HG Chain Compatibility Question

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Pixelbrainz, Feb 17, 2003.

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  1. Pixelbrainz

    Pixelbrainz Guest

    Hi All

    I know this has been flogged to death for years, but I need some current advice.

    I have been using Shimano HG chains on my Ultegra 9 sp triple equipped road bike. I run a two chain
    cycle; one on the bike, the other gets cleaned and ready. I swap fairly often, about once a month,
    sometimes more often. and retire them at around .050" stretch. The chains currently on there are HG
    81, whatever that is, and are due for retirement.

    I have had about enough of this "special" pin system and would like to use a Sachs, Sedis, or any
    other recommended compatible chain. I just have a hard time with these Shimano pins. A search of
    past posts mentioned Sachs SC-55 or SC-80 as viable alternatives but they seem to not be available
    but a "PC" series w/powerlink is.

    Am I correct that Sachs, Sram, Sedis are all the same brand now?

    Does anyone have any recommendations as to current Sachs model number for an HG compatible?

    I think after reading some prior posts that I would rather not use the "powerlink". Do I need to use
    the "powerlink" or can I dipense with it and simply break the chain? There was some conjecture
    whether or not this would damage the chain.

    Assuming no viable alternative, how many of those Shimano link pins are too many?

    Many thanks in advance PB
     
    Tags:


  2. pixelbrainz wrote:
    > Hi All
    >
    > I know this has been flogged to death for years, but I need some current advice.
    >
    > I have been using Shimano HG chains on my Ultegra 9 sp triple equipped road bike. I run a two
    > chain cycle; one on the bike, the other gets cleaned and ready. I swap fairly often, about once a
    > month, sometimes more often. and retire them at around .050" stretch. The chains currently on
    > there are HG 81, whatever that is, and are due for retirement.
    >
    > I have had about enough of this "special" pin system and would like to use a Sachs, Sedis, or any
    > other recommended compatible chain. I just have a hard time with these Shimano pins. A search of
    > past posts mentioned Sachs SC-55 or SC-80 as viable alternatives but they seem to not be available
    > but a "PC" series w/powerlink is.
    >
    > Am I correct that Sachs, Sram, Sedis are all the same brand now?

    Yes. The current name is SRAM.

    > Does anyone have any recommendations as to current Sachs model number for an HG compatible?

    SRAM PC59 is my general recommendation for 9-speed applications.

    > I think after reading some prior posts that I would rather not use the "powerlink".

    That's silly. The Powerlink is one of the major features of these chains, a far superior system
    compared to those silly Shimano pins.

    > Do I need to use the "powerlink" or can I dipense with it and simply break the chain?

    If you are very careful about alignment, and have a deft, gentle touch with the chain tool, it is
    possible to do this. I have occasionally done this on my own bikes, though I wouldn't consider doing
    it on a customer's bike. I may be willing to take the risk for myself, but not for somebody else.

    > There was some conjecture whether or not this would damage the chain.

    Yes. Supposedly it creates microscopic cracks in the side plates. I've looked with a microscope, but
    never found these cracks in a carefully reassembled chain...perhaps I need a more powerful
    microscope.

    > Assuming no viable alternative, how many of those Shimano link pins are too many?

    That's a false assumption. For me, one is too many.

    Sheldon "Powerlinks Are Good" Brown +-------------------------------------------------+
    | Some of my mother's paintings may be seen at: | http://sheldonbrown.com/joyce |
    +-------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts Phone
    617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  3. On Mon, 17 Feb 2003 09:52:00 -0500, pixelbrainz wrote:

    > Am I correct that Sachs, Sram, Sedis are all the same brand now?
    >

    It's SRAM now.

    > Does anyone have any recommendations as to current Sachs model number for an HG compatible?

    You'll get two takes on this: 1) use the cheapest black chain that fits (8 or 9); 2) get a silver
    one because it shows the dirt and motivates you to clean the chain. I subscribe to #2.

    >
    > I think after reading some prior posts that I would rather not use the "powerlink".

