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Beezer 02-22-2013 11:23 PM

soften hard rubber
 
sooooo... teach an old dog a new trick. I recently ran into a formula for softening age hardened rubber... couple ounces of wintergreen oil in a pint or so of xylene. I just did some intake boots & they went from rock hard to like new flex in 24 hours. I am astounded at how well it worked. the wintergreen is supposed to have a natural plastisizer in it called meythyl salicylate. the test bits did not swell up noticeably and are still pliable after a couple days sitting on the bench. I put another set in mix yesterday & they show improvement, but not as dramatic as the first set. I intend to leave them in until tomorrow & see if they continue to improve. It's the same mix though, so maybe some fresh materials would speed things up.

I got the oil from a local health food store, another source is homeopathic medicine. I hear that sports medicine uses it too.

Shadow 9er 02-23-2013 12:38 AM

That's a great tip! Thanks!

disston 02-23-2013 01:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beezer (Post 20790088)
sooooo... teach an old dog a new trick. I recently ran into a formula for softening age hardened rubber... couple ounces of wintergreen oil in a pint or so of xylene. I just did some intake boots & they went from rock hard to like new flex in 24 hours. I am astounded at how well it worked. the wintergreen is supposed to have a natural plastisizer in it called meythyl salicylate. the test bits did not swell up noticeably and are still pliable after a couple days sitting on the bench. I put another set in mix yesterday & they show improvement, but not as dramatic as the first set. I intend to leave them in until tomorrow & see if they continue to improve. It's the same mix though, so maybe some fresh materials would speed things up.

I got the oil from a local health food store, another source is homeopathic medicine. I hear that sports medicine uses it too.

It would be a really great tip if the results last. We can often restore the looks of rubber but then it goes back to it's aged appearance after a month. The treatment is needed again. Please report if your method seems to have longer lasting results.

Terrific tip if it stays soft.

Beezer 03-16-2013 08:59 PM

so.... it's about 3 weeks since I made the original post. I also treated a 2nd pair of intake boots, and today I installed them. the first set I did had some small cracks (before the treatment) so I used the better set. anyway, all the boots are still soft as when they came out of the mix.

Gramp-Z 03-17-2013 08:11 AM

A great tip ! Now if I can remember it for the next time I need it . :gerg

Gonzodog 03-18-2013 02:17 PM

That will work with synthetic rubbers used in the fuel system. Other natural rubber type compounds like tires, etc will be excessively swollen by the xylene.

zap2504 03-19-2013 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beezer (Post 20790088)
I got the [wintergreen] oil from a local health food store, another source is homeopathic medicine. I hear that sports medicine uses it too.

Also (from previous posts):
"With nothing to lose, I immersed them in lacquer thinner and checked them twice a day. The things swell up and you would swear that they are ruined, but they shrink back to normal in a few days. Some guys also use wintergreen available at drug stores and make some sort of brew mixing it with the solvent. I just use the lacquer thinner until the boots soften enough and then soak the boots in the wintergreen for a day. As they start to shrink, the wintergreen sucks in to the rubber. The wintergreen at a cheaper price is also known as Thor Tire Prep #12 and available at kart shops to soften racing tires."

ttpete 03-19-2013 01:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zap2504 (Post 20984843)
Also (from previous posts):
"With nothing to lose, I immersed them in lacquer thinner and checked them twice a day. The things swell up and you would swear that they are ruined, but they shrink back to normal in a few days. Some guys also use wintergreen available at drug stores and make some sort of brew mixing it with the solvent. I just use the lacquer thinner until the boots soften enough and then soak the boots in the wintergreen for a day. As they start to shrink, the wintergreen sucks in to the rubber. The wintergreen at a cheaper price is also known as Thor Tire Prep #12 and available at kart shops to soften racing tires."

The wintergreen oil also is great for use on badly rusted fasteners. We used it on flange joint bolts on steam lines.

Beezer 05-06-2013 04:14 PM

bump,,,,


about 10 weeks now & the test boots are still soft. the other set is on the bike & running fine

GreaseMonkey 05-08-2013 07:03 PM

Cool tip, thanks for posting!

Beezer 06-25-2013 08:59 PM

almost 5 months now..... test parts still soft :evil


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