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Restoring rubber?

This is a discussion on Restoring rubber? within the Technical forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; I'm looking to make the old, dried out intake boots (actually air cleaner ducts) a little less rock hard. Read on the SOHC4 forum that ...

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Thread: Restoring rubber?

  1. #1
    Senior Member wooda2008's Avatar
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    Restoring rubber airbox ducts?

    I'm looking to make the old, dried out intake boots (actually air cleaner ducts)a little less rock hard. Read on the SOHC4 forum that people are getting good results from a soak in 30% wintergreen oil, 70% Xylene.

    Anyone try that and get results?

    What else could I do to make the rubber pliable without heating it to almost melting?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by wooda2008; 06-27-2013 at 10:03 AM. Reason: fer posterity n search function
    prohibitively expensive drunk

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  3. #2
    Senior Member wooda2008's Avatar
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    Really guys, nothing?
    prohibitively expensive drunk

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    Senior Member kerosene's Avatar
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    search the rd400 thread - something like what to do with rd400 - its pretty amazing restoration level stuff and if I recall right rubber was covered in the discussion. Was it dean's bike? I am bad with names.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member kerosene's Avatar
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    What to do with my RD400?

    I guess it wasn't covered. Maybe under plastic part restoration. I know it has been discussed - some goop available only in UK and and some in the US too. Can't recall now and never used myself.

    check this too:
    how to restore your plastics
    Last edited by kerosene; 06-27-2013 at 01:29 AM.
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Dean's Avatar
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    Heikki .. I think you are right about me posting a rubber restoration thread somewhere ( well, more of test actually ) . I just searched the site and can not find it (??)

    So here is what I thought I posted some time back.... Intake boots are not "rubber" , they are made from a fuel safe pliable "rubber like" (poly) compound using (and/or) nitrile or fluorosilicone or urethane in combination with who knows what. So not really knowing for sure what you are trying to "restore" is a flaw in any garage tests...

    The nos 40 year old boots I have seen/ used, are good, so it's not the time that degrades them like actual rubber , it is the cycle of ambient conditions, cylinder head heat , fuel, chemicals etc that age them . ( my theory anyway)

    If boots are cracked .. or crumbly, they are doa .. just throw them away.

    If they are less that pliable, yet not cracked or otherwise degrading- PB Blaster does soften them without "eating them" long term effects are unknown. The nasty stuff I use on plastic, the vintage can of color back works on intake boots

    note on plastics:
    I use a can of what I assume is a banned toxic chemical today. I have had the same can for 30+ years and still use it ! It's what turtle called color back, vinyl and plastic restorer ( they make another version today for oxidized paint- not the same stuff ) When I run out of the stuff I have, I will buy some Autoglym that UKTony uses ( where has Tony been? .. business must be good or maybe Jules is more interesting that us ! )

  7. #6
    Senior Member TCed's Avatar
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  8. #7
    Senior Member TCed's Avatar
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    CCI Notes 15/1


    good read on how and why rubber and plastics degrade

  9. #8
    Senior Member wooda2008's Avatar
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    Kero, I searched my ass off but only found Tony's method of making things shiny again.

    Just to be clear, I'm talking the intake boots for the carbs coming from the airbox. I think they're called air cleaner ducts or something.


    Dean, pure gold on the PB blaster idea. I'll try it out before spending the money on these:
    Airbox Hoses (4) KZ550 KZ650 | 11015-057-K | www.z1enterprises.com
    Pricing out the xylene and wintergreen oil, ^^ is only slightly more.

    TCed, I geeked out hardcore on that article. Many thanks.
    prohibitively expensive drunk

  10. #9
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    I have used wintergreen oil and water. It works but it isn't permanent. You'll have to do it again the next time you remove them.
    Frankie, the Big Kahuna: What does that mean, "we're not in?"
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    Frankie, the Big Kahuna: But what does "we" mean?
    Bobby: [impossibly sarcastic] I think it's the plural form, meaning "more than one." Would you like me to conjugate that for you, Pop? Do you know what "conjugate" means, Dad?

  11. #10
    Senior Member crazypj's Avatar
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    In my experience, early 80's Kawasaki and Suzuki use different materials for intake parts compared to most Yamaha and all Honda
    Xylene alone doesn't work (tried it)
    Except for the cost, the best thing to do would get new ones from Kawasaki (in all probability they still have them)
    I've tried most things to soften up intake boots/air box connectors over the years, sometimes just boiling parts in water with a little detergent may work as some of the chemicals absorbed into the pieces may 'come out' and change structure (followed by spray down with WD40)
    Suzuki air box to carb connectors just get glass hard, anything that will soften them generally will dissolve them, it got to the point where we (the shop) wouldn't take on carb re-build/cleaning on 5 yr old Suzuki's unless customer was also willing to buy new airbox to carb boots
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