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Cleaning a frame

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  • Cleaning a frame

    Gang - Being the lazy munch I am, I'd like to find the shortest way to cleaning a rusty and crusty with dirt frame for my 63 sedan, which I slid out from under the body. Short of any better suggestions I'll get 3 or 4 wire wheels for the drill and with eye & ear protection, dig in.
    Anybody find anything better to do the job?
    I have a can of Eastwood's answer to POR-15 once I get it clean enough. Thanks!

  • #2
    if you're wire wheeling a brush made for a 4" grinder will work faster than one in a drill. You'll need better eye/nose protection though


    55 Commander Starlight
    55 Commander Starlight


    • #3
      You'll burn up a drill trying to do a frame with it. They aren't made to side load the bearings that much plus they really aren't powerful enough to do a good job on a frame.

      Nate's suggestion will work, but even with good eye, nose, and ear protection you will really beat up your body, and fill your shop with crud. One slip with the wire brush on the angle grinder and you're down to the bone [xx(]. It will throw little wires 1" deep into your skin (even through clothes). You'll be spitting rust for a week even with a mask.

      Find a buddy with a sandblaster that you can use outside, go to one of the U-DO-IT sand blasting places, or worse case, take it to a sandblaster and have it done.

      Dick Steinkamp
      Bellingham, WA


      Dick Steinkamp
      Bellingham, WA


      • #4
        I sandblasted mine. I bought a pot blaster for $150.00, my 60 gallon compressor barely kept up, that's OK, because i couldn't stand the job for very long anyway. Worked very well, just nasty work.

        66 Commander R1 Clone
        51 Commander 4dr
        1962 Champ

        51 Commander 4 door


        • #5
          Start with an assortment of putty knives and scrapers; there's a bladed scraper called a "painter's tool" which kind of looks like a fireman's axe in profile. Those are very handy.

          Scrape off as much of the oil-soaked crud as you can. Usually it peels off easily. But a sandblaster will not remove that stuff, or does it only pitifully slow. You can also remove a lot of the old undercoating that way, which the sandblaster WILL cut, but not fast.

          With that soft or resilient stuff out of the way, a sandblaster will clean up the rust and last bits of paint in a jiffy.

          Check your Yellow Pages; there may well be a do-it-yourself sandblast outfit near you. I know of two in Calgary. They provide a big rack to put your articles on, protective clothing, earplugs, and a supplied-air helmet. You get all armored up, they hand you a sandblast nozzle the size of a firehose, and turn on the air. Woo-hoo! The rust flies away like you waved a magic wand over it.

          Do be sure to put protective covers over wheel bearings and suchlike; I actually prefer to strip a chassis to the bare frame rails if it is to be sandblasted.

          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


          • #6
            Great stuff, guys, thank you!
            I might try all of the above. I bought a soda adapter for my sandblast tank and will try it out once I scrape and brush off as much crud as I can. Getting the frame out of and back in the garage is easy enough.


            • #7
              Tom, As Kurt stated, your arms are going to get might tired and it is hot dirty work. I have a "pot" and an 80 gallon two stage compressor with an air dryer and I still send out my large sand blasting projects. As other have stated, the more crude you remove before sending out, supposedly the cheaper you will be charged. They advertise they charge by the minute, but I think the "charge" comes out of the air. I also like to completely disassemble because it is hard to get the "nozzle" of the sandblaster in tight areas like the A-arms when installed on the frame. Also try to take everything at once. It's cheaper, but don't take more than you can paint since everything startes to rust. I have used Eastwood Extreme Black for "under the hood" stuff with good results. Have you considered having the frame "powder coated"? Some outfits will sandblast and powder coat making it a one stop operation for you. Consider that you are going to have to buy another quart of "Black" and primer and you time. You might find an outfit "hungry". Tom, we use to converse through my former employer and I sorry to hear of your father's passing.


              • #8
                Saw a powdercoated frame that goes underneath a Toyota Landcruiser. I was afraid to touch it, it was so shiney. I was assured by its owner, that it is plenty tough, and it is. The blasting and powdercoating ran about $600.00. Looked really good.


                • #9
                  Depending on how badly greased up it is, I'd squirt it with a can of engine degreaser, hit it with some putty knives and then steam pressure wash it.

                  I don't know if the Eastwood stuff is supposed to bond to rust, but the POR15 really needs it for proper adhesion. I like to leave the frame seasoned/rusted for this specific reason.



                  • #10
                    Sandblasting is the only way to go. But don't try a protable sand blaster. Not only does it make a real mess, but the cost of the sand will be more than it costs to get the frame professionally done. Had our 1964 Daytona frame sandblasted for $125.00 (cdn). No rust left at all. Then painted it with POR 15. Geat job.



                    • #11

                      I've sand blasted four frames in the last 20 years with an 80 pound pressure blaster from Harbor Freight. I've also blasted at least six bodies with the same unit.

                      The secret is:

                      1 - Be sure you use a pressure blaster not a siphon. They are not worth the effort.

                      2 - Use 100-120 PSI, the home units need that kind of inertia to cut.

                      3 - Use a full blasting hood with a particle filter mask.

                      4 - It will take probably five to eight bags of sand. About $8/ bag here.

                      5 - Scrape off most of the accumulated crud, it's soft and will adsorb the sand impact and be difficult to remove.

                      I spent the extra money to by an ultra hard nozzle, carbide I believe. The ceramic nozzles supplied erode pretty fast and reduce the effeciency of the unit.

                      A good 5+ HP compressor is also a good idea, nothing taxes a compressor like a sand blaster.



                      • #12
                        Great stuff!!

                        If I just look at that bag of sand, it gets into every crack & wet spot on me. :-)
                        For crud removal it's hard to beat. I'll get one of those carbide nozzles, thanks!


                        • #13
                          I'm going to go the sandblast/powdercoat deal. For approximately $600, it can't be beat, and it's usually back in a couple of days.

                          Tom - Mulberry, FL

                          1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2125.60)

                          Tom - Bradenton, FL

                          1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
                          1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD


                          • #14
                            I had my Hawk frame sandblasted and powdercoated for $495 plus $50 for the misc. small stuff, control arms and reach rod, tie rods etc.

                            Wayen K.
                            Libby, MT
                            61 Hawk


                            • #15
                              Dissasemble the suspension pieces from the frame and send it out to have it professionaly done. Don't waste your time and money on getting the proper tools for sandblasting. The suspension and other miscellaneous pieces would be better blasted as independant units. jimmijim
                              sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member