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Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion?
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epowell
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:01 pm    Post subject: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

Hi Folks
I am convinced that for all of the costly products out there there are many much cheaper home-made recipes that work just as well or better...
...for example ACETONE and ATF mixed 50/50 works incredibly well as penetrating oil.

Under my Vancouver Van I have a huge amount of surface rust that I will not have time to properly get rid of so I must simply treat it with some converter, then spray it with some light oil 50/50 with paint thinner - - this method actually works well for slowing the rust on the underbody because not much moisture gets under there when the van is just sitting all Winter long.

But there is so much of this surface rust, I really need A LOT of liquid to 'treat' it all - - - it struck me that rather than spending a lot of money on "official" products, there must be some good recipies out there for 'converting' the rust before I spray with oil.

We have a huge jug of WHITE VINEGAR here at home, and I read that if you add some salt to this it will eat the rust real good...

any ideas of comments anyone.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:24 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

I would look with suspect at any home brew with salt as an ingredient.

Salt, in its various forms promotes ferrous metal decay, it dies not stop it or prevent it.

No matter what you use to convert your rust, don't go oiling over it.

Your goal is to have a permanent protective layer over the steel, this layer is most often paint.
Apply paint, not oil.
If you want to oil over paint as an added step? Go ahead.
But to oil the treated metal before paint only serves to make applying paint that much harder in the future.
Paint won't stick to oils or waxes.

A fast rust "preventative" measure?
Don't park over a moisture soaked surface.
Concrete or asphalt are great.
Stone and dirt? Not so great.

You can lay a moisture barrier over the ground and park upon that. You then only have rain water and humidity to deal with, not unlike a concrete slab would have.

Dave
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:06 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

A friend of mine is in the antiquing biz. He has a barrel out back full of vinegar (plain) and when he picks up a bunch of rusty junk, he tosses it in that barrel for a day or two. Indeed, it eats away the rust.

Down side, of course, is that it's eating the metal holding the rust, too.

-bobby

I like your train of thought tho, Indeed, there must be some solution that is quite inexpensive.

Someone here had a thread going where they used a battery charger and made an anode/cathode setup to put metal back on.

Perhaps the problem is finding a large enough container to put your Vanagon in.

I had an above ground pool that would have worked, but mice chewed a few holes in it over the winter. I would love to have tried it out!

-bobby
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:49 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

Molasses is even better at eating away rust without damaging the metal.

https://christinedemerchant.com/molasses-rust-removal.html
https://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/general-archive/rust-removal-using-molasses-90452/
https://todayshomeowner.com/video/how-to-remove-rust-using-molasses/

I have been dealing with rust for 15 years working on my old BMWs. It's always been an issue. With the Vanagon over the last year I've started using 3M Mar-Hyde. It's a bit pricy at $45/liter, but it goes a long way. It looks like and has the consistency of milk, to give you a better idea of how well you can paint it on the surface of items. 2 coats spaced 30 minutes apart gives great results because the first coat will contract a bit and might leave gaps. It leaves a very durable plastic epoxy type finish that you can then paint. Honestly, I can't evangelize enough about this stuff, it works really really well and I recommend everyone to try it. If you're in the DC area, send me a PM, come over and I will coat an item for you to show you. Seriously. A lot of people in the BMW world talk about POR15, well it says it in the name. Paint-Over-Rust. Doesn't say anything about converting the rust. POR15 gives a great durable finish on top of the Mar-Hyde converted rust though. But definitely not as the only finish.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

https://www.rshughes.com/p/3M-Mar-Hyde-White-Rust-Converter-Liquid-1-Qt-Bottle-35132/083463_35132/

Results
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here is a before picture. I welded in new tank strap attachment points, coating everything with Mar-Hyde, then 3M underbody coating.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Just slather it on all surface rust you have, give it a second coat. Wait a day or two and then hit it with some paint.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:30 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

Muriatic acid will remove surface rust quickly. Phosphoric acid will do it more slowly but leave the surface with a temporary protective coating. You can use one after the other.

Muriatic will remove even pitted rust if you give it the time. I keep a plastic tub with dilluted muriatic acid in which I toss in smaller rusted items. A couple of days and it's clean.

Two products I've used that actually work to dissolve rust are The Must for Rust and a Rustoleums Rust Remover. They are spray-able gels which actually work.

I'll leave it up to you to investigate the safety aspects of using such products.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:55 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

epowell wrote:
Hi Folks
I am convinced that for all of the costly products out there there are many much cheaper home-made recipes that work just as well or better...
...for example ACETONE and ATF mixed 50/50 works incredibly well as penetrating oil.

Under my Vancouver Van I have a huge amount of surface rust that I will not have time to properly get rid of so I must simply treat it with some converter, then spray it with some kind of fluid film - - this method actually works well for slowing the rust on the underbody because not much moisture gets under there when the van is just sitting all Winter long.

