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Old 03-27-2005, 10:51 PM
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Rich Lackey
 

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getting rust out of nooks and crannies

I have a question that I hope someone can answer quickly. I have been stripping rust off my bodyshell for weeks now and am shooting the first coat of primer today.

How do I get all the rust out of the hard to reach places like inside the drip rail, and the groove under the drip rail where it was welded to the roof, and all kinds of other places like that?

Getting all the rust is going to be almost impossible, is there some way I can seal those bits first and then epoxy right over it? I don't want the rust to continue to get worse underneath though, because that defeats the purpose.

Any help would be appreciated, otherwise I am just going to paint the large open sheet metal and leave the drip rails and other bits for later when I can find out what to do with them.

Thanks,

Rich

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Old 03-28-2005, 02:54 AM
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Try the 3M clean'n strip wheel they can be bought at walmart and are good at getting into tight spaces. Other than sandblasting or chem diping i cant think of anything else that can get right in there.
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Old 03-28-2005, 06:11 AM
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Go to the Eastwood web site and search for radial bristle disk.
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Old 03-28-2005, 06:39 AM
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Don't seal over it, get rid of all of it!

The strip wheel previously mentioned works pretty well. I found that a wire brush wheel mounted in a reversible drill works the best. When the wire bristles tend to bend one way, reverse the drill and work with the other direction for a while.

Use the phosphoric acid/wire brush cycle over and over again until all the rust is gone. It may take many, many iterations so be patient. However, you will get it all out.

Use a scratch awl and make sure that the pitted areas are not too thin. Mig weld up any holes that might develop.

Roger
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Old 03-28-2005, 08:49 PM
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I know the delima you're facing. These areas are a PITA to take care of. Usually people do these projects only to have the rust start creeping from under the driprails and other seams. I did a 32 Ford awhile back that had rust between the drip rail and roof that I was worried about, most people shave the drip rails on these cars just to get at the rust for removal. But this car I decided to save to rails and keep the original spotwelds for an untouched appearance. I took a thin bladed putty knife and hammered it between the rail and roof between spotwelds and opened up the seam very carefully. Then spotblasted the seam with silica sand followed by a good cleaning with compressed air. The majority of the rust was removed. Then I applied epoxy primer and let it dry overnight. Next day I applied some urethane seam sealer and worked it into the joint and lightly hammered it back closed so the excess sealer oozed out and was cleaned off. I went through the normal primer and blocking steps then applied a very thin bead of sealer to the edge of the seam and tooled it smooth with my finger. There is no signs of rust problems with this car after 7 years. On internal type seams you'll need to treat them with a penetrating cavity wax to seal them off from oxygen, door bottoms, cowl bottoms, trunk extensions, rocker panels, etc. I wouldn't use acid in any area that you can't physically clean and flush well. Just clean all the rust off of the areas that can be worked and pickle the rest. Even complete acid dipping won't remove corrosion in a tight seam.
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Old 03-29-2005, 02:23 AM
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Thanks, I needed to shoot the primer because the whole back half of the body was bare metal, I only have weekends to work and am working alone, so I basically spent all of last month just trying to keep the bare metal clean all the time, spending very little time stripping new areas.

The large flat surfaces were perfect however, so I masked off all the drip rails, and all the bits I still need to work on and shot the clean flat surfaces (roof and quarter panels) with a nice full coat of epoxy just so I don't have to worry about keeping rust off them. I guess I'm thinking of it as a "working coat" of primer as there are still patch panels to weld in at the bottom of the quarters and so forth, but at least now I can work in one local area at a time.

Hmm, all the suggestions sound time consuming. I have the wire wheel for my drill, and have been using the acid rust dissolver. I like the idea of prying the drip rail up, although it will be difficult if not impossible in this situation as the drip rail has such a curve in it.

Maybe my only real choice is to remove the drip rail, clean the seam and rail by hand and then weld it back on. I suppose I could glue it rather than weld it.

Thanks again, I'll have to give this some more thought.

By the way, the original factory lead filler is cracked in areas. Should I melt it all out and replace it with plastic filler? It's primered over at the moment, but it's no big deal to strip it again and melt it out.

Rich
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Old 03-29-2005, 05:24 AM
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If the lead is cracked you should definately remove it, I bet you'll find some rust under there as well. If the seam is welded completely closed regular filler will work just fine.
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Old 03-29-2005, 06:02 AM
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Thats what I figured. I'll rather grind it out I think, I don't want to heat up the metal too much that I just primered in case it burns the paint. Should have done it first... hmm I guess it's pretty obvious I'm still learning on this project.

The thing I like is that there really isn't too much you can do wrong that doesn't just involve a bit more work to put right. I guess it's all a learning process.

Rich
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Old 03-29-2005, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baddbob
If the lead is cracked you should definately remove it, I bet you'll find some rust under there as well. If the seam is welded completely closed regular filler will work just fine.
I'm glad this question came up. Now I don't have to ask it later myself as the original lead on mine is also cracked in two or three places but main at the tops of the windshield frame corners.

