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Old 02-16-2008, 09:24 PM   #1
meat popsicle OP
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Beware of Snake Oil

aka WD-40

before I say my peace let me start by saying WD-40 is a very good product, when used for what it is designed for: a Water-Dispersing cleaner that leaves behind a VERY light lubricant. But there are many things that it is not designed to do, because of the very qualities that make it good for what it is designed to do... lemme stop chasing my tail and spit it out:

WD-40 is not a good cleaner for your chain.

This is where the chorus begins with: "WHY NOT YOU GODLESS PINKO COMMIE-LOVIN' BASTAGE!?!"

For two reasons:

1) WD-40 contains cleaning solutions that will interfere with whatever lubricant you choose to (TRY AND) apply afterwards.

2) WD-40 is a very good penetrator, and if it does get by your o/x-rings it will contaminate the grease sealed within.

Will this ruin the grease or make it fail sooner? I will leave the question to the lube experts, but my guess is yes. Hopefully some of them will post in this thread.

Now of course you will not take my word for it right? "Damn skippy bub." Well, of course not, and you shouldn't; I wouldn't take your word on something like this, especially if I had been using WD-40 on my chain for decades and they always lasted longer than my other brother Darrell's chains...

So take a WD-40 Customer Service rep's word for it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by a WD-40 rep
Dear Mr. Popsicle,

Thank you for contacting the WD-40 Company concerning the use of our product. WD-40 contains cleaning solutions, and for this reason we do not recommend using WD-40 first and then applying another lubricant.

WD-40 can swell rubber or buna rubber gaskets when the gasket is immersed in the fluid. If the fluid is sprayed on and wiped off, the gasket will not swell. This swelling will not ruin the gasket, however it will swell the rubber. We use buna gaskets in every single can of WD-40 aerosol. We build the valves in our cans with this swelling in mind. After swelling the gasket retains its integrity.

Thank you again for contacting the WD-40 Company. Please let us know if we may be of further assistance.

Best regards,
Eva Zabowski
WD-40 Customer Service
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meat popsicle screwed with this post 02-16-2008 at 09:32 PM
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:32 PM   #2
DucatiSSsp
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Do ya always believe what someone tells ya?
And who is foolish enough to spray chain lube on their bikes chain?
...........GODLESS PINKO COMMIE-LOVIN' BASTAGE!
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:35 PM   #3
meat popsicle OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DucatiSSsp
Do ya always believe what someone tells ya?
And who is foolish enough to spray chain lube on their bikes chain?
...........GODLESS PINKO COMMIE-LOVIN' BASTAGE!
Excellent points,

I have no rebuttal... we're off to a great start here folks!
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:38 PM   #4
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dubyadee swells buna.... hmm... i'll have to rememer that next time i have a leaky/dry seal...
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:06 PM   #5
Max Kool
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Fist of all, if I would only ride on the streets with my bike, I wouldn't come near my chain with WD40, there are far better greases that start as a penetrating substance and once the light solvents have disappeared turn into a very sticky chain grease.

However. I only ride offroad. In muddy, slimy and very dusty conditions. A well greased chain would attract way too much dirt. So keeping the chain dry and not sticky is essential.

WD40 consists primarily of petroleum-like spirits. Just like lamp oil, kerosine or diesel. This dissolves grease. That's great, because we want to clean the chain. On a good chain, solvent (wether it is kerosine or WD40) should not get past the O rings, because the O rings do what they are supposed to do, ie seal the inside of the chain. I'm inclined to think cleaning the chain with a lubricating solvent will keep the parts of the chain clean, and therefor the O rings seal better.

If WD40 should for some reason get past an O ring, kerosine or diesel should just as well right? And basically this means the O ring is shod and the life of the chain is coming to and end anyway. Btw, most chains don't have O rings anymore, the have X-rings or Z-rings. These types have two sealing lips on the rings and have far better sealing properties while at the same time offer less friction.

Ok, so far for theoretics. How does it hold up in the real world? I only use WD40 on my chains, nothing else. I clean the chain with it, wipe it off, spray it again until the chain looks completely squeaky clean. I use it after every ride and the chain still looks perfect. For me, WD40 is the most practical way to get some decent life out of my chain. Some other solvents or greases my work better and stick longer but they make more mess while servicing the chain, and you'd have to carry an extra bottle of chain grease.

I am not worried about the exact chain life. They wear faster in an offroad environment anyway.

All in all, your warning about snake oil does not only count for WD40, but for using kerosine, diesel or petroleum just as well. And your statements (and those of of the WD40 sales rep) do not hold in my world anyway. I am not submersing my O rings, I'm only spraying them.
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:13 AM   #6
DucatiSSsp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Kool
Fist of all, if I would only ride on the streets with my bike, I wouldn't come near my chain with WD40, there are far better greases that start as a penetrating substance and once the light solvents have disappeared turn into a very sticky chain grease.

However. I only ride offroad. In muddy, slimy and very dusty conditions. A well greased chain would attract way too much dirt. So keeping the chain dry and not sticky is essential.

WD40 consists primarily of petroleum-like spirits. Just like lamp oil, kerosine or diesel. This dissolves grease. That's great, because we want to clean the chain. On a good chain, solvent (wether it is kerosine or WD40) should not get past the O rings, because the O rings do what they are supposed to do, ie seal the inside of the chain. I'm inclined to think cleaning the chain with a lubricating solvent will keep the parts of the chain clean, and therefor the O rings seal better.

