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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Treating Topsides Rust   Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:56 am

Most peoples vehicles will be WAY too shiny for this trick, EVEN HERE, but it might be useful to someone.

Unusually for a Taiwan car, my new-to-me (1986) Daihatsu Skywing has almost Scottish levels of corrosion, probably because a previous owner was a surfer

I'll spray the underside with a diesel/oil mix to slow it down some. For the topsides, I've cleaned up the rust patches with crumpled aluminium foil as an abrasive pad, which I've found especially useful in the past for cleaning awkward shapes, like, for example, corroded bike spokes. The abrasive action can be enhanced by incorporating grit, grinding paste or toothpaste into the crumples, though this would often be overkill.

One drawback is that the foil can get quite uncomfortably hot to the fingertips (I assume this is just due to friction. One is, incidentally, making thermite, but I don't think its likely to be ignited).

Used wet with vegetable oil the pad stays comfortable, and rust, old paint/primer, and aluminium flakes form a (hopefully protective) paste which can look rather like a metallic primer.

Ordinary veg oil takes a long time to set, and will probably never be a suitable base for a proper paint job, though good enough for my present banger-bodging purposes.

Boiled linseed oil, commonly used as a wood finish, (if you can get it here, or a local equivalent - tung oil?) would set quicker. One could probably also use laquer or paint, but that's getting to be too much trouble.

Exciting pictures. See pseudo-paint dry!

Should have done a before and after, but if you don't know what a rusty car looks like, you probably don't need to.

Large rust-patch on the tailgate

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Deep pitting next to the window seal

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Its been on about a month in some fairly heavy rain, with no bleed-through yet. Probably will eventually, but then so does proper paint.

Its ok on vertical surfaces but on flat surfaces like the roof the oil collects a lot of dust. I might try an alternative, quick drying binder, maybe PVA?

Of course topsides rust isn't likely to kill a car anyway, and I wouldn't go to a lot of trouble and expense to stop it, but this is pretty easy and costs next to nothing.
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James-Founder
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PostSubject: Thanks   Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:26 pm

Very useful and interesting Tip! THanks fror your time, I will go and try that today!
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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Treating Topsides Rust   Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:54 pm

Thanks, my pleasure.

I've posted it on a couple of other sites (Forumosa and Daiclub) but got no response. Most expats cars are probably too shiny (embarrassed silence?) and Daiclub seems to be dominated by turbo-boost obsessed "airheads". Its not really very bling.

It might work a bit better here than in the UK. I suspect the high ambient temperatures and bright sunlight might make the oil "set" quicker.
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PostSubject: Yes...   Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:57 pm

Yes you may well be right you do have a friendlier climate...
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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Treating Topsides Rust   Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:17 am

I should mention that on some of the rust patches (I think maybe the pitting one shown above, but I'm not sure now) I used a short section of aluminium tubing (bit of old TV aerial) packed with foil, in a power-drill chuck, as an initial clean-up tool, followed by the oil-foil.

You might also try an aluminium roofing nail in a drill or Dremel. I'm thinking the chuck would grip the nail at the pointy end and the head form a little grinding disk. I can't try that here because I don't know where to get them, but IIRC B+Q (and probably builders merchants) had them loose in the UK.
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PostSubject: Excellent   Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:23 am

Really appreciate your input.
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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Treating Topsides Rust   Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:12 am

Admin wrote:
Yes you may well be right you do have a friendlier climate...

Hmmm...Friendly isn't the first word that springs to mind.

F-ing hot perhaps would be, or F-ing terrifying when one is up to one's chest in Morakot with no land in sight. (That was in the coastal plain. I don't really want to think about what it must have been like in the mountains)
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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Treating Topsides Rust   Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:17 am

Its seems to be particularly effective on the crappy OEM steel brake pipes when they get a bit (not a lot) rusty.

Of course here in Taiwan its a judgement call as to whether these are bad enough to need replaced. In the UK the MOT tester would probably fail them at the first fleck of corrosion and I'd replace with copper. They don't tend to last 20+ years in Scotland.