    I think that would be quite foolish. It's a snap to get them open and closed - best thing that's
    happened to chains in the past 20 years, IMO.

    > Do I need to use the "powerlink" or can I dipense with it and simply break the chain?

    SRAM says it will damage the chain to just break it the way we did back when.

    > There was some conjecture whether or not this would damage the chain.

    No conjecture; check the SRAM web site. They're quite explicit about it.

    >
    > Assuming no viable alternative, how many of those Shimano link pins are too many?

    Even one. I'll never buy another one.
     
  4. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Steve Palincsar" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > On Mon, 17 Feb 2003 09:52:00 -0500, pixelbrainz wrote:

    > > Does anyone have any recommendations as to current Sachs
    model number
    > > for an HG compatible?

    > You'll get two takes on this: 1) use the cheapest black
    chain that fits
    > (8 or 9); 2) get a silver one because it shows the dirt
    and motivates you
    > to clean the chain. I subscribe to #2.

    I subscribe to #1, but usually wind up giving in to #2 -- because bike shops are not interested in
    selling chains for less than $15.99 (and that's if you're lucky, many want $19.99). I'd buy the
    better-value PC48s all the time if they were offered, but they're not.

    Matt O.
     
  5. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    "pixelbrainz" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi All
    >
    > I know this has been flogged to death for years, but I need some current advice.
    >
    > I have been using Shimano HG chains on my Ultegra 9 sp triple equipped
    road
    > bike. I run a two chain cycle; one on the bike, the other gets cleaned and
    ready.
    > I swap fairly often, about once a month, sometimes more often. and retire them at around .050"
    > stretch. The chains currently on there are HG 81, whatever that is, and are due for retirement.
    >
    > I have had about enough of this "special" pin system and would like to use
    a
    > Sachs, Sedis, or any other recommended compatible chain. I just have a hard time with these
    > Shimano pins. A search of past posts mentioned Sachs SC-55 or SC-80 as viable alternatives but
    > they seem to not be available
    but
    > a "PC" series w/powerlink is.
    >
    > Am I correct that Sachs, Sram, Sedis are all the same brand now?
    >
    > Does anyone have any recommendations as to current Sachs model number for
    an
    > HG compatible?
    >
    > I think after reading some prior posts that I would rather not use the "powerlink". Do I need to
    > use the "powerlink" or can I dipense with it and simply break the chain? There was some conjecture
    > whether or not this would damage the chain.
    >
    > Assuming no viable alternative, how many of those Shimano link pins are
    too
    > many?
    >
    > Many thanks in advance

    You've "had about enough of this "special" pin system" ? Well, I've had just about enough of that
    crap myself. We no longer carry the Shimano products and strongly dissuade customers from Campagnolo
    chain as well lately. There are a plentitude of chain makers who include a handy safe convenient
    snaplink at the same or less cost . When Sedis #4 chain rivets stuck amply out the sideplate, I had
    no problems installing them. Or selling them with the matching Rivoli tool.

    Yes, Sedis became Sachs which is now SRAM. Their chain isn't as high a quality as it once was but,
    hey, what is? Their chain is good, available, cheap and includes the customer-friendly snaplink. We
    also like Wippermann products. Early testing of the better (#Z9900) KMC nine speed chains looks
    positive too. There are several vendors who make a useful product at a reasonable price.

    Use the snaplink. Some riders whine that they can become difficult to remove when encrusted with
    road (or offroad, I suppose) grit. Still better than setting a modern chain rivet. The tolerance for
    riveting has become way too tight for us to be able to recommend it. I know of two people (in eight
    years) who experienced a SRAM snaplink disassembly while riding, one of whom posts here. I'll give
    you that every manufactured thing has some measurable rate of anomalies. Theirs is extremely low.
    Contrast that with myriad customer rivetted chain separations on modern chain.

    How many silly special rivets is too many? For me, just one, and it was a while ago.
    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  6. Kenny Lee

    Kenny Lee Guest

    > Yes, Sedis became Sachs which is now SRAM. Their chain isn't as high a quality as it once was but,
    > hey, what is? Their chain is good, available, cheap and includes the customer-friendly snaplink.
    > We also like Wippermann products. Early testing of the better (#Z9900) KMC nine speed chains looks
    > positive too. There are several vendors who make a useful product at a reasonable price.

