El Scorcho

El Scorcho's Guide: How To Clean Up Those Rusty Old Brakes

3 posts in this topic

So, I am in the midst of massing parts for my GC suspension swap, Going for GE '97 spec. I managed to find an LX 626 with a dead engine and bought the entire running gear; struts, knuckles, brakes, rear trailing arms, and front cv shafts. More on that conversion as it takes shape.

 

So I got to thinking, how can I refinish these calipers? They were rusty:

 

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I don't have a sandblaster, and a dremel or wire brush was going to take forever and a day. And 17 years of rust and elements had had their way with these brakes. They still operated freely, but the car they came from was driven on gravel roads a lot.

 

I found this at Canadian Tire:

 

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So I bought two bottles and decided to give it a try. It is apparently environmentally safe, and I can confirm it doesn't harm rubber seals. But at $11/bottle, it's not exactly cheap. It has a soapy water texture.

 

So here is the setup:

 

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I put the two rear calipers into the solution, and left them for a day. It was already pretty cold here when I started this experiment, and there is no heat in my garage. I was skeptical at first, but the cold temperature didn't stop this from happening:

 

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As the solution works, it becomes black. Over the next 2 weeks or so, I shifted the calipers around to get them as submerged as possible, doing one at a time. I didn't take any pictures during this phase, but by the time the solution was black, the calipers were still a bit rusty on the parts that hadn't been submerged as long. So I bought two more bottles of Evapo-Rust, and after a couple more days individual soaking, the calipers looked like this:

 

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I'd just finished wire brushing the dried caliper, but I decided to wipe the wet one with a rag instead of letting it dry, and that also worked.

 

The left bracket was only submerged during the last part of the first batch, you can see the difference vs. fresh solution:

 

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After re-dipping the left bracket and the e-brake cable mount ends:

 

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So now these look like brand f'n new!

 

Now it's time to get them painted... More to come

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Nice. Though the product is not really cheap huh,... for about $3aud a can u can do both of them in 30mins i use Easy Off BAM! oven cleaner,..now u think im pissing in your pocket?, im not,.. its caustic so it works fast you only need to leave it on there for like 5-10 mins it foams up and lifts the crap off,...when i post my pics on the GC turbo full conversion you can get a looky at them, ive only done the front so far, but i use it on most of my steel just dont put it on factory rims unless u want the clear to fall off, thats how i discovered it. i dont have the convenience of time but if i did id probably use something like this.  :thumbsup:

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