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Rubber Restoration

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by wrenchjohns, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. While building an old Hubley metal model, I needed to soften the 50 some year old tires. I surfed Al Gore's amazing internet and found a soaking solution; 3 parts Isopropyl Alchohol mixed with 1 part Wintergreen oil and overnite soak. Results: pliable but slightly swollen tires that seem to be tightening on the wheels as time goes by. Has anyone tryed this on their bike rubber parts?

    john
     
  2. gggGary

    gggGary Horsepower; just noise 'til the tire hooks up.

    Cool! I'z tried lots o diffr'nt stuff but no holy grail yet. I'll give that one a shot. I rub a bit of pure dielectric silicone grease on slide diaphragms. Sil-glyde (NAPA) on everything else. Seems to help soften, lube rubber for installs. I kinda doubt there's a "cure-all", the elasticizers slowly evaporate out of the rubber (and plastic) leaving brittle solids that crack as they shrink. It's interesting reading how JBM rescues and refurbs old vulcanizing equipment to make quality new rubber parts.



    Note what he's making and the tee shirt!
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  3. Great video there Gary!
    Yes, dielectric grease is excellent for rubber parts on the XS650.
    I also use the Sil-glyde. I use it on my car brakes.................expensive, but worth every penny.
     
  4. Update: 5 of 6 tires snug on wheels, still pliable after 36 hours out of soak. I'll post pics soon.

    john
     
  5. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru

    Along these lines, before I rebuilt my carbs I watched a how to video on YouTube and the guy sprayed silicone spray on his diaphragms , saying how much the rubber likes silicone.
    So I did the same. I sprayed them and let them soak for a while and then wiped them down prior to assembly. I sure hope that was a good idea. :shrug:
     
  6. gggGary

    gggGary Horsepower; just noise 'til the tire hooks up.

    Well it's done and prolly no harm but the problem with sprays is the solvent "carrier" in the spray that evaporates is not good for the rubber. Those diaphragms are so critical and WOW expensive if they die. That's why the dielectric silicone for those, a small tube is about $10. just a bit on my finger rub on lightly wipe off with a rag.
    PS. never leave diaphragms laying around out of the carb they will shrink over time if not kept in an assembled carb/cap. Sil-glide everywhere else it's not so pricey. I keep a tube at each work bench. Always hit plastic side cover tabs with it, makes a huge difference for on and off and really cuts the odds of cracking the plastic or rubber grommets. I may be OCD on this but I take a utility knife and scrape the sharp mold edges off the plastic tabs also. I do this on ALL my bikes during maintenance. This SOHC750 forum link is good reading. and may change my brake maintenance a bit.
    PS kinda related I have seen that the rubber/vinyl protective sprays are probably more destructive than protective. shrug, I still use them for a quick appearance improvement..........
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
    Wulfbyte and Mailman like this.
  7. mrtwowheel

    mrtwowheel Honda Etched On Brain

    I did a test spot with a silicone spray on a vinyl seat last summer. Didn't take long for the vinyl to separate from the cloth underneath.

    Scott
     
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  8. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru

    But I saw it in the internet! And everything on the internet is true! :D
    ( When will I ever learn )
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
    Wulfbyte likes this.
  9. Back in an earlier life we used to use Vicks Vapo-rub ( a menthol infused petroleum grease) to make slot car ty(i)res more supple.
     
  10. ok, 3 weeks later, the tires are back to proper size and not as hard as before but much harder than right after soak. I'm going to say this is an ok solution for model building, not so much for motorcycles. js
     
  11. Found this video:



    More tips/tricks in the comments section...
     
  12. I used to treat vinyl and rubber parts with mineral oil. It's no magic bullet either, but it does help keep stuff from deteriorating. I now use this grape drink looking stuff from Carquest. It has sunscreen in it. I

    I like the silicone grease tip for diaphragms. I'm keeping that one!
     
  13. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru

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    For many years, my go-to leather, vinyl, and rubber treatment has been the Tannery .....

    http://www.acehardware.com/product/..._clickid=5605f354-6d6a-4184-85fb-66c6e8413e2f

    Besides rubber treatment, it's wonderful for cleaning your wiring and all the connectors, tire sidewalls, and the seat. It's nice for the seat because it doesn't make it slippery like Armor-All. And it's just so easy to use. It sprays out as a light foam. I spray some on a seat or leather jacket, spread it all around with my fingers, let soak for 10 minutes or so, and wipe off. For small rubber bits, you can stick them in a baggie with a good spray and soak them for hours if you like.
     
    TwoManyXS1Bs likes this.
  14. Ok, count me in.

    My tach mount rubber is quite worn, tach vibrates a bit at high revs. Received a better condition mount rubber, but has cracks/splits and hard places. Washed it up real good, superglued the cracks. Ready for the softening ordeal.
    RubberSoftening01.jpg

    Same 3:1 mix as wrenchjohns.
    RubberSoftening02.jpg

    We'll let it stew for a couple days.

    In the meantime, came across some postings from pro shops that claim this "Blue Devil hydraulic stop leak" is the best for restoring rubber.
    BlueDevil-HSL.jpg

    They claim that the softening lasts much longer...
     
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  15. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru

    TwoManyXS1Bs and JimD54 like this.
  16. Thanx, Bob. Tagged that.

    In the meantime, my barn smells minty fresh...
     
    MaxPete, MrBultaco, Signal and 3 others like this.
  17. gggGary

    gggGary Horsepower; just noise 'til the tire hooks up.

    :popcorn:

    maybe a good spot to toss this in; MikesXS has added some early rubber parts to the stock.
    https://www.mikesxs.net/page/newitems/index
    I ordered a set of the gaiters. I saw an Australian seller was offering them also. Correct early gaiters have been impossible to find. They're not giving this stuff away.
     
  18. MrBultaco

    MrBultaco it ran before parked

    [QUOTE="gggGary, post: 551375]

    maybe a good spot to toss this in; MikesXS has added some early rubber parts to the stock.
    https://www.mikesxs.net/page/newitems/index
    I ordered a set of the gaiters. I saw an Australian seller was offering them also. Correct early gaiters have been impossible to find. They're not giving this stuff away.[/QUOTE]

    I bought some gaiters from 650 Central. They are 12" uncompressed and 5 1/2" compressed. They are Daystar and sold
    through Tucker Rocky also, part #152303. They will need some 'mods'. $20. from MMM.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2018
  19. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru

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    Wow, those early rubber parts are expensive. I hope they're made with different rubber than all the other repop rubber stuff they offer. Every rubber bit me and my buddy have tried from them in the past hasn't been very good and didn't last long. Basically, we've learned not to buy their rubber stuff anymore, lol.
     
    TwoManyXS1Bs likes this.
  20. gggGary

    gggGary Horsepower; just noise 'til the tire hooks up.

    Yerah I think (hope) this is a different animal than the usual people's cooperative condom recycling and motorcycle parts stuff.
     

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