How to remove rust from a classic cars

How to remove rust from a classic cars

April 23, 2022 Off By Joe K

Rust is a familiar problem of all vehicles. Classic cars that have been around for decades erode much faster than newer ones, necessitating more upkeep. If you want to give your class a facelift or preserve a vintage automobile, this book will teach you the fundamentals of classic car rust removal and how to keep rust patches from spreading. The key to preventing rust is to address the problem as soon as possible. If the brownish stains are not cleaned promptly, your car may be relegated to the scrap yard. So buckle up, and let’s get this party started.

What Causes Rust on Classic Cars?

Rusting is the chemical reaction of surface molecules combining with oxygen in the air to produce new molecules termed Fe2O3, sometimes known as “iron oxides.” Rusting is a natural process for automobiles; if the iron cover is exposed to the weather, it will gradually deteriorate to iron oxide.

Classic automobiles manufactured in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s were of worse quality, and many of them began to rust as soon as they left the assembly line. The primary sheet panel can corrode entirely in years if left untreated. It is easier to repair rust when the first indicators occur than re-do the entire vehicle.

There are only a few things that hasten the rusting process. While rusting is a natural chemical reaction when oxygen hits metal molecules, the rusting process can be accelerated if the car is exposed to winter temperatures and saltwater. In addition, while rusting is a chemical process, there are chemical products that can reverse it.

Signs of Rust on a Classic Car

Typically, the first indicators of rusting are a bubble of paint at the bottom of your door and a small brown stain on the fender, and these minor signs indicate that the molecules have begun to function. Unfortunately, rust can send even new cars to the scrapyard; however, the problem is easily curable and can be solved at home using do-it-yourself methods.

Despite scientific advances that allow us to create more rust-resistant coatings for automobiles, iron is always an unstable chemical, which means it succumbs to the elements. So, if you enjoy working on cars and want to eliminate rust, keep reading to learn how to prevent rust on the car body from getting worse.

Also Read: Best Dashboard Cleaners

Classic Car Rust Removal Products

Are you already thinking about all the corroded parts of your project? Good. Follow along as we demonstrate some of the most effective derusting products on the market and transform this Cougar from eyesore to enviable using the most environmentally friendly means possible.

Remove Rust from a Classic Car Using a Rust Bomb

Orison’s product line is centered on ecologically friendly products, and we’ll be evaluating two different rust treatments. Rust Bomb is by far the most gelatinous and colorful of our products, and it was the only one that adhered well to the roof’s rounded edges without sliding off. While many rust removers do not necessitate the use of gloves, this one does. It will, at the very least, turn you blue. Could you inquire as to how we know?

Rust Bomb costs $9.95 for a quart and $59.95 for a gallon. $100.00

Verdict: The Rust Bomb works quite well and rapidly. The only drawback is that it took an entire pint to finish a quarter of our roof.

Remove rust from a Classic Car using VpCl-423 Cortec Rust Remover

VpCI-423 from Cortec is a USDA-approved organic and biodegradable acid gel that eliminates rust and corrosion from ferrous and nonferrous metals while leaving a layer that prevents flash rusting. It can also remove rust stains from paint, wood, and other surfaces. Unfortunately, while it was successful on the light-to-medium surface rust on the roof area, its maple syrup-like consistency made it difficult to maintain in place, which likely hampered its effectiveness. We dunked a rusted bracket in the bottle to test its capability.

After 12 hours of immersion, the bracket was fully rust-free, just as predicted. This one may be a clinger in cooler temperatures, but it’s better left as a dipping solution in warmer areas.

Contact for pricing. CortecVerdict: Excellent dipping solution that worked nicely on the light-to-medium rust on our roof panel.

Remove rust from a Classic Car using Eze Rust

Rust-instruction Eze’s to apply the solution with a roller piqued our interest, and we brought out our rather infamous blue-handled foam roller from the “$98 Paint Job” story (July 07). The directions state that the surface should be constantly wet, which the foaming fluid did not. However, a swipe every 10 to 15 minutes appeared to suffice and resulted in far less mess than you’d expect.

We had our concerns about this procedure at first, but by the conclusion of a long day in the store, most of the rust had been dissolved. We left the solution to dry overnight before returning in the morning to begin reapplying.

The door and fender were nearly rust-free by the middle of the second day. In addition, the Rust Eze functioned almost like an organic paint stripper, removing all of the primers it came into contact with and denaturing the paint enough that it could be scraped away with a fingernail in several places.

Ultra One Rust Remover is the safest rust remover available.

We created a derusting shower for the heavily corroded hood using a length of PVC tubing with holes drilled into it, a hose, and a 1/6hp bilge pump resting in a pool of the Safest Rust Remover. The plastic was utilized to keep the solution isolated from the rusted sheet metal and away from filthy portions that could contaminate the remover and impair performance.

