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  1. #1
    Registered User VTLifts's Avatar
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    I put vaseline on my cable machine cables, huge improvement

    I read in a few threads about users putting vaseline on their cables to improve smoothness & reduce friction. I just did this and can vouch for a huge improvement.

    I have a body solid BFFT10R functional trainer that I got off craigslist as well as an old powerblocks lat pulldown / low-row tower.

    The machines never pulled that smooth, but I never expected much since they were used, low-end equipment. However, it did make me reluctant to use cables as much as I wanted.

    But i just put a thin layer of vaseline around the plastic pulleys and the cables themselves and it's like I have a new machine.

    The pull and vertical adjustment for the handles are both incredibly smooth now. Actually a joy to use.

    And as opposed to some messy grease / chemical spray, it was very easy to apply and it's just vaseline so not a big deal if I accidentally rub against it or get it on my clothes/equipment.
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  2. #2
    Registered User BulkMore's Avatar
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    Im a big fan of vaseline...but not on cable machines.
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  3. #3
    Registered User risingstarl96a1's Avatar
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    I use Vaseline to fap.
    “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.” -Charles Darwin, 1809
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    about tree fiddy keyboardworkout's Avatar
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    My gf likes the taste of coconut oil so I use it on everything.
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  5. #5
    Registered User oldandintheway's Avatar
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    Use silicone. Vaseline is going to collect dirt and dust. Like a magnet
    I get a tax deduction just by hanging out here

    More reps, no texts
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  6. #6
    mTOR master daniel327's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by risingstarl96a1 View Post
    I use Vaseline to fap.
    You rub petroleum on your junk?
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  7. #7
    OG Duplicitous's Avatar
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    It makes a great firestarter. I don't recommend using it for that purpose after fapping though.
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  8. #8
    Registered User oldandintheway's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by risingstarl96a1 View Post
    I use Vaseline to fap.
    Until you hit the flashpoint
    I get a tax deduction just by hanging out here

    More reps, no texts
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  9. #9
    Kiwi Battler BenMcLeodNZ's Avatar
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    3 in 1 oil is good too.
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  10. #10
    Registered User ripper238's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by oldandintheway View Post
    Use silicone. Vaseline is going to collect dirt and dust. Like a magnet
    100%, Vaseline going to be a mess long term.

    Using Vaseline is just hiding the lack of real lubricant. ;-)
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  11. #11
    Registered User VTLifts's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ripper238 View Post
    100%, Vaseline going to be a mess long term.

    Using Vaseline is just hiding the lack of real lubricant. ;-)
    Originally Posted by oldandintheway View Post
    Use silicone. Vaseline is going to collect dirt and dust. Like a magnet
    Solid posts gents. Nothing like a good ole vaseline topic to get the creative juices flowing...

    But I hadn't really thought about that issue of dirt buildup over time. So can you recommend a particular product? I used to have a silicone spray, but I can't imagine the mess trying to spray that over the 15-20 pulleys and cable lengths.
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  12. #12
    Registered User radrd's Avatar
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    I bet this would work great:

    https://.amazon.com/dp/B01M4FDQ41/?c...I30M0U4SOB663N

    Though vaseline is a hell of a lot cheaper.
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  13. #13
    Registered User kevin3636's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    Solid posts gents. Nothing like a good ole vaseline topic to get the creative juices flowing...

    But I hadn't really thought about that issue of dirt buildup over time. So can you recommend a particular product? I used to have a silicone spray, but I can't imagine the mess trying to spray that over the 15-20 pulleys and cable lengths.
    Can you spray on a cloth and rub on the pulleys?
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  14. #14
    OG Duplicitous's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    Solid posts gents. Nothing like a good ole vaseline topic to get the creative juices flowing...

