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Old 08-11-2006, 06:56 PM   #1
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VINEGAR - GREAT! Rust remover, but caution!

After reading on these Forums about the rust removing merits of VINEGAR....I tried it on some rusty chains on a Reese Hitch, with great results. It's slow, but thorough, takes 2 days or more.....and cheap.....2 bucks a gallon at Wal-Mart! I thought Hmmm.....I'll keep vinegar in mind for my many other rust removal projects!

I recently fired up my gas hot water heater on my new 76 Sovereign, just to check it out and get familiar with how it lights and how long it takes to heat the water. I lighted it with a match......but noticed that it had a manual igniter designed somewhat like a cigarette lighter.....flint, serrated wheel, ect.

The igniter had long since succumed to rust and neglect and didn't offer any chance of lighting the burner. I removed the igniter assembly and thought, Hmmm.....I wonder if VINEGAR can save this thing!!! The serrated wheel was very rusty and the tube for the flint and spring was totally blocked and plugged. After two hours of delicate drilling, scraping, exploring, etc. I had all the original parts separated. two parts were brass, another a very rusty flint wheel and shaft and a rusted tiny spring for putting pressure on the flint.

In to the small pan of VINAGER they all went! One day later there was great progress with rust removal. I thought, one more day will complete the job!!

In anticipation, I went to Wal-Mart and purchased "flints"....37 cents for 5!!! Thinking, man, Im all set!! I can now light that gas burner just like they used to!! No matches, no propane lighters...just like the pioneers!

After the 2nd day......I looked in the pan and the tiny spring had dissappeared!....poof.....gone!! Nothing left!! And....the serrated flint wheel was perfectly clean....but now loose on the shaft that was required to spin it!! Good Grief!!! VINEGAR had been too good of a rust remover!!!!! All is lost!!

Realizing that I was ONE day late to reclaim my coveted original gas heater igniter....I have started this thread for your information ....and sympathy!!

Anybody got an old Bowen hot water heater igniter they want to part with??? Bill
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:08 PM   #2
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take a spring out of a bic pen and re stake the flint roller and you might get it to work again!

also you can find such devices made for coleman lanterns. same principal, go take a look at a well stocked sporting good store.

let us know!

john
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Old 08-12-2006, 06:51 AM   #3
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Vinegar - rust remover.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john hd
take a spring out of a bic pen and re stake the flint roller and you might get it to work again!

also you can find such devices made for coleman lanterns. same principal, go take a look at a well stocked sporting good store.

let us know!

john
John, what do you mean by "re stake the flint roller"?? The flint roller must be solidy bound to the shaft to work. I cannot think of any kind of glue that would hold it and stand up long term. I also looked at a spring in a pen that I have and it's too large in diameter to work. However, it's not a BIC....so I will try some others. Bill
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:00 AM   #4
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take a center punch and mushroom the end of the shaft until it quits spinning!

john
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Old 08-12-2006, 10:30 AM   #5
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Vinegar

Quote:
Originally Posted by john hd
take a center punch and mushroom the end of the shaft until it quits spinning!

john
John, that will not work. The little shaft is the same size, end-to-end, and the flint wheel can slide back and forth, end-to-end. There is no way, that I can think of, to hold the flint wheel stationary, in position on one end, while I mushroom the shaft with the punch. Even if I could, I think the flint wheel would just slide away from that end and be loose. Any more ideas? Bill
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Old 08-12-2006, 11:34 AM   #6
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Bill,
A dose of loctite red or JB weld will hold that sucker in place. I had a piece on one of my bicycles that was friction fit and not supposed to move, but in my cleaning frenzy we "over polished" a piece...we centered it up where is was supposed to be and dabbed some loctite red in with tooth pick. I hope we never have to take it apart again

BTW got pictures of what "we" are working on

Aaron
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Old 08-12-2006, 01:43 PM   #7
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Bill,
A dose of loctite red or JB weld will hold that sucker in place. I had a piece on one of my bicycles that was friction fit and not supposed to move, but in my cleaning frenzy we "over polished" a piece...we centered it up where is was supposed to be and dabbed some loctite red in with tooth pick. I hope we never have to take it apart again

BTW got pictures of what "we" are working on

Aaron
Thanks Aaron, for the tip. I'll see if I can get the loctite red or JB weld. Sorry, no photos available. My digital camera is a cheapo with a 50mm fixed focus lens. Cannot get any closer than about 4-5 ft and still be in focus. Bill
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:14 PM   #8
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Did you ever get this fixed? I just pulled my old one out( old Bowens Hot Water heater) ...I know the part you are talking about. Is it easy to get off? I might can get it off for you??I have a 1973 31ft. Sovereign, I got took real good on this thing from split water lines to a funky smell For a grown man with a education I sure can be stupid. Let me know if you still need. Dallas
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Old 08-25-2006, 05:27 AM   #9
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Did you ever get this fixed? I just pulled my old one out( old Bowens Hot Water heater) ...I know the part you are talking about. Is it easy to get off? I might can get it off for you??I have a 1973 31ft. Sovereign, I got took real good on this thing from split water lines to a funky smell For a grown man with a education I sure can be stupid. Let me know if you still need. Dallas
Dallas, buying a used Airstream is a lot like buying "a pig in a poke", no matter how much "looking at it" you do before you buy it! There is so much stuff that can be hidden from the eyes of the casual observer. An honest seller is the only thing that saves most of the NEW owners from making BIG mistakes.

No, I don't have my old gas igniter fixed, yet. I tried JB Weld epoxy, as was suggested in a previous post, glued it back together and discovered that the little serrations on the flint wheel had been pretty much eaten away by the vinegar and would no longer make the flint spark! I have given up on ever repairing this one.

Yes, it is very easy to remove. It is located right near the mouth of the burner and is attached by one nut that holds the igniter shaft to a metal mounting arm and that's it. Its's mostly made of brass and is lightweight and would mail in a padded envelope or a tiny box. If it still has some flint in it, check it to make sure it still works before going to the trouble. Bill
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