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Old 01-25-2012, 12:10 AM
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How to save crusty chrome on an intricate grill?

I acquired this amazing original 34 Chevy Master grill..all 3 pieces that have been hiding in an old hot rodders attic since the late 50's. If your familiar with these the intricate grill work has thicker vertical strips top to bottom and then finer horizontal shaped strips that run horizontal molded onto the backside of the vertical ribs. Its fine and tight spacing...less than a quarter inch between each horizontal ribs. The entire grill is chromed. It would be almost impossible to get something down between the ribs to clean the rust and crust off those horizontal strips. At least with any control. Is there some kind of chemical dip that removes this corrosion without damaging the steel or chrome plate? I've cleaned enough to see that the chrome is intact...just not sure which way to go with this.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:36 AM
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go buy a liter of coke...

and pore it on.... let it sit and wash off... if its heavy it wouldn't work well but light stuff i've seen it do fine..
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:16 AM
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chrome wheel cleaner might work well for that
try it with the grill wet first, then spray on the cleaner (this will dilute the cleaner a little) some soft brush scrubbing, then rinse well
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:22 AM
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I thought about suggesting the use of a "Molasses Bath"-something to consider:

http://www.metalwebnews.com/howto/rust/rust.html

http://forums.aaca.org/f120/rust-rem...-293820-2.html

something to ponder-
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:21 AM
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Never heard of the molasses bath...that is interesting. Not much info on if it will harm chrome or not. Anyone try the carbonate/water 12 volt electrical process?
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:50 AM
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I have done electrolysis. it works well with rusty steel, but takes a long time.

One of the big problems with electrolysis is some people use stainless steel anodes (the positive electrode) because it does not deteriorate as bad.
USING STAINLESS STEEL FOR THE ANODE CAN CREATE HEXAVALENT CHROMIUM. This is nasty stuff, do not use stainless steel for the anode.

Using electrolysis to clean the grill makes the chrome grill the cathode. I do not know if this prevents the formation of hexavalent chromium or not.

Here is my contribution of a web page about electrolysis.
http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/andyspatch/rust.htm
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:41 PM
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My grille wasn't as intricate, but it looked like green scum over years of sitting. I knew I could never find a replacement, so I decided to clean and polish it myself.
I built a frame from old wood and then lined it with plastic sheeting to make a soaking tank. Then I mixed up simple dishwashing soap and hot water and dropped it in. Scrubbed it with a soft bristle brush as it soaked and almost everything came off.
Afterwards I hosed it off with plain water and used a toothbrush and liquid chrome polish to scrub and clean a bit more. When I was done I hand polished the surface areas and it came out great. I have some pits in my chrome, but they are OK by me.
I spent a day on the project, maybe 6 hrs. total, a couple more carefully straightening some bent grille bars, and well worth it to me.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:11 PM
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Well, nothing seems to stand out as the clear winner but there are few things to try. I'd be more than happy to sit there and hand clean it but those curved deep cross bars are just about impossible to attack with any kind of scrubbing power.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:36 PM
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How about a pressure washer with some detergent like simple green. If it is not rusty but just dirty, this should clean it off. hit it, let it sit to soak and hit it again.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:15 PM
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Here is a great product mild grit has the consistency of liquid polish, use with a buffer wheel 2.5 or 3.0 x 1/4 on an electric drill. I cannot tell but the grill looks rough. This polish will not remove chrome, just a cleaner.

http://www.amazon.com/Turtle-Wax-T-2.../dp/B0009JKGJC
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matts37chev
chrome wheel cleaner might work well for that
try it with the grill wet first, then spray on the cleaner (this will dilute the cleaner a little) some soft brush scrubbing, then rinse well
try the chrome wheel cleaner
whats the worst that can happen?
you would be able to clean you wheels with it?
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:42 AM
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Molassas

Best bet is the molassas, get it from a Horse Tack shop. Also, a friend of mine makes amazing new inserts for Chevvy grilles of that era. Send him an email:

ALEX BENINCA [calsheet@westnet.com.au]
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:39 AM
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Somewhere I've seen an assortment of brushes that are shaped a few inches long and different widths from 1/4" up. That would help when working through the slots of the grill.
Also you might try Go Jo hand cleaner or lava soap.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb_chrysler
Best bet is the molassas, get it from a Horse Tack shop. Also, a friend of mine makes amazing new inserts for Chevvy grilles of that era. Send him an email:

ALEX BENINCA [calsheet@westnet.com.au]

Molasses is great to neutralize rust, but I've never heard of it doing anything to clean tarnish. If this is dirt and tarnish I doubt molasses will do much.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:56 AM
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i saw on an australia site they soaked the part in brown MALT VINEGAR and it took the rust off....

that grille mesh is made reproduction in stainless steel.

mike
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