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SuperDave

Electrolytic Rust Removal

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    Here is what my L24 block looked like before I attempted electrolytic rust removal on it. It had been degreased, but the rust remained. The guys at the machine shop said "it's not as bad as it looks" when I picked it up. It sure looks bad to me.

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    After 24 hours in the solution, this is what the garbage can looked like. When you know that the rust-colored stuff is rust rising off of your parts, this is a beautiful sight.

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    And after about 40 hours in the can, this is what she looks like after some light brushing and rinsing.

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    I immediately blew some air on and in her, used my paint dryer to dry out the cylinders and internal surfaces, and dabbed some WD40 on. I think I'll get some primer and paint her this weekend.

    Not bad, huh?

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    Some days, there just isn't much better than a hot bath!

    Will

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    OOOH, that tingles!-things an L series block might say while in an electrolytic bath!

    Will

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    Do you think you could adapt this process to work with nuts & bolts? Something like a rock tumbler drum made of steel...

    thx

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    This is Her Majesty the 26th, bare naked metal and 100% rust free. She also has some holes where rust used to be. Poor thing. She is just out of the tank and has not been wiped down yet. These pictures are from this morning.

    She sat in the electrolysis tank for three days after all the paint and junk was stripped off. The plastic covering on the wire harness metal tabs has not been harmed nor has any of the lead filler. She is 100% rust free inside and out. Cool, huh?

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    She is 100% rust free inside and out. Cool, huh?

    Very cool.

    Is there a way to determine how much rust was removed such as using the weight before and after?

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    How do you intend to hold off surface rust from the time the body comes out of dip to the time you prime it? My biggest worry with a full strip is that invisible surface rust will develop before I can get the car home and get a coat of paint on it.

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    Chris,

    Looks like you had her chrome plated-not cleaned!

    What a clean canvas!

    TomoHawk, in my young and Gene pool challenging days, I pretty much did that with an electric shaver and a sink full of water(fortunately-the sink was fully glazed. Still woke me up and made me fly right!

    I don't think I let it sit long enough to clean anything though!

    Will

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    Chris,

    This looks superb. That’s what I call a fresh start!! Perhaps I over read it in the story but how do you tackle the hollow spaces of the chassis and the double layers which are welded. Is this bare metal as well?

    I put my chassis in an (hot air) oven and it burnt everything off it. I think both ways are good but at the end you have to take another bath or something like that to protection the chassis again. Therefore I like to know what you are going to do about it?

    oven

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    Chris,

    This looks superb. That’s what I call a fresh start!! Perhaps I over read it in the story but how do you tackle the hollow spaces of the chassis and the double layers which are welded. Is this bare metal as well?

    I put my chassis in an (hot air) oven and it burnt everything off it. I think both ways are good but at the end you have to take another bath or something like that to protection the chassis again. Therefore I like to know what you are going to do about it?

    oven

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    Hi guys!

    I didn't want to seem like I was hijacking this thread. The electrolysis rust removal process SuperDave is talking about is exactly what I am doing to 26th and what 27th faces. Those shots were "just out of the tank" and the babe was still wet and full of bits of crap. Her Majesty sat in the tank for about three days however they pulled the car out and rotated it every day. Yes, all the rust in the hollow spaces and layers of metal is gone. These pictures just don't do this process justice. Its just amazing. Rusty areas are eroded like an achne on the metal. Holes are jagged with thin edges. Seams that had rust inside look like an explosion went off and even some holes look exploded like a bullet hole. Then, there are some really interesting things to see in the factory metal.

    What I have decided to do is leave the car with welder Dale in Wauchula. He gave me a very optimistic estimate for the metal work and I think this is going to save me a bunch of time and effort as well as provide better results. Actually, I was shocked when he told me he didn't think it was going to take him more than a week. The car will be dipped again after the welding to get rid of the surface rust that is going to happen between now and the end of July.

    Then with a clean shell again, there is about ten days time before surface rust. The car gets hauled back to Sarasota, two hours away, and we set the car up on stands to prime it right away. I have these long plastic wands to spray primer up inside the metal sections so that the end result is coverage better than what the factory did 36 years ago. Then, all the seams get sealed again with new sealer. Then the floor tar insulation goes down (I bought factory tar material from Chloe years ago). Then the car gets painted. Sounds like a lot of work by August, doesn't it? Well...I can dream.

    Here are a couple of shots I have been sharing around. Factory stitch welding over the front and rear of the tunnel. This demonstrates the hand fabrication techniques of the time and shows how sub-assemblies were connected. The last shot of the front radiator gusset plate shows a welding rivet peculiar to the early body shells. Later shells have nice spot welds.

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    So you will prime first, and then apply new seam sealer, correct? What will you be using for the seam sealer?

    Thanks--this is all good information and the car looks great.

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    You are very welcome, SuperDave. You inspired me to get a plastic 50gal. drum and start doing this myself with my rusty parts.

    So, another fellow Zfreak was asking me about paint, primer, and sealer products. I really haven't made any selections yet. I'm leaning towards PPG DELTRON paint but I am listening to my painter guru "beautiful body Rick". I was surprised with how good he thought my plastic wand spray idea was. It turns out that a truck restoration place up in Bradenton (Mother Truckers) is doing the same thing. I met those guys in Wauchula at the dippers. They have the same issues with truck bodies. I will use the best seam sealer I can find. And I'll post more as I go along.

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    ...You inspired me to get a plastic 50gal. drum and start doing this myself with my rusty parts.

    I can't believe I didn't think of using a drum! That should de-rust your part on all sides at once! Have you eaten through a drum yet? You should eventually. Can you post some pictures?

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    You're thinking of a metal bin, not plastic.

    A metal rubbish can would work, I use a stainless metal bowl for electrolytic greese removal prior to plating and it's ok.

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    I can't believe I didn't think of using a drum! That should de-rust your part on all sides at once! Have you eaten through a drum yet?

    Do you think? I've been doing the ERR on suspension bits (heavy rust coating) with some good success (see gallery).

    I did try wrapping my metal anode around some larger pieces (not touching) and but the rust still didn't break down on all sides. My best guess was the path of least resistance (elecrically) between the anode and the part still ran most current in only one direction... am i missing something?

    I'd love to suspend the larger pieces into a metal bucket within a plastic drum and get busy...

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    If anybody in or near the East Bay Area of California is interested in large plastic containers for this sort of work, I have access to several 55 gallon and 30 gallon plastic drums.

    There is no cost for these drums.

    (NO SHIPPING and NO DELIVERY) You have to come and get them.

    Send me a PM if you are interested.

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