customer Service"

swelling will cause more friction and premature failure.  Also they talk about how if you manage to get it past the o-ring it will eat the lube which I totally agree with and can see happening.
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2011, 05:51:13 PM »

Years ago we cleaned our chains with Kerosene and then relubed them after they were wiped clean and dry.
Never experienced any problems.
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dk1six
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 07:09:22 PM »

I think the key word there is immersed with regard to how WD-40 can effect rubber seals and o rings.  Sprayed on and then sprayed over with a lubricant with the WD-40 running off initially, carrying away dirt and grime and then another liquid or the lubricant in this case being sprayed over it creating a washing away effect.

I doubt the WD-40 will have any short term effect and that might be realized over the life of a chain before that chain is replaced or upgraded.

I think any longitudinal effects will depend on exposure which we like to think is limited but unless you're soaking the chain in it I think it could be a moot point.  I think I'd be replacing my chain due to age or an upgrade before I replace it as a matter of how it was cleaned in place.
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 07:14:12 PM »

Since owning the bike I've used kerosene (recommended in the manual I believe) and PJ1 lube, I'm good!
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2011, 02:41:56 AM »

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=350310
Part 2

Better stick to kerosene, or soap and water!
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TwoTacoCombo
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2011, 03:49:23 PM »

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=350310
Part 2

Better stick to kerosene, or soap and water!

Eh, that experiment was deeply faulted. The method he used to 'test' the strength of the o-ring in no way resembled the forces applied to it while doing it's job on the chain. The swelling measurements provided more useful data. Testing for stiffness, cracking, and porosity also would have been interesting. But the ability of the ring to hold a bucket filled with 20 pounds of crap is irrelevant.
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2011, 01:03:54 AM »

While I agree the testing method was a bit off, but there is no doubt that O-ring chains do have the O-Rings fall off from usage if they aren't properly maintained. If he did stress testing instead of load testing it would have been more conclusive, but I think they would fail in the same order.
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gpzpaul
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2011, 02:55:42 PM »

I if am doing some maintenance on the bike and this includes washing the bike i all ways spray my chain with WD 40 to remove the water from it before i spray it with chain lube
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 02:59:56 PM by gpzpaul » Logged
dr._scott
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2011, 02:26:32 PM »

None of the tests took into account the heat and fiction the o-rings encounter when the chain is moving either.
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00ninja
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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2011, 02:48:53 PM »

I if am doing some maintenance on the bike and this includes washing the bike i all ways spray my chain with WD 40 to remove the water from it before i spray it with chain lube

If you get WD-40 on your wheel, does it eat the paint colour?  Reason I'm asking is that I've heard that some people use it as a degreaser.
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« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2011, 04:15:20 PM »

I if am doing some maintenance on the bike and this includes washing the bike i all ways spray my chain with WD 40 to remove the water from it before i spray it with chain lube

If you get WD-40 on your wheel, does it eat the paint colour?  Reason I'm asking is that I've heard that some people use it as a degreaser.

WD40 doesn't eat through a proper paint job. I use it on all painted metal parts of the bike, including the wheels.

If you spraycan your mufflers and then clean with WD40, you can sort of remove the paint, but that's more because the heat of the mufflers weakens and chips spraypaint in the first place.
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jchiasson
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« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2011, 05:01:12 PM »

I if am doing some maintenance on the bike and this includes washing the bike i all ways spray my chain with WD 40 to remove the water from it before i spray it with chain lube

If you get WD-40 on your wheel, does it eat the paint colour?  Reason I'm asking is that I've heard that some people use it as a degreaser.
WD-40 is my preferred method of removing tar from the side of my car. WD-40 on a rag, rub until tar is removed , wash area well then apply a coat of wax. Been doing that for over 10 years....
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« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2011, 05:40:21 PM »

Pogo / jchiasson - Thanks for clarifying!

I guess I can use the stuff to remove lube from my wheels without harming them (factory gray wheels), right?
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« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2011, 06:13:15 PM »

I have been using ATF for the O ring chains.  Its a lube and cleaner.  + it's readily available and cheep.  I put it in a little squirt bottle and drip it onto the chain.  No issues yet.
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« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2011, 07:01:15 PM »

Pogo / jchiasson - Thanks for clarifying!

