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Chassis Cleaning and painting


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Evening All, 

                   I have a Series 3 which has been parked up for a while and I'm getting it back on the road. The chassis needs a bit of welding on the outriggers which is all good but the rest of it could do with some love including the axles which are covered in surface rust. What's good for cleaning and putting on after? I'll have a stab at the cleaning answer and guess a wire brush, elbow grease & swearing but what about after? I have seen chassis spray on stuff in a pump bottle (link below), anyone used it or should I just got for hammarite? I'm not expecting a full resto job just something to tart it up for 5 years......

https://www.lanoguard.co.uk/collections/moto

Thanks 

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The best way to clean it, short of blasting, is a grinder with knotted wire wheels or stiff wire cup attachments.  Be wary of using flap sander attachments as they take good metal away too.  For the difficult to reach spots, a multi tool (the look a bit like a grinder, but have a vibrating or narrowly reciprocating attachment rather than rotary) may be able to get access, but I don’t know if they have suitable attachments.

For coverings, Corroless have a good reputation, as does Buzzweld.  You need a good red oxide base primer, a tough paint and I’d recommend a soft but resilient top coat in the less visible areas like Schultz, Undershield or WAR.

The worst corrosion happens from the inside of the chassis, so you really need to wash the accumulated mud and grime out of all the cavities, including cross members and main rails, until the water drains clean, let it dry well, and then have it cavity waxed with a high quality wax (not Waxoil, but something like Dinitrol or Buzzweld waxes) under high pressure with the multi-angle nozzle on a flexible probe.  The DIY kits at Halfords and the like aren’t good enough.

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Big fan of both Corroless and Buzzweld, I think both do a black "Chassis-in-one" paint that primes & rust-proofs. Dinitrol for the insides.

For cleaning - unfortunately a party pack of wire wheels & an angle grinder or two are the way to go. Don't labour the grinder, you'll burn it out in no time with a wire wheel, and definitely wear eye protection.

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Having been given an impromptu piercing to the face by a wire cup brush, I would suggest a face shield as well, it is filthy work and helps to keep the face a little cleaner too. 

A hat can make washing your hair after a slightly less miserable experience, assuming still have some ;)

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Yep, I should have mentioned the face protection - like the others, I’ve had lip and nose piercings from the shards of the wire wheel.  Goggles and a mask are essential, a full face shield even better.  Likewise decent gloves - those wire wheels will take a finger the bone in under a second.

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Thanks for the replies all, I have a small fabrication shop so plenty of abrasives to hand! I will check out the consumables you guys mentioned. I'm a beliver of 80% prep and 20% application when it comes to painting so I'm suspicious of products such as lanoguard that spray straight on surface rust.

 

Ta.

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Personally not a fan of the chassis in one paints as they don’t work. Fine for touching up chips etc. once you’ve done your chassis, but they don’t provide the protection they claim if you use them direct to metal.

So, if your going to all the effort of cleaning down the chassis to bare metal, use a good primer first. Corroless S has worked well, but any decent brand of red oxide primer will do. Best primer for not rusting I’ve found is bilthambers zinc rich Electrox primer, but that will work out expensive for a whole chassis. 

If I was doing my chassis again, I’d be tempted to use 2 coats of electrox, and then quick scothbrite, wipe down, etch prime and then finally 2 coats of black upol raptor with a 1.8 or 2.0 primer head on an hvlp gun. A cheaper way, would be to use a primer like corroless S and then spray 2 coats of black raptor with the Schultz type gun. This later method gives a rougher, but more absorbing bed liner finish. 

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22 hours ago, Snagger said:

Yep, I should have mentioned the face protection - like the others, I’ve had lip and nose piercings from the shards of the wire wheel.  Goggles and a mask are essential, a full face shield even better.  Likewise decent gloves - those wire wheels will take a finger the bone in under a second.

Decent overalls or a leather apron are also good, I was cleaning some landrover rims with a 9" grinder with a large wire wheel on it, grinder kicked back and I lost my grip, stupidly I was only wearing a tee shirt, grinder caught onto the shirt and wound it's way onto my stomach, luckily tee shirt twisted around wheel and stopped it pretty quickly, however I did not get away unscathed I had a large circle of what I would call gravel rash on my stomach, had to cut tee shirt off me and then off the grinder, had I been wearing either of the above I would not have had a couple of weeks of discomfort regards Stephen

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Which brings be on to the number of YouTubers out there that insist on using angle grinders without the guard.....

For someone doing it every day, I can see the likelihood of injury is small, but most people are  'having a go' and far more likely to lose a finger or two like this.

Makes me cross every time I see it, totally irresponsible.

All my grinders still have guards on(yes, even the cup brush one), and I have never seen the need to remove them, in fact, they are useful to guide the blade by resting your other hand on it to steady things.

Think my inner Victor came out then, but I'm ok with that ;)

 

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1 hour ago, Bowie69 said:

Which brings be on to the number of YouTubers out there that insist on using angle grinders without the guard.....

For someone doing it every day, I can see the likelihood of injury is small, but most people are  'having a go' and far more likely to lose a finger or two like this.

Makes me cross every time I see it, totally irresponsible.

All my grinders still have guards on(yes, even the cup brush one), and I have never seen the need to remove them, in fact, they are useful to guide the blade by resting your other hand on it to steady things.

