View Full Version : Mechanical Chain Cleaners?
06-17-2003, 09:56 PM
You guys have probably seen the slick, multiple rotory brush, sealed chain cleaners for mountain bikes.....spray some WD40 into the reservoir, spin your crank through a few times and you've soon got a shiny new chain.
Anybody seen anything larger that can handle 520 or 530 chain?
I've seen the "Moose" chain cleaner, but it's nowhere near as sophisticated as the mountain bike units......WTF???
06-18-2003, 09:25 AM
Don't use WD-40 on your chain or it will eat up the o-rings!
06-18-2003, 10:59 AM
I thought wd-40 was ok for our chains? I've been using it for 3 years now and no problems. With the chain oils you get a thick build-up which I would think would tend to trap dirt and act like a gritty polishing compound. When I put my bike away, I've been putting the rear on a stand and spinning the tire while spraying the edge of the chain liberally with wd-40 to clean out any dirt and relube the pieces.
Would like to know what other are using for both cleaning and lubricating their chains.
06-18-2003, 11:39 AM
I've taken to using EP90 transmission oil, as a Land Rover owner its something I always have lying around ;) . It seems to do a better job of keeping the chain lubricated and rust free than chain wax and if you clean the surplus off with a rag there seems to be very little fling-off.
06-18-2003, 01:11 PM
AFAIK WD-40 won't harm your chain. I've been using the stuff for years to clean my chain without problems. Hell, I used the stuff to get the sticky crap off the bike when I removed the hundreds of safety stickers that came on it.:rollin:
When I clean my chain I spray the chain with WD-40 and take a soft bristle brush to clean between the links. I don't scrub the crap out of it with the brush as a lot of the grim comes off pretty easy. Wipe the chain off with a shop towel and take it out for a quick spin to get some heat in the chain, then coat it with Nissan Chain Wax. I used to use WD-40 instead of the chain wax and it would fling off by the end of a good ride.
06-18-2003, 08:56 PM
Well Hydro, why do you think the WD-40 helped you to remove the stickers and the glue? WD-40 was thought to be used on metals. One of its component is a solvent. Everybody uses WD-40 for everything but it actually is harmful for rubbers, adhesives (bingo!) and resins. By the way, if any of you is using WD-40 on wooden stock firearms... well laminated wood is kept together by adhesives.
I am no expert on chemicals, just read the printed info. In "The Ultimate Sniper", Plaster writes you should avoid use WD-40 at all (on firearms). In an article on a magazine (I can't remember if it was Sport Rider or Cycle World) they wrote WD-40 is bad for O-Ring chains.
I haven't ever had or seen any failure related to the use of WD-40, I'm just passing on the info.
But if it removes stickers... that seems on line with it having a solvent.
06-18-2003, 09:09 PM
This subject was hotly contested on another board a few months back. I dont recall there being a clear right or wrong, but, I did get a lot of good opinions.
One camp was saying that traditional lubricants do form a paste and can shorten chain life. They were using the WD 40 for the anti-grit factor and stating that the new chains are sealed etc. etc.
The other camp was more concerned with the degrading potential that WD 40 might have on the O rings.
I seem to remember that folks on both sides were getting similiar life out of their chains...some were just a little shinier than others.
I am a neat freak (sick of chain-fling) and trying the WD 40 route-though I have not done this in the past. If I notice a decrease in life or function of the chain I will post about it.
Anyone else with more WD experience? I would like to hear from you.
06-18-2003, 10:06 PM
I may be a heretic, but the scenario I follow is to spray chain oil on the chain shortly after a ride, (I use Maxima for both motorcycles and bikes), then spray WD-40 on a rag to wipe off the chain. My theory is that the chain oil will penetrate where it's needed, but I want the chain's external surfaces to be as clean as possible so as not to pick up excessive sand or road grit, so I use the WD-40 as a cleaner, not a lubricant. I wipe the chain off with a dry rag when I'm finished with the WD-40. I end up with a clean-looking, relatively dry chain, (on the outside), and I've had excellent luck with chain life following this strategy on several bikes for 15 years or so.
