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  1. #1
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    ATF For Chain Lube?

    [SIZE="2"]Is it OK to use Automatic Transmission Fluid as a chain lubricant? I've read from many sources that ATF is better than many brand name lubricants. I've been using it for a little while now. But...being that ATF is a lighter oil than the chain grease that came with my bike..do I run the risk of wearing down any of my parts? The original chain grease got all junked up on my first ride and I made the decision then to use ATF or something else other than grease. I bike on typically sandy trails because of my location (south-central NC).[/SIZE]

  2. #2
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJGNC
    [SIZE="2"]Is it OK to use Automatic Transmission Fluid as a chain lubricant? I've read from many sources that ATF is better than many brand name lubricants. I've been using it for a little while now. But...being that ATF is a lighter oil than the chain grease that came with my bike..do I run the risk of wearing down any of my parts? The original chain grease got all junked up on my first ride and I made the decision then to use ATF or something else other than grease. I bike on typically sandy trails because of my location (south-central NC).[/SIZE]
    No, but you risk dripping ATF all over the trails. As a lube, it probably works geat, apart from attracting every peice of dirt on the planet.

    I used to use 40wt engine oil back when I rode BMX Freestyle in the 80s.

    THe homebrew chainlube recipie going around was mineral spirits and motor oil, IIRC. Do a search.

  3. #3
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    I'd think the ATF would fly off the chain during riding due to the forces at work. ATF fluid isn't that viscous.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

  4. #4
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    ATF is an excellent lubricant.

    I don't use it because, it is too thin so it doesn't last too long on the chain.
    It seems to attract more dirt than the Pedro's extra dry lub I use.

    I do however use it as a chain soak to clean up the chain, and too store chains.

  5. #5
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    [SIZE="3"]OK, I read the responses and I'm going to try something a little different. In putting the ATF fluid on the chain, I found that it also cleaned really well. So two days ago I used the ATF fluid to clean the chain (and also lube it, I guess) and then I used new motor oil to do a final lube. I listened to the chain while turning the gears and found that it was quieter after putting on the motor oil than with just the ATF. I'll see how it does on the trail this weekend.[/SIZE]

  6. #6
    Old school BMXer
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    You're correct. ATF is a better cleaner than a lube for chains. In fact, it works great for cleaning the garage floor after an oil spill.
    May the air be filled with tires!

  7. #7
    Double-metric mtb man
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    Just be careful using regular motor oil on a chain...if things are even remotely dry, it could very well pick up half the trail and bring it home.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

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