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Old 03-20-2005, 12:04 PM
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Removing 50 years of crap from frame and suspension components

Ok, give me some ideas here.
I have a a thick layer of grime, grease and red clay covering my frame and suspension on my '53 Chevy. What's the best way to remove this?
I got on it with some scrapers, chisels and screwdrivers and walked away in utter disgust an hour later out of lack of progress.
I then tried a cheapo 1300 PSI electric pressure washer and that didn't make much more than a dent in it.
What's a better way to go about doing this?

I've thought about sandblasting, but my funds aren't exactly plentiful, and I'm not sure my air compressor (33gal, 5 HP, 6 cfm@90psi) is up to snuff for sandblasting. I've thought about picking up one of those cheap siphon feed blaster units just to see if it would do anything, but i'm not really expecting it to do any good.

Hopefully some of you guys more knowledgble than I can give me some ideas or tips. I really need 'em...

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Old 03-20-2005, 12:11 PM
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pressure washer

hot water in the pressure washer. cold water won't cut it. better yet rent a steam cleaner. i have one that runs on 220. it has a gas fired water tank. it will peel the white off rice.
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Old 03-20-2005, 12:51 PM
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angle grinder and a wire wheel.

or soak it in MEK and Castrol supergreen. the MEK will knock you out, open the windows. then hit it with the angle grinder and wire wheel.

MEK= Methyl Ethyl Ketone. get it at hardware stores in a gallon can.

I have a friend, he swears by pinesol and diesel. it works.
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Old 03-20-2005, 12:54 PM
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Scrape, scrape, scrape........scrub, scrub, scrub.....shake your bootie.............

Don't know if the hot water in the pressure washer will work, might............will get a lot of it off anyways.

Frame cleaning is one of those dirty jobs that is the least fun, but the most gratifying about building a car........................gotta be done.....get under there.....make sure it's blocked up safely though...............the higher you can get it, the easier it is.
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:07 PM
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slow progress but worth the effort...

scrape it and wire wheel it and then maybe pressure wash it and prime and paint it.


Tazz


Rat Rods Rule!
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:58 PM
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We used some El Cheapo store brand oven cleaner. I figured it was made to remove baked on grease, and that's basically what you're dealing with. Shoot it on, let it sit about 20-30 minutes, then blast it off with the pressure washer. You might have to give it a couple of applications to get through all the crud, but it will work.

On the '55 frame, it took off the grease, crud, road muck, and the even coat of motor oil left behind by the frame lubricating engine that had been previously installed. Takes a lot of the paint off too, so be ready for that. About the only thing it doesn't remove is rust. It'll soften heavy rust build up, which will then blast off when you hit it with the pressure washer, but it won't clean it off down to bare metal. We used probably 2 dozen cans of the cheapest oven cleaner we could find, and that cost us about $30.00, then we sand blasted the whole thing to get rid of any residue, rust, or stubborn paint.

Since you already have the pressure washer, get a can or two and give it a shot. If it doesn't work as well as you want it to, you're only out about $2.50.

Oh, and make sure to observe all the cautions and warnings on the can - that stuff will burn the bejezus out of your skin, lungs, eyes, or whatever else you happen to expose it to.

Good Luck, Bro - but I'll tell you, no matter which way you go, it's a dirty, messy job.
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Old 03-20-2005, 03:20 PM
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hey coming apart, isn't our red AR clay wonderful! hard layer of stuff isn't it? my 50 sport coupe is the same way. i got a wild hair one night & took an air chisel to some of it. did a great job knocking it off but of course it left some gouges & nicks i didn't care for. then i remembered the needle guns we used in the coast guard to chip paint with. ( you navy guys will remember them too ). they're also used in welding shops for slag removal. these things will remove thick layers of paint, heavy rust scale & all manner of crud & corruption without damage too the metal underneath. you can pull the trigger while holding the needles to your hand. they are available at just about any tool rental store. even if i was going to sand blast my frame ( & i probably won't. ) i'd use the needle gun 1st on all that thick crud not to waste sand & compressed air. haven't actually tried this yet but i know it'll work & am definitely going to. after doing this 1st all the aforementioned methods can be used with much greater sucess.
i'm in perry county about 35 miles west of little rock, whereabouts are you?
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Old 03-20-2005, 03:22 PM
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i can't believe i forgot oven cleaner. the dollar store cheap stuff works fine. in fact, if it were me, i'd go get some and start with that. it works better on a warm surface. let it sit in the sun.
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Old 03-24-2005, 07:27 PM
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I have been doing early cars (1900-1930) for forty years and the best stuff I have found for doing the job is a pump oil can filled with laquer thinner. Oven cleaner will work (it is lye in a preasurized can) and it is dangerous to work with. A spray can with thinner in it is safer and will cut through everything. Squirt it on and let it set then scrape it off with a putty knife. Don't forget that the old grease, dirt and oil is very flamable and you need to get rid of rags and the material in a safe manner or else you are liable to have spontanous combustion. Make sure you wear a good set of gloves (preferable leather) when do this work as you can end up with a nasty cut. Also eye protection and a hat. Lots of luck
Jan
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Old 03-25-2005, 06:25 AM
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Go to your local rental place and rent a high pressure, pressure washer with a cutter tip. The cutter tip comes out in a straighter stream and spirals the water. I used this when I stripped paint off of the garage floor. It does wonders and will eat the concrete away if not constantly moving. You hit a piece of wood with it and it just tears it to pieces.

Kevin
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Old 03-25-2005, 07:11 AM
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Not sure how far south you are but, I took my '49 Chevy truck frame to the Sandman here in North Little Rock and had it sand blasted for around 100 bucks. For all the time and energy spent doing it by hand it may be worth putting it on a trailer and bringing it up here. Good luck!!

Bluechev I have seen one of the needle guns at Harbor Freight and have wondered about them for body panels. Wonder if it will warp thinner stuff?



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