Can one just use a blow torch to melt it out?
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Old 03-29-2005, 06:25 AM
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Another way to get that rust out is to use an acid. In the past I have used muratic acid, its very toxic, and hard to work with but eats rust completely. Once cleaned with muratic acid you need to clean with laquer thinner, then let it dry and spray on OSHPO. The important part is not to paint for 4 days, and keep using OSPHO everyday. The reason for this is that the muratic acid needs to dry out because it releases hydrogen atoms which will lift the paint or make the rust come back.
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Old 03-29-2005, 08:00 AM
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Brainsboy,

I'm not sure where to get muriatic acid from, where's a good place to look? I'm also not sure where to get Ospho (I'm in South Africa), is it just a brand name for something I might find here under a different name, or as a chemical directly (i.e. naval jelly is just a dilute phosphoric acid)?

Rich
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Old 03-29-2005, 08:30 AM
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R; Been watching your car progress in your Journal. Those Chebbies really get my juices flowing, thanx for posting your progress! As far as the rust is concerned, obviously first clean those cracks as well as humanly possible. Be anal-retentive about it. Obviously you will still be left with rust under the lap joint so go get some Rust N-M-E from your paint suppler. This is better than muriatic acid (street name for hydrochloric like you used in chemistry class), available at swimming pool supply stores. Using straight HCl will remove the rust for sure but it also must be neutralized and has a nasty habit of causing hydrogen embrittlement in steel. Not a problem in thick steel sections but in thinner sheet metal areas, hydrogen embrittlement will cause cracks. Rust N-M-E is a blue watery liquid (looks like window washer fluid) based on phosphoric acid. It is the consistency of water so will thoroughly penetrate the metal-on-metal laps. The phosphoric acid converts the rust to stable, hard, black iron phosphate that ends the corrosion process. Soak those areas with a couple applications and you should be able to paint over them and never have any rust problems. No neutralization or removal is needed as the iron phosphate residue is a great base for primer.

Be careful with this stuff - it will burn your skin and drips on concrete will eat to the center of the earth. Don't ask how I know that!
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Old 03-29-2005, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willys36@aol.com
R; Been watching your car progress in your Journal. Those Chebbies really get my juices flowing, thanx for posting your progress! As far as the rust is concerned, obviously first clean those cracks as well as humanly possible. Be anal-retentive about it. Obviously you will still be left with rust under the lap joint so go get some Rust N-M-E from your paint suppler. This is better than muriatic acid (street name for hydrochloric like you used in chemistry class), available at swimming pool supply stores. Using straight HCl will remove the rust for sure but it also must be neutralized and has a nasty habit of causing hydrogen embrittlement in steel. Not a problem in thick steel sections but in thinner sheet metal areas, hydrogen embrittlement will cause cracks. Rust N-M-E is a blue watery liquid (looks like window washer fluid) based on phosphoric acid. It is the consistency of water so will thoroughly penetrate the metal-on-metal laps. The phosphoric acid converts the rust to stable, hard, black iron phosphate that ends the corrosion process. Soak those areas with a couple applications and you should be able to paint over them and never have any rust problems. No neutralization or removal is needed as the iron phosphate residue is a great base for primer.

Be careful with this stuff - it will burn your skin and drips on concrete will eat to the center of the earth. Don't ask how I know that!
Willys, thanks for the encouragement. I have come to respect you more than anyone on this board, and it is actually quite an honor to have your input, and find out that you are watching my progress.

I have been using a product called Q12, and it is a phosphate rust dissolver / converter. It dissolves rust, but when rinsed off, leaves anything left behind black as you said. I have been using it to actually dissolve every trace of rust even from very badly pitted areas, but there are just some areas I can't seem to get perfectly clean.

Is this the right stuff? I am a bit anal about this whole thing because I'm putting my own hard earned cash and free time into this project and it would break my heart to finish the car with it's candy blood red paint job and have rust problems a year later. I don't even want to think about that, so I would much rather put the time into it at this stage.

This is my first project, and I am learning each step along the way, and yes, I am sure I am making mistakes, but that's fine as long as I find out about them in time to fix them. This bulletin board is really what is getting this car built, and even my tool collection grows with each problem I have to solve or each job that requires something I don't yet have.

Thanks for your advice, really, it is so appreciated.

Rich
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Old 03-29-2005, 12:40 PM
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Yes that is the same thing. Navel Jelly, Rust N-M-E, Q12 and all the rest of the phosphoric acid products do the same thing. There are literally dozens - do a Yahoo! search on "rust converters"! Sounds like magic but I have used the stuff enough that I have confidence in it. Key is to get rid of as much of the loose rust as possible and be sure the rust converter soaks clear through to base metal in the remaining deposit.
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Old 03-30-2005, 06:53 PM
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Rich: One of the things that I have found out over the years (45) of working on cars is that the cleaner the metal the better these products work. A grease and wax remover works great for this job. Also the products work better when warm but not hot and read the directions. Some products want you to keep it wet for a certain period of time. I am betting that you will do an excellent job because you are not afraid to ask questions. Lots of luck
Jan
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