Treating Unpainted Steel

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Bill Harris, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,746
    Location:
    backwoods Alabama
    The /5 series uses a horseshoe-shaped fork brace that sometimes twists a bit and needs to have the indexing/mating surfaces trued up. The brace is chrome-plated and once ground, the mating surfaces are raw steel. Although bolted to the fork sliders, this steel surface needs to be protected from rusting. I don't think paint will work because it will flake and peel on contact with the fork slider. I guess that I'm looking at a way to put a phosphoric acid or passivating coating on the steel surface. Any ideas?

    TIA...
    #1
  2. craydds

    craydds Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,176
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
  3. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,746
    Location:
    backwoods Alabama
    Yep, something like that. I'm thinking the displacement zinc-phosphate coating or some sort of "Brush Plating" system from Caswell. They have a variety of chromates and cadmium solutions available. Not only this fork brace, on a old motorcycle I have a lot bolts, fasteners and painted metal bits that are showing their age after 40 years. I don't want a rolling-off-the-showroom full resto, but I'm wanting to ditch the Rat Bike image... :eek1

    I'll look into it.
    #3
  4. rufusswan

    rufusswan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    962
    Location:
    Branson MO
    I simply soak them old nuts, bolts, etc. in full strength "Deck Etching and Cleaner" that I get at Home Depot. I don't know what full strength means, by the way.

    After that they all spend a few seconds on the bench grinder on which I have a brass wheel to further polish them. After that, if they are primarily a cosmetic bolt they get painted with clear nail polish/hardner from the cosmetic counter.

    To make a dry phosphate coating, mix (by volume) 1 part of deck etching with 3 or 4 parts water, spray and let dry, repeat if you wish. The water will dry faster than the pha will leaving a coating of pha. Depending on what you are spraying, you may see the residue as a white coating which is pha. Gently wipe off any loose powder, and you can then paint or clear coat.
    #4
  5. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,831
    Location:
    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    You could try Penetrol too.
    #5
  6. Cat Daddy

    Cat Daddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    887
    Location:
    Third trailer on the left
    I'd have the hardware professionally zinc plated. My local shop charges a 25 dollar minimum, but they'll plate 25 pounds for that price. So, a buck a pound.

    This is all the hardware on the last bike I restored. It was 12 pounds total, so I paid the 25 dollar minimum and dropped off the dirty rusty stuff and picked this up 5 days later.

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,032
    Location:
    Road Island
    Wow... that is a DEAL...!!

    :clap
    #7
  8. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,099
    Location:
    Nelson New Zealand
    Wow that's good value for money. Will the plating last a long time or will it flake/ discolour?
    #8
  9. patanga

    patanga BMWAirheadsDownunder

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Australia
    I've had good results with zinc plating. Generally you have a choice of the silver or a light gold colour. If properly prepared and applied it lasts quite well. Good luck.

    ____________________
    "The only reason people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory" (Joe Garcia)

    Check us out on facebook at "BMW Airheads Downunder", (The Australia and New Zealand Airhead Community). "B.A.D" :wink:
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/anzairheads/
    #9
  10. boxermoose

    boxermoose Now fully goosed

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,960
    Location:
    Gulf Coast TX
    If it's a small area - chrome nail polish, plastic, flexible and cheap
    #10
  11. ericrat

    ericrat Long timer

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,320
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    I can't remember the name of the stuff, Tractor Supply sells it for cleaning diary equipment. It is a phospate based cleaner that leaves a nice phosphate coating... I will try to think of it.
    #11
  12. coastranger

    coastranger Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    429
    Location:
    coast range oregon
    wow that stuff loooks great,
    #12
  13. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,746
    Location:
    backwoods Alabama
    TEC, we've got one in town. And "tractor supply" sounds properly Airheadish.

    I'm still looking at options on this...
    #13