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WD40 for internal frame rustproofing?

Old 07-26-19, 01:44 PM
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riverdrifter
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WD40 for internal frame rustproofing?

I read somewhere that a coat of WD40 sprayed inside a vintage steel frame works as a rust-proofer. Seems easy and inexpensive. Is this good advice? Thanks!
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Old 07-26-19, 02:01 PM
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probably not all that great, although it works better than one might expect. I have seen it do okay in a Fine Woodworking test. Someone on another forum did a test on steel bike tubes, and fluid film won https://www.fluid-film.com/ Google seems to indicate it's very popular with automotive enthusiasts.

I think if you did use WD40, reapplying it reasonable often is a good idea. Once a year, maybe?
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Old 07-26-19, 02:07 PM
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I'm an automotive enthusiast myself, and I can vouch for fluid-film. It kept my SAAB 9000 from getting any rustier during two road-salt-saturated Vermont winters. I never applied it to a car myself though, because it requires spraying equipment and a shop to collect all the drips. It also comes in a spray can with a tube so you can get it down inside the frame pretty well, but you'd need a lot of these to do a whole car. But inside a bike, you'd need probably less than a single can, so it'd be fine. Actually I might buy a spray can for my Claud Butler now that I think about it...
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Old 07-26-19, 02:11 PM
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I got some fluid film and a long spray tube ("extension wand") that they sell. I probably have a lifetime supply.
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Old 07-26-19, 02:18 PM
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I think it will work, just won't last very long.
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Old 07-26-19, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I got some fluid film and a long spray tube ("extension wand") that they sell. I probably have a lifetime supply.
Or enough to do one truck frame rail!!

Collecting and daily-riding classic bikes is so much nicer than collecting and daily-driving classic cars
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Old 07-26-19, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by riverdrifter View Post
I read somewhere that a coat of WD40 sprayed inside a vintage steel frame works as a rust-proofer. Seems easy and inexpensive. Is this good advice? Thanks!
It won't hurt. This was done sometimes. Obviously (or not) the WD40 will dissolve out the grease from your BB and headset, at least if you have the old school non-sealed type. So either remove you BB and headset bearings before you do this, or repack afterwards. It might last a year or a little more I think.

I usually use LPS3 to spray inside frames, cuz I have some already. It leaves a waxy coating that will last a long time. Boeshield or Framesaver I'm sure work fine too.

Sort of related C&V trivia: WD40 was commonly used to clean bikes in the era before sealed bearings. Cleaning a frame with any sort of water was considered a big no no.
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Old 07-26-19, 02:52 PM
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I have used WD-40 a few times inside the tubes when I ran out of Framesaver. It definitely works, but it might be thinner and less long-lasting than something like Framesaver but I don't store my bike outside or ride constantly in the rain so I'm not too worried regardless.

I spray it in there before installing the headset or bottom bracket so I don't dissolve any grease.

I have also been using WD-40 to wipe down my frames recently. I have seen claims that it protects paint and also that you shouldn't leave it sitting on paint for too long. I have sprayed it on frame tubes and then wiped with a clean rag and the paint seems to be fine. It gives the bike a nice shine but attracts dust a little easier when you're riding.
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Old 07-26-19, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
It won't hurt. This was done sometimes. Obviously (or not) the WD40 will dissolve out the grease from your BB and headset, at least if you have the old school non-sealed type. So either remove you BB and headset bearings before you do this, or repack afterwards. It might last a year or a little more I think.


I usually use LPS3 to spray inside frames, cuz I have some already. It leaves a waxy coating that will last a long time. Boeshield or Framesaver I'm sure work fine too.


Sort of related C&V trivia: WD40 was commonly used to clean bikes in the era before sealed bearings. Cleaning a frame with any sort of water was considered a big no no.

Huh? Water? My bikes are still C&V... sealed bearings (at least the early versions, were less than perfectly sealed, in my experience). I have my gallon jug of WD40 right under the sink. I know that contemporary riders/wrenches scoff at it, mostly solvents, poor lubricating qualities, etc. But quickly wiping down my bike , after rain rides, stopped things from rusting, a quick final pass done with a "clean" towel. (with a bit of residual WD40) prevented any significant accumulation of dust or dirt.


*I have a fancy bottle of chain lube that costs just a little less, per ounce, than Chanel no. 5. Seems like good stuff, though neither one smells as good as WD40.


Once a year, sprayed in the tubes. Worked for me.
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Old 07-26-19, 04:06 PM
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If I were going to go to the effort, I wouldn/t bother with WD40, I/d use something that/s going to stay around. Sorry for the slash instead of apostrophe. My compûter is possessed today.
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Old 07-26-19, 04:08 PM
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WD40 dries up to gunk/ coat over time which is why you can't use it in brifters, or locks for example. While it cleans, lubricates and makes everything work initially, it will eventually make it worse.
But this is probably a desirable property when you spray it inside a frame. I would think that after you have done it a couple of times over a period it should last surprisingly long...
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Old 07-26-19, 04:35 PM
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Who has had a frame rust from the inside? Coating the insides of bike frames seems to be a new thing.
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Old 07-26-19, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Who has had a frame rust from the inside? Coating the insides of bike frames seems to be a new thing.
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/paint-prep.html