    I've been using the KMC 9 speed chain on my Campy 10sp setup. It is great! Works better than Shimano
    105 (and cheaper too!) chains which tend to get rust on its outer plating. I connected the chain
    using the SRAM powerlink and when riding, NO clicking sound and just as smooth as an original C10
    chain. If I can help it, I'll never buy Campy or Shimano chains again. Too much 'digging into your
    wallet with proprietary nonsense'!

    Kenny Lee
     
  7. pixel-<< Am I correct that Sachs, Sram, Sedis are all the same brand now

    Yep-

    << Does anyone have any recommendations as to current Sachs model number for an HG compatible?

    PC-59

    << I think after reading some prior posts that I would rather not use the "powerlink"

    why, works great, durable, reliable.

    << Do I need to use the "powerlink" or can I dipense with it and simply break the chain?

    pins not designed to be pushed back in like the older chains.


    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  8. Paul Kopit

    Paul Kopit Guest

    >Gotta let the bike shop make some money to keep the lights on. $20 for a PC-59 is a fair price.
    >PC-48s are a 8s chain...not 9s.

    In all fairness to the LBS, sometimes you have to charge what appears to be a lot of money for an
    inexpensive item.

    How much can be made on selling a single spoke for $1? If the customer comes in with a broken spoke,
    you have to measure it and get one off the shelf. That's not the usual case. If the wheel comes in,
    you have to measure the spokes on the wheel and look into the nipple to see how far the spoke is in
    the nipple and then get the spoke. If the customer wants a spoke for a Mavic Open and Ultegra hub,
    you have to look up the spoke sizes for that wheel.

    Maybe 5-10 minutes to sell a single spoke. Selling a spoke is a service. Fixing a flatted tire, you
    get to sell a tube and charge labor and it takes about the same time for a $10 sale.
     
  9. John Everett

    John Everett Guest

    On Mon, 17 Feb 2003 14:52:00 GMT, "pixelbrainz" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Hi All
    >
    >I know this has been flogged to death for years, but I need some current advice.
    >
    >I have been using Shimano HG chains on my Ultegra 9 sp triple equipped road bike. I run a two chain
    >cycle; one on the bike, the other gets cleaned and ready. I swap fairly often, about once a month,
    >sometimes more often. and retire them at around .050" stretch. The chains currently on there are HG
    >81, whatever that is, and are due for retirement.
    >
    >I have had about enough of this "special" pin system and would like to use a Sachs, Sedis, or any
    >other recommended compatible chain. I just have a hard time with these Shimano pins. A search of
    >past posts mentioned Sachs SC-55 or SC-80 as viable alternatives but they seem to not be available
    >but a "PC" series w/powerlink is.
    >
    >Am I correct that Sachs, Sram, Sedis are all the same brand now?
    >
    >Does anyone have any recommendations as to current Sachs model number for an HG compatible?
    >
    >I think after reading some prior posts that I would rather not use the "powerlink". Do I need to
    >use the "powerlink" or can I dipense with it and simply break the chain? There was some conjecture
    >whether or not this would damage the chain.
    >
    >Assuming no viable alternative, how many of those Shimano link pins are too many?
    >
    >Many thanks in advance PB

    I've just read every response to this posting that's arrived at my ISP's news server thus far and I
    can only add a couple of things.

    If you like Shimano chains but hate the "black pin" as much as I do, try a Forster (formerly Craig)
    Super Link. I've been using these for years and they outlast several chains.

    In spite of postings to the contrary, I've found SRAM Powerlinks to be an immense pain in the ass.
    The first one I saw was with a chain I installed for a friend. I was familiar with the Super Link so
    I thoroughly inspected the Powerlink to determine how it differed. As it was brand new it connected
    and (more importantly) disconnected easily.

