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Old 01-07-09, 11:30 AM   #1
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Cleaning small bits of rust.

Ok... so... the time is coming for final assembly on my Panasonic and I want to know how to get rid of little bits of rust. Some on the lug shorelines, some are in the brake cable holders, and two others are little scratches. None are cancerous, and none seem structurally concerning, just bits of rust. The bike IS 22 years old, and is in good condition considering it's age.
I've thought about oxalic acid, I've thought about wire brushes, and also simple rust removers. But... all of those are more for more spread out areas, none of these are very big at all, but since I'm gonna be riding alot, I don't want them getting any bigger.
Any tips will be great, and there will be pics of said rust (as well as a pic of the bike in it's current state - it'll look much different two weeks from now).

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Old 01-07-09, 12:25 PM   #2
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I've used oxalic acid for small areas, just with a different means of application. On brake cable brazons I've taken bits of cloth soaked in oxalic acid and threaded them through the brazons. For lugs--in my case chromed lugs--I've wrapped them in cloth soaked in oxalic acid. I've also applied oxalic acid to small areas using a Q-tip, repeating the application after 10-15 minutes.

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Old 01-07-09, 07:45 PM   #3
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+1 Like the rag or QTip idea. I have a similar frame issue, not worth stripping the whole bike down and soaking, but worth treating a small area and touching it up.

FWIW: I keep a bucket of oxalic and reuse it on small parts. It has treated a half dozen bike parts so far. Gunk tends to settle to the bottom. Just make sure parts are degreased.
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Old 01-07-09, 08:24 PM   #4
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Get the Wal-Mart white bottled rust remover for $4.34 and the $1.97 can of WD-40. Grab a couple of old toothbrushes and some q-tips, maybe a green scrubbing pad, too.

First, wash the bike with soapy water and a rag, to get a better idea of where/how much rust you've got.

Now use the toothbrush to spread that gel-like rust remover into all the nooks and crevices, especially around those cable guides, lugs, etc. It helps to have the frame stripped down and where you can turn it upside down. The living room probably isn't the place.

Let it sit for a few minutes while you scrub on those wheels, or wipe down that GPX group with some WD40, using another toothbrush to get into all the crevices.

Now go back and scrub with the toothbrush on the frame, use the green pad up near those cable guides, it has a good edge on it. Use the Q-tips roughly in those guides. The remover softens the rust and any abrasive action lifts it up. The faint orange tint will be gone, too.

Rinse it off with water and a rag. Do not use a pressure washer.

After rinsing, wipe it down, see where your problem areas may be. Then do it again and let the remover sit a little bit longer. I always do it on a wet frame, I just don't trust myself putting that stuff on a dry frame, and the dog gets out or Morgan Fairchild comes on TV or something and I get distracted.

After 2 times, you'll have the hang of what to look for, how you know it's working, etc. It's cheap, relatively safe if you don't drink it.

Then I wash the bike with cheap car wash like Armor All or Turtle Wax car wash, a nice thick soapy mixture, heavy on the suds. It seems to rinse better and shine somewhat.

But wait, there's more!

Now get that toothbrush from where you scrubbed your spokes, etc and hubs with WD-40, and finish wiping them down. If you have your girlfriend help, you need to tell her you're almost done.

Spray some WD-40 on that toothbrush and scrub it in the same nooks and crevices on the frame.
Get a clean shop rag or hand towel. Spray WD-40 on it and rub down the frame, paying attention to the cable guides, lugs, dropout areas, etc. As you rub, you'll see little specs and defects in the paint disappear. Neat, huh? A lot of them are just stuff stuck on, and you'll be surprised how much comes off, especially on the white.

Now wipe the whole thing down with a clean old towel or something. Don't go inside those cable guides to clean out the WD-40. It isn't hurting anything.

1 hour, tops. You'll have enough stuff left over for her bike, too.

Or, call me and I'll bring my bucket of magic stuff, and we'll have that Panasonic Boom looking like new in no time.

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 01-07-09 at 08:27 PM.
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