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Old 05-10-2001, 12:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Forgive me if this is common knowledge/practice to you illuminati but I lucked out with this and have to share.

While etching the concrete in the garage for a planned painting, I ended up with some extra Muriatic Acid. This is the same stuff that's used to adjust the pH in pools; just very concentrated and in liquid form. I picked it up at Home Depot.

Anyway, there were a few pieces of my car that needed cleaning and paint stripping and I opted to try the acid rather than the wire brush/stripper method. After diluting the acid with about 5-6 parts water, I put some parts including timing chain cover, bumperett mounts, lots of nuts and bolts, etc. in the solution for a few hours. Looking at them afterwards in the bucket I was a bit disappointed however; no visible change.

That all changed when I hit them with a garden hose - every bit of paint, rust, oil, undercoating, and dirt came off. Better yet, the metal looks GREAT. I was a bit concerned about the Aluminum timing chain cover but it looks the best of them all. I'd imagine that the metal has been slightly etched as well and would take well to painting once well washed.

If you give it a shot, use gloves and do it outside. Be safe with this stuff as it's REALLY nasty. SWMBO was using some undiluted stuff that ate noticebly though concrete in seconds.

I hope somebody finds this trick handy,
Aaron

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Old 05-10-2001, 01:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Muriatic acid is so dangerous that we (college students) aren't even allowed to use it in our advanced chemistry experiments, lol.

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Old 05-10-2001, 01:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Just remember --- "Do as you oughtta, add acid to water"

Not the other way around!

Bob
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Old 05-10-2001, 01:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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LOL, did Chem 101 ruin a few of your shirts like it did mine!? I had many shirts with holes across them at table-height. Just leaning up against the table did it.

Like I said, be careful with this stuff! It is quite corrosive out of the bottle. Follow the precautions. It's really not that hard and the results were worth it in my opinion.

-Aaron

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Old 05-10-2001, 03:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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i used that stuff to clean my block when it was being rebuilt, works really good

66 coupe, modified 289,stock c4 (in the process of converting to t5)
TCP suspension and subframes, 4wheel disc brakes, stock 279 open rear (gonna have to change that soon). Why do i keep spending so much money on this car?
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Old 05-10-2001, 09:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have used it at the detail shop to clean the bottom of boats.

Matt
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Old 05-10-2001, 09:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yep, I bought 2 gallons of it at Leslie's pool supply. I've got it in a 5 gallon pail of it with 2 gallons of deionized water. Just be careful, potmetal basically melts in the acid. I dropped the quarter window guides (the large rectangular pieces that have the rails for the quarter window) in the acid to get the corrosion off, and I left them in the pail a little too long. When I pulled them out, the pot metal stops that have the rubber covered end on it, was gone! two rivets sizzling were left. When I looked down in the pail, I saw a bubbling ball of pot metal in the bottom! Not to worry, though, I got another one for 20 bucks! Cheap doofus award!


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Old 05-10-2001, 09:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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we use the stuff to remove light surface rust on undercarriage components. the most important thing to remember is to wash it off totally.

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Old 05-10-2001, 10:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've used muriatic acid for years as well. The fumes as everyone knows are really mean. You have to stay upwind, and the fumes travel and contaminate everything in their path. I always have a water hose next to the work area as a precaution. You can't be too carefull with that stuff. Because it gets down into the pores of the metal, it makes it a very effective and fast acting cleaner. But the down side is the rusting process starts immediately after the item has been cleaned and dried. Dipping the parts in phosphoric acid, phosphate coats the part(s) and helps tremendously in eliminating the re-rust problem on nuts and bolts etc. For other items blot or force air dry then prime and paint. I have also read that muriatic acid can cause metal to crystalize and weaken. Think twice about dipping critical suspension or brake components in that stuff. Phosphoric acid will accomplish the same cleaning action, it takes longer, but is a hell of a lot safer!

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Old 05-10-2001, 10:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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A guy at the shop where I work on my car stripped a rusted rolling chasis with this stuff. As was previously said every friggin bare piece of metal within 100 feet started to rust. I wanrned them about this and the dangers of working with acid but I guess I was the only one that listed in chemistry class. This stuff cleans rust great but is a hell of an oxidizer. I convinced him to wash it down with baking soda solution which delayed the flash rusting long enough to get some epoxy primer on it.

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Old 05-10-2001, 11:19 AM   #11 (permalink)
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charlie,

the phosphoric acid sounds like it might be a better option. can you paint over the phosphate coating?

i have NASTY flash rusting problem as i'm on the water just southeast of houston. i want to hit my block with some degreaser prior to painting it and was considering the muriatic acid. might phosphoric be better or should i go for just plain old deagreser and metal ready?

thanks,
aaron


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Old 05-10-2001, 11:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I can't believe you guys use that stuff on your parts. I've used that for years to clean masonry and it's nasty! We put a shovel in a dilluted mixture of it and by the next morning it had dissolved to the thickness if a beer can. It cleans aluminum nice but it dissolves metal. It has to be stored in plastic or glass for a very good reason. Be very careful.
Steve



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Old 05-10-2001, 07:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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hey! I use acid all the time as a printmaker.
here's the major concerns,

Make sure you get it ALL off. this is best acheived by using a stop bath. or a tub full of water mixed with bacing soda to deativate the acid.

also any one acid bath should only be used with one type of metal. Otherwise the acid can actually plate the new metal with the old metal.

next lastly, and I cannot stress this enough, those fumes are toxic. they can kill you. so do this OUTSIDE. If you are in a garage...turn on the fans... I mean it.

and lastly, keep a box of baking soda around incase you splah any and Wear eye protectors.

Muriatic acid if memory serves, is Hydrocloric based, so that gas it gives off is chlorine, and acidic. So a using tip. DO NOT LEAN OVER IT.

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Old 05-17-2001, 08:17 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Sounds like pretty nasty stuff. I was thinking of dipping my boat exhaust manifolds to clear all the rust from the water passages. Anyone got any ideas as to how effective this would be? and would it simply ruin them?

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