    Later I did some work on another friend's bike which had a Powerlink. Even though I knew how they
    work I simply could not remove the link with my fingers alone. After flushing with WD-40 I was able
    to snap the sideplates in with a pair of pliers, and thus remove the link. I've never had a problem
    with a Super Link.

    Come to think of it, the first friend's bike is down in my garage...hold on, I'll go try to
    disconnect her Powerlink...BRB. . . . Okay, I'm back; and I can now state that not ALL Powerlinks
    are a pain in the ass. This one slid apart easily, and the chain was dirty enough that I had to wash
    my fingers before returning to the keyboard. So use a Powerlink and take your chances.

    BTW, when Shimano first introduced the black pin many years ago I thought, "what a gimmick" and
    proceeded to break and reattach a Dura Ace chain using the original pins. Since I hot wax, I was
    breaking the chain about every 500 miles or so, and that chain lasted over 18,500 miles. At that
    point a link separated, so perhaps Shimano had a point. It was after that separation I started using
    Super Links. :)

    jeverett3<AT>earthlink<DOT>net http://home.earthlink.net/~jeverett3
     
  10. Paul J Pharr

    Paul J Pharr Guest

    > Okay, I'm back; and I can now state that not ALL Powerlinks are a pain in the ass. This one slid
    > apart easily, and the chain was dirty enough that I had to wash my fingers before returning to the
    > keyboard. So use a Powerlink and take your chances.

    I've had SRAM chains with Powerlinks and found all the ones I used to be good, although a little
    tough to get off sometimes. No tougher than the Superlink though... As a matter of fact, the
    Superlink III (I've had 3 on Campy 10s) all clicked and snapped after about 300 miles with new,
    clean chains.

    I've switched to the IRD connector on the Campy 10s and so far it seems flawless after about 400
    miles...(still hard to get off with your hands like all the others).

    Paul J Pharr
     
  11. I guess I am out of step with the rest of the world, but I have no problem with the special pins. I,
    like you, remove chains to clean them. I bought a modest stock of the pins from my friendly LBS (out
    of their bulk box, not in the expensive retail 2-pack); this should last me for a few years for very
    little money.

    I don't have any problem actually using the pins using a decent workshop-size chain tool. I carry a
    powerlink with me on rides "just in case".

    Why is everyone so het-up and anti these things?

    Anyhow, my objections to the SRAM chains are:

    - They are wider than Shimano chains (this is easily measured). This causes greater rub on the FD.

    - My experience has been they don't shift so well as Shimano chains on Shimano chainrings and
    sprockets. They certainly have quite different shapes on the links. FWIW, the much-praised Rohloff
    (even narrower than Shimano) shifted so badly at the back on my Dura-Ace triple setup that I took
    it off immediately; I never found the SRAM to be quite that bad.
     
  12. Pixelbrainz

    Pixelbrainz Guest

    Peter Headland <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I guess I am out of step with the rest of the world, but I have no problem with the special pins.
    > I, like you, remove chains to clean them. I bought a modest stock of the pins from my friendly LBS
    > (out of their bulk box, not in the expensive retail 2-pack); this should last me for a few years
    > for very little money.
    >
    > I don't have any problem actually using the pins using a decent workshop-size chain tool. I carry
    > a powerlink with me on rides "just in case".
    >
    > Why is everyone so het-up and anti these things?

    I sometimes have a hard time breaking the pilot off without stressing the chain.

    I have about five pins in one chain and was questioning safety and longevity of the pins

    I can never find the damn things when I need one.

    >
    > Anyhow, my objections to the SRAM chains are:
    >
    > - They are wider than Shimano chains (this is easily measured). This causes greater rub on the FD.
    >

    I guess this would be a big problem for me as the Shimano chain barely clears the FD as it is. My
    high gear sometimes rubs now. I wouldn't mind trying the PC59 but this could sink it.

    > - My experience has been they don't shift so well as Shimano chains on Shimano chainrings and
    > sprockets. They certainly have quite different shapes on the links. FWIW, the much-praised
    > Rohloff (even narrower than Shimano) shifted so badly at the back on my Dura-Ace triple setup
    > that I took it off immediately; I never found the SRAM to be quite that bad.