Evapo Rust

We’ve used Evapo-Rust on plain, rusted metal pieces before, but for this test, we threw in the assembled grille center section for the Cougar, complete with plastic emblem, chrome, and paint well as the rust on the brackets.

As with our prior experience with Evapo-Rust, the submerged side of the intersection looked like we’d just given it a liquid restoration after around 24 hours of soaking. Again, the paint was in good condition, and there was no evidence of rust.

Getting Rid of Rust from a Classic Car using Molasses

You probably didn’t realize two household ingredients are lying in the back of your pantry right now that have very significant derusting abilities: vinegar and molasses. We utilized apple cider vinegar, which is said to leave an excellent rust-inhibiting layer on metal and molasses straight from a feed store for our testing.

It’s not as sweet as you might expect, but it’s not horrible either. Check out your local feed store for vast quantities of this item, as it’s sometimes used to blend sweet feed for horses. We’ll be submerging a rusted bracket from our Cougar for testing.

Rust Removal from a Classic Car via Sandblasting

While all of the organic cocktails we tested could undoubtedly derust an entire car if you had enough of the solution and an appropriate location to utilize it in, they do need time and dedication for anything on the scale of our Cougar. Additionally, there are environmentally friendly options for media blasting available for individuals seeking more immediate gratification. We contacted our buddy Manny Vega at Anacapa Blasting to find out more and asked him about our possibilities. His suggestions were sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or garnet, a versatile stone.

Vega and his crew are car guys at heart, but with one of California’s largest blasting booths, they handle a lot of large industrial parts. They also understand North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) standards and often work with Navy and NASA parts ranging from weapons systems to airplanes, radar, and deep-sea submersibles. NAWS China Lake also supplies ray domes to Anacapa for precision stripping. Furthermore, they strip high-end antique automobiles for folks looking for Concours restorations regularly so that they can handle our jalopy.

Blasting is more than just aiming a hose at the rust and letting the media fly; the technique is involved, and negligence can rapidly result in damaged panels. Therefore, the Rock adjusts the PSI and CFM, stand-off distance, blast angle, and nozzle size based on the material and its condition.

How Much Time is Needed to Repair Rust from a Classic Car?

Small areas of rust can be repaired on your own in as little as 15-30 minutes.

It may take up to ten hours for extensive makeovers and significant rusting on older autos.

Do You Require Any Skills?

Yes, rust removal necessitates intermediate expertise. In addition, the repair process will require a basic understanding of how to apply anti-rusting materials. We provide application guidelines with our vehicle anti-rusting products at Rust Bullet so that you may fix your automobile on your own.

Getting Your Classic Car Ready for Rust Removal

The easiest approach to prepare for the rust problem is to avoid it altogether. There are techniques to preserve your car from rusting, such as preventing moisture and keeping it in a warm location. Rusting is considerably reduced when your car is parked in a warm place. As a result, rusting is more likely in cold states where cars are exposed to cold air molecules.

You can do other things to keep your historic car from deteriorating. Aside from eliminating moisture and parking in a dry/warm location, it would help if you also washed your automobile regularly to remove undesired elements such as grime, salt, and filth (which eventually accelerate corrosion). Also, check the drain holes at the bottoms of the doors to ensure that rainwater is draining correctly. You may get rid of them with a basic pipe cleaner.

How to Remove Surface Rust from a Classic Cars

Surface rust is the most typical problem in newer vehicles. Surface rust is usually the result of paint deterioration. While this is not a structural issue, the type of repair required will vary depending on the thickness of the metal sheet and the alloy. If the historic car has paint residue, it will be easier to repair.

Solution: In any classic car, this repair may take a few hours to complete correctly. You’ll need sandpaper to remove the paint or rust until you see bright metal. After that, you can finish the repair by applying Rust Bullet paint. There is no need for priming or a topcoat.

How to Repair Scale Damage in Classic Car

The most challenging problem with old cars is eliminating the accumulated surface rust. You get a massive bubble if you don’t repair the rust when it starts to pile up and spread all over the surface. Rust molecules become much more extensive than pure iron or steel molecules. After a while, the rust spreads and exposes new metal, which begins to corrode. Rust eventually penetrates that new surface and causes “scale.”

Solution: The only way to remove scale is to go through the rust with a wire brush while removing all roughness with a grinding wheel. To get a smooth surface, you’ll also need sandpaper. Finally, apply a minimum of two coats of paint to complete the repair.

How to Repair Holes and Penetration in a Classic Car

In some areas, the rust may become so severe that there is no longer any metal. This is a significant concern with old cars that have been neglected for decades.

Solution: You have two options: either replace the problematic pieces (which can be costly) or employ a welder to repair those panels together. If the puncture is not fixed, it might harm the vehicle’s crash integrity.

Use Rust Inhibitors as an alternative.

If you have severe rusting problems and need to get rid of the rust as soon as possible, our solutions at Rust Bullet LLC can help you halt the progression of rust in as little as 30 minutes. Look through our collection to see what we can do for your vintage vehicle.