Simple,Cheap,Electrolysis Parts Cleaner - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2013, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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Simple,Cheap,Electrolysis Parts Cleaner

Thought some of you might benefit from this inexpensive home brewed parts cleaner for those crusty small parts and such. I used this exact setup when I rebuilt my brother's driveline, suspension & brakes.

Needs:
1 - 5 gallon plastic bucket (could use other sizes/shapes too).
1 - 12volt car battery charger (4-12 amp).
1 - threaded rod (what I used) or steel rod.
1 - container of sodium carbonate powder, I used OXI CLEAN, 1.3 lb container
found in the clothes detergent isle at Walmart.
1 - wire clothes hanger or welding wire

Fill bucket with water about 70-80%
Add 1/3 cup Oxi Clean, or other brand, and mix
Hang your part from your wire hanger into the bucket -submerged
Opposite your part, put in your steel rod. Rod has to stick out above the
water. It cannot touch your part.
Attach the red/positive(+) clip of your battery charger to the top of the
steel rod.
Attach the black/negative(-) clip of your battery charger to the wire hanger
holding your part under water. Make sure the wire hanger is securely
holding onto your part for a good connection.
Turn on your charger and if you have done it right, you should see tiny
bubbles rising up to the surface. Your part is being cleaned of its rust &
grime.

Caution! The gas bubbles are hydrogen & oxygen and flammable/explosive in
an unvented area. NO SPARKS. NO SMOKING. NO WELDING nearby. I set my bucket outside.

Aluminum parts can be cleaned as well, BUT this metal is SOFT and left too long in solution will be DESTROYED. I only used mine for metal -so you need to check often if you attempt to clean anything with aluminum or other soft metals -like pot metal.

The rust will transfer to the metal rod. Eventually it will get so caked, I just put in a new one, but it takes a while. You can keep the steel part in for a long time as only the rust is affected. Real heavy crusty expanded type rust will come off, but I let it bubble for a good number of hours, which loosens it up, take it out of solution, knock off the heavy rust, put it back into solution to clean more. You will learn how long to keep in solution after doing a few pieces -and depending on how many amps your charger is putting out. On a larger piece, I do one side then flip over and do the other. You can clip the black/negative(-) right to the part if it sticks out the solution. Just DON'T let the (+) rod touch your (-) part -you'll damage your charger. They say you can use this for really big stuff too if your wife does not mind you using the pool and you have a good DC welder! Ya, just dunk the entire GTO shell in the pool for a few days, she will understand -and you will know how much she really loves you.

This is so simple & what a time saver. When you are done with your part, sand/wire brush, prime & paint. This system will preserve stamped part numbers or part logos -its not an acid, or grinding disc.

Hope this helps a few of you enthusiasts who do their own work. IF you experience anything different than what I did, please leave a comment -I had no problems ever and I did a lot of parts, but someone else may, so please share.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 08:57 AM
 
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Simple,Cheap,Electrolysis Parts Cleaner

I have used this process for the better part of 20+ years and can vouch that it works very well. The rust is completely gone from deep crevices, creases etc in your parts and will not damage your metal. After 'derusting' many small parts in a plastic bucket I took it a step further. I found a large enough Fiberglass vat and was able to immerse my doors, hood, trunk lid etc. You just have to add more rods for the larger surface area. I still had to turn the parts as the vat was not deep enough to take the whole part. Also found that the newer style battery chargers would not work as well and I had to use the old style without all the extra no spark circuitry. For the large parts I used a 12V power supply from an old travel trailer. I might add that experience has shown me to substitute the iron rods and use stainless steel rods that I found at a local scrap yard. The stainless will last longer. A word of caution, double check the polarity as if you reverse the leads your part will perforate and virtually disappear over night, ask me how I know.. I lost a whole inner fender.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 04:24 PM
 
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I tried this with a newer style charger and I kept getting an error code. Can a car battery be used instead? Otherwise, where can I find the right charger to use?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 07:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PontiacJim View Post
Thought some of you might benefit from this inexpensive home brewed parts cleaner for those crusty small parts and such. I used this exact setup when I rebuilt my brother's driveline, suspension & brakes.