    Thanks to all for the advice PB
     
  13. John Albergo

    John Albergo Guest

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    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

    Steve Palincsar wrote:

    >On Mon, 17 Feb 2003 09:52:00 -0500, pixelbrainz wrote:
    >
    >>There was some conjecture whether or not this would damage the chain.
    >>
    >>
    >
    >No conjecture; check the SRAM web site. They're quite explicit about it.
    >
    >
    >
    Actually they seem confused about it. Their FAQ mentions models which "must" be joined by powerlink.
    Specifically the 2 high-end models (pc68 and pc99) of the 2001 model-year. The cheaper 8sp and 9sp
    chains (pc48,pc58,pc69) do not require powerlink per this FAQ.

    http://www.sram.com/tech_info/faq_display.asp?faq_id=15

    However, if you download the "Tech Manual", it suggests that the chains can be joined either by
    powerlink or by pins -- pin-pressing being the FIRST method listed. This includes the 2 models for
    which joining by pins is proscribed in the FAQ.

    http://www.sram.com/tech_info/faq_display.asp?faq_id=15

    The FAQ appears possibly dated circa 2001. The manual says 8/2003. In any case, BOTH docs explicity
    declare the cheaper models CAN be joined by the pins .

    I've gone through several PC48 chains, breaking and joining repeatedly with a chaintool, without
    failure. There have been plenty of complaints in this NG about powerlinks that defied opening
    when dirty, as well as accounts of accidental opening -- both are arguments in favor of joining
    with the pins.

    --------------050505010803080108060909 Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <title></title>
    </head> <body> <br> <br> Steve Palincsar wrote:<br> <blockquote type="cite"
    cite="[email protected]"> <pre wrap="">On Mon, 17 Feb 2003 09:52:00 -0500, pixelbrainz
    wrote:</pre> <blockquote type="cite"> <pre wrap="">There was some conjecture whether or not this
    would damage the chain. </pre> </blockquote> <pre wrap=""><!----> No conjecture; check the SRAM web
    site. They're quite explicit about it.

    </pre> </blockquote> Actually they seem confused about it. Their FAQ mentions models
    which "must" be joined by powerlink. Specifically the 2 high-end models (pc68 and pc99)
    of the 2001 model-year. The cheaper 8sp and 9sp chains (pc48,pc58,pc69) do not
    require powerlink per this FAQ. <br> <br> <a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="http://www.s-
    ram.com/tech_info/faq_display.asp?faq_id=15">http://www.sram.com/tech_info/faq_display.asp?fa-
    q_id=15</a><br> <br> However, if you download the "Tech Manual", it suggests that the chains
    can be joined either by powerlink or by pins -- pin-pressing being the FIRST method listed.
    This includes the 2 models for which joining by pins is proscribed in the FAQ.<br> <br>
    <a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="http://www.sram.com/tech_info/faq_display.asp?faq_id=1-
    5">http://www.sram.com/tech_info/faq_display.asp?faq_id=15</a><br> <br> The FAQ appears
    possibly dated circa 2001. The manual says 8/2003. In any case, BOTH docs
    explicity declare the cheaper models CAN be joined by the pins .<br> <br> I've gone through
    several PC48 chains, breaking and joining repeatedly with a chaintool, without failure.
    There have been plenty of complaints in this NG about powerlinks that defied opening
    when dirty, as well as accounts of accidental opening -- both are arguments in favor of
    joining with the pins.<br> <br> </body> </html>

    --------------050505010803080108060909--
     
  14. John Albergo

    John Albergo Guest

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    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

    Qui si parla Campagnolo wrote:

