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Lazy Man's Internal Frame Rust Treatment Advice

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Lazy Man's Internal Frame Rust Treatment Advice

Old 11-25-13, 05:09 PM
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jethin
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Lazy Man's Internal Frame Rust Treatment Advice

OK, I know the old rust removal horse has been flogged here many times. But I'm seeking some advice specific to my situation from those who have a high tolerance for repetition.

I cracked open the bottom bracket of a mid-range bike I inherited recently and found a small pile of accumulated rust dirt there. (It's likely this bike spent much of it's life sitting outdoors, though hopefully covered.) I'm a rust newbie, but it seemed like there was enough corrosion to be concerned about but not so much that the frame's structure would be compromised. I cleaned up the bb and it's looks OK, so my suspicion is the rust is coming down from one of the other tubes (though I don't remember encountering much rust in the places I stuck my greasy fingers into the frame.)

I've read here that the best way to deal with internal rust is some type of full frame treatment, such as phosphoric or oxalic acid, followed up with a "frame saver." While I'd like to do what I can to protect this frame, the build is almost done (I just did the headset, stem, seat) and I don't really have the means to do a full treatment.

So my thoughts are to either:

1) If possible, try to figure out a way to clean the tubes a bit with some unknown, perhaps improvised steel brush tool. Then shoot an aerosol rust converter as possible in seat tube, around bb and connected tubes, and in air holes. There is then about a 50% chance I'll get it together to do some type of simple frame saver treatment afterward, or maybe just WD-40 and call it a day.

2) Ride it until it turns to dust and/or re-inspect on next full overhaul in roughly 3-4 years.

If it makes any difference I don't plan on riding this bike in the rain. Thanks for your thoughts and for bearing with me.
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Old 11-25-13, 05:29 PM
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..If the BB is still out, you can easily treat all seat, down tubes, and chain stays with this stuff:



You need to pull the seat post to get at the top tube, and the interior of the steerer tube
can be gotten from underneath, while the seat stays have small holes that you can spray into
using a red plastic tube that comes with the can.

Let it dry a day or three before you put the BB back in.
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Old 11-25-13, 05:33 PM
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There's not much you can do to remove the rust from the insides of the tubes mechanically. Getting wire wheels, brushes or sand paper up in the tubes will be difficult at best and unlikely much more that a few inches. Which is not to say that you should try. Removing rust from where ever is always best.


For the rest of the frame containing the future rust is the usual policy. From WD-40 to FrameSaver there are many coatings one can apply to prevent rust for a while. If you do a complete take down and reassembly every couple of years and reapply stuff to the insides of the tubes each time I wouldn't be too concerned about future rust.

The exception is the seat post and stem (of traditional bikes). Here the clamped contact will hinder evaporation and component freezing corrosion can occur within months if there's any conductive chemicals (salt) involved. Andy.
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Old 11-25-13, 05:38 PM
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That treatment is very effective, however it will contaminate the new headset grease if done properly, so be prepared to re-pack it. Happy Thanksgiving
Cheers
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Old 11-25-13, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jethin View Post
If it makes any difference I don't plan on riding this bike in the rain.
If this is the case, and you store the bike indoors, IMO you don't need to do anything. Moisture and salt are what cause steel to rust. Take those out of the equation and you should be fine forever. It's pretty rare for a steel frame to succumb to rust, unless used as a daily commuter in a wet/wintery area or stored outside. Even then it takes many years.
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Old 11-25-13, 07:25 PM
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Thanks for the replies all.

Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
If this is the case, and you store the bike indoors, IMO you don't need to do anything. Moisture and salt are what cause steel to rust. Take those out of the equation and you should be fine forever. It's pretty rare for a steel frame to succumb to rust, unless used as a daily commuter in a wet/wintery area or stored outside. Even then it takes many years.
The lazy man in me wants to go this route.

Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
..If the BB is still out, you can easily treat all seat, down tubes, and chain stays with this stuff:

The preservationist in me says go for the spray. However, I think Skoda2 is probably right: I'd need to remove the headset and repack to make sure it wasn't contaminated. Would also probably need to apply a saver afterward. Good ideas, but I'm still weighing my options...
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Old 11-25-13, 08:01 PM
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The real lazy man's option is to buy a Ti frame.
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Old 11-26-13, 12:22 AM
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Lazy Man's Internal Frame Rust Treatment Advice?


Just ignore it and just ride the bike , anything more is too much work..

use your time to make more Money to buy a New Bike.
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Old 11-26-13, 04:13 PM
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Two votes for laziness? That pretty much settles it for me. I think I'm gonna let this one ride for a couple of years and revisit the issue next time I crack the bottom bracket.

One last quick question if anyone is interested: Would it be worthwhile to spray some WD-40 (or something else easy to find) in the tubes I can reach right now as a protective measure? Would a simple, partial internal coating be at all effective or otherwise helpful?

Thanks again for the thoughts and Happy Turkey Day.
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Old 11-26-13, 04:37 PM
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Stop at a NAPA auto parts dealer and get a can of Amsoil HDMP. Spray it heavily into every tube, stay and fork blade on the bike and let it dry. No more rust problems. BTW, it's the same stuff as Weigel's Frame Saver but you get more for less cost.
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Old 11-26-13, 10:00 PM
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This kind of discussion is like which oil to use. Or, as I like to say to my customers at work, it's like which soap you should use. The fact that you're bathing regularly is FAR more important then which soap (or rust proofing) you use. Andy.
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Old 11-26-13, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jethin View Post
Two votes for laziness? That pretty much settles it for me. I think I'm gonna let this one ride for a couple of years and revisit the issue next time I crack the bottom bracket.

One last quick question if anyone is interested: Would it be worthwhile to spray some WD-40 (or something else easy to find) in the tubes I can reach right now as a protective measure? Would a simple, partial internal coating be at all effective or otherwise helpful?

Thanks again for the thoughts and Happy Turkey Day.
...WD-40 is really not your best choice for this purpose, and they sell the Rustoleum stuff at Home Depot in the paint department,
so it's neither hard to get nor expensive. Anything that seals out Oxygen will slow down rust considerably, as without it, the process
pretty much stops. But it does depend on your degree of lazy, and you are the judge of that.
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Old 11-27-13, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
This kind of discussion is like which oil to use. Or, as I like to say to my customers at work, it's like which soap you should use. The fact that you're bathing regularly is FAR more important then which soap (or rust proofing) you use. Andy.
Well, yes but you bath regularly (I hope) so the type of soap isn't much of an issue. You typically apply rust proofing once so using effective stuff is important.
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Old 11-27-13, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
This kind of discussion is like which oil to use. Or, as I like to say to my customers at work, it's like which soap you should use. The fact that you're bathing regularly is FAR more important then which soap (or rust proofing) you use. Andy.
I agree, and I'm not concerned with the brand. But as I understand it there are different kinds of rust treatments ("remover", "converter", "inhibitor") and I want to make sure I use the right one for the right purpose. But maybe these designations too are just marketing hype.

Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...WD-40 is really not your best choice for this purpose, and they sell the Rustoleum stuff at Home Depot in the paint department,
so it's neither hard to get nor expensive. Anything that seals out Oxygen will slow down rust considerably, as without it, the process
pretty much stops. But it does depend on your degree of lazy, and you are the judge of that.
Thanks for the suggestion(s) 3alarmer (and others). My concerns about using the Rustoleum stuff are 1) Is it good to add a protective layer (I think that's what this does) over any existing rust? 2) I'd prefer not to break down the headset I just packed 3) My suspicion is the rust is spotty on the inside, and some of the rust specific products say they shouldn't be used on non-rusted surfaces and 4) It seems most recommend adding a protective coating after the rust stuff, which adds yet another (non-lazy) step to the process.

So how about this plan of action:

1) Spray rust *inhibitor* (as per Rustoleum above) into available tubes (seat tube, down top tube from seat lug, up down tube from bb, down chain stays and seat stays and in air holes). Trust that spraying down the top tube and up the down tube using the straw won't contaminate the headset.

2) Leave it at that until next complete overhaul, say 3 years.

