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capngrog

How to Treat/Stabilize rust on a "Survivor" vehicle?

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I was lucky enough to recently acquire a 1938 Chevrolet Master Deluxe 4dr sedan which is a "Survivor". The car has very little rust for it's age, and since it still has the original paint, I'd rather not do a re-paint (or touch up with paint). One section of concern is on the cowl in front of the passenger's windshield, where some of the paint has flaked off (see photos). One area shows light surface rust, and another shows shiny metal. What is the best way to treat and stabilize this rust and bare metal without damaging the existing paint? Some have suggested "Ospho" (which I believe is a form of phosphoric acid) and others have suggested "Evapo-Rust". I'm open to any and all suggestions or tales of experience ... or both.

I need all the help I can get,

Grog

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The processes you mentioned will convert the rust. They will not protect it from further rusting. If you plan to not treat this area with a coating like paint then oil it. That's what we do with firearms that we have parkerized, which is a solution of phosphoric acid and iron. The guys here who have served time behind a M-1, M-14, M-60, etc., know this lesson well.

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Lacquer thinner or acetone will both attack the surrounding paint.................Bob

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The transmission fluid might dissolve paint also, Bob, but if you test it first and apply carefully with a brush, it can work nicely.

Phil

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I have the exact same problem with the original paint on a 35 Auburn cowl. The previous owner dabbed in some paint in an effort to hide the problem. The paint loss on my car has been there for the last 30 years , yours is probably the same. Personally I wouldn't to opposed to painting it with a matching color. It will improve the appearance . Heck, it isn't like you are restoring the car. Otherwise just spray it with WD-40.

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Well if it has taken 75 years to do that, I'd say leave it alone for another 75 years and then let someone else worry about it. It's really in incredible shape for a 1938 paint job.

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Well if it has taken 75 years to do that, I'd say leave it alone for another 75 years and then let someone else worry about it. It's really in incredible shape for a 1938 paint job.

I agree with this idea. I doubt you will be parking it in the rain very much.

If you add paint then its not really a survivor any more.

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I would try Gibbs. Many in the antique motorcycle community swear by it. It is certainly a product that can do no harm. I've seen many motorcycles treated with Gibbs and they look great and original surfaces appear to be doing just fine: paint, plating, bare metal and so on. Apparently you can spray the stuff on almost anything.

I've read and been told that some mix it 1/3 Gibbs, 1/3 Marvel Mystery Oil, 1/3 kerosene. I'm not sure I'd use Marvel because I don't know what it would do to paint because of the red color of the oil. Kerosene is probably fine, but seem a bit unnecessary unless you really want to cut the amount of Gibbs you're using up.

With that said, I have used ACF-50 for the exact same purpose simply because that's what I had on hand. I suppose that a spray and wipe with WD-40 would probably accomplish the same thing and is likely the cheapest to buy in bulk.

The can still rust though. No matter what you're doing, you're just treating the surface. Rust can continue to 'creep' under the paint, on the back side of panels, etc. Treating the car with an oil product and keeping the car dry is probably the best thing you can do to preserve the original paint and keep the rust under control, but just as the saying goes, rust never sleeps.

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Thanks everyone for the help on this. I plan to look into the use of the Gibbs Oil and the WD-40 Corrosion Inhibitor since I 'm not familiar with either one of these products. Do these products leave a non-drying film similar to cosmoline? When I lived aboard boats, I used a lot of WD-40 and Boeshield T-9 which helped slow the "progress" of corrosion. I've also thought of using a "drying"-type of product such as Minwax Polycrylic (water-based) but am not sure about that stuff. Meanwhile, as I "mess about" (experiment) with various products, I'll do as several have suggested: "Keep it dry and leave it alone". Oh, by the way, my "messing about/experimentation" will not be on the '38 Chevrolet, but will on various pieces of painted and unpainted metal I have laying about and cluttering up the garage (I knew I'd eventually find a use for all of that (s)crap I have laying around).

In my discussions of this topic with several of my local "car guy" friends, someone suggested clear-coating the entire car, but I'm really not sure about that process. Any thought on clear-coating?

Thanks again for everyone's help,

Grog

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I would imagine that it would be difficult to get a clearcoat to adhere to the old paint, especially in the corroded areas where it is most needed.

I have been wondering about what to put on the bottom of my driver cars to slow down the rust. My two antiques, thank God, don't have to go out in the salt.

Edited by 5219
typo (see edit history)

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I did a little chopping of your previous post so that my reply wouldn't completely repost everything you'd already said. Anyway...

Do these products leave a non-drying film similar to cosmoline?

When I lived aboard boats, I used a lot of WD-40 and Boeshield T-9 which helped slow the "progress" of corrosion.

In my discussions of this topic with several of my local "car guy" friends, someone suggested clear-coating the entire car, but I'm really not sure about that process. Any thought on clear-coating?

Thanks again for everyone's help,

Grog

My experience with cosmoline is that is dries to a tacky, waxy feel and not that is remains as a non-drying film. I've dealt with a lot of it as it was very common in the small engine world in the 1940s (read: scooter parts) for manufacturers like Briggs & Stratton to dip parts in cosmoline (or spray it on, I suppose) to preserve them if there were not going to be used immediately, mostly engine blocks and other cast iron parts. I actually still use cosmoline on old cast iron parts I buy, clean up, and need to store indefinitely. Unless it is applied too heavily, my experience is that it always dries tacky. Anyway...

Boeshield T-9 is almost exactly the same as ACF-50 and is actually designed as an aircraft corrosion inhibitor. I think that either of those products would probably be ok for your use as well.

As for clear coating it, I wouldn't do it to the whole car and certainly wouldn't clear coat just the rust. I've seen plenty of rat-rod type vehicles that have had this treatment. Outside of that "look," it just doesn't work for me. Very strange to see shiny rust, flaked paint now locked in place by clear coat, and so on. It just wouldn't look right in my opinion. I think your best move is to carefully detail the car and hit the rust spots with one of the products we've been discussing and leave it at that. You'll have to carefully monitor it and re-apply your product of choice every now and then, but that shouldn't be a big deal, right?

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Scooter Guy,

My understanding is that Boeing developed "Boeshield" for exactly what you said: "... actually designed as an aircraft corrosion inhibitor." With that said, what is ACF-50?

Reading through all of the helpful responses to my original question, I'm tending to go with what you suggested and leave the car largely alone and treat the rust spots with one of the products suggested in this thread. There aren't that many spots on the body that need to be monitored and treated, and I think that even an old guy like me can keep up with them (even though as you pointed out in a previous post that "rust never sleeps").

Thanks to everyone who participated in this thread for your help.

Cheers,

Grog

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