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Author Topic: WD-40 Contact Cleaner?  (Read 14064 times)

Mike Sokol

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WD-40 Contact Cleaner?
« on: July 03, 2014, 09:51:31 am »

My dad just stopped by to drop off his utility trailer, and complained that his 7-pin to 4-pin trailer adapter was stuck in the hitch connector and pulled apart when he tried to remove it. I pulled it out and did a quick autopsy, which showed the inside of the adapter was soaked with WD-40 and really gummy looking. It appeared that the plastic body of the adapter was deteriorating from WD-40 exposure which is why it got stuck and came apart. Now my 85 year old dad has an almost religious/metaphysical relationship with WD-40, buying it by the case (no kidding) and spraying it on everything from spark plug wires to his hands for cleaning off grease. He also sprays it on all vehicle bulb contacts and trailer wiring. This is also a crowd approved method on many of the RV forums I'm on.

I've been on sound crews where the power guys spray this stuff like crazy on camlocks and such, but I'm not sure about the wisdom of this. I generally use DeoxIT in my lab and for general cleanup of my power distro contacts, but WD-40 is a lot more available and certainly cheaper.

So do any of you use WD-40 for distro contact/connector cleaning in the field? If not, what do you use? Or maybe you just go "naked"?  ;D
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Steve M Smith

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Re: WD-40 Contact Cleaner?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 10:22:12 am »

I will use WD40 if nothing else is available and it can't wait. 

I would normally use Servisol contact cleaner though.





Steve.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: WD-40 Contact Cleaner?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 10:26:50 am »

We've had a discussion about WD40 before and folks were referencing the MSD to divine the contents of the spray.

WD40 gets gummy on its own, and the solvent/carrier is petroleum based.  That it might attack some plastics is a given, IMHO.

WD40 is meant to be a light solvent, lubricant and drying agent (WD allegedly stands for "water displacer"), but it's not a contact cleaner or anti-seize agent.

For CamLok lubrication I use the conductive anti-oxidizing compound from Gardner-Bender.  When it attracts too much crud or drys out I clean the Cams with a little kerosene and apply new O-A compound.
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: WD-40 Contact Cleaner?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 10:29:02 am »

Bring back the days of Tri-Chlor
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: WD-40 Contact Cleaner?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 11:02:21 am »

I have a love / mumble relationship with trailers  I like trailers and use them a lot.  for years I fought with the lighting.  I finally won.   I worked out why the lights give trouble.

Electrical stuff doesn't like to go unused.
Electrical stuff doesn't like to be outdoors
Wires don't like to flex
Bulbs are designed so that there connection to the socket will fail.

My first breakthrough was to completely remove the lighting from my utility trailer.  I made up an assembly with left lights right lights each with clamps to fasten to the trailer, and a long cord to go to the car. When the trailer is not in use the whole assembly hangs on the wall in the garage.  The other part, the connector on the car is mounted INSIDE the car.  Not underneath.  End of utility trailer problems.

A bonus is that when I am pulling the trailer around the yard and through the woods with the tractor the lights and wiring and pigtail are on the wall in the garage and are not broken.

The next problem was the non utility trailer where I don't want to remove all the lighting (It has side marker lights front and back so it would be a hassle and it would look bad.)  On this trailer all the lights are hard wired LEDs  no sockets.  All the wiring is inside the trailer.  Every inch of it.  How about the pig tail.  This was the final breakthrough.  There is no pig tail. At least not permanent.  I took a page from the truckers book and installed a big tractor trailer jack (9 pin round) on the front of the trailer.  It has a spring loaded cover and big pins that self clean.  The pig tail has a connector on each end.  One end plugs into the trailer and the other end plugs into the car INSIDE the car.  When the trailer is disconnected the pigtail is inside the trailer.  It took me years but now when I hook up my trailer I expect it to work.



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John Sulek

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Re: WD-40 Contact Cleaner?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 11:10:16 am »

My dad just stopped by to drop off his utility trailer, and complained that his 7-pin to 4-pin trailer adapter was stuck in the hitch connector and pulled apart when he tried to remove it. I pulled it out and did a quick autopsy, which showed the inside of the adapter was soaked with WD-40 and really gummy looking. It appeared that the plastic body of the adapter was deteriorating from WD-40 exposure which is why it got stuck and came apart. Now my 85 year old dad has an almost religious/metaphysical relationship with WD-40, buying it by the case (no kidding) and spraying it on everything from spark plug wires to his hands for cleaning off grease. He also sprays it on all vehicle bulb contacts and trailer wiring. This is also a crowd approved method on many of the RV forums I'm on.

I've been on sound crews where the power guys spray this stuff like crazy on camlocks and such, but I'm not sure about the wisdom of this. I generally use DeoxIT in my lab and for general cleanup of my power distro contacts, but WD-40 is a lot more available and certainly cheaper.

So do any of you use WD-40 for distro contact/connector cleaning in the field? If not, what do you use? Or maybe you just go "naked"?  ;D

graphite spray works well for cam loks and is available at most auto parts stores
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Rob Spence

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Re: WD-40 Contact Cleaner?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 11:58:31 am »

On my previous trailer and on my new one, I installed a protective storage socket for the pigtail cable connector.
http://www.amazon.com/Mobilemart-Plug-Guard-7-Way/dp/B0007IN3M2

My truck has a factory connection with a good spring loaded cover.

Never have a problem.


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« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 12:01:18 pm by Rob Spence »
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: WD-40 Contact Cleaner?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2014, 01:32:18 pm »

I have a love / mumble relationship with trailers  I like trailers and use them a lot.  for years I fought with the lighting.

A friend of mine says "you can contrive all sorts of methods to seal the water out, but for goodness' sake, be sure to leave a means for the water to get out once it gets in, because it will get in regardless of what you do to keep it out!"

On his trailers, all of the connections are exposed terminal strips. His philosophy is that it's going to get wet and corrode no matter what you do, so if you leave it out in the open at least it will have a chance to dry out and probably corrode more slowly. And then when it comes time to repair it, you don't have to hassle with junction boxes and covers and tight spaces. He claims to have a lot fewer problems this way.
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Tim Padrick

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Re: WD-40 Contact Cleaner?
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2014, 05:25:12 am »

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Scott Holtzman

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Re: WD-40 Contact Cleaner?
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2014, 07:02:53 am »

http://www.sanchem.com/aSpecialE.html

No-Ox is the bomb.  I never thought of using it on audio connectors, a great idea.  The stuff is amazing.
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: WD-40 Contact Cleaner?
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2014, 07:02:53 am »


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