    But I hadn't really thought about that issue of dirt buildup over time. So can you recommend a particular product? I used to have a silicone spray, but I can't imagine the mess trying to spray that over the 15-20 pulleys and cable lengths.
    Originally Posted by kevin3636 View Post
    Can you spray on a cloth and rub on the pulleys?
    ^ This. I generally use type of silicone spray with PTFE (Teflon). Liquid Wrench makes one.
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  15. #15
    Registered User VTLifts's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Duplicitous View Post
    ^ This. I generally use type of silicone spray with PTFE (Teflon). Liquid Wrench makes one.
    How long have you done this? How long does the application last before you need to re-apply? Any negatives?
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  16. #16
    Registered User BulkMore's Avatar
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    Funny how everyone is emulating bulkmore in this thread. Bout time you guys wake up. #woke
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  17. #17
    Registered User bishdipbrah's Avatar
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    Huge slide improvement huh

    Try the rectum, slike butta bebe
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  18. #18
    OG Duplicitous's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    How long have you done this? How long does the application last before you need to re-apply? Any negatives?
    I've been doing it since I started piecing the home gym together about a year ago. I do it about once a month. No negatives.
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  19. #19
    Registered User Greybird2's Avatar
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    I use Pledge. Slippery, no mess, repels dust. Don't laugh. Try it.
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  20. #20
    Registered User ampire's Avatar
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    Some materials such as plastics don't respond well to petroleum based lubricants, which can cause premature wear and tear on the cable's exterior liner. Silicon and PTFE based lubricants would probably work better.

    Also for those spouting sex references, petroleum jelly can cause latex condoms to fail, so be careful with that.


    This site has various silicon and ptfe spray lubricants https://www.sportsmith.com/lubricants/category/820/1

    https://www.hoistfitness.com/pages/hoist-maintenance
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  21. #21
    Registered User VTLifts's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Duplicitous View Post
    I've been doing it since I started piecing the home gym together about a year ago. I do it about once a month. No negatives.
    Originally Posted by Greybird2 View Post
    I use Pledge. Slippery, no mess, repels dust. Don't laugh. Try it.
    [QUOTE=ampire;1593326931]Some materials such as plastics don't respond well to petroleum based lubricants, which can cause premature wear and tear on the cable's exterior liner. Silicon and PTFE based lubricants would probably work better.

    Also for those spouting sex references, petroleum jelly can cause latex condoms to fail, so be careful with that.


    This site has various silicon and ptfe spray lubricants


    Didn't know petroleum jelly could harm plastics. Anyone have any experience with petroleum jelly harming their cable machines? Or this like a 30-year issue when I really only care about a few years?

    But perhaps I'll eventually remove what I put on and get some silicone spray just to be safe. However, I'm not going to apply monthly like Duplicitous. That's too much maintenance for me. Maybe twice a year.
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  22. #22
    OG Duplicitous's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    Didn't know petroleum jelly could harm plastics. Anyone have any experience with petroleum jelly harming their cable machines? Or this like a 30-year issue when I really only care about a few years?

    But perhaps I'll eventually remove what I put on and get some silicone spray just to be safe. However, I'm not going to apply monthly like Duplicitous. That's too much maintenance for me. Maybe twice a year.
    No one is pushing you to do anything. You posted, we answered. You may not like the answers, but it is what it is. Do whatever you'd like.
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  23. #23
    York Man AttyGuy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BulkMore View Post
    Im a big fan of vaseline...but not on cable machines.


    No doubt you are...
    You need a good rack, a bench, and a 300-lb Olympic weight set. Now, what was your question?

    My home gym: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=652376&p=1465291461&viewfull=1#post1465291461.

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    York Man AttyGuy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    Anyone have any experience with petroleum jelly harming their cable machines? Or this like a 30-year issue when I really only care about a few years?

    But perhaps I'll eventually remove what I put on and get some silicone spray just to be safe. However, I'm not going to apply monthly like Duplicitous. That's too much maintenance for me. Maybe twice a year.
    Silicone spray is the answer and it's what I used on Body-Solid equipment before I moved up to Legend Fitness. There really aren't many other acceptable answers out there. Vaseline is going to attract or accumulate particulates.
    You need a good rack, a bench, and a 300-lb Olympic weight set. Now, what was your question?

    My home gym: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=652376&p=1465291461&viewfull=1#post1465291461.