Needs:
1 - 5 gallon plastic bucket (could use other sizes/shapes too).
1 - 12volt car battery charger (4-12 amp).
1 - threaded rod (what I used) or steel rod.
1 - container of sodium carbonate powder, I used OXI CLEAN, 1.3 lb container
found in the clothes detergent isle at Walmart.
1 - wire clothes hanger or welding wire

Fill bucket with water about 70-80%
Add 1/3 cup Oxi Clean, or other brand, and mix
Hang your part from your wire hanger into the bucket -submerged
Opposite your part, put in your steel rod. Rod has to stick out above the
water. It cannot touch your part.
Attach the red/positive(+) clip of your battery charger to the top of the
steel rod.
Attach the black/negative(-) clip of your battery charger to the wire hanger
holding your part under water. Make sure the wire hanger is securely
holding onto your part for a good connection.
Turn on your charger and if you have done it right, you should see tiny
bubbles rising up to the surface. Your part is being cleaned of its rust &
grime.

Caution! The gas bubbles are hydrogen & oxygen and flammable/explosive in
an unvented area. NO SPARKS. NO SMOKING. NO WELDING nearby. I set my bucket outside.

Aluminum parts can be cleaned as well, BUT this metal is SOFT and left too long in solution will be DESTROYED. I only used mine for metal -so you need to check often if you attempt to clean anything with aluminum or other soft metals -like pot metal.

The rust will transfer to the metal rod. Eventually it will get so caked, I just put in a new one, but it takes a while. You can keep the steel part in for a long time as only the rust is affected. Real heavy crusty expanded type rust will come off, but I let it bubble for a good number of hours, which loosens it up, take it out of solution, knock off the heavy rust, put it back into solution to clean more. You will learn how long to keep in solution after doing a few pieces -and depending on how many amps your charger is putting out. On a larger piece, I do one side then flip over and do the other. You can clip the black/negative(-) right to the part if it sticks out the solution. Just DON'T let the (+) rod touch your (-) part -you'll damage your charger. They say you can use this for really big stuff too if your wife does not mind you using the pool and you have a good DC welder! Ya, just dunk the entire GTO shell in the pool for a few days, she will understand -and you will know how much she really loves you.

This is so simple & what a time saver. When you are done with your part, sand/wire brush, prime & paint. This system will preserve stamped part numbers or part logos -its not an acid, or grinding disc.

Hope this helps a few of you enthusiasts who do their own work. IF you experience anything different than what I did, please leave a comment -I had no problems ever and I did a lot of parts, but someone else may, so please share.
Hey Doc Brown, Marty Mcfly called and wants the time machine back!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 09:03 AM
 
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Simple,Cheap,Electrolysis Parts Cleaner

You can still find 'old style' battery chargers on Craig's List, look for a unit that is not automatic. I just bought one for $10.00 a few months back, they are cheap as nobody wants them. You can use a car battery for small, mildly rusted parts but you have to continually charge the battery. Charger is still the best.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Icefan71 View Post
I tried this with a newer style charger and I kept getting an error code. Can a car battery be used instead? Otherwise, where can I find the right charger to use?
Here are the specs on my battery charger, don't recall when or where I got it. Brand Name : Schauer. Model CT7612. 10 AMP SPORTSMAN Deep Cycle Battery Charger. It is for 6 volts or 12 volts. It has a timer. Its about the size of a battery itself. Seeing it says "deep cycle", you might just want to check a sporting good store that has boat batteries/accessories -as boat batteries are of the "deep cycle" type. I most likely got this at NAPA many years ago. Hope that helps in your search.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 09:07 PM
 
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Thanks for the info. I've been looking on craigslist like nineteen 65 suggested.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 03:23 PM
 
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I have used this very same process with excellent results on upper and lower a arms, trailing arms etc. went to walmart and bought cheap tubs to submerse parts. works excellent.I have also used white vinegar with very good results. Objects come out with a reddish hue but all rust is removed.
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