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BigJimnyMeet (North) 2024 (12 Jan 2024)


BigJimnyMeet 2024

14th July 2024
Parkwood Nr. Leeds

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Frame tube plugs - Good or bad idea?

  • DrRobin
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15 Jun 2024 12:49 #256290 by DrRobin
I have seen these frame tube plugs, are they a good idea (stop water and mud) or are they a bad idea (might trap damp in there)?

www.aliexpress.com/item/1005005372719407...a505&ck=in_edm_other

Robin

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15 Jun 2024 14:43 - 15 Jun 2024 16:03 #256291 by fordem
I think there was a previous discussion on this before - some people feel it's a good idea, other disagree, I belong to the first group.

It might depend on where you drive, but for those concerned about "trapping damp", I'd rather keep the mud out, that will also "trap damp", if you don't drive in mud, or have no concern about mud being up, then you might see things differently.

www.bigjimny.com/index.php/forum/6-jimny.../66900-chassis-plugs
Last edit: 15 Jun 2024 16:03 by fordem. Reason: add link to previous discussion

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15 Jun 2024 16:22 #256292 by DrRobin
Thanks for the link to the other thread, all good points and. Have decided to try a set, bought from eBay rather than AliE. I have a can of waxoyl so will inspect and clean out the tubes first then give them a spray and try to seal the plugs in place.

Robin

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16 Jun 2024 03:55 #256299 by Lambert
Just speaking as a fabricator I have had dozens of occasions to repair or replace sections of of otherwise sealed tubes without ventilation holes even in semi dry locations because they have rotted from the inside out due to condensation caused by temperature change. You cannot keep the moisture out so you really need to let it evaporate and/or drain away.

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16 Jun 2024 07:01 #256301 by Rogerzilla
Extrapolating from decades of working on steel bicycles, which can rust out quite quickly* if made of the thinnest high-strength steels, it's better to let the water drain out, since you don't know where it will creep in from.  Ideally, get an injection lance and treat the inside of the tubes as much as possible, but leave them open to drain.

*there are few Reynolds 753 frames left as they rust out just behind the bottom bracket shell due to trapped moisture

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16 Jun 2024 07:40 #256302 by Motacilla
Based on my experience restoring vintage cars, I agree with Lambert and Rogerzilla.  

It should be borne in mind that the welds on an auto body or frame are not (and are not intended to be) watertight, let alone airtight.  So if you "seal" the openings that the factory left in their design, you are only limiting airflow.  Water in liquid and vapour form will still get in through welds and seams, but you will have limited its ability to get out.  This can only have negative effects.  

For as much as we car enthusiasts like to complain about "bean counters" cheapening auto designs, in this case there is a solid engineering reason why frame ends, body sills, etc are generally not finished with closing panels or plugs.  As Rogerzilla says, a better option is to treat the component in question with an appropriate rust preventative, inside and out.
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16 Jun 2024 08:48 #256303 by Roger Fairclough
Pressure wash the tubes, allow to dry and then using a long handled brush apply your choice of rust preventative, primer and bitumastic paint of your choice and then if you wish fit the plugs remembering to seal them with a builders mastic or RTV.

Roger

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16 Jun 2024 17:54 #256311 by DrRobin
All good points, thanks guys.

I am going to clean the tubes out, then treat the inside, but most likely not fit the plugs.

What I might do and it depends on how easily they are to fit and remove, is fit them for off-road days/weekends and then remove them afterwards. The logic is fit them to stop mud and muck entering, then remove to let the tubes breathe.

I have an off-road day coming up, then BigJimny and a couple more off-roads days later in the summer so we will see how long it takes to fit and remove, if it is only 30 minutes, it might be worthwhile.

Robin

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