Go Back   The Supercar Registry > General Discussion > Lounge


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-31-2019, 05:05 AM
SuperNovaSS SuperNovaSS is online now
Yenko Paid Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 5,738
Thanks: 40
Thanked 103 Times in 77 Posts
Default Removing Rust with Citric Acid

Paul(PxTx) recently started a thread in the Garage/Shops forum about using 5 gallons of Evaporust to derust a block. Evaporust is a good product. It is just pretty expensive, especially for larger parts. 5 gallons is around $80 if I remember correctly. Paul's idea about using a bag inside a larger container with water outside the bag is brilliant and effective. His post inspired me to try something I've been meaning to do for a long time.
Paul's thread can be seen here:

https://www.yenko.net/forum/showthread.php?t=155144

The idea of using water pressure to reduce the amount of evaporust used is pure genius. Unfortunately, I am lazy and cheap. I just want to be able to dunk my parts in a container, pluck them out to check on progress, then dunk them back in. I also want to be able too reuse the liquid for more parts if possible. I have been looking for something non toxic, cost effective, gentle on parts for a couple years. I have tried a few different options but nothing has wowed me.

Last year, firstgenaddict, posted in a thread that citric acid could be used for derusting and was cheap. He said about a pound of citric acid powder added to 5 gallons of water did the trick. Here is the thread:

https://www.yenko.net/forum/showthread.php?t=150352


I checked out Amazon and saw that 5 pounds of powder is $14 including shipping. Hmmm, about $3 for 5 gallons instead of $80? Sounds like its worth a try! So I bought the citric acid and it sat on the shelf for almost a year. I still had 5 gallons of evaporust and used that for small items that I needed to clean. I had larger items to derust but simply wasn't motivated and had other things to do.

When I saw Paul's thread, I had just brought home a bunch of engine parts that had sat outside for a long time. Seemed like a good time to give the citric acid a try. Yesterday, I went the the local Resourse Recovery Center, AKA the dump, and found a 55 gallon plastic barrel. I decided to try a few cylinder heads, a very rusty crank, and some rusty flywheels. It looked like the barrel would need to be about 2/3 full and the parts would displace a good bit of that volume. So 2/3 of 55 is about 37. The parts may displace 10 gallons? That leaves 27. I have 5 pounds of acid which would make around 25 gallons using firstgenaddicts formula. Sounds good to me.

So I dumped the acid in and poured water on top of the parts. njsteve has made many posts about Evaporust and has mentioned that heat and circulation is important. Last year, when I bought the citric acid, I also bought an aquarium heater and pump for this purpose. It was time to put them to use. I hooked up the heater and pump and let the parts sit there for about 4 hours. I checked the parts and things were certainly happening. The liquid was getting darker and I could wipe rust off with my finger. The citric acid seemed to be working just like Evaporust. The fluid was getting warmer but hadn't quite reached that sweet spot. I checked at 6 hours and there was a little more progress and the liquid was getting warmer. At 8 hours, the liquid was warm and the rust was all gone. Between 6 and 8 hours, the black oxide had started to form on the parts. I really didn't mind because I planned to glass bead these parts anyway. I bit closer eye or temp control may help with the black oxide.

The next morning(today), I took a look in the barrel. The liquid was pretty black at this point. I dipped my finger in the liquid and tasted it(yep, tasted it). It was still very sour so I figured there was still acid that could do its work. I had a rusty 396 block from the same group of parts and decided to toss it in the barrel. Again, I turned on the heater and pump and let it sit. I checked it after 6 hours and it was moving along nicely. There was no much black on the block so I let it go for another 2 hours. I pulled it out and it looked great. I hosed it off and most of the rust that was still on the block sprayed right off. There were still a few areas of light rust but those seemed to easily wope off with a finger or brush. I was happy with this and decided to spray this block down with WD-40 to keep it from flash rusting. I checked out the liquid again and it is very dark. I dipped my finder in the liquid and tasted it(yep, tasted it). It still tastes sour but not as sour as earlier. I had another block that was rusty and decided to toss it in. This time the liquid is already warm so I think it will go quickly. I am going to let it go overnight and see what it looks like in the morning. I will report back.

I posted a few pictures of the progress so far. There is a picture of the cylinder head before, after soaking, then after blasting to remove the black coating that formed. The blasting was very fast and would have taken hours if not derusted first.

Anyway, this seems to be a very cost effective way to derust parts. Once the liquid stops working, I will have to get rid of it. I imagine it is safe for the drain but will have to look into that.


Does anyone else have experience using citric acid or other methods to remove rust?

Jason
Attached Images
          

Last edited by SuperNovaSS; 05-31-2019 at 05:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to SuperNovaSS For This Useful Post:
HawkX66 (05-31-2019)
  #2  
Old 05-31-2019, 05:21 AM
SuperNovaSS SuperNovaSS is online now
Yenko Paid Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 5,738
Thanks: 40
Thanked 103 Times in 77 Posts
Default

Here are a few more pictures of the first block before and after. I decided to pull the main bearings that were still there. When pulled the block, I realized the cam bearings were installed and the acid appeared to have no effect on them.

