I'm replacing the windshield glass in my 23 touring and noticed that the insides of the tubes are full of rust and scale. I can take out the plugs and wire wheel the channels with my dremmel. How should I get the rust out of the inside of the tubes? I'd need a long tub to soak them in acid, then neutralize it. Then prevent further rust from forming. I'm tired of seeing red rust streaking down the side of the T when I'm driving in the rain.
I had a similar dilema with a header on a convertible top structure. I had a product called POR 15, which can be applied over rust.It soaks into the rust, neutralizes it, and dries hard. Its like a paint.I filled up the header with it and then drained it.You could run something thru your tubes to get most of the scale and rust out and try it.Make sure you use your latex gloves--it can be hard to clean off your hands. Ray
Just a thought. Using a length of PVC pipe with caps on the end might help with a single piece of metal like a top, sie or bottom of a windshield frame. Just ad the rust removal agent of your choice.
I've always been leary of painting over rust without cleaning it out, but I can't get to this rust. I'll try the rust neutralizing paint. Thanks
Noel, try using electrolsis to kill the rust. You need to build a vat to submerse a portion of the frame in. I've used boards and lined it with plastic. You fill it with water and add some washing soda. The rust will be converted to another form of iron oxide that is black and stable. Here is the technique:
The Electrolytic Rust Removal FAQ
What is the method?
A technique for returning surface rust to iron. It uses the effect of an small low voltage electric current and a suitable electrolyte (solution).
What advantages does the method have over the old standbys, like vinegar, Coke, muriatic acid, Naval Jelly, wire brushing, sand blasting etc. ?
These methods all remove material to remove the rust, including un-rusted surfaces. With many, the metal is left with a "pickled"look or a characteristic color and texture. The electrolytic method removes nothing: by returning surface rust to metallic iron, rust scale is loosened and can be easily removed. Un-rusted metal is not affected in any way.
What about screws, pivots, etc that are "rusted tight"?
The method will frequently solve these problems, without the need for force, which can break things.
Is it safe?
The solutions used are not hazardous; the voltages and currents are low, so there is no electrical hazard. No noxious fumes are produced. The method is self limiting: it is impossible to over clean an object.
Where did this method come from?
Electrolysis is a standard technique in the artifact restoration business. I wrote this up for the Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association a few years back. Most of the tool collectors around here use it:
What do I need?
A plastic tub; a stainless steel or iron electrode, water and washing soda (NOT baking soda!!) and a battery charger. About a tablespoon of soda to a gallon of water. If you have trouble locating the washing soda, household lye will work just fine. It's a tad more nasty--always wear eye protection and be sure to add the lye to the water (NOT water to lye!!!) The solution is weak, and is not harmful, though you might want to wear gloves.
How long does the solution last?
Forever, though the loosened rust will make it pretty disgusting after a while. Evaporation and electrolysis will deplete the water from the solution. Add water ONLY to bring the level back.
What about the iron electrode?
The iron electrode works best if it surrounds the object to be cleaned, since the cleaning is "line of sight" to a certain extent. The iron electrode will be eaten away with time. Stainless steel has the advantage (some alloys, but not all) that it is not eaten away.
How do I connect the battery charger?
THE POLARITY IS CRUCIAL!! The iron or stainless electrode is connected to the positive (red) terminal. The object being cleaned, to the negative(black). Submerge the object, making sure you have good contact, which can be difficult with heavily rusted objects.
How do I know if it is working?
Turn on the power. If your charger has a meter, be sure come current is flowing. Again, good electrical contact may be hard to make-it is essential. Fine bubbles will rise from the object.
How long do I leave it?
The time depends on the size of the object and of the iron electrode, and on the amount of rust. You will have to test the object by trying to wipe off the rust. If it is not completely clean, try again. Typical cleaning time for moderately rusted objects is a few hours. With heavily rusted objects can be left over night.
How do I get the rust off after I remove the object?
Rub the object under running water. A paper towel will help. For heavily rusted objects, a plastic pot scrubber can be used, carefully. Depending on the amount of original rust, you may have to re-treat.
My object is too big to fit. Can I clean part of it?
Yes. You can clean one end and then the other. Lap marks should be minimal if the cleaning was thorough.
After I take it out, then what?
The clean object will acquire surface rust very quickly, so wipe it dry and dry further in a warm oven or with a hair dryer. You may want to apply a light oil or a coat of wax to prevent further rusting.
Will the method remove pitting?
No. It only operates on the rust in immediate contact with unrusted metal. What's gone is gone.
What will it look like when I am done?
The surface of rusted metal is left black. Rusted pits are still pits. Shiny unrusted metal is untouched.
What about nickle plating, paint, japanning and the like?
Sound plating will not be affected. Plating under which rust has penetrated will usually be lifted. The solution may soften some paints. Test with a drop of solution in an inconspicuous place. Remove wood handles if possible before treating.
How can I handle objects that are awkward to clean?
There are lots of variants: suspending an electrode inside to clean a cavity in an object; using a sponge soaked in the electrolyte with a backing electrode to clean spots on large objects or things that shouldn't be submerged (like with lots of wood)
How can I dispose of the solution?
The bath will last until it gets so disgusting that you decide it is time for a fresh one. There is nothing especially nasty about it-it's mildly basic-so disposal is not a concern, except you may not want all the crud in your drains.
Can I use metal containers?
This is highly risky. Galvanized metal can introduce zinc into the solution. If you have used lye, it will attack aluminum. You may have problems with electrical shorts, etc. Stick to plastic.
How can I clean odd shaped objects?
Be ingenious. Plastic PVC pipe and eave troughs, wooden boxes with poly vapor barrier.
take it to a powder coater shop. they can soak it in phosphoric acid in a large vat for you.
The rust is on the inside of the tube frames. Thus there is no "line of sight" to electrodes for electrolysis to work. I may use the electrolysis for other things. I could, now that it has been mentioned, make a couple of frame troughs out of PVC to minimize the amount of acid or vinegar or whatever. The nearest powder coater is 200 miles away.
Molasses will clean it up slick as a whistle.
There have been numerous threads here, MTFCI forum and Fordbarn forum for info.
Yes - molasses works great at removing rust. I've been experimenting with it and good results so far.
The problem mentioned in the very first post was the need for a long tub in which to soak the windshield. A shallow Rubbermaid or similar brand storage box from Target/Walmart will probably work.
Here are containers that can be used for soaking:
- small items - glass pickle or mason jar with lid
- medium sized items - five gallon plastic paint pail with lid, obtained free from paint store
- long skinny items - plastic wallpaper tray ($6.00 at a paint store, Mendards, Home Depot, etc.)
- long and wide items: Rubbermaid type storage box. Can be purchased at Walmart, Target, etc. Various depths available.
What I would really would like to find is a plastic cooler with an interior that is at least 24 inches long and a latching lid for a good seal.