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Old 10-06-09, 01:20 PM   #1
jberenyi
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Anti-Seize vs. Teflon Tape On A Ti Frame

Well after two years of riding my Lynskey Level 3 Custom it finally developed a cyclic creak in the bottom bracket so I removed it last night. I remember when I put it together with a Record Ultra Torque Compact crank setup I only greased the threads on the frame and cups. I was too excited to put it together so I opted for synthetic grease instead of using a copper or nickel based anti-seize compound. I understand that some have been using a Teflon tape in place of seize compound and some even use tape with grease. I have availabe, some Lock-tite Nickel based anti-seize or I can use the Teflon tape method. I fear using the Teflon tape only because the interface of the threads between frame and cups are snug enough that three wraps of Teflon may cause excessive tightness while wrenching them down. What would you guys use?
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Old 10-06-09, 03:56 PM   #2
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Either will do fine. Two layers of teflon tape is plenty.
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Old 10-06-09, 04:02 PM   #3
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Assuming that you're picking up your teflon tape in the plumbing department, why wouldn't you use the product that was designed for the specific purpose?
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Old 10-06-09, 08:16 PM   #4
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Assuming that you're picking up your teflon tape in the plumbing department, why wouldn't you use the product that was designed for the specific purpose?
Which product is that? Anti-seize isn't designed for bike use either. However, both work well. Teflon tape is designed for threaded joints and a bottom bracket certainly meets that description.

Actually I've had slightly better success with the teflon tape at keeping bottom bracket cups quiet.

Last edited by HillRider; 10-06-09 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 10-06-09, 08:28 PM   #5
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Grease or antiseize for the bb cups. Grease everything else. Spindle/threads bolt etc.
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Old 10-07-09, 09:24 AM   #6
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Teflon tape is a thread sealant.

You could put ten wraps on and not have it too tight because it will simply squeeze out of the way. This is why I fear it may not have adequate antisieze properties in a high torque application. It may flow out of the way just like grease, if the force is high enough.
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Old 10-07-09, 10:08 AM   #7
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Teflon tape is a thread sealant.

You could put ten wraps on and not have it too tight because it will simply squeeze out of the way. This is why I fear it may not have adequate antisieze properties in a high torque application. It may flow out of the way just like grease, if the force is high enough.
It doesn't squeeze all the way out and it does a fine job. If the tape did squeeze out of threaded joints a lot of plumbing would leak.

Teflon tape makes the cups easy to remove when it's time for a bottom bracket check or replacement. I've used it for many years in Ti, Aluminum and steel frames without any signs of siezure or sticking.
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Old 10-07-09, 10:13 AM   #8
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It doesn't squeeze all the way out and it does a fine job. If the tape did squeeze out of threaded joints a lot of plumbing would leak.

Teflon tape makes the cups easy to remove when it's time for a bottom bracket check or replacement. I've used it for many years in Ti, Aluminum and steel frames without any signs of siezure or sticking.
I agree with you. I tried only 3 wraps last night for grins and only the first few threads even hold the Teflon tape. The rest squeezed out of the way. So I scrapped that idea and went for the nickel based anti-seize compound instead. We'll see today how it works on ride after work.
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Old 10-07-09, 10:16 AM   #9
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It doesn't squeeze all the way out and it does a fine job. If the tape did squeeze out of threaded joints a lot of plumbing would leak.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Unless you have interference threads, threads have clearance. Most or all of the plumbers' tape goes into the clearance.

This fact alone does not prove that it squeezes out completely from the part of the threads which is under high stress, but it disproves that IF it did squeeze out, the threads would leak.

If you have a leak, it is not happening because of the portions of the thread which are pressed together hard enough to seize. It is happening because of the other side, and the roots, and the crests, of the thread.

stretch a piece of plumbers tape in your hands. squeeze it between two metal objects. see how fluid it becomes.

Last edited by garage sale GT; 10-07-09 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 10-07-09, 10:19 AM   #10
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Wrong, wrong, wrong. Unless you have interference threads, threads have clearance. The plumbers' tape goes into the clearance.

If you have a leak, it is not happening because of the portions of the thread which are pressed together hard enough to seize. It is happening because of the other side, and the roots, and the crests.
All bottom bracket threads have clearance too.
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Old 10-07-09, 10:25 AM   #11
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All bottom bracket threads have clearance too.
All I am saying is the fact that teflon tape SEALS does not by itself prove that it doesn't SQUEEZE OUT OF THE WAY if the loads are high enough, because it may seal by squishing into the clearance.

It's the clearance part that needs sealing, and it's the faces of the threads which are under load which need antiseize. So it is possible for the teflon tape to both be able to seal and to fail under the heavily loaded face of the thread.

The max load on a thread, the part that's going to seize, does not occur over the whole thread. It does not occur over one side of the whole thread. It does not occur over the whole length of the threaded portion or across the entire face of the thread where it does occur, but over a narrow band. So the fact that teflon tape seals does not prove it will always prevent seizure.

Last edited by garage sale GT; 10-07-09 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 10-07-09, 10:27 AM   #12
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I did stop a BB from clicking once by wrapping the threads in aluminum tape and lubing it with a bit too much threadlocker while installing.
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Old 10-07-09, 11:53 AM   #13
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So the fact that teflon tape seals does not prove it will always prevent seizure.
Perhaps not but this is more of an academic exercise than a real-world problem.

The fact remains that teflon tape DOES in fact keep bottom bracket cups quiet, does allow them to be easily removed and has never allowed any signs of seizure or binding. I didn't invent the idea and it came well recommended before I tried it. I have used it successfully on multiple frames for many years with no signs of any distress.

Do what you want but don't claim the stuff doesn't work.
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