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I used a Brass brush on my Chain! have I ruined it?!

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by Jamsq, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. Hey guys, prior to researching cleaning a chain (how hard can it be really?) I did watch a few video's and was trying to get hold of a grunge brush. But since you can't get anything in Australia like you can in America, I just used Kerosene and a brass brush. I scrubbed that thing for about 45 mins and had to hurry out leaving kerosene on the chain, I can't get to it until tomorrow. I don't know what damage I might have done to the O-rings. Have a I just ruined my chain? Could the O rings survive it, - 2010 Suzuki Intruder 250VL.

    Please help
  2. Howdy JamsqJamsq , i got my Grunge Brush from a push bike store in Melbourne for $20 + P. Delivery was the next day.

    They're in Clifton Hill if you feel like going there and picking one up rather than post.

    Melbourne Bikes
  3. #3 GreyBM, Feb 14, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015
    A grunge brush is just something manafacturers will try to sell you. You don't need on or you can make your own. When I clean chains (I try not to) I use a toothbrush.

    A brass brush sounds just a tad harsh to me. If it got to the O-Rings it will probably have ripped them to shreds. And I doubt I ever spend 45 mins cleaning so if you did stuff them you may have done a really excellent job doing it.

    Have you considered shaft drive?

    On the bright side if it took 45 mins with a brass brush to get the chain clean it was probably stuffed anyway.

    The other good news is there is nothing you can do about it one way or the other, so just keep riding, checking and maintaining your chain regularly and replace it when it dies (which if you have stuffed the O-rings will now be sooner than later).

    BTW Kero is not an especially good chain lubricant. If you clean your chain and don't lube it you are also helping to wear it out quicker. So next time don't start the job until you have time to finish it.

    Further Handy Hint: If your real toothbrush wears out get a replacement. Do not try to clean your teeth with a brass brush.
    • Funny Funny x 2
  4. Kero should be OK, brass brush, NO. You clean the chain using an old soft tooth brush and kero. What you are doing is getting the dirt and accumulated junk off the chain (not rubbing it in), and in particular the O rings, The reason you use Kero is that it contains some oil and doesn't damage the O rings like petrol, WD40 etc.

    I guess you could now re oil the chain using gear oil and hope that you didn't damage the O rings or leave brass somewhere in the chain. Wipe the chain done again with a toothbrush and kero, or with a rag soaked in kero, let it dry and put some gear oil in a squeeze sauce bottle and lightly oil each side of the chain where the O rings are. There will be numerous threads on here about cleaning and lubing your chain. Here's one


  5. I don't use a sauce bottle as the oil makes the sauce taste terrible.

    I use a small thin paint brush to apply oil. Usually brush it on thickly and let it soak overnight. When ever I go past the bike I give the wheel half a turn or so to let gravity work pulling the oil through a different bit of the chain. In the morning I give it a wipe with a cloth.

    Usually end up with a bit of fling on the wheel after riding but nothing I regard as excesive although I am not known as one who is obsessive about clean bikes.

    Gear oil is probably the duck's guts but I don't bother just use engine oil, usually used engine oil (out of a deep container and only from top so unlikely to get sediment in it). May not be Kosher but my chain stays reasonably clean and I get bloody long life from it.

    Bike shops will probably want to sell you cans of lube to do your chain. Feel free to use them but some are definitely crap. Can't see the point in paying good beer money for something when I have enough free engine oil to lube my chain for a millennium.
  6. Have you stuffed the o-rings? Quite possibly. Can you still use the chain? People rode with non o-ring chains for a long time, you just have to keep it lubricated and don't expect it to last nearly as long. I'd suggest you hit it with your chain lubricant of choice every time you fill the tank until you replace the chain. Oh, and throw away that brass brush. If it's too harsh for your bollocks, it's too harsh for your chain.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. I still don't see why people use brushes, wiping down the chain with kero on a rag gets it as clean as it ever needs to be.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. getting grit off inside of the links? rather than using spray or heaps of liquid?
    how clean does a chain need to be?

    if no O-rings fell out.. maybe ok :D
  9. I take my time and wipe the chain from in front and behind the sprocket turning the rag regularly, seems to get all the grit out. Free of grit and mostly free of mysterious black fluid(which I could wipe off with a clean rag but cbf) is clean enough for me. To the OP I suggest going over the chain with a magnifying glass looking at the O rings.
  10. Thank you for all your great comments guys, appreciate the support from these forums. The good news is I checked out the chain and O-rings, they all look pretty good! I was lucky and have learnt my lesson, I finished the job off with a toothbrush and kerosene and then wiped excess off with rag. I then applied a generous amount of Motul chain paste, the chain is looking good. Now to fit the Carby back in and try and get the thing to start.
  11. One of the reasons I only buy shaft drive bikes.... hmmm now whats that thing about splines again?