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Old 10-05-2012, 12:54 PM   #1
bushyb OP
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What will soften rubber parts?

What will soften rubber parts?

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.
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.
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.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:59 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:28 PM   #3
scout18
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Brake fluid too. I use it to soften the rubber boots for carbs.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:41 PM   #4
Lefty23
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What will soften rubber parts?

silicone spray
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:33 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:57 AM   #6
Rob Farmer
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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 )
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:46 AM   #7
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I'd soften them up with a razor blade and throw them in the bin.
But that's just me.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:17 AM   #8
disston
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Replace with new rubber gaiters.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:45 AM   #9
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I chucked mine years ago too!
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:43 AM   #10
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A Talk about commitment half way through the act

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Old 10-06-2012, 01:52 PM   #11
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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.

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Old 10-06-2012, 02:21 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rufusswan View Post
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.
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. 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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lake_harley screwed with this post 10-06-2012 at 02:37 PM
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:19 AM   #14
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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).
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 ˝”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.
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.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushyb View Post
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).
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 ˝”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.
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.
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.
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