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Lubricant or tool desired to facilitate plastic on plastic action. 
19th-Nov-2008 06:56 pm
I bought a device (motion sensor for the porch light) a while back, and there is one piece attached to another, kind of like a tongue in groove. All plastic.

In the comfort of my living room, with the best possible angle, I was unable to shove the tongue bit all the way into the groove bit. Got it most of the way, but it jammed, and I neglected to realize the problem with this.

Now, mounted above my head, with cold weather surrounding me, I need to replace the batteries. This will either involve removing it, or shoving it the rest of the way in, which _might_ allow the battery cover to open.

Needless to say, I'm currently not able. I tried prying, but (1) I can't get a good angle, (2) the plastic I'm prying against is not tough, and (3) the object isn't moving at all.

I really don't want to unscrew it from the wall, enabling me to bring it all inside, so I'm looking for some sort of lubricant I can spray which will work it's way into the groove and loosen things up. Or other advice.

20th-Nov-2008 01:32 am (UTC)
Silicone lubricant might work, if the problem is friction and not angle.
20th-Nov-2008 01:42 am (UTC)
I think it's mostly friction. Is that something that will permeate (so applying it at the ends will get goop down to the middle)? And is it something that would work much better with heat or not? (If I need to, I'll stand out there with an extension cord and blow drier!) This is not something I've ever bought -- is there a brand/application type you favor? Danke.
20th-Nov-2008 02:02 am (UTC)
3M makes a clear spray-lube that does a pretty good job of penetrating. The good thing about spray lubricants is that they do get into the spaces where things are stuck. I've never had to resort to heating. :)
20th-Nov-2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
No, it works cold or not. Every winter, I spray silicone on the rubber seals of my car and (when I was with Tom) on the seals of the van's sliding doors to keep 'em from freezing shut :-)

Visit a decent automotive store (like Autozone) and tell them you're looking for silicone spray and they'll show you the way (no rhyme intended, really)

20th-Nov-2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
Excellent. Thanks.
22nd-Nov-2008 10:29 pm (UTC) - Victory
Bless you both! On Thursday I went by Murray's (our local good automotive store) and picked up a can of silicone spray. Applied it liberally and tugged and pried and got nowhere. Applied more and gave up. Today (Saturday) I went out with the tools ready to remove it from the wall if it wouldn't come to a tug -- and I think I must have pried it with the flathead -- and it just plain popped out. (Heh... the next challenge was applying the new 9-volt.) I covered the piece I brought in with enough of the spray stuff that it went through the rag I was using and got on my pants. Then I went out and sprayed enough on the parts out there that they started dripping.

I was hoping that I'd be able to shove it far enough on that I'd not need to take it off again... but that was not to be -- it got stuck at about the same place it started... but that has a benefit too -- I don't know I'd really want to fight with a 9-V battery over my head in the cold...

And yeah, it's a job. Don't know what I hit nor when (probably when it slid unexpectedly) -- got a half-inch split on the back of my right index finger.

Anyhow -- thanks MUCH!
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