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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:03 am 
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Location: Escondido
Note: This is the first of three parts dealing with the Mirage Drive. Part II has to do with lubrication points: http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=6320. Part III is about inspecting and adjusting the Drive: http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewt ... 9602#29602

I decided to test three popular lubes -- the ever popular WD-40, my favorite Breakfree, and Rynkster's dealer's favorite silicon.

Initial characteristics: WD-40 is a thin, penetrating oil that displaces water. It feels moderately slippery between the fingers. BreakFree has a little higher viscosity (thicker), comes out in a foam, has friction modifiers and is very popular in the gun world. It feels thicker and slipperier. Silicon is a dry friction reducer that has a liquid carrier for penetration and distribution, which evaporates in short order. It feels squeaky between the fingers.

This first pic shows each sprayed on a vertical sheet of ABS plastic:
Image

Within five minutes the liquid carrier for the silicon had evaporated. After two hours (below) a portion of the WD-40 had also evaporated.
Image

A gentle stream of water was applied to the plastic sheet, washing away the BreakFree, but not the remaining WD-40 (surprise!):
Image

Talcum powder was distributed on the entire area to detect any remaining oil. This would simulate dirt, mud or debris in the water. After being blown off with an air hose, it stuck almost exclusively to the WD-40 sample (below):
Image

Again, water was applied. The remaining talcum washed off all but the WD-40. It had congealed with water and oil to form a sludge (below):
Image

Results and interpretation: The silicon has no corrosion protection, is not a particularly great friction reducer, and had little to commend it. The dealer, IMO, is misinformed. Whereas it's essentially useless on the Mirage Drive, it is the best lube (and only one I would use) for the Twist & Stow rudder -- it flushes and frees up the mechanism without any sludging effect or attracting any dirt or grime.

WD-40 is acceptable. It penetrates, displacing water (as most petroleum based products do) and offers protection against corrosion. It's biggest shortcoming in these tests, is its tendency to retain and accumulate small particulates. This could increase wear.

Breakfree offers superior penetration into wear points because of its foaming action (doesn't run off so fast). It seals and coats the parts better than WD-40 because of its higher viscosity. It lubes better because it contains friction modifiers. It washes free rather than turn to sludge in water. I have a six year old drive that has been maintained with BreakFree since new. It has been used in salt water as well as fresh water. As you can see below, it still looks excellent and runs like a top:
Image

Or maybe I'm a bit biased. I'm sure there are equally good or better lubes available, but at least among these, you can see what works and what doesn't work, and why. 8)


Last edited by Roadrunner on Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:22 am
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Location: Indianapolis
I spent my college years working in a gunshop. We used Breakfree for lubrication and WD-40 as a penetrating oil for rust removal. The problem with WD-40 that the gunsmiths had noted was that over the years WD-40 builds up and turns to a gummy/sap type of substance. Over a long enough period of time, we actually saw many guns which would not function properly due the build up from WD-40.

I just purchased my first Hobie and have not even had it out on the water. Given my previous experience with WD-40, I was surprised to see that WD-40 was the recommended lube for moving parts with what appears to be fairly tight tolerances.


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 Post subject: Lubes
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:18 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:17 am
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Location: Camano Island, WA
Thanks for the great report, Roadrunner! I have been checking back on the other thread for word from on high that would put the WD-40 matter to rest; nice to see you do the research and hear corroboration from Pibindy. Amazing how often we just default to using products based on the claims on the can (or tradition) when much better things are available; I've never much liked WD-40, but could not have readily said what would be more appropriate in this application (as I posted elsewhere, I am concerned about the solvents). I'll keep my eye open for some Breakfree (on eBay, it just seems to be sold by people who charge too much for shipping).

The always-interesting toolmonger blog has a "Hot or Not?" discussion about WD-40, with some interesting comments in the thread:

http://toolmonger.com/2007/02/25/hot-or-not-wd-40

Cheers,
Steve

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:10 pm
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Location: Kauai, Hawaii
You can buy Break Free at Wal-Mart stores. I was just there in Kauai Hawaii and bought a can. Cost about $4.50. Go to the area were they sell the Sporting Goods stuff. Mine was in the area were they sell guns.

If I can get it here in Kauai, it should be at all Wal Mart Stores.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:49 am
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Location: Canberra, Australia
Wal Mart selling guns...it could only happen in America!

Sorry...totally off topic I know but I had to comment.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:07 pm 
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Location: Corpus Christi Tx.
LPS #1 is good also and wont accumulate dust or sludge.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:07 am
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Location: Flour Bluff, Tx.
I use the WD40 because Hobie recommends it and I have had no problems with it. It does a good job of displacing water after I clean the salt water off the drive system.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:34 am
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Location: Jacksonville, Fl
I have been using Tri-Flow. It is a Teflon product. It is expensive but seems to work very well. Does anyone have any thoughts on this product?

http://www.triflowlubricants.com/Superi ... rosol.html


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 8:12 am
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Location: Northern Neck, VA
Booligal wrote:
Wal Mart selling guns...it could only happen in America!

