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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 07-07-2006, 08:39 AM
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The flaw to the thinking in using the Hydrochloric/Muriatic acid is in the "wash it off and neutralize it" phase, this is not as simple as it sounds and the damage starts the instant the acid hits the surface. You do not have to leave it for long periods of time before the problems start, once you contaminate the surface you have all the problems you will need! And if you leave it long enough to remove even surface rust you will have far more problems than you need!


I know I said I would be quiet sorry

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 07-07-2006, 02:04 PM
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Just for the record, hydrochloric acid is used in industry to "pickle" carbon steel, primarily to remove mill scale from hot rolled coils prior to cold rolling. BUT, they also tend to use inhibitors in the acid solution that slow the acid's attack on the clean steel, and also use special passivating rinses that us regular guys don't have access to.

So the voices of experience here are not overreacting. While HCl does remove rust, there are effects on the steel that are not readily observable, as well as the problem presented by seams which can actually cause problems even with milder phosphoric acid solutions.
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Old 07-07-2006, 10:18 PM
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Well, if you're trying to remove rust from a seamed area, I think the only good way to get rid of it is to break the seam and cut out any rusted metal. Trying to remove it chemically just won't work for the very reason that you can never be sure that you haven't trapped product somewhere. It sounds like that's what happened to this Dodge if it started eating metal from the seams out. But why was he using HCl if it was a rust free car? Something doesn't make sense here...I think all that proves is that it's possible to ruin metal with HCl.

Say what you will...I did use it on my car and a year later, I see no ill effects. The guy who taught me to do it has only been restoring Jaguars since before I was born and has been making a very nice living from it. Is it the best thing to use? Maybe not. But I wasn't getting anywhere with anything else, and sandblasting really isn't an option for me.

Honestly, I wish John Delorean's car caught on and companies started making stainless steel body panels again so we wouldn't have to deal with this rust nonsense (at least not on the body). Then again, I guess that's why there's the Corvette.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 07-08-2006, 06:01 AM
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Using acid on a car and not seeing any ill effects in a year is not a surprise, if it has already got paint on it. When you start to see rust damage under paint, do you think it just started? It has been hiding there for sometime. It didn't start as a big spot! I have seen where people have just filled rust holes with bondo and painted them, and had them last for several years before the stuff fell out. That doesn't mean that it is the right way to repair it.

I do this work for the long haul, not a year or two. Most people do not guarantee rust repairs for a reason. They come back when the rust starts again. If you use acid, they will most likely come back sooner than if you cut it out, or use something like Navel Jelly, the proper way.

Basically, there are some people that wll use the methods that are not good for the car, and really won't last. I don't guess it really matters what anyone says, they are going to do it anyway. To those not set in their ways to do it wrong, there are right ways to do it.

Aaron
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 07-08-2006, 08:39 AM
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It seems that no matter how bad something is someone will argue that it is ok. Not pointing fingers at you Heresies or even referring to the acid again just referring to unconventional methods in general, but ignoring known hazards just because something seems to work can be a recipe for disaster even if it does not happen immediately. When considering something unconventional, especially if it seems obvious, one should ask "why is this not already commonly done"? The answer is almost always that the benefits are far outweighed by the problems that will follow. I am not saying one should not look at alternative ways of doing things, we should, but we should also heed the warnings of others and be extremely cautious when faced with overwhelming opposition to the idea from people who may have more experience in the area even if it is hard to understand why at the time.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 07-08-2006, 04:51 PM
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Oldred, I agree with your logic. I'm not married to the idea of using HCl for this type of work, and I'm not trying to hype it up beyond what it is, just stating what I know about it. If I find a better way at something, I use it. I honestly hadn't even thought about it much since it seemed to work so bloody well. The degree of the rust I had on my quarters probably required cutting it out and welding in new sheetmetal. That was and still is not an option for me. However, when resources, tools, shop space, money, and such are limited, and someone who you trust as an experienced auto restorer recommends HCl, that's what you'll use unless you have reason to doubt him. I would argue that it's not in common practice also (besides what possible damage it does) because when you have the resources of a good shop, there are better ways. What to do if you don't have those resources and you don't get anywhere after a day of messing with Naval Jelly? Yeah, it was some pretty bad rust, but luckily thick sheetmetal.

In the future, I actually probably will use naval jelly, or similar, instead of HCl, as the extent of the rust I have to deal with now is much, much less. Not really because of anything I read on this thread, mind you, but because the stuff just smells nasty and I don't like being around it. I guess time will tell if HCl was a bad idea or not, but hopefully by then, I'll have a real shop instead of being forced to paint my car in the (shock! horror!) open air of my driveway. Then I'll be able to do a true frame-off restoration. I guess that would be the "right way" to do it. Maybe I'm not doing this for the "long haul" then. Maybe I'm just a kid who's learning.