Despite the rust dirt in the bb, I kind of suspect that it really isn't that bad in there. There's orange dust down the seat tube, but nothing that looks gnarly. I don't think this bike saw much use, and I certainly don't want to make things any worse.

Sorry if I seem a bit overcareful here. It's just that if I'm going to do this I want to do it the best I can, and without drawing out the process for a month. Thanks.

Last edited by jethin; 11-27-13 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 11-27-13, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by jethin View Post
I agree, and I'm not concerned with the brand. But as I understand it there are different kinds of rust treatments ("remover", "converter", "inhibitor") and I want to make sure I use the right one for the right purpose. But maybe these designations too are just marketing hype.



Thanks for the suggestion(s) 3alarmer (and others). My concerns about using the Rustoleum stuff are 1) Is it good to add a protective layer (I think that's what this does) over any existing rust? 2) I'd prefer not to break down the headset I just packed 3) My suspicion is the rust is spotty on the inside, and some of the rust specific products say they shouldn't be used on non-rusted surfaces and 4) It seems most recommend adding a protective coating after the rust stuff, which adds yet another (non-lazy) step to the process.

So how about this plan of action:

1) Spray rust *inhibitor* (as per Rustoleum above) into available tubes (seat tube, down top tube from seat lug, up down tube from bb, down chain stays and seat stays and in air holes). Trust that spraying down the top tube and up the down tube using the straw won't contaminate the headset.

2) Leave it at that until next complete overhaul, say 3 years.

Despite the rust dirt in the bb, I kind of suspect that it really isn't that bad in there. There's orange dust down the seat tube, but nothing that looks gnarly. I don't think this bike saw much use, and I certainly don't want to make things any worse.

Sorry if I seem a bit overcareful here. It's just that if I'm going to do this I want to do it the best I can, and without drawing out the process for a month. Thanks.
...the different products really are different, not just hype.

The rust converter stuff is great, but it is impossible to get it into all the places it needs to go.
It is very good for exterior surfaces, where you intend to paint over it.

This stuff is an oil product (probably a linseed oil...which is used for oil based paints as the carrier.)

I only know about it from the recommendation of a local frame builder, who tells me it's the
equivalent of the framesaver oils sold at higher prices under a few different names. He uses it.

It stays liquid for a while so you can squirt a puddle into the tube and slosh it around to cover
all the surfaces. You cannot do that with paint, or converter, or remover unless you block all
the frame holes and fill with liquid rust remover (which i have done...huge PIA).

I think you'll have to work at it pretty hard to contaminate the headset bearings, which are
isolated from the steerer tube by their respective cup and cone races, but you might have
talents in this area of which I'm unaware. I'm sure your bike will work fine without doing this.
It's not unusual to see some rust in a BB shell, as the water that enter s a frame tends to
pool there.

I do this treatment on everything I restore or overhaul. You really are overthinking this.

Anything that tends to seal out oxygen will slow down the oxidative process that
results in the iron oxide we call rust....Good luck, do whatever, put your bike together
and go ride it while the weather still allows it.
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Old 11-27-13, 11:31 AM
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When I first started riding I bought an old Raleigh road frame. It was a low end steel. After IO decided that I was addicted I bought a better bike and took the Raleigh to the refinery. It stayed there day and night for 7 years until I retired. The frame had some surface rust, but otherwise was sound.
Ride your bike and don't worry about it.
If you get a new steel frame and fork treat the insides with a sealer and ride it.
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Old 11-27-13, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...the different products really are different, not just hype.

The rust converter stuff is great, but it is impossible to get it into all the places it needs to go.
It is very good for exterior surfaces, where you intend to paint over it.

This stuff is an oil product (probably a linseed oil...which is used for oil based paints as the carrier.)

I only know about it from the recommendation of a local frame builder, who tells me it's the
equivalent of the framesaver oils sold at higher prices under a few different names. He uses it.

It stays liquid for a while so you can squirt a puddle into the tube and slosh it around to cover
all the surfaces. You cannot do that with paint, or converter, or remover unless you block all
the frame holes and fill with liquid rust remover (which i have done...huge PIA).

