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Rust spots

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by Steve M, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. Hello folks this is my first post having only just returned to the biking world after 8 years off, and been enjoying the discussion on netrider.

    One of my criteria in getting back on a bike was keeping my costs low, but also having a bit of fun. I ended up buying a 1995 cb750. As my last bike was a 250 so I still have plenty to learn, and I wanted something reliable that had a bit of comfort for myself and my wife. Been very happy so far as it still seems to have plenty to play with.

    Anyway to the point of my post, my great looking bike (I think) is gettting rust spots on the handlebars and front lights. They seem to polish off but return very quickly. Any ideas ?
  2. Only way you're going to keep the rust from returning is to firstly make sure you remove it all, then coat with something to prevent the metal from contacting the air/moisture. Best method is to remove what you can with fine wet/dry then coat with phosphoric acid which converts any remaining rust to a form that's water soluble. You then need to wash that off and quickly dry with metho, followed straight away by a coat of primer or some sort of self-priming paint (I believe there is clear stuff available now which is good for chrome plated parts but I've not used it myself).
  3. I wouldn't be using wet and dry on the chrome, the silicon carbide grit on the paper is damn hard and will scratch the shit out of the chrome, which is relatively soft, and will destroy the original bright and shiny finish.

    A better (gentler) option is some fine grade steel wool lubed with some WD-40 or somesuch.
    Used gently, it will remove the rust completely but it wont mark the chrome at all.

    Chrome plating is porous to a degree and will allow the steel under it to corrode over time. The only way to stop it would to seal the pores in the chrome (after getting rid of the rust) with a clear lacquer of some sort, say a clear polyester or enamel.
    I guess you could try rubbing some silicone wax or other water repellant substance into it once in a while as well.

    Altenatively, just get the bits re-chromed.
    It's not that expensive and they will look like new again.
  4. Which is why I suggested only using fine silicon carbide - though probably should have been more specific and pointed out that I was talking something like a 4000 grit (or 2400 at the most).
    Steel wool won't scratch chrome, but it won't do much against rust either given that it is actually softer than it. You basically have to rely on the sharp edges of the wool "snagging" on bits of rust and physically breaking them to do anything, although it can appear to have removed the rust simply because it's left a thin layer of metal over the top of it.
  5. I think you might still find steel wool can produce some fine scratches on any chrome, but especially japanese chrome which was never renowned for its thickness or quality. :)

    A gentler alternative is scotchbrite or similar kitchen scouring pads, used with WD40. This is also suitable for many painted surfaces.


    Trevor G
  7. Thanks for the replies. Once I get the rust off, I need to use a clear enamel or laquer are there specific ones you can use on chrome ?

    Getting the stuff chromed again is a bit too much effort at the moment but I don't want the bike eaten away underneath me.
  8. Use a gentle metal polish to get rid of the rust marks. Avoid any abrasives, wire wool or scoth pads on chrome. However fine they are you will still scratch the chrome. Solvol Autosol works well.

    With rust on chrome, most of the "rust" you see will actually be water mark/stains spreading out from the pitting, so you don't need anything too aggressive, just wipe off the staining. Then treat the pits with as already mentioned with a phosphoric acid based rust convertor, then clear laquer or wax polish applied over the top. Basically you're trying to keep water away from the bare metal. If bad enough you can try touching in the pits with silver paint but there's no real way of fixing the pitting, other than re-chroming, or painting. It depends on how bad it is and how much it bothers you.
  9. Maybe. I really was using it generically. I should have just used the term "nylon scouring pad" since the average one of those is just as its name suggests. Well, they certainly don't scratch the bike things I clean with them.

    I have also used steel wool with WD40. Just keep trying media until you fin d the thing that works without side issues.


    Trevor G
  10. GPZ I have noticed that it looks more like little stained pools than genuine rust, and it does come off with metal cleaner. I will try the wax option as I already have some and see how it goes.
  11. Just clean it and wax it on a regular basis, will keep it looking good. Any sort of paint or lacquer will probably not go on too well and will just chip and peel over time anyway, or degrade in the sun due to UV light. A decent wax every month or so should be fine!