Author Topic: Dealing with Rust and Chrome  (Read 7296 times)

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USN20

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Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« on: January 07, 2007, 10:18:51 PM »
Like most vintage Honda owners rusting chrome is a unsightly problem in the hard-to-reach areas that can't be cleaned and waxed easily. Using my '74 CB750 as an example, those problem areas include:

- Inside the fork ears.
- Under the tail light bracket.
- Under the fenders.
- Inside the front fender braces.
- Around the grab bar turn signal mounts.

Remove the part and using any method of your choice; clean as much rust off as possible and then apply a thin coat of clear engine enamel. I've been using VHT brand engine enamel, part number: SP-145 which is rated to 550 degrees. We all know that paint doesn't stick to chrome very well, so it's best to use a single light coat or two.

Seems that the rust pitting provides a degree of adhesion and I think that's why it's working so far and the rust hasn't returned. I did the parts listed above with one can which costs around $8.00 and that's cheap. The end result is not show quality, but a decent alternative to problem rust.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2007, 06:58:08 AM by USN20 »



Offline mkramer1121

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2007, 10:23:13 PM »
Another tip is how to remove the rust (light surface anyway).  I have a large (3x3 inch) Brass bristled brush commonly used to clean corrosion on battery terminals.  Well, since brass is softer then aluminum and chrome, figured I'd try getting some of the surface rust on the underside of my muffler off.  Sure enough, the rust came right off with only a little bit of elbow grease.  A quick hit of WD-40 will prevent flash rusting again.



Offline grumburg

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2007, 04:53:20 AM »
Had good luck with cooper wool. Spray with WD40, let set a minute, and rub in a straight-line. Amazing results with a couple coats of Mothers Chrome polish.
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Offline turtle

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2007, 06:44:35 AM »
Best thing I have found to clean surface rust is Mothers Alloy Polish on Brite Shine. The clear enanel would be great to seal the areas and prevent further rust.
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Offline 736cc

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2007, 08:25:14 AM »
Hydroflouric acid (aka chrome wire wheel cleaner) melts rust and corrosion off chrome. A little agitation w/ 000 steel wool helps. Wear rubber gloves.
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Offline francisew

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2007, 04:29:18 PM »
Hydroflouric acid (aka chrome wire wheel cleaner) melts rust and corrosion off chrome. A little agitation w/ 000 steel wool helps. Wear rubber gloves.

Yikes. I'm a chemist. One of our mantras is 'avoid HF acid'. I can vouch for a few hundred chemists who wouldn't tough the stuff even for a huge amount of money. Do you keep a tube of HF neutralizing gel around in case you get it on your skin? That stuff can do REALLY bad stuff to you.



Offline BobbyR

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2007, 08:54:44 PM »
Years ago we used HF to etch glass. One guy got a face full and it was not pretty. It seems HF not only burns you, but once inside you it turns into something toxic. I am not saying don't use it, just be real careful.
But we were boys, and boys will be boys, and so they will. To us, everything was dangerous, but what of that? Had we not been made to live forever?



Offline francisew

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2007, 09:09:27 PM »
Where did you buy the VHT engine enamel? I went to my local canadian tire, but they only had solid colors, no clear stuff...

Thanks,
Francis


Remove the part and using any method of your choice; clean as much rust off as possible and then apply a thin coat of clear engine enamel. I've been using VHT brand engine enamel, part number: SP-145 which is rated to 550 degrees. We all know that paint doesn't stick to chrome very well, so it's best to use a single light coat or two.

Seems that the rust pitting provides a degree of adhesion and I think that's why it's working so far and the rust hasn't returned. I did the parts listed above with one can which costs around $8.00 and that's cheap. The end result is not show quality, but a decent alternative to problem rust.



cardrell

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2007, 09:33:39 PM »
try water and tin foil.rust comes right off.



USN20

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2007, 10:43:06 PM »
Where did you buy the VHT engine enamel? I went to my local canadian tire, but they only had solid colors, no clear stuff...

Thanks,
Francis





Francis,

I ordered mine from Summit racing here in the USA:  http://www.summitracing.com/

Summit does ship to Canada:

http://www.summitracing.com/customerservice/Support.asp?target=support.summitracing.com/scripts/rightnow.cfg/php.exe/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=618&p_created=1002141880&p_topview=1

Perhaps Canadian Tire can order it for you and save on shipping?  ???



Offline Donzon

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2007, 05:59:06 PM »
Where did you buy the VHT engine enamel? I went to my local canadian tire, but they only had solid colors, no clear stuff...

Thanks,
Francis


Hmm. They carry  it here, maybe they were just out?

Don



Offline BobbyR

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2007, 08:00:46 PM »
Where did you buy the VHT engine enamel? I went to my local canadian tire, but they only had solid colors, no clear stuff...

Thanks,
Francis


Hmm. They carry  it here, maybe they were just out?

Don

When you are dealing with parts that are not exposed to high heat, it would not be necessary to you a VHT Engine Enamel. There are other clear enamels on the market that should protect well. There are rust converters that can be used as a primer coat. On some parts of my bike I am using a Chrome spray paint on some parts and it looks  very good.
But we were boys, and boys will be boys, and so they will. To us, everything was dangerous, but what of that? Had we not been made to live forever?



Offline oldfordguy

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2007, 01:22:27 PM »
For rust on chrome, I use "The Must for Rust" on small parts and just let them soak in it for a couple of hours.  For larger things like fenders, I like to use naval jelly. (Both of these are basically phosphoric acid, wear gloves!)  I put it on with a blue, no-scratch scotchbrite pad, let it set for 5-10 minutes coated in the naval jelly, and then scrub it all over again with the blue scotch-Britte pad.  After either the soak or the scrub, I rinse the part with lacquer thinner, and then follow up with Mother's alloy polish.  This method avoids adding any scratches to the chrome surface, and the Mother's gives some protection from recurring rust.  I just did a fender this way that really amazed me when it was done, because it had quite a bit of rust.  Its not perfect, but from 5ft away you couldn't tell it.

