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Saving bad chrome

Old 05-28-22, 11:12 PM
  #1  
gorillimo
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Saving bad chrome

Hi all-
a Pinarello Treviso showed fs local. Post ‘84 model. The chrome on the chain stay is rusty. Don’t think it’ll polish up. Any good methods of saving it you’ve tried? Thinking of just cleaning it up as much as possible and slapping a chain stay guard over it…..


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Old 05-28-22, 11:27 PM
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Did you try aluminum foil yet? Soak a rag in some CLR or vinegar drape it over the chainstay and leave it for a few hours. Rub the rust off with a non scratch Scotchbrite, then rub aluminum foil on the chrome. You'd be surprised on how well it cleans up.
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Old 05-29-22, 02:34 AM
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Here are some results I got with just aluminum foil.

Before:


After:


As you can see, it will typically leave whatever pitting was there, but it will usually take off the rust and leave a surface that looks very good from five feet away.
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Old 05-29-22, 04:46 AM
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I'm probably gonna catch hell for this, but I've used 0000 steel wool soaked in WD-40 with excellent results.
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Old 05-29-22, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by gearbasher View Post
I'm probably gonna catch hell for this, but I've used 0000 steel wool soaked in WD-40 with excellent results.
I think hell is only given for suggesting it as chain lube.

The chain stay doesn't look awful. I'd give the crumpled aluminum foil a go first. I like to go with the least destructive methods first before pulling out heavier abrasives or chemicals.
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Old 05-29-22, 04:59 AM
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I've had success with aluminum foil and water.
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Old 05-29-22, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by gearbasher View Post
I'm probably gonna catch hell for this, but I've used 0000 steel wool soaked in WD-40 with excellent results.
Same here but with 30wt motor oil. I’ve used PB blaster too. Both work well. Some times I use a dull steel scraper on spots where the rust has “bloomed” up through a pin hole and flowed out onto the chromed surface. All of these can produce good results that beat throwing out the part or paying for a re-chrome.
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Old 05-29-22, 05:20 AM
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Barkeepers Friend works great for removing that type of rust. Finish it off with Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish.
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Old 05-29-22, 05:38 AM
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Similar (or worse....) chrome issues to the OP on a frame I'm working on.
Curious what folks do after removing the rust with one of the above methods to protect the pitted/bare metal parts? Clear-coat it? Clear nail polish?
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Old 05-29-22, 06:27 AM
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Best to use bronze wool or brass wool. Doesnt scratch the chrone like steel wool.

Aluminum foil works, is simple and I have it on hand.

Good old Turtle Wax chrome polish works well too.

​​​​​
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Old 05-29-22, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
Similar (or worse....) chrome issues to the OP on a frame I'm working on.
Curious what folks do after removing the rust with one of the above methods to protect the pitted/bare metal parts? Clear-coat it? Clear nail polish?
I've had good luck with Johnson paste wax, though it takes re-application every once in a while.
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Old 05-29-22, 06:57 AM
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0000 steel wool with chrome polish, I’ve had great results without damaging the chrome.
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Old 05-29-22, 08:01 AM
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I’ll add another option to the foil:

coke. The beverage!

I’d definitely clean that up and ride it.

Hit it up with whatever car wax you have post polishing to keep it nice.
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Old 05-29-22, 09:04 AM
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Apply Metal Rescue or Evaporust with a soft tooth brush and keep brushing and applying. Then use wax to seal it.
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Old 05-29-22, 09:23 AM
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That's not bad, most of that can be wiped away with oil. Car wax would also do very well too, don't be afraid to use your fingernails. I would use the least amount of abrasive.

Here is the Mondia, I wiped this down with chainsaw oil, let it soak, wiped off, then scratched with my nails.

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Old 05-29-22, 10:07 AM
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There are as many ways to remove rust spots as there are to open a bottle of beer.
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Old 05-29-22, 10:46 AM
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I’m late to the aluminum foil fan club but I have become a lifetime member.

Generally, chrome is VERY hard so any metal/abrasive softer than the chrome will work. Evaporust has also worked well for me.

Side note - NOT a member of the rust converter fan club. There is a time and a place for it - never and in the trash.
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Old 05-29-22, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
There are as many ways to remove rust spots as there are to open a bottle of beer.
Are you including the tooth to dentist method...?

Barkeeps Friend, plus tinfoil. If it doesn’t clean up, call it Patina...
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Old 05-29-22, 12:27 PM
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I DO NOT recommend steel wool! Wash the chrome with warm soapy water and a soft rag. Dry it off and then, crumple up a piece of aluminum foil, shiny side out, and rub the rust off. This works extremely well for surface rust only. Pitted rust is not nearly as easy to deal with. Same fork socks and fender struts after the aluminum magic treatment...

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Old 05-29-22, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by gearbasher View Post
I'm probably gonna catch hell for this, but I've used 0000 steel wool soaked in WD-40 with excellent results.
I restore vintage drums. A luthier friend turned me on to that trick. I use it often…
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Old 05-29-22, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by amillhench View Post
I’d definitely clean that up and ride it.
Yep! Planning on it. A gift to myself for overcoming a partial Achilles avulsion. The Pinarello brings back a great era for me…
if only it were the tri color like Grewal’s Olympic bike!

Last edited by gorillimo; 05-29-22 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 05-30-22, 08:14 AM
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This was rusty, crusty but I always use 0000 steel wool and WD-40 on all my restorations. Good chrome is very hard and can take a bit of abrasive.

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Old 05-30-22, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
Best to use bronze wool or brass wool. Doesnt scratch the chrone like steel wool.

Aluminum foil works, is simple and I have it on hand.

Good old Turtle Wax chrome polish works well too.

​​​​​
The best ways to go when cleaning chrome.....especially when the finish lightly rusted like the OP's.
I think that you will be amazed at the results that you will achieve using the above methods.
Post the results if you buy it and clean it up.
Best, Ben
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Old 05-30-22, 11:11 AM
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There is a product called "Bombz Away" that is a polish specifically for aluminum. Generally used and found within motorcycle circles. It says it doesn't work for chrome, but in my own experience it does very well. I have used it on brass and other metals as well.

Quad 0 steel wool works fine but you must keep some manner of liquid and don't dig in, just gentle circular motion. As stated above, if there is pitting there is basically nothing to do.
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