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Old 09-25-2004, 12:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Best way to clean the chain before a lube?

Hey ducs,
I rode down to the local bike shop today to pic up some chain lube. Looked at the chain and decided it needed cleaning also [ i live on a dirt road.] The guys at the shop sold me the Honda chain lube [w/white graphite...], but said they rairly sell anything to cleanthe chain?? The honda stuff recommended a brake / contact cleaner that was O ring safe, but I couldn't find any that did not say to protect rubber, so...
Any suggestions? I was thinking of trying out the old faithfull simple green. Anyone tried this? How about Castrol Purple power cleaner?

Thanks,
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Old 09-25-2004, 02:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best way to clean the chain before a lube?

For cleaning the chain, kerosene (or similar) is recommended by most chain manufacturers. It's safe for the O rings too. I've used Simple Green and it works fine. Kero is cheaper though.

Also, if you want to clean the chain without putting mess all over your garage floor, check the KettenMax chain cleaner.

http://www.bike-gizmos.com/bikegizmo...kettenmax.html
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Old 09-25-2004, 07:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best way to clean the chain before a lube?

I try to keep Simple Green away from chains.

If I'm going to take the time to do a good cleaning, I use WD-40 and a toothbrush. That loosens up all of the gunk, then I can wipe it off with a rag. After that I spray with Maxima Chain Wax and wipe off whatever will come back off. I can then get by with just the Chain Wax for another 1000 miles or so before I need to do some more serious cleaning.
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Old 09-25-2004, 11:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best way to clean the chain before a lube?

unless the chain is disgusting, like after riding through salt/sand in the winter, i use the same method as Chris Kelley. see this link: http://www.ducatitech.com/info/chain.html if needed, i then use kerosene.
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Old 09-19-2005, 07:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best way to clean the chain before a lube?

So let me get this right. Cleaning the chain using Chris' method, you'd ONLY use chain wax?
The inserst of the link still look nasty dirty to me after cleaning. My cleaning method was this:

1. Went for a 5 minute ride
2. With bike on rear stand, I applied chain wax then rubbed each link and rear sprocket to death ( ieven think I burned some skin off!)
3. Sprayed WD-40 on the bolts securing the rear sprocket and srubbed them.

When completed, I waxed the chain a second time.

I still had grime in the links as the chain went around the rear sprocket.
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Old 09-19-2005, 08:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best way to clean the chain before a lube?

I second the WD-40 / toothbrush thing. It won't hurt O-rings, I don't care what anyone says. But yes, kerosene is the standard recommendation.

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Old 09-19-2005, 08:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best way to clean the chain before a lube?

Kerosene or Diesel, The second one is also good to clean the engine...just smoky when you start the bike after a cleaning, but it leave a nice protecting film. Smell anwsome too...
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Old 09-19-2005, 09:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best way to clean the chain before a lube?

Aye WD-40 and my daughter to spin the back wheel. Just watch the brake parts, I got some on my rotor one time and ended up having to take the caliper off to clean the rotor and pads. Get some brake parts cleaner just in case.
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Old 09-19-2005, 09:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best way to clean the chain before a lube?

A rag with Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF.
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Old 09-19-2005, 10:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best way to clean the chain before a lube?

The WD 40 won't damage the O rings. If you flood the chain with WD 40 it could seep past the O rings anddilute the lube sealed inside. I use the same method as Chris. When first sprayed it works very well as a cleaner. My preferred chain lube is Motorex though.
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