Think my inner Victor came out then, but I'm ok with that ;)

 

Absolutely. Not to scare you but... I have known a friend of the family when I was younger who used an angle grinder with no guard inplace and was killed when the disc shattered into his face. No laughing matter - always use tools properly, well maintained with safety features fully functioning/inplace and wearing appropriate PPE. No laughing matter. Accidents happen when corners are cut and you are just doing "a quick 5 minute job; so no need to observe all the usual safety procautions".

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On the safety theme, this has been credited to various people and places but is free to copy as far as I am aware. Anyone who has been in the unfortunate position to see a serious accident or has in the poem walked past a dangerous situation and then heard about an accident there will understand.

 

I COULD HAVE SAVED A LIFE THAT DAY
 

I could have saved a life that day,
But I chose to look the other way.
It wasn't that I didn't care;
I had the time, and I was there.


But I didn't want to seem a fool,
Or argue over a safety rule.
I knew he’d done the job before;
If I spoke up he might get sore.


The chances didn't seem that bad;
I’d done the same, he knew I had.
So I shook my head and walked on by;
He knew the risks as well as I.


He took the chance, I closed an eye;
And with that act, I let him die.
I could have saved a life that day,
But I chose to look the other way.


Now every time I see his wife,
I know I should have saved his life.
That guilt is something I must bear;
But isn't something you need to share.


If you see a risk that others take
That puts their health or life at stake,
The question asked or thing you say;
Could help them live another day.


If you see a risk and walk away,
Then hope you never have to say,
“I could have saved a life that day,
But I chose to look the other way."

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12 hours ago, SteveG said:

Personally not a fan of the chassis in one paints as they don’t work. Fine for touching up chips etc. once you’ve done your chassis, but they don’t provide the protection they claim if you use them direct to metal.

So, if your going to all the effort of cleaning down the chassis to bare metal, use a good primer first. Corroless S has worked well, but any decent brand of red oxide primer will do. Best primer for not rusting I’ve found is bilthambers zinc rich Electrox primer, but that will work out expensive for a whole chassis. 

If I was doing my chassis again, I’d be tempted to use 2 coats of electrox, and then quick scothbrite, wipe down, etch prime and then finally 2 coats of black upol raptor with a 1.8 or 2.0 primer head on an hvlp gun. A cheaper way, would be to use a primer like corroless S and then spray 2 coats of black raptor with the Schultz type gun. This later method gives a rougher, but more absorbing bed liner finish. 

Thanks will look into this

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10 hours ago, Bowie69 said:

Which brings be on to the number of YouTubers out there that insist on using angle grinders without the guard.....

For someone doing it every day, I can see the likelihood of injury is small, but most people are  'having a go' and far more likely to lose a finger or two like this.

Makes me cross every time I see it, totally irresponsible.

All my grinders still have guards on(yes, even the cup brush one), and I have never seen the need to remove them, in fact, they are useful to guide the blade by resting your other hand on it to steady things.

Think my inner Victor came out then, but I'm ok with that ;)

 

I have used all sizes of grinders in all positions on all types of materials and never has the guard got in the way. Never needed to take one off! 

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8 minutes ago, andyg365 said:

I have used all sizes of grinders in all positions on all types of materials and never has the guard got in the way. Never needed to take one off! 

Me neither! Most if not all the ones I have used have an adjuster so you can move the guard to 3 or 9 o'clock if you need to get in on an unusual angle anyway

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In addition to the great advice above I'd just say if it's had any treatment on before, then the paint stripping discs work well for old paint and treatments. Sometimes the wire wheels smear old undercoat and dried on grease around instead of removing it. On straight sections of the chassis rail, solvent or heat and a scraper are sometimes quicker. I also found coating the chassis in degreaser first and thouroughly pressure washing underneath took quite a lot off and made it a lot more bearable and easier to see when it came to grinding. Most of my chassis stripping was done with abrasives but I did my front axle seperately with everything off it and most of the work on that was done with hot water, brushes and fx degreaser followed by a pressure wash. It needed very little attention with the grinder after that. Getting into the nooks and crannies is quite hard with a grinder, a needle scaler and the thin twisted wire brushes on a drill or die grinder work well: this is good  - https://www.buzzweld.co.uk/2224509101.html and has held up better than you'd expect from the look of it. Also you can get the below from ebay, variously called narrow/pencil/end 25mm brushes, only ever seen them from china and just used them slow but they get places other things wont, you can put some pressure on them and they cut through old paint and rust whereas the non twisted ones can sometimes skate over the top and splay out.

image.png.7e9fd820b1ed93805a842b7061e965da.png

I've used rust encapsulator on for the undercoat on my chassis, don't know how good it will turn out to be but it's nice to apply with a brush and it sticks well and flats out nicely. Not sure how many people do it but I'm a big fan of painting the chassis with a brush, probably my lack of skill but I find it easy to miss bits with a shutz gun and painting it all by hand shows up any areas that I haven't prepped properly. I thought I'd been pretty thorough but I got rewarded with a dirty brush a few times and it gave me chance to make sure I'd got it all properly cleaned. Plus, for me, spending a day crawling around with a paint brush and the radio on beats half a day masking up then the other half crawling around with a mask and shutz gun listening to the compressor (and the evening cleaning the gun!)

Edited by Sharp
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