Like anything else, proper application with the best rust converters is key to
a rust-free future. While you can toss your grinder and sandpaper, you still
have to start with a clean, dust-free surface. A soft wire brush is the best
tool to remove any errant particles, followed by a thorough vacuuming of the
impacted surface. Soluble salts, like those used to de-ice winter roads,
should be rinsed with water, and road grease needs to be removed as well.
Converters can be either brushed or sprayed on the surface in an environment
where the metal's surface temperature is between 50 and 90 degrees. Check your
weather forecast before starting and choose a day where there's no chance of
rain for a full 24 hours after application. Even if the procedure is done in a
closed garage, avoid days that threaten any form of moisture.
Once the converter is applied, it takes about 20 minutes for the rust to turn
coal black. The reaction is completely cured after 24 hours, longer if the
humidity is higher than 75 to 80 percent.
Rust converters should not be sanded, but should be followed by a compatible
topcoat. It's vitally important to fully read and understand the
manufacturer's directions and recommendations. Like any creeping disease, the
best time to deal with rust is immediately. It won't heal itself and the
longer the bubbly patch is allowed to feed on your vehicle, the more radical
the procedure required to neutralize it. So catch it early so it can't
neutralize your vehicle while you're sleeping.
|Photo 1 - A replacement floor pan is in the foreground, ready to be
welded into a rust-damaged '66 El Camino.
|Photo 2 - Here is a prime example of holes and pits from rust.
|Photo 3 - Remove as many loose scales of rust as possible and grind
down to the bare metal before beginning a welding repair.
|Photo 4 - Welding in a replacement floor panel.