Solvents and chain lubes

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Solvents and chain lubes

Postby Ducked » 30 May 2009, 22:00

Thought I'd already posted this, but apparently not, unless it was removed for being terminally trivial/boring. If so, it still is.

Can you get it here, [Edit: This is a reference to Water Soluable Brush Cleaner, the original title of the original thread, before mergers, etc] and if so, what's it called (in Mandarin)

I mean the stuff that you worked into the paintbrush bristles and after that you could rinse off oil-based paint with running water.

I ask in this forum because I found it good stuff for cleaning bicycle chains, and I have a very dirty motorcycle chain I want to use it on.
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Re: Water Washable Brush Cleaner

Postby marboulette » 02 Jun 2009, 22:11

Not sure about that stuff. Gunk is readily available here, though. But I would just use 92 gasoline. It picks up grease and oil like a charm. :wink:

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Re: Water Washable Brush Cleaner

Postby Ducked » 02 Jun 2009, 23:47

Bit pricy, smelly and pyrotechnic using it in a pressure hose though, unless you're saving Private Ryan.
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Re: Water Washable Brush Cleaner

Postby Ducked » 14 Jul 2009, 19:37

Seriously though, I think diesel or kerosene are better general cleaning solvents. Not so smelly or dangerous, cheaper, and they leave a slight oily film which limits rusting if you leave anything lying around for a while.

My stealth chain-cleaning method (since I'm having to do it in the office)

An RZR chain will just fit in a 1.5 L drinking water bottle (the 2L fizzy pop bottles are much stronger and dont have silt-trapping ribs but the ones I've got have all got petrol in them.) add a cup of diesel, PUT THE TOP BACK ON the bottle, and shake, cocktail stylee.

Decant diesel and silt into another bottle (the silt settles and you can re-use the diesel). Repeat with fresh diesel until you get tired.

It would be better to remove the chain and leave the silt behind, but that's too much chain handling in my situation

No mess no fuss. All contained. unless the bottle bursts.

One disadvantage is you cant use a brush. I do that on the bike using a partly split bottle with a window cut out the side as a solvent trough (chain goes through the split neck and through a hole in the upper side off the bottom)

If I can get some Gunk or brush cleaner I'll use that next and then maybe finish off by boiling the chain in water.

RZR's are pretty skinny chains. Other bikes would likely need a container with a wider neck. Maybe a liquid laundry detergent jerrican.

The plastic jerrycans sold empty in hardware stores don't seal properly. Empties have been tested. Empty fizzies have been pressure tested.
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Re: Water Washable Brush Cleaner

Postby redwagon » 14 Jul 2009, 21:44

I prefer a 50/50 mix of gas and kerosene. :thumbsup: Just take it off and soak it overnight, rinse and repeat as necessary. Then again, a new chain is a couple hundred NT$...
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Re: Water Washable Brush Cleaner

Postby Ducked » 16 Jul 2009, 14:05

redwagon wrote:I prefer a 50/50 mix of gas and kerosene. :thumbsup: Just take it off and soak it overnight, rinse and repeat as necessary. Then again, a new chain is a couple hundred NT$...


Why the gas? (petrol). I'd be surprised if its possibly slightly better performance as a grease solvent compensates for the disadvantages, though I guess some people like the fumes.

Didn't realise chains were quite that cheap. Couldn't quite bring myself to just chuck the dirty one, but it'd certainly be worth having one on, one off (soaking/cleaning) , if I didn't already have two.
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Re: Water Washable Brush Cleaner

Postby redwagon » 16 Jul 2009, 14:52

Ducked wrote:Why the gas? (petrol). I'd be surprised if its possibly slightly better performance as a grease solvent compensates for the disadvantages, though I guess some people like the fumes.

I think when you cut it with kerosene it doesn't stink quite as bad.
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Re: Water Washable Brush Cleaner

Postby Ducked » 16 Jul 2009, 22:12

Still think you its best to fiinish off with something that renders it water-washable. That brush cleaner was the bizniz. Lots of silt washed out under the tap from around the pins, which I guess is where it counts, wear-wise.

Next time I'll try it with some Gunk. I suspect they've stopped making the brush cleaner.
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Re: Water Washable Brush Cleaner

Postby Dog's_Breakfast » 17 Jul 2009, 01:01

Apologies in advance if I'm getting slightly off-topic, but what is the best thing to use to lubricate the chain? I've just been spraying my chain occasionally with WD-40, but maybe that's not good enough. I kind of hate to put oil on it because I know it will attract dirt, but maybe it's the best way to go. Will any old oil do, or is one better than another (I was thinking 40 weigh motor oil, since I have some anyway for my chain saw).

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Re: Water Washable Brush Cleaner

Postby redwagon » 17 Jul 2009, 01:29

WD-40 is not a lubricant, it's a Water Displacer... that's where the name comes from. It leaves a film of very light oil behind which protects against rust, but it doesn't lubricate worth a damn.

The modern strategy with o-ringed or x-ringed chains is a wax-based lube which dries on and doesn't attract dirt. Unfortunately, an unsealed chain needs to be first cleaned and then properly lubed with grease or oil. Oil flings off very quickly so you have keep relubing it and then washing the rest off the bike. The time-honored solution is use a very heavy grease, one that's as stiff as furniture polish at room temps, heat that in a steel can until liquid, drop the chain in and let that all soak into the bushings. After that you wipe / scrape the excess off with a rag. I have no idea where you can buy that stuff and I haven't seen in 25 years. You can buy chain lube in spray cans but it doesn't really penetrate into those bushings, which is where the wear actually occurs.

Of course if you have a bike with a full-enclosure chainguard you can just paint the chain with EP-90 gear oil and be done with it.
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