tomwallace

How to remove water spots from nickel radiator shroud

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I just bought a 1926 Packard Victoria Coupe. The car is in really good shape.

 

The nickel on the lamps and radiator is quite good.

 

But there are noticeable water spots around the top of the radiator shroud and headlights.

 

I used Wenol compound and polished for quite a while. I did not want to use anything harsher because I did not want to damage the nickel.

 

I read about using dilute vineger but I was skeptical of it.

 

Any advice how to remove the water spots?

 

thanks

 

Tom Wallace, Dayton, OH

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I agree with Jan on the Autosol.

My '20 Overland has a nickel rad shell and just went at it a bit the other day.

 bit hard to tell but I started on the right side top and moved to the emblem when I snapped this shot. Granted I don't have water spots but with some hand polishing you might be surprised.

1612074975_1920Overland-July262019-pic2.thumb.JPG.096893d72bd870edec094113e8641fee.JPG

 

I use it on my chrome '58 Buick parts with good results.

IMG_2349.thumb.JPG.c530713651a3e6636c5b98d37e8961ba.JPG

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White water spots are calcium carbonate deposits that can be removed with Lime Away shower cleaner.  I used it on my 38 Buick headlight reflectors that were really caked from leaky headlight lenses.  It did a great job by dissolving the carbonates & didn't effect the silvered reflectors.

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Tom, I'm down right surprised that ten hours have passed by here and not a one of us has been curious enough to ask for a few pictures of your "new" Packard. When I just can't take the suspense any longer, I won't hesitate to ask , myself. You know, I guess I should ask as long as I'm up. Thank you, and congratulations on your Nickel Era Packard, Tom.      -     Carl 

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Great car--looks just perfect---I like the blue & black together---Tom

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Would you share any shots of the water stains for us?

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I will get a few picts of the spots this weekend.

 

I tried the CLR and vinegar but without results. But I do not want to damage the nickel. Maybe I will leave well enough alone.

 

Perhaps what I see are just defects in the nickel but they are located next to the radiator spout. So I assume it is from radiator liquids that have spewed out when the previous owners drove it around.

 

I do not have the formula or name for the blue paint color.

 

I am taking the car to our Sept 15th Dayton Carillon Concours D'Elegance  in over a week from now. I will post a few picts of the show.

 

Thanks

 

Tom Wallace

Dayton, OH

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On 9/1/2019 at 10:19 AM, Mark Shaw said:

White water spots are calcium carbonate

Where does the calcium come from in the rain? I have puzzled over where the spots came from on my car; they are certainly rain spots.

 

If it is around the radiator spout, I suspect you are right about it being splashes from the radiator. Probably contains a bit of ethylene glycol plus other minerals from the engine. I have had success with Turtle Wax in removing such marks. If it has iron it it, wipe with evaporust, a non-acidic chelating agent for the rust.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, Spinneyhill said:

Where does the calcium come from in the rain?

 

Rainwater itself is a source for bicarbonate ions. CO2 dissolved in rainwater may form carbonic acid. The carbonic acid will also dissociate to form bicarbonate and hydrogen ions...

 

https://www.bing.com/search?q=carbonates in rainwater%3F&qs=n&form=QBRE&sp=-1&pq=carbonates in rainwater%3F&sc=0-24&sk=&cvid=E943D5EC6E6B4E9FA8CF7DB284F7D843

 

 

 

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, Mark Shaw said:

 

Rainwater itself is a source for bicarbonate ions. CO2 dissolved in rainwater may form carbonic acid. The carbonic acid will also dissociate to form bicarbonate and hydrogen ions...

Yes. I asked about the calcium you mentioned. Does the carbonic acid take calcium (or other minerals) from the polish, or maybe dust on the surface?

 

If it is from the radiator, it is probably from the minerals in the tap water and antifreeze or other additives you put in there. In our case, it will be silicon, which is hard to get rid of. I think hydrofluoric acid is removes it and that is highly toxic. I scrape it off with plastic, like credit card or similar. We also use Chemico on our basins from time to time to remove it.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)

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What was the name of the liquid they used to advertize on TV which claimed not to remove a speck of silver from your tableware and fine serving pieces?

 

Oh, my wife just reminded me --

 

TARN-X

 

Has anyone ever tried that stuff?

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Tom, 

I have always enjoyed seeing your cars at my friends' shop...Dave and Floyd. This car is really handsome, and I cannot wait to see it in person. Looking forward to meeting you someday...soon, I hope. ------Jim Wirth

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That doesn't look like a water spot.  It looks more like something from a bird or a tree.  Bird stuff in particular can be quite harsh.  I suspect rather than being a deposit on the surface it is something that has etched the nickel.  You really ought to get a knowledgeable polisher or plating shop to take a look at it in person before attempting something too aggressive and doing further damage.

 

Beautiful body style Packard.  Those are wonderful cars to drive.

 

 

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On 9/9/2019 at 7:30 AM, tomwallace said:

Thanks for everyone's input.

 

I will let you know the end of the story when it happens.

 

tom

 

 

Any new developments ?  What a wonderful example of a Nickel Era car !  (With or without the spots).     -    Carl 

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There are 2 things you can try. wipe with a  brake fluid damp rag and then rinse with water, or use a damp rag with Voporust which is safe. 

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