But there is so much of this surface rust, I really need A LOT of liquid to 'treat' it all - - - it struck me that rather than spending a lot of money on "official" products, there must be some good recipies out there for 'converting' the rust before I spray with oil.

We have a huge jug of WHITE VINEGAR here at home, and I read that if you add some salt to this it will eat the rust real good...

any ideas of comments anyone.


Since you're "making" your penetrating oil at home, I want to know how you're making the ACETONE and ATF? Shocked Very Happy

More seriously, I use vinegar occasionally on mild rust. I would not add the salt through - never heard of that. Vinegar is pretty cheap and acts relatively slowly so low danger of over-doing it. For more aggressive rust removal, I use CLR. I buy a gallon jug of concentrate every several years mix with water and keep it in a spray bottle for use.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/CLR-1-Gal-Calcium-Lime-and-Rust-Remover-CL4-P/202530301

You get to mix it with water at home so, it's like making your own! Very Happy

Good luck!

Jim Davis
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:19 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

After you have converted the surface rust I agree that it is a good idea to spray something like an epoxy primer over it THEN coat with waxoyl, fluid film, etc...
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:30 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
I would look with suspect at any home brew with salt as an ingredient.

Salt, in its various forms promotes ferrous metal decay, it dies not stop it or prevent it.

No matter what you use to convert your rust, don't go oiling over it.

Your goal is to have a permanent protective layer over the steel, this layer is most often paint.
Apply paint, not oil.
If you want to oil over paint as an added step? Go ahead.
But to oil the treated metal before paint only serves to make applying paint that much harder in the future.
Paint won't stick to oils or waxes.

A fast rust "preventative" measure?
Don't park over a moisture soaked surface.
Concrete or asphalt are great.
Stone and dirt? Not so great.

You can lay a moisture barrier over the ground and park upon that. You then only have rain water and humidity to deal with, not unlike a concrete slab would have.

Dave


Of course I would grind off the rust and paint if I had time - but I don't - so my plan is just to hit the rust with 'converter' > let that dry > then spray with oil... this is not intended as a permanent fix - just enough to slow the rust for another year.
In fact, on the areas that I did this last year, this technique worked incredibly well. No advancement of that rust whatsoever. I made my parking pad from high-drainable gravel, so therefore it seems no moisture is able to accumulate under that van - so the underbody remains totally dry - even in Vancouver's monsoon-like climate.

Of course when I get the time I will deal with this rust properly.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:34 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

epowell wrote:

Of course I would grind off the rust and paint if I had time - but I don't - so my plan is just to hit the rust with 'converter' > let that dry > then spray with oil... this is not intended as a permanent fix - just enough to slow the rust for another year..


But it will only take an hour or two to rattle can some epoxy primer or other paint on the converted rust then add the oil/wax. Once you add the oil/wax you are not going to get any kind of paint to adhere well even if you try to use solvent to get the oil/wax off, it creeps into all the little spaces. I'd take just that one small step between converting and oil/wax. YMMV.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:42 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

Listen to the Daves, dont go creating a situation that will be difficult to paint in the future.
Oils, silicones, waxes are all enemies of paint adhesion.
The effort to remove these Protective coatings to create a paintable surface will be enormous!

DAVE
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
epowell wrote:

Of course I would grind off the rust and paint if I had time - but I don't - so my plan is just to hit the rust with 'converter' > let that dry > then spray with oil... this is not intended as a permanent fix - just enough to slow the rust for another year..


But it will only take an hour or two to rattle can some epoxy primer or other paint on the converted rust then add the oil/wax. Once you add the oil/wax you are not going to get any kind of paint to adhere well even if you try to use solvent to get the oil/wax off, it creeps into all the little spaces. I'd take just that one small step between converting and oil/wax. YMMV.


I hear ya with regard to having potential paint adhesion after spraying with oil/wax. But the main reason why I don't want to hit it now with epoxy primer (before grinding off the rust) is because it would be even more difficult to remove that epoxy primer when it eventually comes time to grind off that rust properly. Double the work.

What I did last year, which worked amazingly well is to mix paint thinner with cheap cooking oil - put into a spray bottle, and spray the rusty areas after the rust converter dried. THIS WORKED! ...and I think my light oil spray is not so heavy as to be impossible to remove with solvents > especially after sitting for 11 month to mostly wash off naturally. I certainly will not WAX any areas I intend to paint later.

I have been intending to rub in some vasoline into a very few critically bad spots to attempt some deep protective measures - but with those areas the rust will have to be majorly GROUND OFF anyway so no vasoline will certainly remain.

