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Old 07-26-2008, 06:32 PM
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Default how to remove silicone / RTV from painted plastic???

The previous owner of mybike had removedthe stock front signals and replaced them with some ugly mock-carbon-fiber quasi flush-mounts. They are ugly as hell. Because these signals are generic (not designed to fit the bike), the method of installing them was to calk in generous amounts of silicon (probably black RTV) to fill in all the mounting gaps.

There is just gobs of the stuff.

I'm using diagonal pliersto carefully nibble away at the chunks of silicon and have actually gotten a great deal of it off except for the layer adhesing to the painted surface of the fairing.

Nothing I've tried is getting the remainder off and I don't want to do anything to scratch the paint because the new signals Ibought ARE designed for the bike and fit very compactly onto the stock signal mounts.

Has anyone had success with any product or technique for removing this stuff? It's adhesive powers are amazing.

-Kevin
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:17 PM
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Default RE: how to remove silicone / RTV from painted plastic???

I'm surprised it stuck so well to the paint. You would think anything that will take it off might damage paint. I'd try a soft cloth and mild detergent and see if you can just wash it off. If you find something that works well be sure to post it up.
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:58 AM
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Default RE: how to remove silicone / RTV from painted plastic???

3M makes a really good residue remover that was designed to remove the leftover residue that is left behind from decals or stickers... It might work on that and it won't damage the paint.

the only other thing I can say is try wd-40. it shouldnt damage the paint, but the penetrating oil may loosen it up enough to remove.
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Old 07-27-2008, 04:14 AM
 
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Default RE: how to remove silicone / RTV from painted plastic???

I finally got all the silicone removed...

What a pain in the ***. It was stuck to the paint stronger than glue. My results are mixed.

First I read recommendations and searched the web looking for possible solutions. I found recommendations for using amonia, rubbing alcohol, and WD40 to name a few. I decided to try themstarting with whatI thought would be least damaging to the paint.

First up was the rubbing alcohol. This had absolutely no effect on the silicone; total waste of time.

Next I tried the WD40. This did show some success in slightly softening the silicone enough so that my thumbnail could take it off. This process took hours and both my thumbs are now totally sore. Eventually I got itso thatthe only remaining silicone was so thinly layered that you could see through it, but I still couldn't get it off. I then used the scrubbing side of a typical kitchen sponge and a little more WD40. Light buffing was effective at removing the last of the silicone, but at the expense of some of my clearcoat.
Now that the job is doneand all of the silicone is gone, the paint is not scratched but is slightly dulled in that area, but I don't think anyone else would notice unless they looked for it.

So, was it worth it? Definitely; I'm finally rid of the booty-fabbed generic lights and gobs of silicone holding them on and am sporting some nice flush-mount LEDs.

If anyone else discoveres a better way of removing silicone please post up.

-Kevin
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2008, 07:33 AM
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Default RE: how to remove silicone / RTV from painted plastic???

ive used a product called de-solv-it..its made by the orange -sol company...its amazing; it removes all that stuff you can never get off.silicone,tar,expanding foam, the list goes on. try to find some because its an awsome cleaner that doesnt eat paint or plastics..
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:33 AM
 
 
 
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