Incidentally I just breezed through the rather more casual Taiwanese inspection (but its 6-monthly). My exhaust has fractured just below the manifold and I havn't been able to buy a replacement so far, so I'd temporarily repaired it with layered allu foil/RTV silicone, potters clay/cloth, and wire, topped off with mud from a local volcano!

No problem, Sir!
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PostSubject: Re: Treating Topsides Rust   Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:47 am

Volcano mud. Brilliant!
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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Treating Topsides Rust   Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:36 am

Mild update on the above. Its still keeping the rust at bay.

I gave it a quick once-over touch-up about a month ago since there were a few flecks of rust showing through in places, like on the windscreen wiper arms, but after what, two years (?) I don't think that's bad.

I think one might be able to get the veg oil to "set" quicker by adding an oxidising agent (eg hydrogen peroxide or potassium permangenate) but I havn't tried that, not having needed to.

I've also read somewhere of someone using superglue as a rust touch-up. That, presumably would set quite quickly, and might advantagously be combined with aluminium foil abrasive, but you'd have to be carefull you didn't glue your fingers to the car.

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PostSubject: Re: Treating Topsides Rust   Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:24 pm

Some very interesting points here
good stuff!!

Good post
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PostSubject: Re: Treating Topsides Rust   Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:00 am

Thanks.

Not to be conceited, but I honestly believe if I'd thought of this in the '70's I could have reasonably expected to have a high rise Council block in Barnsley named after me.

Still, they'd have demolished it by now anyway, so I suppose it doesn't matter.

I'd say avoid soy bean oil. It seems to have a tendancy to grow black mould in Taiwan, and it'd perhaps be worse in the UK. Sunflower seems to be OK.
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PostSubject: Re: Treating Topsides Rust   Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:52 am

Beer cans are usually made of aluminium. Combined with the right size rawl-bolt, they're good for power-abrading larger areas of rust.

You can, for example, roll some of the can tightly to form a rod using the steel tube of the rawl-bolt as a holder. Since that has splits, you might be able to make a flap-wheel, though I havn't tried that yet.

You can use the bolt as a mandrel (with bigger washers) through the centre of the cut off base of the can, which forms a cup shaped abrader. ( This fatigues quickly and comes loose, so its especially important to protect your hands, arm and face with this configuration, though eye protection is crucial with any configuration.)

You can flatten the whole can, punch a hole through the middle, and mount it on the bolt (with a few others, depending how much thread you've got) as a grinding disk.

Zinc or aluminium paint usually specifies sand blasted (or very thoroughly wheel abraded) steel to ensure electrical contact and cathodic protection, which isn't very practical for most of us. The rationale with this cheapo punk version is that, by using the the aluminium itself as an abrasive, it is forced into intimate microcopic contact with the steel where its scraped off on it. Its to some extent self-regulating, since rusty metal is pitted, and hence rougher, and so tends to acquire more aluminium. It wont get deep into pits like sandblasting, but its not bad.
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PostSubject: Re: Treating Topsides Rust   Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:09 am

Minor updates on the above

PVA as a binder sets very quickly in the heat here but seems to leave a rather porous surface which suffers rust bleed through in prolonged monsoonal rain.

Superglue works best as an overcoating, after the aluminium abrasive treatment, spread with a bit of polythene bag, but it really sets a bit too quickly to be convenient, and is probably only suitable for small areas, like stone chips.

Clear nail varnish ditto, but it is better, probably because it sets more slowly so the application is more even and it can do larger areas.

Boiled linseed oil seems to be superior to the more commonly available "cooking" oils, but I've only used it once so far.

If you want a flat "sanding board", the foil-backed bubble packs that pills come in seem to have potential. I'm supposed to take large clinical doses of B12 regularly so I have a lot of these, and I tried one on a pair of pitted motorbike forks recently, the idea being to level and fill the pits with a mix of aluminium and plastic. Seemed to work a bit. You could perhaps fill the empty bubbles with crumpled foil and/or plastic to deliver more material.
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