I do hear ya regarding my spray oil getting into cracks and seams, but I will have to be very meticulous about cleaning out those cracks when the time comes to eventually paint. I intend to eventually do this is the middle of Summer - when I can repeatedly spray down any areas of concern with solvents.. and clean -
- not a prefect solution - but I think it is buying me quite a bit of time.

My main concern in this thread is to find a cheaper rust converter solution. when you need perhaps 2 litres of the stuff this can run well over $60... whereas a couple of litres of vinegar is just couple of bucks. Sometimes the mark-up on these chemical products really hurts - when you need large quantities.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:53 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

Based on that I'd just do the rust conversion and not put on anything else. You'll be working on it soon enough anyway that it really won't rust much at all in that time frame. My vote is to leave off any oil until you've done the final work. But it is only your vote that counts... Cool
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:53 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:

Oils, silicones, waxes are all enemies of paint adhesion.
The effort to remove these Protective coatings to create a paintable surface will be enormous!

DAVE




I don't think some LIGHT cooking oil 50 50 with paint thinner, that has had 11 months to wash off is going to be so difficult to remove. CERTAINLY easier than trying to get off epoxy primer as you are suggesting. YMMV LOL

PS... perhaps when I said I'd spray with "some kind of FLUID FILM" you got the wrong idea. I guess fluid film is a pretty heavy duty coating - so my BAD. What I should have said in the beginning was to spray with 50 50 paint thinner / cooking oil.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:03 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

Dont take offense, just listing the enemies of paint adhesion. Personally Id never put anything except paint on areas I plan to do work on and eventually paint in the future.
If this were my Van, Id scrape the worst off and apply some cheap rattle can paint right over the rust until I had time to do a proper repair.
I guess Ive painted too many vehicles and know all to well the pitfalls of paint adhesion.

Not being negative or reading into, just offering help based on real life experience.

DAVE
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:09 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
Based on that I'd just do the rust conversion and not put on anything else. You'll be working on it soon enough anyway that it really won't rust much at all in that time frame. My vote is to leave off any oil until you've done the final work. But it is only your vote that counts... Cool


hmmmm. I will consider this more. Thanks for your ideas Dave. Perhaps you are right. I actually don't have any experience with this when it comes to the actual painting process. But the fact remains that it still might be a matter of several years before I really have the time to grind off this rust. When I return next year there are still lots of mechanical and camperization things that need doing... and finally we will take some trips... with these tiny time windows it really realistically can take several years before I finally can get around to actually grinding off this rust.
For this reason I think that the light oil/paint thinner spray might be good - because it does slow the rust better, and maybe after 3 years it will have mostly all washed off naturally anyway.

It is a tough question with an unusual circumstance.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:16 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
Personally Id never put anything except paint on areas I plan to do work on and eventually paint in the future.
If this were my Van, Id scrape the worst off and apply some cheap rattle can paint right over the rust until I had time to do a proper repair.


Maybe my knowledge is incorrect/incomplete. I am operating under the assumption that it is just as difficult to remove a light coat of cheap primer paint, than it would be to remove a light coat of cooking oil.

So there is no question about putting on some rust converter... but after that my options seem to be 3:
1) do nothing - just leave the rust converter
2) spray on 5050 oil/paint thinner
3) spray on some cheap primer paint

From my current understanding if I do option #2 or #3 I will have exactly the same kind of future paint adhesion problem, no? Is my understanding incorrect?
In the future, I would grind off the rust the best I can, then clean with solvents the best I can, then hit again with rust converter, then paint with EPOXY PRIMER, then add some black tar-type of underbody goop, and call it a day.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:32 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

It is very easy to grind off paint. It is very hard to remove oil completely.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:40 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
It is very easy to grind off paint. It is very hard to remove oil completely.


Aha... so perhaps this is the problem. A gap in my understanding. But I would assume that an oil based primer paint would seep in to the metal and the seams just as much as oil, no?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:56 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

No, loose oil (mineral or plant based) seeps and creeps into every crack, crevice, nook and cranny. Places so small that getting it out is darn near impossible.

Paint uses oil as a vehicle to deliver pigment.
It is of minimal quantity and evaporates away.
Most paints dont use oil any longer anyway. Lacquer and water are the new formulas of choice.

Big difference between an oil based paint and raw oil.

DAVE
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:49 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative home-made recipe for rust conversion? Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:


Listen to the Daves...



Good signature material there.

My experience is that rust advances very slowly here in the PNW esp. if the van is kept off of salted/treated roads. Apply the rust converter, do nothing and come back in a year seems like a reasonable approach.

I've driven a Vanagon and parked it outside 12 months a year in the PNW for over 20 years and rust is always near the bottom of my worry list (I look the other way when I see the seam rust and tend to avoid the slushy/salty days - weekly winter trips up the mountain passes would change my tune here).

Enjoy.
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