My brother-in-law, who gave me the idea, restores vintage autos. He's used top quality brake fluid for years to soften hardened rubber parts. Of course the stuff is designed to keep the rubber caps on brake cylinders from hardening and cracking. If the rubber is pretty well gone you have to drop it into a jar of fluid for a few hours. Unfortunately the fluid will ooze and stain gloves for quite a while, so I really don't recommend it for trying to bring dead hoods back to life. But if the hoods are pretty good but beginning to dry and crack, try applying thin coats til they soften up. One thing brake fluid won't do is restore the strength to the rubber. If it's cracking it'll still rip if you're not careful.
Craig Montgomery who does not guarantee results in Tucson or anyplace else
> Now this really makes sense. Brake fluid has to be compatible with at least
> synthetic rubber seals. Anyone know more? And also what type brake fluid?
> Joe Bender-Zanoni
> Great Notch, NJ
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "cmontgomery" <email@example.com>
> To: "r cielec" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; <email@example.com>
> Sent: Monday, August 02, 2004 2:23 AM
> Subject: Re: [CR]Lubricant for Gum Hoods?
> > Brake fluid. Been keeping my ol gummies alive for years with just a very
> > thin coating of the stuff. Desert dryness and UV does a number on them
> > Craig Montgomery in Tucson
> > From: "r cielec" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > > Ahoy !
> > > OK, I admit, a very uptight question.
> > > As many modern dishwashing soaps and laundry detergents are formulated
> > disintergrate organic matter, and many oils and greases are formulated to
> > resist disintegration, what are some good lubricants to assist with safely
> > installing gum hoods onto brake levers?
> > > I was going to use basic Castille bath soap.
> > > In a lather,
> > > Richard Cielec
> > > Chicago, Illinois