If WD40 should for some reason get past an O ring, kerosine or diesel should just as well right? And basically this means the O ring is shod and the life of the chain is coming to and end anyway. Btw, most chains don't have O rings anymore, the have X-rings or Z-rings. These types have two sealing lips on the rings and have far better sealing properties while at the same time offer less friction.

Ok, so far for theoretics. How does it hold up in the real world? I only use WD40 on my chains, nothing else. I clean the chain with it, wipe it off, spray it again until the chain looks completely squeaky clean. I use it after every ride and the chain still looks perfect. For me, WD40 is the most practical way to get some decent life out of my chain. Some other solvents or greases my work better and stick longer but they make more mess while servicing the chain, and you'd have to carry an extra bottle of chain grease.

I am not worried about the exact chain life. They wear faster in an offroad environment anyway.

All in all, your warning about snake oil does not only count for WD40, but for using kerosine, diesel or petroleum just as well. And your statements (and those of of the WD40 sales rep) do not hold in my world anyway. I am not submersing my O rings, I'm only spraying them.
Yeah! What he said.....I just didn't want to type that much!
Still on the stock chain and sprockets on my well used 01 wr426f using wd40 to coat the chain and engine after cleaning...go figure.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:12 AM   #7
MotoChris521
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I'm with Max.
Can't kill my D.I.D. X -ring. 5,000 miles of mostly off road and it still looks good.

Long live snake oil.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Kool
Fist of all, if I would only ride on the streets with my bike, I wouldn't come near my chain with WD40, there are far better greases that start as a penetrating substance and once the light solvents have disappeared turn into a very sticky chain grease.

However. I only ride offroad. In muddy, slimy and very dusty conditions. A well greased chain would attract way too much dirt. So keeping the chain dry and not sticky is essential.

WD40 consists primarily of petroleum-like spirits. Just like lamp oil, kerosine or diesel. This dissolves grease. That's great, because we want to clean the chain. On a good chain, solvent (wether it is kerosine or WD40) should not get past the O rings, because the O rings do what they are supposed to do, ie seal the inside of the chain. I'm inclined to think cleaning the chain with a lubricating solvent will keep the parts of the chain clean, and therefor the O rings seal better.

If WD40 should for some reason get past an O ring, kerosine or diesel should just as well right? And basically this means the O ring is shod and the life of the chain is coming to and end anyway. Btw, most chains don't have O rings anymore, the have X-rings or Z-rings. These types have two sealing lips on the rings and have far better sealing properties while at the same time offer less friction.

Ok, so far for theoretics. How does it hold up in the real world? I only use WD40 on my chains, nothing else. I clean the chain with it, wipe it off, spray it again until the chain looks completely squeaky clean. I use it after every ride and the chain still looks perfect. For me, WD40 is the most practical way to get some decent life out of my chain. Some other solvents or greases my work better and stick longer but they make more mess while servicing the chain, and you'd have to carry an extra bottle of chain grease.

I am not worried about the exact chain life. They wear faster in an offroad environment anyway.

All in all, your warning about snake oil does not only count for WD40, but for using kerosine, diesel or petroleum just as well. And your statements (and those of of the WD40 sales rep) do not hold in my world anyway. I am not submersing my O rings, I'm only spraying them.
Good points. And that makes me wonder... Would graphite be a better lube for a chain? Clearly you want something to reduce the friction, and a sticky substance (liquid) will either get washed off or attract grit.

Would graphite be feasable? Would it just be flung off at the first run through of the chain?
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:26 AM   #9
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Oh well. Street riding, many use only WD-40 and get very good chain life.
Have used WD-40 as cleaner after ride, rain ride, or wash. Chain went 28,000 miles and still looked good and ran well (wear specs are very conservative) 01 FZ1.
nEVER COULD TAKE DIRECTIONS...
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:53 AM   #10
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I clean my chain in a pan with kerosene & lube it with PJ1 Blue label.

If on the road I'll clean it with WD40 & follow it up with the Blue Label. So far, so good.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:02 AM   #11
bryantjt
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WD dissolves the dirt and old chain lube much faster than straight Simple Green and keeps my chain rust free when riding in the snow.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:10 AM   #12
Arch
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Dammit, meat, you actually hatched a WD-40 thread?




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Old 02-17-2008, 07:18 AM   #13
ChrisC
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How 'bout we pitch in and buy Meat a lifetime supply of chain lube?

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Old 02-17-2008, 07:29 AM   #14
FriedDuck
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http://www.ducatitech.com/info/chain.html

This works the best for me. I've tried em all & got tired of the grease trap that grows around the CS sprocket. I never had any problems with WD40 but after trying this method the chain stayed clean longer & was easier to care for. YMMV
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:46 AM   #15
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WD40 is not the stuff to put on chains. If you want to use an aerosol, use CRC 5.56, primarily after washing as a water dispersant. It won't rust your chain either.
And stuff the chain lube, it's a con, and a messy one at that. If you really want a lubed chain, bite the bullet and do it properly and use a Scottoiler or somesuch. Chainlube from cans just attracts grit and dust and makes an excellent grinding paste, and flings of on your bike as well.
I personally think chainlube in cans is one of the great cons in motorcycling.
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