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Old 01-11-2007, 10:57 AM
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cleaning rust off crankshaft

I have a old 327 steel crank that was turned several years ago. I never used the crank and i notice it has a bit of surface rust on it now. What would work the best to clean it off steel wool? Thanks in advance this site is great.

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Old 01-11-2007, 11:09 AM
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I would have it repolished. The finish of the journals is very important, and the rust will have altered that. Shouldn't cost much.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:18 AM
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I personally wouldn't have a problem with removing the rust with some very fine steel wool and a light oil, wiping around the journals in the direction of rotation, not across the journals. You might even use a fine Scotchbrite pad. Others on this board may disagree, but that is my opinion.
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:07 PM
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I will try the scotchbrite on the journals there isent very much rust on the journels its mostly on the rest of the crank. Thanks
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:21 PM
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Polishing crank at home

Get some 600 wet or dry sandpaper and cut it into strips the same width as the crank journal.
Wrap this strip around the journal with the abrasive against the journal and secure it in place with a small strip of tape, snug but not tight.
Make the strap from a thin piece of leather or peel the outer layer of ply from a fan belt. Make this strap about half the width, or a little less, than the width of the journal around the 600 paper one and 3/4 revolution so you have both ends of the strap on one side of the crank axis. Then, lightly pull the ends back and forth shoe-shine motion. The idea is to have gentle pressure from the strap rotating the 600 to polish the crank journal. It takes a few minutes to get the right rhythm but once you get it, it will go faster. The rust will clog the dry paper so do a few strokes and check the paper for clogging so you do not mark the crank with a rust clump. Once most of the rust is removed, you can add some light oil to the paper for a super fine polish.
You can use finer grit after the 600 if it makes you feel good. I have built a few thousand engines using this technique on every crank as part of my assembly process. Don't forget to ream out the crank oil passages with a small electtric drill motor and a steel wire bore brush of appropriate size. Besides the usual machining debris, I have found two broken drills and one oil hole that was not drilled all the way through. While you're at it, take some 80 grit emery cloth and some files and deburr the edge of every machined surface. If you can drag a pair of pantyhose across the crank without snagging a sharp edge, you are done.
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:31 PM
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Foloow up to polishing crank at home

If you find a few rust pits after polishing with the 600, and they are not concentrated in one area, you can use the following to save the crank.
Using the corner of a fine, white Arkansas stone to dish out the pit along the direction of rotation. Do this by hand, do not use a Dremel. The idea is to end up with a pit that is no longer bowl shaped with sharp edges but a gentle, long oval shape that will not scrape bearing material. You do not have to go all the way to the bottom of the pit, just eliminate the sharp edges.
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:49 PM
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I'd let a professional shop clean the internal parts of the crank and polish the "journals".

DO NOT get around them with scotch brite or sand paper unless you want to have it turned all over again. If you can see the scratches, they are too deep. You just killed the polish.

I also suggest some spray type corrosion preventive coatings / cosmoline, such as that made by CRC or any of the aviation products that will last for years. Any machine shop should have some that they use regularly. Brake cleaner takes it off later.
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Old 01-11-2007, 01:13 PM
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I agree with ^^^ but I've done it with rope and 1000 grit paper a ton of times. Works well.

A machine shop could do a better job for a min. fee
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Old 01-11-2007, 01:55 PM
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Thanks Mike i will try that tonight it should work fine there really is not a lot on the journals.
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Old 01-11-2007, 02:16 PM
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Rusty

Mike in Mi. hit it on the nose,if you follow his lead you will come out ok, I just hate to have a crank re-polished, everytime the machine shop polishes one in the machine it will distort the surface of the throw. I have proven this in my old machine shop days, a little nasty on the crank won't hurt if you can't catch your finger nail on it, remember the oil keeps the bearing to crank from ever touching each other if the clearence is correct. so don't remove any more material from a crank grinder's polish job, do like Mike says it will be OK, I've always used LPS 3 as a rust inhibitor it's about $8 a spray can but I have a crank in my shop that was sprayed in 1976 and the journals still look as good as new, although they say it will last 2 years, that test was probally done in Michigan, oops sorry Mike!
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Old 01-11-2007, 02:25 PM
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I concur on the LPS 3, excellent stuff.
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Old 01-11-2007, 08:58 PM
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Thanks guys this is great advice and thats what i will do.
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:42 AM
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cleaning rust off a crank shaft

Lett Me see it ! <<< When I say this too somebody ? What I really mean is lett me feel it with my finger's . Meaning fingers can feel a scratch , deformity. I think it's suppose too be like 10,000 times smaller than the human eye can see. So general rule here is if you can feel it with your fingers it's too rough . Sometimes on crank journal's you will see a scratch , but cant feel it ? Also if you rubb a penny across it . General rule is if any copper colour comes off ontoo, the crank , it's too rough . But I agree with Mike in Michigan , only I finish up with steel wool metal polish gritt. Im thinkin its 00 or 000 grade . Usually say's metal polish on the Bagg it comes in . But alway's feel it with your fingers . <<< Careful Good for metal slivers . Sean
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Old 01-12-2007, 11:15 AM
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Doesn't it cost like $35 for a machine shop to do it? I'd rather have it done right than spend $2000 building up an entire motor only to find out that my finger didn't tell my brain the right thing and I have spun bearings.
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Old 01-12-2007, 11:59 AM
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rusty crank

if you are building a race engine, take it to a machine shop. If it is to be a mild build as a daily driver an funds are low, i would take some oil and plumbers cloth and clean it up. wash it down real good when you finish. Cranks and bearings are a lot more forgiving than you can think and stronger also.
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