Jason
Attached Images
          
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to SuperNovaSS For This Useful Post:
HawkX66 (05-31-2019)
  #3  
Old 05-31-2019, 05:23 AM
SuperNovaSS SuperNovaSS is online now
Yenko Paid Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 5,738
Thanks: 40
Thanked 103 Times in 77 Posts
Default

Here are a few more of the 396 block. The last ones show it after it was hosed off and sprayed with WD-40.


Jason
Attached Images
       
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to SuperNovaSS For This Useful Post:
HawkX66 (05-31-2019)
  #4  
Old 05-31-2019, 05:45 AM
John Brown's Avatar
John Brown John Brown is offline
Yenko Paid Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: South Bend, Indiana
Posts: 2,402
Thanks: 48
Thanked 72 Times in 61 Posts
Default

My basement metal laundry has a lye tank that removes paint and grease, then it's over to the vinegar dip to remove the rust. I mix the vinegar half and half with water to keep it from etching shiny surfaces. Iron parts can be soaked in lye for weeks with no harm to them, but lye absolutely destroys aluminum. My vinegar tank usually removes most all rust in 24 hours (sometimes even less), at normal room temperature with no circulation. I don't do things larger than 55-64 Chevrolet pigs mainly because I'm too lazy to drag them up and down stairs, but the process has worked quite well for me for many years.
__________________
John Brown

This isn't rocket surgery.....
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to John Brown For This Useful Post:
HawkX66 (05-31-2019)
  #5  
Old 05-31-2019, 05:49 AM
SuperNovaSS SuperNovaSS is online now
Yenko Paid Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 5,738
Thanks: 40
Thanked 103 Times in 77 Posts
Default

I was considering setting up a lye tank as well. I actually got 2 of these drums with lids so I could make it happen. Where do you get the lye? Drain cleaner?

Thanks,

Jason
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-31-2019, 01:04 PM
markinnaples markinnaples is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Naples, FL
Posts: 3,638
Thanks: 2,319
Thanked 249 Times in 177 Posts
Default

Great post. Some years ago I used some wood bleach aka oxalic acid for an old Mongoose BMX frame and although it removed most of the rust, I didn't realize I had to spray it down with a rust protectant / WD40 to prevent flash rust so it needs to be done again, but oxalic acid is cheap (5 lbs for $17 online or you can buy it at one of the big box hardware stores) and does a good job as well, just FYI.
__________________
1968 Camaro Ex-ISCA Show Car
John 10:30
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to markinnaples For This Useful Post:
Damien (05-31-2019)
  #7  
Old 05-31-2019, 02:52 PM
John Brown's Avatar
John Brown John Brown is offline
Yenko Paid Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: South Bend, Indiana
Posts: 2,402
Thanks: 48
Thanked 72 Times in 61 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperNovaSS View Post
I was considering setting up a lye tank as well. I actually got 2 of these drums with lids so I could make it happen. Where do you get the lye? Drain cleaner?

Thanks,

Jason

Lowes, Menards. It's sold as drain cleaner. Contents list it as Sodium Hydroxide or Caustic Soda. Used to buy it at grocery stores, but it cost more getting it there. Amazon sellers may have it too.
__________________
John Brown

This isn't rocket surgery.....
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-31-2019, 03:51 PM
SuperNovaSS SuperNovaSS is online now
Yenko Paid Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 5,738
Thanks: 40
Thanked 103 Times in 77 Posts
Default

Thanks John,


I have seen it as drain cleaner at stores. What is the approximate ratio you use? What precautions do you use? I love the term "metal laundry" by the way.


Thanks,

Jason

Last edited by SuperNovaSS; 05-31-2019 at 04:04 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-31-2019, 06:22 PM
HawkX66's Avatar
HawkX66 HawkX66 is online now
Yenko Paid Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: VA/MA
Posts: 872
Thanks: 464
Thanked 107 Times in 74 Posts
Default

Those are some great results Jason. I used vinegar several times and had similar results without the heat and circulation. I used it straight though. I didn't do it on anything as big as a block. That was pretty impressive. It even left some of the orange paint that was hiding under the rust. I might have to give the citric acid a try. It seems like you can create larger quantities for much less $.
__________________
-Dave
Semper Fi!

69 Camaro SS396 L34 X66
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-31-2019, 06:25 PM
John Brown's Avatar
John Brown John Brown is offline
Yenko Paid Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: South Bend, Indiana
Posts: 2,402
Thanks: 48
Thanked 72 Times in 61 Posts
Default

Usually I mix a two pound container to 10 gallons of water. If you mix it weaker, it just takes longer. Always add the lye to the water, never pour water into lye crystals. Just like with your acid dip, it is necessary to hose off the slime, and then I blow the part dry to keep it from rusting. If you are going directly to the acid dip, all that is needed to spray off any paint, grease or lye residue.

This stuff is hard on skin, so be careful not to get it on skin or in eyes.
__________________
John Brown

This isn't rocket surgery.....
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to John Brown For This Useful Post:
HawkX66 (05-31-2019)
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.