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sorekiwi

Freeing up Throttle & Choke cables

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There was a brief discussion on electrolytic rust removal in this "Bodywork" thread:

http://www.wheelhorseforum.com/index.php?...indpost&p=13481

I've been using it on bits and pieces for a few years now, and it does work well. A few weeks ago I threw in a hitch cable that was stiff, and the end result was so succesful I decided to try it on some completely frozen throttle and choke cables.

After a couple of hpurs in the bath, the cables began to move, but very stiffly. I worked them a bit and put them back in for another 2 hours. Pulled them out, blew throught with compressed air, blew through with WD-40, blew through with compressed air again and finished off with some 3in1 sewing machine oil. Both are completely useable now, free and smooth. I was amazed, and now will be able to use OEM origional parts on the old Lawn Ranger.

I'm stoked! :banana: :banana: :banana:

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That's great information. B) I'll have to try it on a few I have laying around. Does it affect the plastic knobs at all?

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Mike I've been reading up on the sites you posted & am in the process of makeing my own out of a cut down 40 gallon blue plastic barrel.

May be giveing you some PM's about the process. B)

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That's great information. B) I'll have to try it on a few I have laying around. Does it affect the plastic knobs at all?

It doesnt seem to affect the knobs, but mine had gone kinda grey on this tractor. I tried buffing them hoping they'd come up black, but they're not there yet.

The boss that holds them in the dashboard is aluminum, and it didnt seem to hurt that either.

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Mike I've been reading up on the sites you posted & am in the process of makeing my own out of a cut down 40 gallon blue plastic barrel.

May be giveing you some PM's about the process. B)

No problem Tickster

The cut down barrel should work well. I was thinking about using a blue barrel because I thought it would be big enough to fit a complete frame in.

One thing I've done differently lately is to use a big sacrificial electrode. One of the thousand unfinished projects I have lying around is to build a mid-mount grader blade. I used a section cut out of an old air compressor tank for the blade, and had a piece of that lying around. Its perfect as the curve lets it sit out of the way on the side of the bucket. My piece is about 8 inches wide by about 12 inches long. I used to use a couple of sticks of rebar. The bigger electrode really seems to get stuff fizzing pretty well

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OK, I'll try to document how I do it. I wont pretend to understand how it works, I'm a little shaky in electrical theory and downright inept when it comes to chemistry, but it is explained in detail in a lot of the information available in cyberspace. This link will take you to a google search page:

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navc...ectrolytic+rust

Equipment:

Plastic bucket

IMG_1872.jpg

I have recently switched to a 12 gallon container, but for years I have used a 5 gallon bucket. The 5 gal wasnt quite big enough to get a hoodstand into. You can put one end in and zap it and later turn it over and do the other end, but obviously it takes twice as long.

Power Supply

IMG_1873.jpgI use a generic 12 v power supply that I had lying around, but you could use a manual battery charger as well (an automtic one probably wont work).

Washing Soda

IMG_1874.jpg

Arm and Hammer is available in most (but not all) supermarkets. Its normally in the laundry soap department.

Sacrificial Electrode This needs to be a piece of ferrous steel. I have used a couple of sticks of rebar for this, but have recently found that the more area the piece has the better. You could use a piece of sheet metal or steel plate for this.

Set up

Use about a cup of washing soda to 5 gals of water. Put it in the bucket then fill the bucket up trying to mix the powder in. The ratio isnt critical, not enough soda and it wont conduct, dont know what happens if the mix is too strong. I dont think it matters. I have heard of people putting lye in the mix as well to help with paint removal. I've never tried this, and I like to be able to touch the parts without my hands falling off.

Put the sacrificial electrode in one side of the bucket. Some of it should stick out of the water so you can hook it to the POSITIVE side of the power supply.

Hang the piece to be treated in the other side of the bucket. It should not touch the sides or bottom of the bucket, and it should not touch the sacrificial electrode.

It needs a good connection to the NEGATIVE side of the power supply. I usually sand a shiny spot on the part to get a good connection. I use an alligator clip on the power supply to connect to the part. I also have an automotive stop light bulb in the -ve line so I can see that current is flowing (if it doesnt light up, usually there is a bad connection somewhere). The bulb also increases the current flowing in the circuit and speeds things up. When you switch on the power the part will start to "fizz"

IMG_1859.jpg

Thats it! Every couple of hours I usually pull the part out, give it a quick wire brush, hose it off with a garden hose and put it back in. As the part gets cleaner it will fizz more and more (and the lamp will glow brighter and brighter). The sample piece in the photo's was done after 4 hours, but I have left stuff in the tank for a couple of days before I was happy with it.

Here is a series of pictures showing a part getting cleaned:

I started with a head shroud off a Tecumseh engine.

IMG_1856.jpg

IMG_1855.jpg

After 2 hours:

IMG_1864.jpg

IMG_1863.jpg

You notice the rust on the part starts to change from orange to black. I dont think the mixture is removing the paint, it's loosening up the rust underneath the paint, so the paint flakes off.

After 4 hours:

IMG_1868.jpg

IMG_1869.jpg

No more orange, its all been turned to black

After a quick trip to the wire wheel on the grinder:

IMG_1870.jpg

IMG_1871.jpg

Ready for some hammering, sanding, primer and paint.