All standard disclaimers apply, no warranty is expressed or implied, your mileage may vary, etc.
06-18-2003, 10:22 PM
WD40 is kerosene/solvent based, and will evaporate before any harm ever occurs to your chain's "Buna-N" O-rings....IF any would ever occur (which it won't).
Think about it, Buna-N O-rings are used ALL OVER your fuel system....and they are fuel AND oil resistant. If the mild solvent in WD40 would damage/swell them excessively while in such brief contact, then we'd all be in BIG DAMN TROUBLE with fuel in constant contact as it is now.
So, WD40 is NOT a problem at all.......and, you are not leaving the chain's O-rings soaking in a pan of the stuff anyway. It's gone in just a matter of hours. Although, some people do remove their chains and soak them for a week or more in WD40 with absolutely no problems (actually, an old cyclers trick). Ok, ok......no flames on this one....:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
But.......where is there a rotory brush w/reservoir like mountain bikers have? It's even got a little handle on it so you can properly position it to miss the sprockets while spinning the crank/chain. I've got one for my MB like this one below, but it's too damn small for even 520 chain......and I HAVE modified it (the rotory brushes are set too narrow to work properly):
06-18-2003, 10:41 PM
I've too used WD40 for years (for cleaning only), and have had 20,000mi+ with no problems besides a little chain stretch. If you're worried about it, just use kerosene (like all the manufacturers recommend), and a nylon bristle brush. As far as lube goes, chain wax is the low-mess, long life solution. Even if it's not as slick as some other chain lubes, the low-tackiness keeps it much cleaner. They say keeping your chain clean is at least as important as lube, and don't bother lubing the chain if it's dirty, for you're just pushing and trapping the dirt on more.
06-19-2003, 06:05 AM
That's some really useful information you gave us. Thank you. I think I'll go back to WD-40. I abandoned it after what I read, but I was one of the guys using it for everything. :p
Nevertheless, for firearms I fell in love with Break-free... :D
06-19-2003, 07:21 AM
I have used WD40 to clean my chain on my last 3 bikes with good results. I don't spray it directly on the chain, just onto a rag and then wipe the chain to clean before using chain wax or other lube.
06-19-2003, 10:18 AM
i shoot it directly onto chain, and use a tooth brush without issue for 25yrs on both street & dirt bikes.
used as a cleaner on my street machines, and used as a lube as well as a cleaner on my dirt bikes. my dirt bike chains last 2x as long with wd40 vs. a chain lube which acts more like an adhesive which clogs up with abrasive dirt/sand which destroy chain/o-ring life. and I remove my dirt bike chains to soak them in wd40 for cleaning, and yes they are expensive non-stock aftermarket chains.
as a mech engineer (gerotor hydraulic pump design with many viton o-rings/cal-res o-rings sealing hi-temp/press ports), i know much about lubricants, their binders, reactive properties with other chemicals and friction fighting capabilities.
after changing out oem chains; iíve never had to replace a chain on any of my street bikes.
06-19-2003, 12:30 PM
There are far better products out there than WD, like TriFlow for example (used to be "TriFlon" some years back). Clings better, lubes better, lasts FAR longer, but also costs much more.....so it's not really useful as a "cleaner" like WD, which is cheap and easy to find (EVERYBODY has some somewhere).
The only thing substantially cheaper than WD would be straight kerosene......or even diesel in a pinch (but that STINKS). Anyway.....:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
06-19-2003, 08:29 PM
Also used WD40 for many years with no adverse effects. I never used soap and water on my little '76 CB400F. Every day after i got home from work I would wipe her down with a WD40 sprayed rag, kept the engine clean with WD40 and water. Back then I used motor oil on the chain (now it's WD40 and chain wax; clean, neat and it works), that worked quite well for the 96,000 miles showing when we sold her.
Here in Florida I run my dirt bike chain dry. I've found any type of lubricant attracts so much sand that the chain goes away much faster. I do spray it down with WD40 after a wet ride to expell water.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.