What will soften rubber parts?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by bushyb, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. bushyb

    bushyb Adventurer

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    What will soften rubber parts?<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I am looking to soften rubber gaiters that go between the fairing and the shocks. The bike has stood for a number of years; it runs great so I don’t want to strip it at all.<o:p></o:p>
    The fairing gaiters are of the vulcanized black rubber type. I am looking for a easy to use house / garage product that I can use to soften the rubber up and stay that way.<o:p></o:p>
    I have read elsewhere of a number of possibilities but would like to hear if someone has any experience with this or is a bio chemist who can recommend a cocktail to rub on the rubber to soften it and keep it that way with say maybe a maintenance period of every 3 months or so.
    Hope you can help, thanks.<o:p></o:p>
    #1
  2. Apexcarver

    Apexcarver Adventurer

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    I would try ATF (automatic transmission fluid)

    Has worked pretty well at rejuvinating plastics and rubber for me. Basically it has additive packs to condition seals that also work to nourish the rubber.

    You can get some of the "stop leak" type automotive fluids that are basically designed to swell seals, but they might over soften them.

    Try the ATF and see how it works out, then experiment with the "stop leak" if it doesn't get you there.
    #2
  3. scout18

    scout18 Been here awhile

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    Brake fluid too. I use it to soften the rubber boots for carbs.
    #3
  4. Lefty23

    Lefty23 Trekker

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    silicone spray
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  5. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Hoss Cat

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    Long shot, but furniture polish has many uses. It soaks right into a lot of stuff that doesn't even seem porous.

    EDIT: Maybe not such a long shot. Folks have written about it for just this sort of thing.
    #5
  6. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

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    Tent reproofing spray. Soak the parts in as much as you can and then bag them up and leave.

    I've also had success with parts in very hot water and washing up liquid (obviously while the wife was out :evil)
    #6
  7. ME 109

    ME 109 Long timer

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    I'd soften them up with a razor blade and throw them in the bin.:wink:
    But that's just me.
    #7
  8. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    Replace with new rubber gaiters.
    #8
  9. boxerboy81

    boxerboy81 Stay Horizontal

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    I chucked mine years ago too!:1drink
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  10. R100LT

    R100LT Chasing 11

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    A Talk about commitment half way through the act

    ... Oh sorry ... Motorbikes ... I will keep it back on track
    #10
  11. timekeeper

    timekeeper Adventurer

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    If you are one of those that thinks any amount of style is more important than safety and the function of your machine you are riding the wrong motorcycle by choosing an Airhead. They're a lot of weekend riders out there that are into the look of riding a motorcycle. Those of us who ride motorcycles are into the look. But you will stand out like a Dyke at a Playboy convention when you meet up with any real riders.[/QUOTE]

    WOW..Relax..Take a pill, we are just talking about "Gaitors" here.

    I agree with keeping them in place and there function but the rest of it is a little over the top.:brow
    #11
  12. Cordless

    Cordless Two Wheel Addict

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    WOW..Relax..Take a pill, we are just talking about "Gaitors" here.

    I agree with keeping them in place and there function but the rest of it is a little over the top.:brow[/QUOTE]

    Eh, he was just looking for a chance to use his Dyke at a Playboy convention analogy. Give him a pass.
    #12
  13. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    Wintergreen Oil....mix w/water ... about 2 Oz. in a quart of water. Bring to a boil on the stove with the rubber parts to be softened. Turn it off and let it cool. It'll smell up the whole house so get permission first. I've used it on carb boots that were high $$ new, and it made them pliable enough to be useable again.

    Lynn
    #13
  14. rufusswan

    rufusswan Been here awhile

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    Have heard the same about wintergreen oil, but the recipe was with Tylol instead of water and boiling. Get the wintergreen at the Walmart pharmacy.
    #14
  15. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    You probably read "Zylol" or "Zylene", or some other solvent, and maybe part water with that too. I didn't really want anything that flamable on my gas stove or it could be "Bubber Parts Flambe" in a heartbeat:kboom. I just used water from our reverse osmosis drinking water system instead. It approaches the quality of distilled water. I think the Zylene, or other solvent, is supposed to help the wintergreen penetrate and rejuvinate the rubber parts a bit better. Seemed to work with just water and wintergreen though. I think I was guided to the concoction by a link to a SOHC Forum.

    Lynn
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  16. ME 109

    ME 109 Long timer

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    The op is referring to the 'boots' that go between the fairing and the forks, not the ribbed gaitors.
    I have, and always will have ribbed gaiters to protect my forks.

    Edit, I think that is what the op is referring to.

    Gaiters work well in protecting fork legs from stones, but not from these........


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpcz1qcxYuA
    #16
  17. bushyb

    bushyb Adventurer

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    To be fair I have asked this on other forums as well, these are the contenders with the number of times mentioned: Gummi-pflege 2, Peanut oil, dielectric grease, Denatured alcohol, brake fluid 2, silicone spray 3, wintergreen oil 3, liquid Ivory soap, 303 Aerospace Protectant, Pledge furniture polish2, ATF (automatic transmission fluid).<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    I did a small experiment with what I thought would work based on the above and what I had in the garage at hand. I cut an old bicycle tube in ½”strips and smeared them with multi-purpose grease, old engine oil, brake fluid, aluminium deoxidiser, ATF, pledge furniture polish, carb cleaner, painter’s thinners and CRC marine spray. I can tell you the only ones that seemed to work was the CRC, painter’s thinners and carb cleaner sprays. <o:p></o:p>
    The thinners is no-good it just makes the rubber deteriorate. The Gummi-pflege is a known rubber product for BMW door / sun roofs rubbers etc. Maybe once its soft a little bit of furniture polish or silicone spray will keep it soft. <o:p></o:p>
    #17
  18. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Hoss Cat

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    You know, I don't know what site it ever came from, maybe here or SOHC/4, but someone did a similar project with o-rings and a micrometer, and they had one that they didn't do anything to, for a control.
    #18