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Drive Chain Maintenance

Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:41 am
by Bharper
Greetings All,

This summer I acquired a car without conventional shaft drive. The owner's manual offers the briefest mention of a lubrication schedule and specifies "grease". The drive chains are contained within guards which keep away much of the road debris. I asked Mr. Google about chain maintenance and found more than a few YouTube videos and sites regarding motorcycle chain maintenance. These give me a starting point.

I ask those of you with chain driven vehicles, how do you care for your chains and most importantly, what do you use for lubricant? I have yet to open the covers (been Too busy with other things) and have not yet driven the car.

Thank you for your advise and counsel.

Best Regards,
Bill Harper
Keene, New Hampshire

Re: Drive Chain Maintenance

Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:03 pm
by Herb Iffrig
I would suggest that you go to a farm supply store and look for a spray can of chain lubricant. It is used on roller chains on farm equipment. I think it would fit what you are trying to do.


Re: Drive Chain Maintenance

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:52 am
by Bharper
Hi Herb,

Thank you for your suggestion of aerosol chain lubricant.

I want to care for the chains (and the entire car) properly and not hasten their demise due to lack of proper lubrication. I do realize that there is "more to it" than just lube and correct chain tension is also important. Aside from working on my bicycle in my youth I have had limited exposure to chain operated equipment.

With the vast amount of knowledge and experience in this group I was expecting numerous responses. About 60 people viewed this thread and Herb is the Lone Responder.

Thank you again, Herb.

Best Regards To All,
Bill Harper
Keene, New Hampshire

Re: Drive Chain Maintenance

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:48 pm
by oldcarfudd
Back in the day, a single chain under the middle of a car was subject to horrible abuse. If the wheels were slogging through muddy ruts, the chain might be cutting a path in the hump of dirt between the ruts. Owner's manuals would tell you to remove the chain once a week, clean it in kerosene, and then soak it in hot paraffin before replacing it. Yeccch!

These days, our chains lead a much easier life. I've had a 2-cylinder Buick and a 1-cylinder Cadillac. Both had an under-the-seat engine and transmission and single chain drive. The engine and transmission threw so much oil and grease around that the chain was in a perpetual state of lubrication. Unless I'd driven on a particularly dusty dirt road, I pretty much left the chain to marinate in whatever the leaky machinery threw on it. If there'd been a lot of dust, I'd gently wipe it off with an oily rag and spray some chain lube.

Some cars with dual chain drive, like a little Brush or a big Simplex, might need more frequent spraying with chain lube because the chains are further removed from the engine and transmission and their unhousebroken behavior.

Gil Fitzhugh the Elder