I guess I can use the stuff to remove lube from my wheels without harming them (factory gray wheels), right?
Yup. I would spray it on the rag first then wipe the lube up. You'll be less likely to get it on your tires that way.
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« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2011, 07:09:49 PM »

Pogo / jchiasson - Thanks for clarifying!

I guess I can use the stuff to remove lube from my wheels without harming them (factory gray wheels), right?
Yup. I would spray it on the rag first then wipe the lube up. You'll be less likely to get it on your tires that way.

That's great, thanks again for the tip.
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2011, 08:50:45 PM »

Just pondering but I have to wonder how much good chain lube actually does other than provide a film that prevents rust on the chain. Lets face it after 50miles of riding following a chain lube there's no lube between your chain and the sprockets. What remains is usually stuck on the outside of the chain where it does no good and just attracts grit. The real lube in the chain is sealed inside the 0 rings. If the remaining lube does anything it keeps the seals lubed. I'm kinda thinking stormcat's idea of cleaning your chain with WD-40 and leaving it as is actually makes sense. Actually something like a Scott oiler makes even more sense.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 08:53:31 PM by twowheels » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2011, 12:08:03 PM »

Lets face it after 50miles of riding following a chain lube there's no lube between your chain and the sprockets. What remains is usually stuck on the outside of the chain where it does no good and just attracts grit.

Sorry bro, this just simply is not true unless perhaps you're using a shitty lubricating product. I have come back from a 520 mile ride and there is still a greasy/waxy layer directly on the inner links that get pushed by the sprocket teeth. I can even wipe it off with my finger. Lubricants made for constant metal-on-metal friction remain on the metal, because otherwise we wouldn't use them at all.

In fact, the grimeyness is good. The layer I can wipe off with my finger is black and dirty, which is an indicator that it is remaining on the inner links as a lubricant and still catching dirt and grime. I.e. it's working perfectly. I have 24,000 miles on the bike now with stock chain and sprocket and my sprocket shows ZERO signs of shark-toothing. I would literally have to use some kind of precision measuring device to find evidence of wear on the sprocket teeth.

Why does my sprocket kick ass? Because for 20,000 miles, I have been using the ONLY chain lubricant endorsed by the Dark Lord himself:


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madcap3k
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« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2011, 10:44:29 PM »

WD-40 is a terrible thing to use on your chains.  If it gets past the O-rings it will destroy the grease inside.  Don't use solvents like WD-40 on anything that's greased such as door hinges, motorcycle chains, etc.

If you don't believe me pull a door hinge pin from your house, take a paper towel and try to wipe off the grease once.  It doesn't come off very easily does it?  Now spray some WD-40 on the grease area of the hinge.  Wait a few seconds and you can much more easily wipe off the grease.  Now clean off the hinge pin, apply some grease or petroleum jelly and reinsert it into the hinge.  Take some "heavy duty chain lube" (by the justice bros.) or other foaming spray type oil and lubricate the outside of the hinge.  You should be set for a long time of squeak free operation.

I've experimented with this quite a bit because I do building maintenance.  WD-40 will attack the existing grease, cause your hinges or other door hardware to rust, and to top it off the lubricant is very thin and doesn't last long at all.  Any of these reasons are reason enough to not use it on your chain.
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stormcat
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« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2011, 08:57:46 AM »

Tell that to my chain. It's needed a minor adjustment ONCE in two years riding. WD-40 and maintenance. Period.



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madcap3k
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« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2011, 12:05:28 PM »

WD-40 will probably work fine for many people.  Just don't be one of the "unlucky" ones where it penetrates past the O-rings and ruins the grease inside. 

Unfortunately this sort of thing doesn't stick out like a bright safety vest, highly visible for all to see.
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stormcat
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« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2011, 12:23:01 PM »

Funny thing, that. Bought a new riding jacket on Saturday. Joe Rocket Ballistic Alter Ego 11.0. Salesperson points out that it's also available in "high vis yellow." It was sitting beside the red ones. I didn't even notice it.
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00ninja
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« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2011, 12:28:10 PM »

Unfortunately this sort of thing doesn't stick out like a bright safety vest, highly visible for all to see.

I think this got interesting on another thread somewhere  Grin
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