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Unique situation [57 chevy]

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:41 am
by d3r
sorry if this is the wrong section.. couldn't really find a good place to post it lolol

Alright, so I am the owner of an all original 1957 Chevy 150. Been in my family since new, I'm the 3rd generation. have original warranty info, bill of sale and all that cool stuff.

It still has its factory paint. Main color Red, Secondary color White.
The red is in really good shape still but the white hasn't held up quite as well.. its cracked and chipping away.

I live in Michigan so the car is stored over winter. I back it into the garage and that's where it sits til spring. I got a call from a show owner who wants to feature the car in an upcoming show (in 3weeks). So I went outside and fired her up and made sure its running properly...pull the car out and notice little orange accents on all the cracks in the white paint on the deck lid.

I assume moisture has gotten through the cracks and reacted with the metal. My question is... how can I clean this without making a mess, making it worse or rubbing away massive amounts of paint?

I was going to do a vinegar/water mix and lightly wipe it away followed by immediate drying??

Re: Unique situation [57 chevy]

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:06 am
by chris
It's rust :-(

There's really no band-aid fix nor should there be on an important car like this. If they want to do the photo shoot there's this thing called "photoshop" that will fix the results.

Then handle the problem on the car the right way, later.

Re: Unique situation [57 chevy]

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:07 pm
by d3r
Unfortunately its not a photoshoot, but a live exhibit. it was to be displayed next to a fully restored 57 for a new/old contrast.

I'm really angry at myself that this happened especially because I'm not sure how it happened. had the car 3yrs and its never seen a drop of water nor had problems storing.

I wanted to post here first to see if yall knew any magic tricks before doing anything drastic because removing 60yr old original paint Is the last thing I wanna do. I remember when I had my Nova down to bare metal I got some drops of water on it and they formed surface rust that I was able to wipe off easily with the vinegar/water mix. was hoping to do that same thing in this instance.

Re: Unique situation [57 chevy]

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:14 pm
by DarrelK
We do a lot of restoration and conservation work of old wood and metal coatings. We are members of the American Institute for the Conservation of Historical Artifacts so I get involved in this pretty deeply sometimes. What you are having a problem with is called "saponification" which is a gradual shrinking back of the coating from the metal surface. If you ever see an old "alligatored" varnished piece of furniture that is the beginning stages of what you are experiencing. Old paints like this do it a little differently because of the high pigment content and copious amounts of lead. First, a mild white vinegar solution is probably not going to "harm" your coating so find a lower inconspicuous area and try it. I would probably use warm tap water with 30 to 40% vinegar. If that's working I'd finish up with a moist towel with distilled water and hit it with a hair dryer as you go. If that is not working there are two other dry acids (again mixed with warm tap water) you could try. The first would be oxalic acid which is the active ingredient in Bar Keepers Friend. You could make up a 30 to 40 solution of that and again TEST it. Again take the distilled water after use of that mix to rub the area down. The last acid is sulfamic acid. Mixed the same way as oxalic and again gone over with the distilled water as a rinse, and blow dry.
Okay, some things with these dry crystal safe...look up the MSDS sheets on them, use gloves, safety goggles and honestly a carbon respirator when using them. And, of course, TEST, TEST, TEST. That is the key to saving any old coating, test it, let it sit for a few days and take a hard look and feel of the area you did.
As for stopping the rust from coming back during the show period....try to source out some old style hard paste wax at your local paint jobber or even Autozone, etc.

Re: Unique situation [57 chevy]

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:47 am
by chopolds
I can't report any of this as "bible", but since I exclusively work on old cars, and "rat rods" are common subjects on message boards, guys seem to be using CLR on old paint jobs. While it doesn't repair anything, it does remove the rust stains on old paint pretty well. At least from pics I've seen. It's not a 'fix', it won't hold up, but to make unrepairable paint look good temporarily, it's worth a shot.

Re: Unique situation [57 chevy]

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:55 am
by d3r
i appreciate you guys giving my predicament some thought and replying.

I may try all of your guys suggestions in a hidden spot (under the bumper or something) to see what happens.

I know the time is coming when I will have to either repair/repaint the white or fully restore the car but id like to keep it in the condition its currently in for as long as possible. I feel like restoring a car like this takes a lot away from it... but at the sametime I don't want to let it deteriorate to a nightmare fix.

I will get out in the garage on the next mild day and try some stuff out... ill take a few close ups of the paint so you can get more of an idea of what I'm working with.

thanks a lot!

Re: Unique situation [57 chevy]

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:48 pm
by '68 Coronet R/T
Please keep us posted as to what method works the best.
Pictures are always welcome here!

Re: Unique situation [57 chevy]

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:05 pm
by DarrelK
Yeah, the CLR is again the dry acids and should work as well. And pics. would be great as already said.

Re: Unique situation [57 chevy]

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:43 am
by d3r
ok, its supposed to reach 40's today so ima pull the car out and see whats what.

quick question. Do I need to purchase the "dry acids" in that form? or can I purchase their household product (CLR or Bar Keepers Friend) and just use diluted forms of those?

Re: Unique situation [57 chevy]

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:07 pm
by d3r
Red still in good shape.

white is really cracking and chipped in spots but still looks decent from distance

and THIS is what happened recently while being stored over winter :realmad:

its like this in several spots.