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Old 03-05-2003, 07:44 AM   #1
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Rust removal on chains, etc.

I did a lot of research on rust removal on the net and found most to be using phosphates which turned the oxide into a black color which I did not want.

A better idea: Some suggested using white vinegar. I bought several gallons from WalMart (Great Value) and soaked the chains in a small bucket for 1-2 days.

It works great!!! Rust rises to the top and all I have to do is to wash it with hot soapy water and rinse and dry.. It does rust back in a few minutes so it is important to get it covered quickly.

I found Boeshield T-9 to be the best waterproof lubrication.
Just spray it with the T-9 and wipe it off excess after 10 to 30 minutes with a paper towel.

I have done this to my tools and workshop equipment with great results.

Steve in Savannah

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Old 03-05-2003, 09:27 AM   #2
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That's a good tip, thanks. For the chains, which rust within a few days because of movement, I prefer to use stainless steel chain, as used on some expensive yachts for anchoring. Two lengths, each 2 foot long will do the job on my Excella.. The standard Airstream chain looks like 5/16ths of an inch, but the stainless is stronger, size for size. This would cost about $40 plus tax and shipping from good chandlers (is this an American word?), or from this link: Four screwgate carabiners complete the set-up. These could also be stainless, but the zinc-plated ones are a lot cheaper, although there will be a little electrolytic corrosion. A short length of clear plastic hose slipped onto each carabiner would prevent metal to dissimilar metal contact. The company offers a specific trailer safety chain (SO 275-0002), but it would be twice the cost of buying the chain and adding your own clips ($80 for 2 chains plus shipping) .It makes our toy just a little prettier, and gets rid of those ugly rusty chains. Nick

Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
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Old 03-05-2003, 12:52 PM   #3
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There is a trick to removing rust on parts using a 12v battery charge a couple scraps of steel, baking power and water.

Basicly you set up a tub of water big enough to hold the part you want to remove the rust from. Take a scrap of steel or iron (no galvanized). bend it so you can attach the clip on the battery charger out of the water. This will make a anode. Elevate the part you want the rust removed from about a inch above the bottom over the anode. Fill with water till part is covered. Add a table spoon of baking powder per gallon to the water. Estimate is fine.

Now here is the very important part I am not sure of. I'm pretty sure you would connect the Negative to the Anode and the positve is connected to the part. When engergized it will start eating the rust away and bring it down to bare metal. The anode will be eaten durring the process. If you get the polarity backwords then the part becomes the anode and is ate away. That's why it's important that the clip on the batery charger is not in the liguid because it will be ate away as well. On the part side it doesn't mater if the clip is in the water or not. Leave it over night and by morning your done. For chain just lay it on a peice of grate and the grate will also be cleaned.

The charger must provide power at all times. Some of these fancy automatic chagers will not work for this. Does not require but a little bit of amperage to make this work. If I have some time this weekend I'll play with a old exhaust manifold I have and get a picture of the results and make sure of the polarity LOL. It's pretty impressive.

Ohh the safety tip is do this where there is plenty of air moving around. As I recall the by product of the reaction is hydrogen. Not really dangerious as long as it is not in a small sealed area.
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1988 R20 454 Suburban.
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Old 03-05-2003, 01:18 PM   #4
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Nick, I thought stainless steel would make a good chain and made some enquires not to long ago. Like you said it is expensive. I was not aware of any being used on A/S but now I know they are. On the chains you have is the finish as shinny as chrome? As it ages and gets used is the surface starting to get dull? I had stainless steel exhaust manifolds on a mid eighties Mustang engine and they got very dull in time. May have been due to heat, not sure. To keep the reqular chains nice they almost need to be painted yearly. The marine chains in the long run may be worth the extra bucks.
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Old 03-06-2003, 07:06 AM   #5
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Wayne, the surface is bright and clean, but not as shiney as chrome, and it stays bright. The grade of "stainless" steel is important. Grade 316 is the marine grade, and it contains a higher level of Molybdenum to give greater corrosion resistance.Typically, 316 is 17% chrome, 2% Manganeese, 3% Molybdenum, with the remainder being iron, with a few trace elements. Your manifold was probably a member of the 300 series, but not 316. "Stainless" steels initially oxidise on the surface (invisibly to me on 316) and this surface oxidation prevents further corrosion. (If you place a new piece of stainless in deep sea water, away from surface oxygen, it will corrode away, as it has not had a chance to create a surface oxidation.) Therefore, only wash stainless steel to get rid of dirt and oil, and don't abrade the surface, or an uneven shine will result. The ones from Bosun, on the hyperlink, are 316, expensive, but worth it. I got my family to agree to club together to buy the chains for me as a combined birthday present. A sad bunch, us Airstreamers! Nick.
Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
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