Magic rust removal the cheapskate way

Got any useful hints or tips on restoring our cars or the parts for it? Please share them here. General stuff only.... please put item specific info in the categories above
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Lucky
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:30 pm
Location: Worthing, UK

Magic rust removal the cheapskate way

Post by Lucky » Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:02 pm

Got your attention? Yeah, cos we all like cheap. And we all like magic, errrrmm, don't we? Well, OK, maybe it's not magic then, maybe it's chemistry but then they used to be the same thing once upon a time

Anyhoo, I'm sure like me you've all struggled on with various allegedly quick and simple rust removal techniques and applications. The Frosts catalogue is full of nicely-packaged products claiming a straightforward road to removing the dreaded ferrous oxide from our precious cars. Some of them even work. What I'm offering isn't nicely packaged, and it's no revolutionary compound of uber-science. What it is is good old fashioned humble citric acid.

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Yep, the stuff they use in bath bombs and kettle descalers. You can buy a kilo of the stuff for a fiver on eBay, which makes it markedly cheaper than any proprietary rust convertor. I wasn't sure if I believed it, so I bought some and got hold of the rustiest, mankiest piece of car I could find to test it on. After all, no point in trying it on something easy, go massive or go home. So I present to you a spare fuel pump shield bracket thing, easily the most gruesome bit of iron I could lay my hand on;

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Pretty bad, ain't it! I did no prep to it beyond scraping off the worst of the oily gunge that had accumulated in places (but by no means all of it). Like I said, if it didn't work on this, it wasn't worth bothering with...

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So, the treatment couldn't be easier. I mixed in two cups-worth of citirc acid granules and dissolved it into a washing-up bowl full of water. I used warm water just to make it easier to dissolve the granules, but it's not essential. I used a plastic Tommee Tippee kiddie cup simply because the kids have grown out of them and I thought I may as well find a new use for them. So you end up with a solution that to all intents and purposes looks like water. Then just place your rusty items in it;

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..and leave to soak. That's it. Nothing else is needed. The actual immersion is unremarkable; if you're hoping for froth and steam, you're going to be disappointed. Other than a few desultory bubbles, nothing happens! I was wondering if I'd been sold a pup. After a few hours though the fluid has gone distinctly murky, so it must be doing something...

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And after a day or two, it's completely gruesome!

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The guy who recommended the process said to give the parts a bit of a going-over with a wire brush every so often, which I did at first but then forgot about cos I was at work. So eventually, after a few days you can hoik the pieces out. Oh dear... has it worked?

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Doesn't look like it at first, but a hose down with clean fresh water removes most of the "rust" still clinging to the metal, and just brushing it down with a normal household brush (nylon, not even wire!) leaves you with...

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Holy baby Cheeses! I promise these are the same articles as in the first couple of pics. Hard to believe, innit? There were still a couple of flakes of rust in places where it was really bad, but a second bath cures these. And it's as easy as that; no work, no scrubbing, not really any mess. Just drop stuff in the bath and leave it for a few days to a week. And rinse. Easy as that.

What are you waiting for? :lol:

Just for an encore, mid-way through the week when the solution had turned black and disgusting, I added a few other bits just out of scientific curiosity. Really to see if the solution's efficiency degraded over time and use. I popped in a caliper bracket, which was too bulky to fit entirely under the surface;

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And the end result;

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Hey presto! Saves a fortune on all those potions and applications and it's the best-guarded secret Frosts never wanted you to know! Only caveat is it strips every ounce of protection away, so once you rinse the items down, they will start to surface rust again quite quickly in atmosphere unless you grease/paint/whatever them for protection

Hope this helps you guys,
Nik

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MelloYello
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Location: London, England.

Re: Magic rust removal the cheapskate way

Post by MelloYello » Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:00 pm

Good old science at its best.

Thanks for the show and tell Luckster.

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DelMonte
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:14 pm
Location: East Sussex, UK

Re: Magic rust removal the cheapskate way

Post by DelMonte » Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:57 pm

Like this! Thanks :)

rotarman
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Re: Magic rust removal the cheapskate way

Post by rotarman » Mon May 02, 2016 6:33 pm

That's pretty impressive

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richrx
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:46 am
Location: Glasgow

Re: Magic rust removal the cheapskate way

Post by richrx » Mon May 02, 2016 8:19 pm

10/10 thanks for the tip :)

I might do this with my brake calipers and post up some pics then :)

Rich

biznatch
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Location: Hornchurch, Essex

Re: Magic rust removal the cheapskate way

Post by biznatch » Mon May 02, 2016 8:39 pm

Thanks for sharing. I'm trying this myself and it seems to be working well so far. The missus got a shock when a big bag of white powder was delivered at her work. :shock:

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richrx
Posts: 382
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Location: Glasgow

Re: Magic rust removal the cheapskate way

Post by richrx » Mon May 16, 2016 12:48 pm

Ok so I'm rebuliding my rear calipers and gave this a go. So the results 4 days in a 2kg in 10L water bath?

Very happy with the results, a wash and quick nilon brush makes them look like new (almost) but a quick coat of paint will help too.


P.s the parts rust FAST, as in minutes after the process so get them painted or protected again....

Rich
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DeanRX7
Posts: 365
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:51 pm
Location: Melb via London via Holland

Re: Magic rust removal the cheapskate way

Post by DeanRX7 » Mon May 16, 2016 1:03 pm

I used this and it works a treat!

http://www.rustyco.co.uk/
The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.

Bmk303969
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:59 pm

Re: Magic rust removal the cheapskate way

Post by Bmk303969 » Mon May 16, 2016 1:50 pm

I'll have to give this ago thanks for the tip

spoddy
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Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:39 pm
Location: N.Ireland

Re: Magic rust removal the cheapskate way

Post by spoddy » Tue May 17, 2016 10:17 pm

richrx wrote:Ok so I'm rebuliding my rear calipers and gave this a go. So the results 4 days in a 2kg in 10L water bath?

Very happy with the results, a wash and quick nilon brush makes them look like new (almost) but a quick coat of paint will help too.


P.s the parts rust FAST, as in minutes after the process so get them painted or protected again....

Rich
160516_123324_COLLAGE-1-480x599.jpg
That's a great job on those calipers. For rust treatment I would be rubbing as much surface rust off then use krust and paint. I did my mx3/rear sway bars and all the suspension bits then painted. I go over it each year and then repaint. It all helps keep a 24 year old car on the road as nearly reaching 300000km on original engine.

But will keep this technique in mind for calipers etc that I can remove. Cheers.

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