Sorry...totally off topic I know but I had to comment.


The WalMart here on the Northern Neckof Virginia USA used to sell firearms. But, the employees doing so made so many mistakes that the guns were returned to the distributor. The store still sells ammo though.

Totally off subject but Ithought you would like to know. :)

RR, thanks for the tech info. I'll try to follow your suggestions.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:13 pm
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Location: California
Thank you for the analysis and report. I just purchased a can of Breakfree because of it. You really should work on commission.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:07 pm
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Location: Nevada City, California
I've been researching lubricants, damage to plastics, etc., and, because there are so many factors to consider, such as those you covered in your article, Roadrunner, I've concluded that the only iron-clad proof of which is the best lubricant for a particular application is testimony (such as yours) as to the condition of the parts after years of lubrication with a particular product.

As you also concluded, you can pick the "best" product (on paper) in one or more categories (lubrication, thoroughness of coverage from applicator, penetration, grit-retention, , water-resistance/longevity, friendliness to plastics, etc.), but what good is a lubricant if it fails in any of the following ways?:

1. Applicator doesn't insure through coverage of parts (foam would be better than a thin stream for a chain, for example)

2. Doesn't penetrate enough to lubricate all of the hidden areas of the parts

3. Retains grit and therefore grinds your parts down as a result

4. Washes out quickly (or retains grit and then doesn't wash out quickly enough)

5. Damages plastic parts

For GREASE, my research has shown that marine grease such as:

crcindustries.com/marine/content/prod_detail.aspx?PN=SL3121&S=N

or

silicone dielectric grease such as:

crcindustries.com/auto/content/products_ss.aspx?ID=105

or

shop.oreillyauto.com/ProductDetail.aspx?MfrCode=CRC&MfrPartNumber=05105&CategoryCode=3451

would all be acceptable, with the silicone dielectric grease being less messy and also less likely to damage any plastics.

BUT, when it comes to a LIQUID or FOAM lubricant for the lube points that Hobie recommends WD-40 for, that is when it becomes much more complicated to choose the right product, taking into account the 5 points above.

Since Hobie has been using, I assume, WD-40 on their drives for years with, I assume, no ill-effects, and you, Roadrunner, have been using Break-Free with the same results, then perhaps both are good choices?

I have seen comments similar to yours (below) regarding WD-40 elsewhere on the web, especially regarding WD-40's tendency to retain grit and turn to sludge, gumming up gun actions, etc.:
"Breakfree offers superior penetration into wear points because of its foaming action (doesn't run off so fast). It seals and coats the parts better than WD-40 because of its higher viscosity. It lubes better because it contains friction modifiers. It washes free rather than turn to sludge in water."

I would be interested in hearing from others who have used their drives extensively for years using a single liquid or foam lubricant for the WD-40 lube points, and what their experiences have been.

Jerry


Last edited by Soyjer on Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:59 am
Posts: 14
Location: Pirates Beach, Texas
Excellent review. Thank you for posting. Corrosion X has become very popular and is a excellent lubricant for metal parts on my boat. Having said that, I have noticed the soft rubber around electrical connections has start to detiorate where CX was applied. Does anyone have any experience with CX and the Mirage Drive?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:49 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Excellent discussion here. After reading this lot I asked a gun shop here in West. Australia about where to get Break Free from. The guy on the phone was ex-military and a boating enthusiast. Said he used Break Free in the military but now he prefers this stuff:

http://www.inox-mx3.com/inox.htm

I don't remember his reason for preferring it. Maybe because it's easier to get hold of down under, and cheaper too!

And it gets better, Inox-mx3 is food grade, so you can eat off your Mirage Drive if you forget the picnic plates.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 9:34 am
Posts: 262
Location: Banana River , Fl
Something else to consider
http://www.webbikeworld.com/t2/motorcyc ... n-lube.htm

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:07 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Nevada City, California
I tried using marine grease such as:

crcindustries.com/marine/content/prod_detail.aspx?PN=SL3121&S=N

on one drum, and

silicone dielectric grease such as:

crcindustries.com/auto/content/products_ss.aspx?ID=105

or

shop.oreillyauto.com/ProductDetail.aspx?MfrCode=CRC&MfrPartNumber=05105&CategoryCode=3451

on the other drum,

and could not tell any difference in their performance. They both lasted the same, still doing their job after months of use.

I like the silicone dielectric grease better because it doesn't stain clothing, hands, my kayak, etc., like the marine grease does, and also because silicone dielectric grease is the exactly correct lubricant for hatch O-rings.

Jerry


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