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DPhillip

O-ring lubrication

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Hello, 

I was replacing batteries in two watches - a Pulsar over 20 years old and a year-old Timex, and I used an Esslinger silicon lubrication/grease kit to lube the o-rings in the watch backs.  The kit consists of sponges in a plastic jar, soaked in the silicon grease.  

Both o-rings expanded, making it impossible to re-seat the watch backs. The Pulsar back screws down, the Timex is a press fit.  I actually tested the fit on the Timex before installing a new battery and lubing the o-ring, as I had trouble with the Pulsar o-ring earlier and I wanted to record what happened.  As soon as I lubed the Timex o-ring, it got bigger - putting any pressure on the watch back causes the ring to ooze out one side or the other.

Any thoughts on what is going on here?  Esslinger has a good rep, I thought; I never figured their silicon grease product would cause something like this.

Is there anything I can do to shrink the Timex o-ring?  The Pulsar o-ring needs to be replaced - it is old anyhow.

Thanks!

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  O  rings expand:  esslinger screwed up.   probably bought chineeze rings with out specified the "rubber formula".   o rings made in the US and UK have a "specifide grease"  for each ring.   this happens with hydrolic seals also.   TO BE SAFE,  use Vasoline.  vin

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Hi Vinn is right the grease should not make any difference to the the ring other than coat it,  The grease may have a carrier liquid which is reacting with the sealing rings (being absorbed)  Try  dropping the rings into boiling water it may help shrink it, it used to work on dictating machine drive bands. If it works do what Vinn suggests and use vaseline. I use a tube of DOW CORNING silicone grease I used at work as a heat transfer for large transistors a s a thermal comductor  it works ok.

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1 hour ago, watchweasol said:

Hi Vinn is right the grease should not make any difference to the the ring other than coat it,  The grease may have a carrier liquid which is reacting with the sealing rings (being absorbed)  Try  dropping the rings into boiling water it may help shrink it, it used to work on dictating machine drive bands. If it works do what Vinn suggests and use vaseline. I use a tube of DOW CORNING silicone grease I used at work as a heat transfer for large transistors a s a thermal comductor  it works ok.

     it does make a difference.  vin

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On 11/6/2019 at 11:45 PM, DPhillip said:

Both o-rings expanded, making it impossible to re-seat the watch backs. 

I don't know of what these o-rings are made of, but as others have said the NBR normally used never expands and the grease actually helps keeping it in place. I suggest that you replace these and switch to a different grease. 

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I tried boiling the o ring and then using a heat gun on it.  Neither worked.  As soon as I pressed the back into place the ring oozed out of the groove a quarter of an inch.  The watch is only a small lady's Timex.  Bizarre.  I have to get a new o-ring, clearly.

Also, I test-fit the back and o-ring on the watch before using this silicon grease and it clicked into place just fine with no problem.  

So if we want to expand o-rings, perhaps to take out some enemy's missile program, this stuff is the ticket! 

BTW I emailed Esslinger about it - no reply.  

To be clear, the grease is an Esslinger product - the watch was made in India - not sure where they source their o-rings.

DP

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