    ()---() York Barbell Club #1 (DD, RH, Kg) ()---() []---[] Equipment Crew #36 []---[] []---[] Ivanko Barbell Crew #51 []---[] [M]===[6] Mech6 Crew #29 [M]===[6] ~~ 4 Horsemen ~~
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  25. #25
    Registered User ampire's Avatar
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    Petroleum jelly can cause breakdown of plastic due to the chemistry of plastic, and the cables are coated with a plastic liner and the pulleys are made of plastic. Furthermore, the grease will attract dust and grit which will cause friction and abrasion to the surfaces as they are operated which will also cause premature failure of the plastic liner and scoring of the plastic pulley. As far as a how long this will take, it is really hard to say but definitely sooner than 30 years, generally these parts need replacement eventually anyway after several years if used frequently. Its probably more likely to wear out sooner than it would otherwise, but I can't really guess how much sooner.
    Last edited by ampire; 12-11-2019 at 02:37 PM.
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  26. #26
    Registered User gym62richard's Avatar
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    I've never felt the need to lubricate pulleys and cables, these days I have 3 cable machines from Cybex and Watson, all run very smoothly and the only maintenance the cables/pulleys receive it to wipe off any dust.

    On guide rods and chrome tube sliding adjustment points I tend to use a PTFE based spray lubricant, but in the past I used silicone to good effect.
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  27. #27
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    [QUOTE=VTLifts;1593342321]
    Originally Posted by ampire View Post
    Some materials such as plastics don't respond well to petroleum based lubricants, which can cause premature wear and tear on the cable's exterior liner. Silicon and PTFE based lubricants would probably work better.

    Also for those spouting sex references, petroleum jelly can cause latex condoms to fail, so be careful with that.


    This site has various silicon and ptfe spray lubricants


    Didn't know petroleum jelly could harm plastics. Anyone have any experience with petroleum jelly harming their cable machines? Or this like a 30-year issue when I really only care about a few years?

    But perhaps I'll eventually remove what I put on and get some silicone spray just to be safe. However, I'm not going to apply monthly like Duplicitous. That's too much maintenance for me. Maybe twice a year.
    There are no stories of petroleum jelly actually breaking down the coating on cables or wearing down pulleys. I've looked pretty extensively. Quite a few companies from the 80's had recommended lubricated with petroleum jelly and their pulleys and cables had lasted. also it is used to lubricate gears of plastic wheels in toy model trains and the break down takes a very long time.
    The only downside is the dirt dust it will accumulate.

    Just don't use loctite near plastic. That stuff will break down plastic fast.
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    Solid posts gents. Nothing like a good ole vaseline topic to get the creative juices flowing...

    But I hadn't really thought about that issue of dirt buildup over time. So can you recommend a particular product? I used to have a silicone spray, but I can't imagine the mess trying to spray that over the 15-20 pulleys and cable lengths.
    Just straight silicone spray is recommended, you don't need much and they have the straw adapters for focused spray. But you are trying for a solution that there really isn't a true fix short of replacing cables and pulleys. Over time the Vaseline will gum up everything and its already on there so just use it sparingly. It should not harm the coating on the cables or pulleys since its natal, but it will gum up over time with all the dust it will collect.
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    A cable machine should run smoothly without any lubrication. If it doesn't, you need to figure out and correct the issue. It's often things like misaligned or bent guide rods or plastic/nylon bushings could be too tight or dirty. Also, check each pulley to make sure the bearings are intact and operate smoothly. It should move smoothly with just the top plate and you shouldn't feel it catching or tension changing as it slides up and down.

    Then you can use a a dry lubricant to make it even smoother. Otherwise, you're just dealing with the symptom instead of addressing the cause.
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    Never thought this post would trigger so many responses. But appreciate all the input and the lube jokes.

    I think part of the problem is that I have a body solid BFF10 cable machine. This ain't no Cybex Bravo. This thing has 12 pulleys per side or 24 pulleys in the whole machine and then a section on each side where two cables link together.

    Perhaps with enough tinkering and adjustment it would consistently pull smoothly, but I think it's much easier to throw on some silicone / vaseline.
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