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Old 11-10-2008, 12:34 PM   #1
ShaggyZ
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Brake fluid damage repair... more brake fluid!

Episode one of The Amazing Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is nasty, I think we all know.

Several months ago while installing the GSXR front suspension, I spilled some brake fluid on the front fender. I didn't know I had until about 10 minutes later - the damage was done.

The black paint was murky, blurry, and it had a funky, rough texture. I want to paint it the copper of the rest of my bike, so I decided to just wipe the remaining brake fluid off to make it dry and just leave it for now. The rest of the bike is no longer perfect anyway... by far, since the accident.

Fast forward to yesterday. I'm doing some brake work on the naked 1st gen I'm looking to sell and a bit of fluid got on the outside of the master cylinder reservoir - the crappy, standard black box of a reservoir on most bikes. This black box and the controls on the left and right clipons had become very chalky in their old age. The places the brake fluid got on the reservoir looked much shinier, blacker, and newish. I figured I couldn't lose, so I dampened a shop towel with some fluid and wiped down all the chalky parts. They look great!

I wish I had close up before and after pictures, but I don't. I may see what I can do about it if anyone cares.

Now, to come full circle - I then looked over at my damaged fender on the other bike and decided again that I couldn't lose. Same process of wiping down the affected area a few times with a damp-with-brake-fluid towel and the fender looks incredible. Maybe I just wiped off the clear coat, but the previously damaged areas look just like the rest of the fender.

So then I looked at my car, which has had chalky appearing black trim pieces because I had gotten polish and wax on them a long time ago. More brake fluid and they're back to black.
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:28 PM   #2
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Re: Brake fluid damage repair... more brake fluid!

Next time give a light abrasive rubbing compound like Meguiars ScratchX a go, then finish with some regular polish

There are products made for bringing black plastics back to black, light the side panels on a gen2, the undertray, rubbing strips on your car etc... of these, most of the retail ones are pretty average, but a groomers supply shop will be able to sell you a better product
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:36 PM   #3
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Re: Brake fluid damage repair... more brake fluid!

eh... I've tried stuff like Mother's "Back to Black" and that stuff sucks. Plus, why not use brake fluid when I have it on hand!?

I appreciate the advice, though.
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:52 PM   #4
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Re: Brake fluid damage repair... more brake fluid!

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Originally Posted by ShaggyZ View Post
eh... I've tried stuff like Mother's "Back to Black" and that stuff sucks. Plus, why not use brake fluid when I have it on hand!?

I appreciate the advice, though.
There is the posibility that the brake fluid could damage the plastic trim and cause it to oxidize prematurely or become brittle.
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:54 PM   #5
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Re: Brake fluid damage repair... more brake fluid!

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There is the posibility that the brake fluid could damage the plastic trim and cause it to oxidize prematurely or become brittle.
I've considered that, but I've decided it's worth the experiment considering their condition. We'll see the long term effects before, uh, long.
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:57 PM   #6
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Re: Brake fluid damage repair... more brake fluid!

Subscribing.......

That dang brake fluid drops and you don't realize it and poof there' goes the nice paint. Why is that stuff so potent? I wonder if this has the same effect as using oven cleaner on wheels.....not that I did that or anything.
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Old 11-10-2008, 02:11 PM   #7
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Re: Brake fluid damage repair... more brake fluid!

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Old 11-10-2008, 02:21 PM   #8
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Re: Brake fluid damage repair... more brake fluid!

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Old 11-10-2008, 04:28 PM   #9
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Re: Brake fluid damage repair... more brake fluid!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaggyZ View Post
eh... I've tried stuff like Mother's "Back to Black" and that stuff sucks. Plus, why not use brake fluid when I have it on hand!?

I appreciate the advice, though.
Yes, that is one of the crappy retail products I mentioned, you want to get yourself a professional product from a groomers supply store. I'm not actually sure what I use, it was stolen from a bulk bucket Looks like Spirolena

Brake fluid does funny things to plastic, can be hard to clean off plastic as it leeches into the plastic, and it only reveals itself when you paint over it... not sure how it avoids getting stabbed by Prepsol, but it can be quite determined. Worse still (for painting over previously contaminated areas) is DOT 5 silicon fluid, but unless you've got a Harley or a tractor, you're unlikely to have to worry about that
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:30 PM   #10
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Re: Brake fluid damage repair... more brake fluid!

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There is the posibility that the brake fluid could damage the plastic trim and cause it to oxidize prematurely or become brittle.
It'll probably craze the paint first... once you see the crazing, that's usually a sign that the plastic beneath has been raped pretty bad (i.e. it's too late).
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