I think you'll have to work at it pretty hard to contaminate the headset bearings, which are
isolated from the steerer tube by their respective cup and cone races, but you might have
talents in this area of which I'm unaware. I'm sure your bike will work fine without doing this.
It's not unusual to see some rust in a BB shell, as the water that enter s a frame tends to
pool there.

I do this treatment on everything I restore or overhaul. You really are overthinking this.

Anything that tends to seal out oxygen will slow down the oxidative process that
results in the iron oxide we call rust....Good luck, do whatever, put your bike together
and go ride it while the weather still allows it.
Good things to know and good advice 3alarmer, thanks again. I believe I have finally achieved clarity on this issue and will once again be able to sleep at night.

Happy Thanksgiving all!
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Old 12-01-13, 08:09 AM
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Harbor Freight and automotive body shops carry a product known as Evapo-Rust in gallon containers. About $28/gal. I use this to clean and keep rust free my motorcycle gas tanks. Once you pour or spray the Evapo-Rust into/onto the frame let sit for several hours and rmove then coat with Ruyst-oleum Rust Inhibitor. Wardie
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Old 12-01-13, 10:45 AM
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...excellent product, relatively non toxic (water based). Works well, if slowly, and works faster when warm. Reusable.
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Old 12-01-13, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
If this is the case, and you store the bike indoors, IMO you don't need to do anything. Moisture and salt are what cause steel to rust. Take those out of the equation and you should be fine forever. It's pretty rare for a steel frame to succumb to rust, unless used as a daily commuter in a wet/wintery area or stored outside. Even then it takes many years.
Yes, exactly. Just store the bike inside, dry it off well after getting wet and it should last for decades.
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Old 12-01-13, 01:55 PM
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Kenosha Wisconsin where they made Nash-Rambler Cars, they used to completely dip the whole car body
in a tank, like a Sheep Dip of the corrosion protecting paint layer .

then it went to the paint booth for the color to be sprayed on.
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Old 12-01-13, 02:02 PM
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grease gun pump away, hot day helps for full coverage, they sell needles that fit into the small holes it works, turn bike over on a hot day for full coverage.
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Old 12-01-13, 07:46 PM
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I use WD-40, having seen enough comparison tests and my own use on high carbon steel handsaw blades.

http://www.thegunzone.com/rust.html
http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=1..._Preventatives
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread....-Pics-5-08-12)

I spray it into the frame and stay tubes with the frame in different orientations.
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Old 12-03-13, 08:05 PM
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Thanks again for all the good ideas.

Originally Posted by wardie View Post
Harbor Freight and automotive body shops carry a product known as Evapo-Rust in gallon containers. About $28/gal. I use this to clean and keep rust free my motorcycle gas tanks. Once you pour or spray the Evapo-Rust into/onto the frame let sit for several hours and rmove then coat with Ruyst-oleum Rust Inhibitor. Wardie
I was thinking soaking is probably the best option, but I don't want to ruin the existing paint. Seems like plugging the holes up on the frame might be an option, but I'm guessing it's difficult to get a water tight seal and also a bit of a PIA as mentioned somewhere up thread.

Originally Posted by Paramount1973 View Post
I use WD-40, having seen enough comparison tests and my own use on high carbon steel handsaw blades.

http://www.thegunzone.com/rust.html
http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=1..._Preventatives
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread....-Pics-5-08-12)

I spray it into the frame and stay tubes with the frame in different orientations.
Sheldon Brown mentions WD-40 in his page on rust treatment. I think it's a decent option, but in my case I think I'm going to hold out for a more comprehensive strategy, which in all likelihood won't happen until the next full overhaul.
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Old 12-03-13, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Kenosha Wisconsin where they made Nash-Rambler Cars, they used to completely dip the whole car body
in a tank, like a Sheep Dip of the corrosion protecting paint layer .

then it went to the paint booth for the color to be sprayed on.
Just about every auto manufacturer has use the same technique for decades. IIRC, Ramblers (we had a '62) didn't last very long despite the "corrosion protection".
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