Im sure I've forgotten something here, let me know what it is...

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I'm going to have to try this on my 552 cables the orig. ones one moves a little the other don't.

I'd like to add it might be a good idea to plug this in to a GFI outlet for safty sake

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Looks like a good science project for my kid. I'll have him clean parts for me. 😃

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Is there any off gassing concerns with E tanks, something that must be set up outdoors for safety? :dunno:

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Hydrogen is the gas released during the process. Safe enough as long as it doesnt go off!

I really only use my tank during summer, and if I'm out in the garage the door is open (so I can see out - not for ventilation reasons). I dont worry about closing the doors and letting stuff cook overnight, or even for a couple of days.

I usually make sure the doors been open for half an hour or so before I do any welding though.

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You would need a big power supply, lots of steel, water and soda - and very poor ventilation. I'm thinking it would take many many hours to get to the concentration you need - though hydrogen has one of the widest gas/air mixes likely to cause an explosion...

I can't find any evidence of any e-tank fires/explosions, but that still does not make it safe...

All things considered... I am always careful to ensure adequate ventilation on my e-tank or run it outside :)

hinge2.jpg

mark

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Thanks Mike and Mark. Never heard anything mentioned about off gassing, just thought I'd ask. :thumbs:

The only stupid question is the one not asked, right? :beer:

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just an idea i'd thought id share. since i mow about 9 acres, and have 3 different mowing tracctors, im not in short supply of old beat up mower blades, they work great for the sacrificial electrode. :twocents-02cents:

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I use a blue plastic 55 gallon drum. The process works well, but the bottom of the barrel gets gunky after a couple of years of use. I just cleaned mine out the other week, and it is already getting gunky again from all the parts off of my D-180. Don't use stainless steel for your sacrificial piece. The chromium in the steel will form Hexavalent Chromium (ala Erin Brokovich).

A battery charger works very well for the process. Especially one that has different current limit settings. If I am going to leave it on unattended overnight, I leave it on the 2A setting. I don't want my barn burning down from an electrical fire.

Also, the process really doesn't remove paint, but after soaking in soapy water for a while the paint does want to come off. Note that the process will not remove rust under a coated surface like paint.

Also, to make your life easier, just hang the part fully submerged from some cheap steel wire and then connect you battery charger clips to the wire. Make sure that you have good electrical connections. You should see bubbles coming off the part and the sacrificial anode (?) within 30 seconds. It is the flow of current that removes the rust, not the voltage. Also, the more sacrificial metal the better the reaction will proceed (within reason).

Be careful not to let the parts touch the sacrificial metal, or you could weld them together if you circuit breaker doesn't pop first.

Don't expect miracles. The rust will turn into a black residue that comes off very easy with a scotch brite or similar pad. All the rust will be gone, but it will leave pits where the rust was.

Very important - remember that negative goes to the part to be derusted. If you get it backwards, your part will actually rust further.

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i have found that if i leave a part in long enough thr paint just power washes off,dont know if its because there was rust under or what,but ive removed lots of paint with it,but it takes time,doesnt happen in a few hours,a few days ya

002-9.jpg

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Thanks Mike and Mark. Never heard anything mentioned about off gassing, just thought I'd ask. :thumbs:

The only stupid question is the one not asked, right? :beer:

A few years back I had a couple of E-tanks going at the same time about 5 ft from a workbench, was doing some

grinding with a angle grinder. Couldn't figure out for a couple of minutes what the popping noise was, but almost

every time a hot spark hit the surface of the tank there was a mini explosion. Changed the direction of the spark

trail and turned off the chargers till I was through grinding. I do think if you had a way of storing the gas you could

make quite a mess of you work area and more. :omg: Mike

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Humm, how 'bout that? :eusa-think: I think the concern definitely has some merit to it. :popcorn:

Wonder if your home owners insurance would cover those clean up costs? :teasing-poke:

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HELLO GUYS, I DID THIS FOR LIVING FOR ABOUT 10 YEARS HERE IN COLUMBUS,OHIO. WE DID IT COMMERCIALLY THE COMPANY NAME WAS REDI-STRIP,THERE WAS ABOUT 10 OF US IN USA. THEY STARTED ORIGNALLY USING CYNANIDE EPA DIDN'T LIKE THE WASTE PRODUCT. SO WE SWITCHED TO PHOSPHORIC ACID SOLUTION. IT WORK WELL FOR REMOVING RUST AND SOME PAINT. THEY WERE 15,000 GAL TANKS. IT WAS 10-12 VOLTS AT 400 AMPS. IT WORK BETTER IF THE CHEMICALS ARE HEATED 100-110 DEGREES.

CAUSTIC SODA (SODIUM HYDROXIDE) WORKS GREAT ON PAINT AND GREASE HEATED TO 160-185 DEGREES. THE CHEMICAL ITSELF WILL BURN YOUR SKIN AND HEAT GETS YOU TO. IT WAS A NASTY BUSINESS BUT WORKS GREAT.

WE ALSO DID PLASTIC,WALNUT SHELL AND GLASS BEADING PAINT STIPPING. THAT WAS A DIRTY BUSINESS. JUST WANTED TO ADD MY TWO CENTS WORTH.

BOWTIE

.

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