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Electrolytic Rust Removal

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by Alpine 1789, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Alpine 1789

    Alpine 1789 SAOCA President Diamond Level Sponsor

    I have a spare trunk lid that I am thinking about using on my SIV V6 car. The original lid has a fair amount of damage to it and it seems like it would be easier all around to just replace it. However, like the rest of the car, the original is completely rust free. The other lid is in very good shape and definitely usable (I don’t remember where I picked it up, but think it has been in storage for a long time), but it does have some of the usual rust that I can see around the lower edge in the inside. Plus, there is lots of rust dust that comes loose when I tip it on its side, so I know it is forming within the inner frame where I can’t see it.

    I’d love to just take it to a stripper and have it dipped, but there are none around here that I know of and it seems like overkill to drive it the 5-7 hours to the ones others here have used. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find some sort of large trough (maybe even a kiddie swimming pool) that I could convert into an electrolytic rust removal tank big enough to handle the lid. I am in no hurry and it could cook in there for weeks if necessary. I’ve had great success with this method for small parts. Is this a dumb idea? Is it feasible for something this large? Would my 30 year old battery charger (2/10/50 amp circuits) be enough for the job?

    Any thoughts and recommendations would be appreciated.
  2. bulldurham

    bulldurham Donation Time

    Personally I did not see what I am about to say, but, I was told of a fellow who converted his unused swimming pool to a rust bucket and dipped car bodies in it. Like I say I didn't see it.
    I call my system for small parts a rust bucket because I built it in a 5 gallon bucket and use the 6 volt side of the charger.
    If you build a big one ' they will come '. Go for it.
  3. jack Bacon

    jack Bacon Silver Level Sponsor

    How about buying a soda blaster from Eastwood?

  4. Alpine 1789

    Alpine 1789 SAOCA President Diamond Level Sponsor

    I thought about that, and it would be a fun thing to own, but a soda blaster wouldn't get into the areas behind the frame, which is where the presumed rust (as evidenced by the rust dust) is forming. It seems to me that only dipping or the electrolytic method would be assured to get into all of the nooks and crannies.
  5. bashby

    bashby Donation Time

    I had my SV Soda Blasted, you can only get the areas you can see. I do own one of the Eastwood Soda Blasters, it was too small as was my 6.5 HP, 30Gal 240VAC compressor. $1k to do the car. Soda Blasting only takes off paint, filler and surface rust nothing more. It did come out good though.
  6. jmthehermit

    jmthehermit Donation Time

    Jim, soda blasting is not aggressive enough to remove the rust down to bare metal. Dipping it will remove the rust but you will most likely have pin holes that will show through to the outside. Best bet is to remove the bottom 4 inches of the deck lid, treat the rust on the inside and coat with weld through primer and then replace with new metal. Jeff

    PROCRAFT Donation Time


    Buy some rust converter from Eastwood.
  8. bashby

    bashby Donation Time

    I agree the Eastwood Rust Convertor and Rust Encapsulator Really work.
  9. Nickodell

    Nickodell Donation Time

    After removing the hidden rust, you should spray in either a zinc-rich primer, which will provide electrolytic protection (the zinc acts as a sacrificial anode) or the oil-based rust inhibitor that used to be offered by such people as Ziebart and Rusty Jones when cars were subject to rusting out after a few years (some, like the Renault Dauphine and many Lancias rusted out on the dealer's lot!) You used to be able to get the stuff in spray cans with long tubes from the nozzle; don't know if they're still sold.

    When I bought my Trans-Am in 1973 I had the Rusty Jones treatment, where they not only sprayed the visible surfaces with thick undercoat, but also all the boxed-in cavities, even when this meant drilling holes and later putting in rubber plugs. 13 years later, after 97,000 miles, including on winter salt, there wasn't a trace of rust, and I sold it for a good price. By that time, it was hard to find any Firebirds of that year still on the road north of the Mason Dixon line.
  10. Alpine 1789

    Alpine 1789 SAOCA President Diamond Level Sponsor

    Thanks guys. I'll try to remember to report back on what I did and how it worked.
  11. Alpine 1789

    Alpine 1789 SAOCA President Diamond Level Sponsor

    Hi guys. Resurrecting this thread as I just was just studying the trunk lid to layout a box I was going to build to hold the solution for the electrolytic removal. My thinking is to let it soak in this for as long as it takes, then later pour some appropriate solution into the frame and work that around to provide appropriate protection. However, something just occurred to me. I know that the process required a line of sight between the rust and the sacrificial anode. Would this process get inside of the frame - which is the primary area I am concerned about - or would the outer part of the frame hinder the ability of the solution and current to work its magic?

  12. mattinoz

    mattinoz Donation Time

    I think you might be correct Jim. I recently can across this DIY article (http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/andyspatch/rust.htm) on the process and the author make several references to the need to avoid having your work in a "shadow" and that a clear path between work and electrode is ideal.

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