How to lubricate stiff/tight TF joints?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by CzarAlex, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. CzarAlex

    CzarAlex 2005 Oldie...kinda.

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    Greetings folks (looks for a few familiar faces here)

    I have a slew of older TFs that I'd like to share with my son. They have been on display on my shelf in various poses for several years and I've found that the joints are stiff.. stiff to the point where I'm afraid to force them as something may break. These joints are ones that normally click when transformed. We're talking mostly G1 stuff here. When I say `normally click`, I'm thinking like the legs on Powermaster Optimus Prime's Trailer.

    I understand WD40 is a no no. But I heard Silicone based sprays are okay. Does anyone else have suggestions or experience with this? Just get a can of air? Force em (I hope not..)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Seawing

    Seawing Lurker of the depths Moderator

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    I'm pretty sure you don't need to lubricate the joints. You'd just be making your toys oily & greasy IMO.

    Personally I'd be more wary of letting your son play with the figures that have been known to suffer from Gold Plastic Syndrome. Although there are tons of threads about GPS in the TF toys thread (and YouTube), certain gold plastics that have metal flake and a swirled pattern in the plastic have been known to become brittle over time. These plastics were used primarily in the middle to later end of the G1 figures so bending a joint (ratcheting or other type) can lead to breakage. The gold plastic that is afflicted was used after Target/Power/Head Master figures were released so if your G1 toys were released before that time, you should be ok.
     
  3. Transbot90210

    Transbot90210 Banned

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  4. CzarAlex

    CzarAlex 2005 Oldie...kinda.

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    What is causing the joints to stiffen/seize then? And how do I fix it?
     
  5. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

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    I would assume some kind of plastic grafting. After years of the plastic being pressed together by the spring, sometimes plastics can lightly fuse together. This is more common on soft, rubbery plastics, though.

    Honestly, I'd just unscrew them and see if you can figure out what the problem is.

    Oh, something else: Some old G1 figures DID have grease in their ratchet joints. For example, the Predacons. The ones with waist joints all have grease on the gear teeth. If you really feel it's necessary, open up the joints, and put down a small amount of a lubricant that is safe for transformers. Then close everything up as tight as you can to prevent any leaking.

    You could also try clipping the springs that press the gear teeth together, that can loosen the joints, too.
     
  6. CzarAlex

    CzarAlex 2005 Oldie...kinda.

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    hmm. I don't believe, in the case of Powermaster Optimus Prime, that the leg joins in the trailer had springs but I'll see how comfortable I feel taking it apart to take a look. Thanks for the input.
     
  7. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

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    Actually, just loosening some screws a little might also loosen them enough for play.
     
  8. CzarAlex

    CzarAlex 2005 Oldie...kinda.

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    You have a good point there..
     

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