Matt B
Matt B Dork
8/16/11 5:09 p.m.

Hey guys, I finally found my spare pair of lower control arms for the mr2 and I'm prepping them for new bushings and balljoints. They have more surface rust/corrosion than I'm comfortable with so I'm looking for suggestions on the best way to clean 'em and repaint them in my driveway. Stuff like media blasting and powder coating is off the table. I got a drill for wire-brushing the bejeebus out of them but that'll be as high-tech as it gets.

Specifically, I'm looking for:

  • Products and/or tricks for cleaning grime, rust, paint, whatever. I got some rust stripper from the 'zone, but honestly it's not all that I hoped for.

  • What paint prep do I need to do after cleaning? Do I need to use more than soap and water? (after stripping & sanding)

  • What rattle-can paint do I use? I have some Krylon Flat Black Rust-Tough Enamel handy. Would a semi-gloss be more durable and less likely to hang on to grime? Does it really matter?

  • Anything else I'm overlooking?

With paint, I get the feeling you can go as far down the rabbit hole as you want. I just want to get the job done and it doesn't have to be pretty. That said, I don't want it flaking in a couple of years either.

Thanks ahead for your suggestions

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/16/11 5:22 p.m.


stuart in mn
stuart in mn SuperDork
8/16/11 6:38 p.m.

Don't make it too complicated. When I've done this sort of thing I first degreased the part as well as I could with solvent, then wire brushed it as well as I could, then cleaned it with lacquer thinner or acetone, then sprayed it with semigloss Krylon and called it done. Flat black will look funny. As long as you're not offroading or driving around in the snow (not likely in Georgia) it will hold up fine for years.

02Pilot Reader
8/16/11 7:30 p.m.

I haven't used it myself, but Hammerite (or whatever they call the US version - I've seen it in spray cans at Home Depot) has a really good reputation for this sort of thing.

914Driver GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/16/11 7:37 p.m.

Dawn, hot water, pressure washer.

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/16/11 7:50 p.m.
02Pilot wrote: I haven't used it myself, but Hammerite (or whatever they call the US version - I've seen it in spray cans at Home Depot) has a really good reputation for this sort of thing.

hammerite might look nice.

I need to redo the suspension arms on my saab

donalson GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/16/11 11:20 p.m.

hmm looks like you can buy rustolium hammered in the 1 qt can for about $15... think i'm going to use that stuff on my frame, axle and suspension...

procainestart Dork
8/16/11 11:38 p.m.

I read here that Rustoleum's appliance paint is tough as nails. I bought some and tried it on a battery tray; however, the battery tray has yet to go in the car, so at this point, well, it looks shiny...

Oh, comes in black, BTW

fasted58 Dork
8/17/11 5:25 a.m.

I found Duplicolor Ceramic engine paint to be better than Krylon or Rustoleum for outdoor use... as far as rattle cans go.

DILYSI Dave SuperDork
8/17/11 6:28 a.m.

Degrease, Wire brush, degrease, wipe down with alcohol/acetone/brakekleen, paint with Rustoleum Gloss Black.

DeadSkunk HalfDork
8/17/11 7:06 a.m.

Leave them sit in a tub of white vinegar for a few days and all the rust can be washed off.

RossD SuperDork
8/17/11 7:11 a.m.

If the metal is looking a little thin, you could try something like this:

I've seen one the shows on the Power Block on SpikeTV do this, but I have never tried it myself.

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/17/11 7:14 a.m.

good point about the vinagar. Stuff will eat anything

fritzsch Reader
8/17/11 7:22 a.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk:

Thats a good tip, Ill remember that

Matt B
Matt B Dork
8/17/11 9:00 a.m.

Great suggestions so far. I think I'll try that vinegar trick since I'm not doing the install until this weekend (and I think we have some in the kitchen already). That electrolytic rust removal process is cool, but a little more of a project than I planned on.

Sounds like a different paint might work better. At least something glossy or that ceramic engine paint mentioned. I'll also look into that Hammerite stuff.

So for final cleaning before paint, I can use brake cleaner?

itsarebuild Reader
8/17/11 9:07 a.m.

i am doing the same thing on my camaro. i used naval jelly for the rust. let it set for a few hours and spray off then wire brush the remains. i am using the semigloss duplicolor engine paint for the arms. i have had good luck with it on a set of wheels i painted. it has a long cure time (7 days) but if you let it cure right it seems to be pretty indestructable.

oldtin Dork
8/17/11 9:51 a.m.

I used rustoleum satin on the jeep's suspension. Have run it on trails, over trees/rocks, through mud, rivers... It's holding up well - brush on rustoleum is quite a bit tougher than rustoleum in a rattle can. For prep - degrease, wire brush and paint - if the part still has shiny paint, scuff it up.

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