    >John-<< I've gone through several PC48 chains, breaking and joining repeatedly with a chaintool,
    >without failure. There have been plenty of complaints in this NG about powerlinks that defied
    >opening when dirty, as well as accounts of accidental opening -- both are arguments in favor of
    >joining with the pins.
    >
    >we called SRAM about a year ago and asked about re-pushing pins back in. The guy on the phone said
    >that last chain that had 'hardened' pins was the PC-41 and all susequent do not, hence the need to
    >use the snap link.
    >
    >
    This adds to their inconsistency on the matter. I opened one of my newer pc48 boxes and the service
    instructions (7/99) included in the box mirror the newest ones available for download (8/03 (??)).
    This includes the instructions for joining with the pins, plus a picture and part number for the
    SRAM branded chain plier (!). If their stance really is that their chains should only be joined by
    the power-link then it's hard to understand why they would make themselves liable by including
    incorrect instructions in the box with every chain, and that these instructions would be carried
    forward in new revisions of the service instructions.

    Wouldn't hardening be important for pins given their duty as bearing surfaces? Looking at their
    website, they claim their pins are "chrome hardened" on many models.

    And again an inconsistency - the reason given in their online FAQ for the powerlink requirement (on
    pc69 and pc99) is the use of "cross-step riveted pins". Lack of hardening is not given as a reason.
    I've never purchased one of these models so I'm not sure if they have different instructions
    included, though my instructions have these models listed in the specs and applications table. Has
    anyone looked at the pins on these? What does "cross-step riveted" look like?

    I think one would have to give the most weight to the instructions in the box. If these are wrong
    then a large number of people at SRAM are asleep at the wheel. Maybe I need to change brands.
    Shimano? :-b

    When all is said and done, you're having good luck with the powerlink and I'm doing fine with the
    chaintool. I think it comes down to personal preference and as best as I can determine, use of a
    chaintool is considered appropriate on the model I use. I like the idea of all the links being the
    same and needing a tool to come apart.

    --------------000901020306000205080308 Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii
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    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <meta
    http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1"> <title></title> </head> <body>
    <br> <br> Qui si parla Campagnolo wrote:<br> <blockquote type="cite"
    cite="[email protected]"> <pre wrap="">John-<< I've gone through
    several PC48 chains, breaking and joining repeatedly with a chaintool, without failure. There have
    been plenty of complaints in this NG about powerlinks that defied opening when dirty, as well as
    accounts of accidental opening -- both are arguments in favor of joining with the pins.

    we called SRAM about a year ago and asked about re-pushing pins back in. The guy on the phone said
    that last chain that had 'hardened' pins was the PC-41 and all susequent do not, hence the need to
    use the snap link. </pre> </blockquote> This adds to their inconsistency on the matter. I
    opened one of my newer pc48 boxes and the service instructions (7/99) included in the box mirror the
    newest ones available for download (8/03 (??)). This includes the instructions for joining
    with the pins, plus a picture and part number for the SRAM branded chain plier (!). If their
    stance really is that their chains should only be joined by the power-link then it's hard to
    understand why they would make themselves liable by including incorrect instructions in the box with
    every chain, and that these instructions would be carried forward in new revisions of the service
    instructions.<br> <br> Wouldn't hardening be important for pins given their duty as bearing
    surfaces? Looking at their website, they claim their pins are "chrome hardened" on many
    models.<br> <br> And again an inconsistency - the reason given in their online FAQ for the powerlink
    requirement (on pc69 and pc99) is the use of "<font size="1" face="verdana, arial, helvetica,
    sans-serif">cross-step riveted pins</font>". Lack of hardening is not given as a reason.
    I've never purchased one of these models so I'm not sure if they have different instructions
    included, though my instructions have these models listed in the specs and applications table.
    Has anyone looked at the pins on these? What does "cross-step riveted" look like?<br>
    <br> I think one would have to give the most weight to the instructions in the box. If these
    are wrong then a large number of people at SRAM are asleep at the wheel. Maybe I need to
    change brands. Shimano? :-b<br> <br> When all is said and done, you're having good luck
    with the powerlink and I'm doing fine with the chaintool. I think it comes down to personal
    preference and as best as I can determine, use of a chaintool is considered appropriate on the model
    I use. I like the idea of all the links being the same and needing a tool to come apart.<br>
    <br> <br> </body> </html>

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