Chain O-ring WD-40 exposure effects study and results

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by klm4755, May 25, 2008.

  1. D-Mac

    D-Mac Been here awhile

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    Excellent work! FINALLY we get some empirical data on this topic.

    At home I use kerosene to clean the chain and then a good lube (Bel-Ray Super Clean or the Dupont stuff usually). On the road I substitute kerosene with WD-40. I figure that it's ok once in a while and the WD-40 comes in handy for lots of other uses too.

    Long-term testing with some heat applied would be especially interesting.
    #21
  2. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

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    :amazon

    Maybe it's just me, but my interpretation of the problem with WD40 was not that it cause the o-rings to swell. Instead that it's basically a penetrant, and would get past the o-rings and contaminate the captured grease, causing premature wear..



    :hide
    #22
  3. gcb

    gcb Been here awhile

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    Exactly what my honda manual says.

    the chain has some small o-ring, lube, o-ring.

    if you use wd-40 it will dissolve the lubricant inside the thing. The manual has a big red box about not using penetrating oil on the chain.

    Also, the test lacked a Coke sample. Unacceptable!
    #23
  4. Chubber

    Chubber I am the Brewmaster.

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    Good study. I would have liked to see what the totals were after 7 days of exposure. After all, anything that gets behind the o-rings is going to stay there.

    Also a test of simple-green or other similar cleaners would be cool.

    Now if I could just my neighbor to stop using it as his only lube on his non-o-ring dirtbike chains. He sprays that chain off, hoses it down with WD-40 and parks it, ready for the next ride. He wonders why he gets only about 5 months out of a rear sprocket...
    #24
  5. Mad*Sparrow

    Mad*Sparrow NoMadic Wanderer

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    Where does Diesel fit into this equation (since I cannot afford the 5 gallons of kerosene, smallest amount found in my area :huh)? It is another oil and I am told similar to Kerosene. I'm guessing it'll fall in the oil based conclusions. Suzuki anyway says go with Kerosene every 600 miles.
    #25
  6. Doghouse_Riley

    Doghouse_Riley Wannabe Adventure Tourer

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    :huh Sorry, I'm not following your logic.
    #26
  7. bonox

    bonox Tryin Hard

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    If a manufacturer specifies a chemical as usable, do you think you're going to see a significant effect on the component parts?
    #27
  8. R-dubb

    R-dubb Dubbious Adventurer

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    I have more than once purchased a quart of kerosene at the local ACE in the paint solvent section. Just a thought.
    #28
  9. matey peeps

    matey peeps Bead Buddy

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    I've also seen it in the camping section at the local Wal-Mart.
    #29
  10. AZKLR

    AZKLR Adventurer

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    What does that manual say you CAN use?
    #30
  11. armatron

    armatron Adventurer

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    I swear you guys don't have enough stress in your life or something... jebus I wish the only thing I had to worry about is what kinda lube to use!!


    :rofl:rofl


    Great study.. I liked it, good read. I also wonder what the effects would be after a week, or a month... or longer.
    #31
  12. Mad*Sparrow

    Mad*Sparrow NoMadic Wanderer

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    I've been to Walmart and checked the hobby and lighting sections for lamp oil, and the camping and hardware sections for kerosene. I also went to Ace and other hardware stores. One salesperson at a hardware store pointed out the paint thinner and said that it was the same as kerosene. :huh
    #32
  13. crooked roads

    crooked roads I'm back

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    If it did all your brake system parts and hoses would be dead:lol3 .
    #33
  14. bonox

    bonox Tryin Hard

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    not quite right - define your brake fluid - the dot5 silicon stuff does destroy classic oring seals. Depends on what the chain manufacturer uses for the rings, same as the seal type in a brake system determines the fluid type - look at the vitimol stuff used for the bmw 1200 clutches for example.
    #34
  15. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    As much as I'm enjoying seeing the results of this test I can't help but think that it's a bit circumstantial because of the duration of exposure to the fluids. On long trips I use petrol because that's all I have. But it's only on there for a minute to get the gunk off and I lube it with thick truck gear box oil (the thickest I can find). Usually at night when making camp to let it soak in all night. I check for cracks in the seals as well.

    On the next trip I'll be taking terpentine to clean the air filter. Might use that depending on how easy I can find it. I like the idea of WD40 because that's everywhere, but like someone mentioned. It's a penetrant.
    #35
  16. St_rydr

    St_rydr Strider

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    I have this can of spray (Maxima Crystal Clear Chain Lube) It has mostly mineral spirits in it. I spray it every couple weeks when I'm done riding while my chain is still warm. If it rains alot, a little more. Yep every couple weeks and thats it. If I lubed my chain every 200 miles I would go nuts worrying about it. I got 6k on it now and it looks like new.
    #36
  17. WzlTech

    WzlTech The fool on the hill

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    I had similar thoughts. The volatility of things like gasoline and carb cleaner, particularly carb cleaner, means that if they were merely sprayed on (as might be the case when chain cleaning) they would evaporate rather quickly. Given the correspondingly short duration of exposure they would likely exhibit much less impact on the o-rings, versus soaking in the fluids overnight.

    That said, I still want to applaud your undertaking a rational scientific method, instead of the typical, "well, I've always done it this way with no problems".

    I agree with one other poster also, I thought the main point of concern with WD-40 had less to do with its direct impact on the o-rings and more to do with its getting past the o-rings. How that is possible, beats me? Just something I read on a web forum once. :wink: (edit: FWIW, I found where I read about WD-40 being a problem, towards the bottom of page: http://www.webbikeworld.com/t2/motorcycle-chain-lube/ it may not be relevant, but might be of interest)

    Keep up the good fight. :beer
    #37
  18. Makalu

    Makalu Long timer

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    As someone who rides a bike with one of those "shaft drives", I'm missing something here..... how/where are the 'o' rings used on chain links? :dunno From your first photos, it appears you have two parts to a link and then a clip. Where exactly does the 'o' ring go? This is new to me.
    #38
  19. Squeaky

    Squeaky A Few Loose Screws...

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    Two go one one side of the link and two on the other. They are sandwiched in between the link itself and the "plate" on the outside face.

    [​IMG]
    #39
  20. MungoP

    MungoP Been here awhile

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    and presumably the grease permanently resides between the pin (or axle) and the roller which covers the pin and contacts the sprocket, yes?

    So if you've killed a chain and want to check whether there is any grease still on a link, you could cut the two O-rings off half a link and wiggle the roller from one side to the other and ....

    Anyone got a dead chain ?
    #40