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Old 08-15-2011, 11:45 AM   #1
larryq
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Default Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

I have some rusty bolts from my car that I've either wire-brushed or used vinegar to clean. Now that they're back to bare metal however, they'll flash rust again in no time. And if I put them back under the hood or on the suspension the process will be even quicker.

Short of zinc-plating them professionally is there anything I can do to home rust-proof them to at least some extent?
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

Prime and paint, install with a grease-never-sieze mixture.
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

Painting is a PITA, spray it with Boeshield T9, or rub a little grease or oil on 'em. They won't rust, to rust you must have air contact.
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

Just use, never-sieze and you wont have a problem removing them again.
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

There's this new product out that I've seen in all the magazines called Rust Prevention Magic, RPM for short. It's this clear stuff you brush on then heat up and it's supposed to last forever. Google it and check out some articles. They cover steering knuckles and such in it and it holds to normal driving. One tub is supposed to be good for two or three cars.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

Use new bolts and put on antisieze.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

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Just use, never-sieze and you wont have a problem removing them again.
I'll look into everyone's suggestions, thanks. With regard to never-seize or other antiseize products, assuming you don't completely slather the bolts with them is there a risk they'll be prone to coming undone? Any extra torque values needed?
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

I like antiseize, and use it on all sorts of stuff that isn't rotating on the bolt. Aluminum is soft. Aluminum oxide is hard and abrasive. I also have a bottle of gear oil open that I might use on the exposed metal - depending.

New bolt may be a good idea as well.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

Replacing with new fasteners is the right thing to do. Anti-seize so they don't rust in place, unless it calls for loctite.

Note that the manufacturers consider many fasteners one-time use. Suspension fasteners frequently fall into that category. Distorted-thread locknuts are always one-time use (there are many of these on my BMW).
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

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Originally Posted by larryq View Post
I'll look into everyone's suggestions, thanks. With regard to never-seize or other antiseize products, assuming you don't completely slather the bolts with them is there a risk they'll be prone to coming undone? Any extra torque values needed?
NO! Don't slather the threads. Just dab all around the bottom-most threads or "paint" a light line down the length of the threads. As the bolt is threaded into the hole the Anti-Seize will be worked around and cover the threads sufficiently. It does not affect torque and will not work the fasteners loose. I've been using it on lug nuts and lug bolts for over 20 years and never a problem. I also used it on every nut and bolt in my Ram's engine when I rebuilt it five years ago. I'm getting ready to tear down the engine to replace a faulty head gasket and know that I won't have to wrestle with frozen fasteners.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

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I'll look into everyone's suggestions, thanks. With regard to never-seize or other antiseize products, assuming you don't completely slather the bolts with them is there a risk they'll be prone to coming undone? Any extra torque values needed?
Either the torque value changes, or it helps you achieve it easier, and changes what the proper torque is. Maybe someone will chime in on that.

I've used this on many bolts, and haven't had them come undone. You'll need to watch it to be sure.
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

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Originally Posted by larryq View Post
I'll look into everyone's suggestions, thanks. With regard to never-seize or other antiseize products, assuming you don't completely slather the bolts with them is there a risk they'll be prone to coming undone? Any extra torque values needed?
In theory, you would lower the torque applied. In practice, in my experience which is limited to working on my own two cars, it doesn't effect it what so ever in the actual binding of the two parts.

If you are concerned about bolts backing out, such as caliper bolts or something (technically most auto COs call for replacement of those bolts) use loctite, the blue kind. Lube it up nice, the loctite will prevent the bolt from backing out, and it will also serve to seal in the threads and prevent them from rusting/galling. Kinda the best of both worlds.
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:12 PM   #13
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

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loctite, the blue kind
I'd like to supplement something - because I made a loctite mistake before.

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271, Red: High strength threadlocker for larger diameter hardware.

262, Red: High strength threadlocker for for hardware smaller than that which uses 271 (more like heli parts). Either does a good job for our stuff, however. I see 271 most commonly in auto parts stores.

609, Green: Retaining compound, high strength, for mounting slip fit bearings to shafts. An appropriate product for tail boxes.

603, Green: Retaining compound, high strength, similar to 609 but good where the parts may be a little oily. Good for mounting oilite bushings in housings, BTW.

640: Green: Retaining compound, high strength. Similar to 609 and 603. Lacks the oil tolerance of 603. I use it where I might have trouble with adjacent bearing contamination with the product, such as start shaft bearing blocks, since it has a little greater viscosity than 603.

638, Green, rather thick: Ultra strong retaining compound for assemblies with a marked amount of slop in the fit, min 0.004". Don't try to use this stuff for our normal bearings on healthy shafts. It sets almost immediately in the tight gap, and you'll never have the chance to get the bearing into place.

290, Green: Wicking product for thread locking AFTER assembly. Medium strength, much stronger than 242 blue in my experience. Not the correct choice per loctite for bearing mounting.

242, 243 Blue: Classic medium strength threadlocker for most of our threadlocking applications. 243 is the oil tolerant version.

222MS, Purple: Low strength threadlocker for small diameter or otherwise delicate fasteners.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:27 PM   #14
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

Gibbs Product is the best out there.
Check their website.

http://www.gibbsbrandlubricant.com/
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

Guys, I think he wants to protect it's looks as well. I.E. the bolt head.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:21 PM   #16
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

I have this problem as well. I'm going the electro-plating route...

http://www.eastwood.com/ew-electropl...-tin-zinc.html
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

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I have this problem as well. I'm going the electro-plating route...

http://www.eastwood.com/ew-electropl...-tin-zinc.html
that seems like a lot of trouble just to reuse some bolts. bolts are cheap, relatively speaking.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:33 PM   #18
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

I am a professional "amateur" classic auto restorer..............

Bolts/Nuts/Hardware need to be replated with Managanese Phosphate. This is easily done in your own shop using safe chemicals sold on line (Palmento for one example). MANG and ZINC Phosphate are not electro plating. They are a heated chem/water solution only done in stainless steel pot on propane camping stove.

You must media blast the fastener first and also wire wheel on your shop grinder (buy wire wheel to replace grinder wheel)

Then to preserve use Fluid Film (yes I'm a dealer) or BoeShieldT-9 are two of the best rust inhibitors. Dont even think about using WD-40 !!!!

I also use Locktite Marine Grade (Dark Gray in Color) Antiseize when I assemble the threads fasteners.....

The rust inhibitor must be reapplied occasionally no matter what
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Last edited by CamarosRus; 08-15-2011 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

Bolts are cheap, but it adds up. I think I spent $200+ replacing all bolts on a Beetle. You could probably drop the price more if you inventory every bolt you take off and order online. In replacing, get the good stuff, too. The highest grades, the best finishes. For SAE, they sell some pretty amazing stuff. I wish McMaster Carr would sell singles, because they have some awesome stuff that you can't find elsewhere.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:32 PM   #20
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Default Re: Cleaning rusty bolts -- how to keep them rust free after?

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I am a professional "amateur" classic auto restorer..............

Bolts/Nuts/Hardware need to be replated with Managanese Phosphate. This is easily done in your own shop using safe chemicals sold on line (Palmento for one example). MANG and ZINC Phosphate are not electro plating. They are a heated chem/water solution only done in stainless steel pot on propane camping stove.
Are you talking about a Parkerizing kit?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...m=370534460579
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