Matt



Offline francisew

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2007, 10:35:58 AM »
What exactly do you do, just rub the wet tine foil flat on the rusty bits (or do you make a ball of tinfoil)? Won't the tin foil just shred? Is it true tin foil, or aluminum foil?

Thanks,
Francis


try water and tin foil.rust comes right off.



Offline francisew

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2007, 10:14:14 AM »
I tried just tin foil, no water. By scrunching the tin-foil up, it did a terrific job of taking rust marks off.

I really hadn't expected that to work.

Thanks!

Francis



liaudio

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2007, 01:21:56 AM »
I have picked up quite a few older motorcycles through the years.  They almost always have surface rust on the chrome parts.  I've tried a few methods but nothing beats steel wool and WD-40. The steel wool is harder than the rust, but softer than the chrome so it seems to only clean the rust and doesn't scratch the chrome.

Spray the area with WD-40 or a similar penetrating lubricant then simply scrub off the rust using a medium/fine steel wool.  Circular motions work the best.

After the rust is scrubbed off, I spray the piece with WD-40 and then wipe it all off using paper towels.

I finish up this procedure by going over the chrome with a product called "Nevr Dull." It is sold in a tin and is basically a chemically treated cotton wadding.  Going over the chrome with a small wad of this stuff really makes it shine!



I've had bikes that were ready for the junk yard look fantastic!  You'd never believe how effective this method is until you try it for yourself!

This method works wonders on basically any unpainted metal part.  It'll do wonders for spokes too.  Someone recently informed me that using steel wool on aluminum isn't a great idea.  Something about the steel inbedding itself into the aluminum.  Although my 1965 C110's wheel hubs haven't seemed to mind since I used this method on them some 6 years ago.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 01:31:27 AM by liaudio »



Offline Terry in Australia

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2007, 07:14:25 AM »
Steel wool (or even scotchbrite pads) will scratch chrome, and it's a lot of hard work. Get some phosphoric acid and add water at 5 parts water to 1 part acid and dip the rims, fenders, grab rails, blinker stalks, exhaust pipes, handlebars, chain guards, seat bases etc etc in the solution for a few minutes then just pull it out and rinse with clean water, and you'll think it just rolled off the factory floor, no scrubbing or polishing required! Cheers, Terry. ;D
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markymark

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2007, 02:18:25 PM »
Even better than just tinfoil and water.  Tinfoil with wd-40.  I learned this last weekend when I visited Cindy at Century Cycles in San Pedro Ca.  She inherited that amazing vintage bike shop from her father.  Went on a ride there and gained some amazing tips from her.  Tin foil and WD-40 being one of them.  Dosn't matter how you use the foil, just put wd-40 on problem area and begin a little bit of elbow grease and you will be amazed.   No scotch bright or steel wool.  Try it and you have found a very cheap way of removing rust.  The foil(aluminum) is softer than chrome and it works well and also fills in some of the pitting.   I am not kidding just give it a try all of you. 



Offline mlinder

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2007, 06:43:29 PM »
Better even than tinfoil and wd40..






wait for it......





tinfoil and coca cola. No joke. Does an amazing job.
No.




Offline Terry in Australia

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2007, 04:03:32 AM »
Better even than tinfoil and wd40..
wait for it......
tinfoil and coca cola. No joke. Does an amazing job.

That's because the "wonder ingredient" in Coca Cola that removes rust is Phosphoric Acid. This acid is "the bomb", it removes rust with absolutely no rubbing or scrubbing, and is not anywhere as dangerous as some of the nastier acids around. (let's face it, as the weather warms up in the US, you're probably drinking the stuff!) Cheers, Terry. ;D
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Offline mlinder

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2007, 08:28:04 AM »
Better even than tinfoil and wd40..
wait for it......
tinfoil and coca cola. No joke. Does an amazing job.

That's because the "wonder ingredient" in Coca Cola that removes rust is Phosphoric Acid. This acid is "the bomb", it removes rust with absolutely no rubbing or scrubbing, and is not anywhere as dangerous as some of the nastier acids around. (let's face it, as the weather warms up in the US, you're probably drinking the stuff!) Cheers, Terry. ;D

Yep. AFter rubbing down with tinfoil and coke, use a bit of windex to remoce the coke, wipe it dry and clean, good to go.
No.




ROUXBALLS

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2007, 08:40:39 PM »
Looks good here is my bike.



ZetecOwns

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2007, 08:48:51 PM »
So where can one buy the undiluted phosphoric acid.  ;D I just picked up quite a rusty old bike and though I'm not afraid of putting in some elbow grease, would love to find an easy method of getting all this rust off.

Also, say I wanted to sand my tank down to bare metal and leave it. Could I spray a clear enamel like the one posted to protect from rust?

Thanks,

Daniel



Offline m00ntan

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2007, 09:17:08 AM »
Home Depot with the paint thinner.  Klean-Strip Phosphoric Prep & Etch, $13.75 gal,
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MFG Part # : GKPA30220 .
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ZetecOwns

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Re: Dealing with Rust and Chrome
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2007, 05:43:51 PM »
Home Depot with the paint thinner.  Klean-Strip Phosphoric Prep & Etch, $13.75 gal,
MFG Model # : GKPA30221
MFG Part # : GKPA30220 .

Thank you, I appreciate that! I'll pick some up and dilute it with five parts water, as Terry recommended. I've got quite a bit of parts that will go in the vat.

How do you guys dispose of the acid? I don't really have any garage drains or anything like that.  Is it safe to pour on soil?