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To Clean A Chain

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How do you get a chain clean? I've pressure washed, brushed and WD40'd. Is there a way to get ALL the dirt off?

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I soak mine in a dilution of simple green and then use a scrub brush on it. I may have to do this two or three times but it will get the chain like new. I'll then rinse it off with hot water, blow dry it, and quickly apply chain lube.

If you don't have simple green around I would get some, there are so many uses for it, its non toxic, and it works quite well at removing grease, grime, mud, and lots of other stuff.

Edited by 79yamdt

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+1 Simple Green my chain today. Also took apart the little plastic chain cover as for some reason it collects mud between there are the case really bad, and acts as an active mud lube for the chain LOL What do I take away from this? Less mud, more dirt! haha I'm trying to decide if I should remove that little plastic chain guard or not for that very reason. It seems like a ton of people remove it, and others leave it on.

But yea simple green and a firm bristle brush (google grunge brush) is as good as anything else you may hear of. Be sure to dillute it and you'll get alot more out of it.

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Dont know if this is right or not but I pull mine off and soak it in a little bit of gas and wipe it clean. Comes out spotless every time

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While washing my bike I spray simple green on my O-ring chain, let it set for a few mins. Scrub with chain brush or other substitute. Top, back front and bottom of chain( grunge brush helps speed up the process). After all washing is done let it dry another few mins. I spray wd-40 on the chain because it is a W(ater) D(isplacement solvent/lube. Wipe the chain down with dry cloth and let dry for a couple hours. Use your favorite chain lube. I also like to clean my rear sprocket teeth while washing my bike down, sometimes dirt stays on the teeth and it ends up on your chain if you don't do this.

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Dont know if this is right or not but I pull mine off and soak it in a little bit of gas and wipe it clean. Comes out spotless every time

Agree but then you have dirt(y) gasoline to dispose of. I wouldn't even put it in my lawnmower.

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While washing my bike I spray simple green on my O-ring chain, let it set for a few mins. Scrub with chain brush or other substitute. Top, back front and bottom of chain( grunge brush helps speed up the process). After all washing is done let it dry another few mins. I spray wd-40 on the chain because it is a W(ater) D(isplacement solvent/lube. Wipe the chain down with dry cloth and let dry for a couple hours. Use your favorite chain lube. I also like to clean my rear sprocket teeth while washing my bike down, sometimes dirt stays on the teeth and it ends up on your chain if you don't do this.

Excellent point about the rear sprocket. Mine forms that dirt/oil after every ride. I don't sweat it too hard now cuz I'm about to get a new chain/sprocket, but it is important. WD-40 is a MUST for any dirt bike owner.

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I got 14,000 miles out of a chain on a KLR 650 using only Simple Green and WD-40.

+1 everyone is always so big on these chain lubes...I have only used simple green to clean it after riding, and I finish it off with WD40 lube (after riding) and never had a problem.

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Jar of Diesel, leave chain in it for a few days..... Comes out spotless!!!!!

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I have a cheap tupperware container that is just big enough to put my coiled up chain in. I cover it with simple green and put the lid on. After washing the heavy dirt off with a hose I then spray my crf450r with simple green and let it sit for 10 minis, Maybe one more spray on the really dirty parts and then I was the bike down with a hose and a garden variety pressure nozzle. Then I blow the bike off with compressed air. Then I take the tupperware container with the chain and shake it around for 20 seconds and pull it out and wash it with the hose. Comes out looking brand new every time. Then I blow it out with compressed air and them submerge it in thick gear oil. I take it out I hang it stretched out to drip off excess and then blow it out again. I lube it with chain wax and it is ready for the next ride. Whole process takes 1/2 hour. Chain is maybe 10 min tops.

Edited by mrmoto35

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Lot's of good discussion on chain cleaning.

I've switched to Simple Green, as well. I like the Maxima Chain Wax as a lube because it doesn't "fling" off onto the hubs and other areas.

My chains are riveted without a clip link, so I can't remove them for additional cleaning and soaking. Is a chain with a clip link as reliable as a riveted chain? How often do you have to replace the clip if you remove it frequently?

Thx

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It sounds like all of you have non o-ring chains. When cleaning an o-ring you don't want to soak it so I just use soapy water and a rag. I use a pretty clean wax lube that doesn't require much work to clean.

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Lot's of good discussion on chain cleaning.

I've switched to Simple Green, as well. I like the Maxima Chain Wax as a lube because it doesn't "fling" off onto the hubs and other areas.

My chains are riveted without a clip link, so I can't remove them for additional cleaning and soaking. Is a chain with a clip link as reliable as a riveted chain? How often do you have to replace the clip if you remove it frequently?

Thx

I think riveted chains are suppose to be less likely to break or cause problems but it just doesn't seem worth the extra frustration. Well your suppose to replace it every time you remove it technically. Do I? no. I think that's how most people are. I haven't had any chain problems yet. I do replace the master link once a year or so. I think people that have problems with master links coming off either put them on the wrong way or don't replace them when you can remove the clip with your finger. The closed end of the clip should be towards the direction of travel. This prevents the possibility of the open part of the clip becoming caught on something and falling off.

Edited by 79yamdt

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It sounds like all of you have non o-ring chains. When cleaning an o-ring you don't want to soak it so I just use soapy water and a rag. I use a pretty clean wax lube that doesn't require much work to clean.

Yes if you soak a o-ring chain in a strong chemical based cleaner it will ruin it. I don't think Simple Green is going to do that. I would think Simple Green would be less likely to damage the o-rings then the oil based lubes that stay on the chain full time. If you have a o-ring lying around drop it in some Simple Green and leave it for a day and see what happens. Simple Green is by far the best solution I have found in 32+ years

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I don't mean the degreasers will hurt the o-rings. They will get by them and disolve the grease that's sealed inside. Just quickly cleaning the chain with soapy water and a rag minimizes contamination of the rollers.

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I don't mean the degreasers will hurt the o-rings. They will get by them and disolve the grease that's sealed inside. Just quickly cleaning the chain with soapy water and a rag minimizes contamination of the rollers.

Gotcha. And for the record I did soak an o-ring once a long time ago and forgot about it. Next day the chain was ruined. My only saving grace was that it was near end-of-life. Edited by mrmoto35

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Guys I'm still learning about chains. I believe I still have the stock chain on mine, is that O-ring?

What are the "rules" if you will, about o-ring and non-o-ring chains, just so I can learn a little before I buy...

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