Can happen, but pretty rare. I spray fish oil inside my frame tubes before building them up.
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Old 07-26-19, 06:53 PM
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Over the past 40 years I have never seen a frame rust out from the inside. All of my commuter bikes have been steel. Here in the north Midwest tons and tons of salt is dumped on the roads every winter. Never has any of my frames rusted out. Never. I think it was pure marketing genius by JP Weigle Frame Saver to create a demand where non existed before. Squirt some oil down the tubes and forget you ever did it. Now, go ride that bike!!!
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Old 07-26-19, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Who has had a frame rust from the inside? Coating the insides of bike frames seems to be a new thing.
Depends on location. On the coast, there's salt in the air.
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Old 07-26-19, 08:21 PM
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My preference is for Boesheild T-9 Rust & Corrosion Protection/Inhibitor and Waterproof Lubrication.
Treat my steel frames and use as chain and derailleur lube.
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Old 07-27-19, 05:25 AM
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WD-40 Water Displacing

WD-40 was originally developed to displace water in electrical contacts. W = Water, D = Displacing, 40 was the 40th compound tested. Right from WD-40's mouth:

https://www.wd40.com/history/

The original stuff provided little or no lubrication. It may have had/probably had some silicone added to the solution. The current mix seems to have more lubrication but not much.

I don't intentionally ride in the rain anymore but on occasion when I've gotten soaked I spray WD-40 into my brakes and derailleurs to displace any water in them.

I've also used it when I've flushed out old freewheels with a water based cleaner.

Many instances of frames rusting from the inside out have resulted from inadequate flushing and neutralization after chrome plating.

Once rust has started to attack the insides of tubing, any anti-rust product is going to be too little, too late.

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Old 07-27-19, 05:59 AM
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Mark me down for nothing at all. Trapping moisture, dirt, shavings, etc is about the worse thing you can do. Unless the surface is spotless (impossible in these cases), I would rather leave well enough alone.
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Old 07-27-19, 08:55 AM
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Do some digging on Boeshield T-9. I did a frame years ago and determined that this was what would stabilize any existing light surface rust inside frame and prevent. I was able to find some locally but live in a large city. I just unloaded it into the tubes until it was running out of other tubes and turned the frame as I did that, to try to get all of the surface area inside the frame.
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Old 07-27-19, 09:07 AM
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I used to visit my brother and family, and get up early on Sunday and go just a short distance away to meet the local cycling group for their big ride. I had my bike downstairs, where it was pretty cold from the AC. When I'd take my bike outside into the warm humid air, the whole bike would almost immediately get a very visible coating of condensation, which I would assume would also get into the nooks & crannies, and possibly even inside the tubes.
Also, I recently re-used a rigid steel fork from a relatively new and low-miles bike, on another project, and I noticed a fair amount of rust inside the steerer tube, and there was a hole from there that went into the both fork arms, themselves. So, I'm pretty confident there'd be some rust in those, as well.
I'd say internal rust is a very legitimate concern for steel frames.as
As for a protective spray product (other than some specific frame saver-type product), I think I'd use the (now discontinued?) Dupont Multi-Purpose Teflon spray that I still have a small stash of . It seems to dry in place, and last pretty well.

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Old 07-27-19, 12:25 PM
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I used boiled linseed oil, blown into the frame with an air compressor. Easy effective and cheap. The stuff hardens up into a glaze and stays put.
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Old 07-27-19, 03:57 PM
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WD-40 is fine stuff. But, you can fill an old plastic windex spray bottle with diesel fuel and spray it on steel as a rust preventer for a lot less $$$. I like the LPS3 spray that can be found in most auto parts stores too.
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Old 07-27-19, 04:20 PM
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Pretty sure there was another thread on this exact same topic just a couple days ago. Regardless, WD-40 is a very poor choice unless you are talking about the WD-40 specialist long term corrosion inhibitor. Anyway, read this test if you want some data instead of opinions on what products are better than others. https://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/an...t-1073581.html
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Old 07-27-19, 05:09 PM
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There are lots of tests of these types of products on the interwebs. Best results probably depend on many factors. Here is another one where my choice (LPS 3) is the clear winner.

Protective spray??? - Page 2

Anyway, if it bothers anyone to spray the inside of your frame, don't do it. I don't really see a downside. It takes like one minute. Exposed steel rusts; that's what it does. Will it rust through enough to fail during any reasonable service life? Probably not. Doesn't hurt to give it a little more TLC though, especially thin walled racing frames. For me it just seems natural. I have a lot of steel hand tools, and wouldn't dream of letting them sit around without a light coat of wax or oil.
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Old 07-27-19, 05:48 PM
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Linseed Oil

Originally Posted by clubman View Post
I used boiled linseed oil, blown into the frame with an air compressor. Easy effective and cheap. The stuff hardens up into a glaze and stays put.
Linseed oil is vegetable based made from flaxseed. It hardens through oxidation rather than evaporation.

"Boiled" linseed seed oil rather than being boiled has additives that allow it to harden faster that plain linseed oil. It was used for years as a rust preventative on cars before better petroleum based products came along.

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