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Old 07-12-2013, 10:45 AM   #78820
Adv Grifter
on the road o'dreams
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Passing ADV Stalkers in California
Oddometer: 6,128
Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
Ok, so with this all past me, I have a crazy theory. Tell me what you think of this:

I started out using kerosene in a squirt bottle and bel ray chain lube. Having no experience on the road, I figured kerosene could be easily sourced. I was wrong. As I ran into only being able to buy large quantities of kerosene, I switched to wd40 since I had read in many places about guys using that to clean their chains. I would spray the chain with wd40, then wipe it off with a rag, then apply chain lube and let it dry. I would always do this when the chain was hot.

The problem is, as some have mentioned, wd40 is a penetrant. My theory is that the wd40 penetrated the orings and ruined the grease inside, and soon the chain started rusting internally (despite my cleaning and lubing). At the same time, the Keintech simple stand I use isnt the most stable, but certainly weighs less, costs less, and takes zero ground clearance when stowed compared to a center stand; this stand allows the bike to move a little when I would spin the wheel to blast the chain with wd40. Overspray prolly hit the spacer by the cush hub bearing a number of times, consequently pentrating the seal (or around the bearing perhaps?) and destroying the grease in the bearing. As the bearing wore, it started to place all sorts of additional force on the wheel bearings and caused the one nearest to the rotor to start going bad. **EDIT** I really am not sure the cush bearing could put additional force on the wheel bearings, but id like your opinions.

I always check the wheel for movement when I deal with the chain, but I will confess I didnt always check the sprocket for lateral movement. This happened fast because I know in fairbanks there was no wheel slop at all.

Maybe im reaching here, but the cush hub bearing definitely had a rusty runny watery crap coming out of it, and this theory seems plausible.

Anyone else want to part some wisdom on me? I feel really stupid (and I was for sure) but at least I know better now. Im using diesel in a squirt bottle to clean the chain and silicone lubricant to keep the orings conditioned. I clean when warm, and I wipe the chain off before extended dirt sessions. Sound right?

Moral of the story: dont blast wd40 on chains or by accident, bearings. I guess some might spray wd40 on a rag, but for me diesel is so cheap, abundant, convenient and good at cleaning that Im just going to use it from now on.
There have been tests run on NEW X ring chain ... soaked in WD40 for a week. WD did not get past X rings. ... BUT ... on a worn chain? Maybe you have a point? Go light on the WD40!

I don't flood my chain with WD (expensive!) and I try to wipe most of it off after cleaning. If you leave a lot on there ... then some chain lubes won't stay on the chain if it's wet with WD40. This is true for the Dupont Teflon product. So, clean off the WD best you can.
Diesel is great. My only complaint? It stinks and my rags end up stinking, but it's cheap and plentiful, does a good job. I say, go with it.

I don't believe WD over spray ruined your Hubb or wheel bearings. More likely water exposure and hard use. Rain riding, stream crossings and
off road riding will take a lot of life out of both your chain and your bearings.
I've no idea on the "order of failure" or how one would affect the other.

Don't forget to check your LINK bearings, especially the most exposed ones that are low down. Re-Grease when you can. (I do it about once a year if I've ridden in the wet)

Your DR will be in top shape by the time you make it home! Excellent maintenance reports ... and proves my point that starting off a long ride with lots of new parts and a complete fresh service, saves time/money on the road.

I learned this in the 80's doing Baja rides:
The standard rule for our 1500 mile Baja Ride (about 70% off road) was:
1. New Tires/Tubes (with 3 spare tubes on board)
2. New Chain/Sprockets (spare master link, spare CS sprocket)
3. New Battery
4. Complete service, checking/lubing all bearings
5. Loc Tite everything, check all fasteners
6. Complete Tool kit, spares, nut/bolt kit
7. First Aid kit
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