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Re: The worst smell
Home away from home
Home away from home

Fish'n Jim
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Probably the most abused maintenance item is regularly replacing the differential lube. U may have hit on a good reason. Anything cooped up that long in a confined space has to develop some issues. Not to mention loss of lube properties.
I can't think of what would cause that particular smell, maybe they used something animal or vegetable based they shouldn't back in the day. Should be mostly mineral oil base w/ additives.
I worked commercially with mercaptans and other sulfur compounds and some amines that were not at all human friendly. And they are noticable at ppm levels. One of my engrs got some on her clothes and went home and her husband made her strip in the garage and bag her clothes before he'd let her in the house. I can't blame him. But one can get "olfactory fatigue" and can't smell them. We have ways to neutralize these odors chemically but for your hands is not a good idea.
Use a barrier cream, like working hands, etc. before doing any work where you may get exposure. A simple application of a hand cream will prevent the absorption into the skin and can be washed off. I often just put gojo on my hands and rub in/wipe off excess before doing dirty oily work. Makes clean up easier. Nasty stuff won't get down in the cracks and grooves which require scrubbing with a hand brush. I didn't do it the other day as I didn't expect any contaminate on the fuel tank but had oily dirt on top of the fill lines and got on my hands. Didn't smell, but hard to get off.
Those flimsy plastic gloves aren't very good for mechanical work. I mostly use for painting so you do have to use solvent to clean your hands. Best to put plastics under your regular mechanics gloves but hands don't breathe and you're left with wet hands in short order.

Posted on: 1/14 11:13
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