What I think this topic requires is science. If anyone can locate a scientific study as to the effects of using HCl for rust repair, I'd be very interested in reading it. Anecdotal evidence of "my buddy did this and it's fine" or "my second cousin once removed's third-grade teacher's best friend's uncle ruined his '48 Cadillac with it" is all fine a good but doesn't really tell much.

I'd like to know what, on a molecular level, is going on here.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 07-08-2006, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heresies K Intruder
What I think this topic requires is science. If anyone can locate a scientific study as to the effects of using HCl for rust repair, I'd be very interested in reading it. Anecdotal evidence of "my buddy did this and it's fine" or "my second cousin once removed's third-grade teacher's best friend's uncle ruined his '48 Cadillac with it" is all fine a good but doesn't really tell much.

I'd like to know what, on a molecular level, is going on here.

I totally agree. What I've read lately here on Muriatic Acid scares the **** out of me. I find it strange that in one shop I worked in during the late 80's used muriatic on lots of the owner's restoration work and I've seen his cars again and again over the years without any failures. After reading the cautions above I would think these cars would be dust in the wind by now, steaming piles of acidic waste. Does anyone here have any links to research data on the effects of Hydrochloric acid on mild steel? Bob
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 07-08-2006, 09:19 PM
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This is a darn good question and I just talked to fellow about some cleaning chemicals who will probably know. I will see if he can steer us in the right direction to find some solid answers but I will not come back with any of the "he said this about that" type of info, I will try to find hard data and maybe some links.
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2006, 01:17 PM
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I did a few searches and found some articles on hydrogen embrittlement from hydrochloric acid but nothing in detail reguarding exposure time, depth of of the reaction, or how it is neutralized. I'll bump this to the top in hopes someone provides test results or links to more information. Bob
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Old 07-10-2006, 06:41 PM
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I have not come up with much so far just what is already pretty well known. The Phosphoric acid reacts with iron oxide (rust) and converts it into iron phosphate which can scrubbed or brushed off. Any remaining rust will be converted into black iron phosphate and the surface will be left with a phosphate coating which will offer at least some protection from further oxidation (source Wikipedia). Hydrochloric/Muriatic acid attacks the iron surface and converts the iron into ferrous oxide. I found quite a bit of reference to the "pickling" of steel that was mentioned earlier and found it interesting that the solution contained only about 18% acid and this is for heavy steel plate. Basically my take on this, and it is just my opinion based on what I have found, is that the phosphoric acid which is relatively mild reacts with oxidized iron to form a protective phosphate coating and reacts only mildly with the steel. The hydrochloric acid will dissolve the iron oxide and at the same time reacts strongly with iron itself. This strong acid reaction damages any iron it contacts and leaves no protective coating and indeed must be removed/neutralized to prevent further damage. because the acid aggressively attacks the iron surface it forms a layer of ferrous oxide on the metal surface which will impede the removal/neutralizing process. Again this is my take on this so hopefully maybe someone with a better understanding of the chemistry involved here can shed a little more light on it.
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Old 07-12-2006, 10:00 PM
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soda

Big Dog-what kid of problems are you having with the soda?
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2006, 05:56 AM
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Hey Heresies; I should have explained the rust free thing a little more in detail. No rust through areas in the paint, floor etc. But when he took the paint off there was rust under the paint. Instead of taking the rust off with a little elbow grease he used the acid and primed and painted. What a freakin mess. Went from a nice solid southern car to a Canadian winter salt rust bucket or worse. Just thought I'd clarify. Cheers!!
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Old 07-13-2006, 08:25 AM
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If someone wants to use Hydrochloric/Muriatic acid fine it's their car and no one is telling them not to it's the guys who may read this and get the VERY mistaken idea that's ok that we are talking to. I have seen first hand what this kind of acid does to even heavy steel plate and just how hard is is to remove once contaminated so I can assure you that there is no way I would want this crap anywhere near my car.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2006, 08:33 AM
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I second the motion
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2006, 10:24 AM
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[DING DING DING] OK, I'm back in this ......round 2 or 3...

================================================== ===============
Oldred and others make some good points about the hydro/muriatic acid getting into seams and causing damage later on, and making the steel brittle. For those reasons I hearby have stopped recommending it to other people.
I'll happily use it on tough rust pits and such, but for light rust over a large surface, as Randy F demonstrated, Navel Jelly is safer and easier to use.

But you know there are other, milder ways of getting rid of the rust.

I've tried a chelating chemical to remove the rust. I have two bags of the powder . It is slower, and the only thing preventing me from using it on everything is that you have to soak the item in a container of it, or continually circulate the solution on the item. I should find a pump that will flow at the right rate and use this exclusively.
Here's some info: http://www.cleanrust.com/rustsolveworks.html

Last edited by scrot; 07-15-2006 at 03:50 PM.
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