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Battery box rust What's best way to deal with it.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by gggGary, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Working on the 70, the battery box in it was pretty far gone.


    I have a better one but it's still seen some use.

    20150915_192555.jpg 20150915_192608.jpg

    Metal is a bit thin here and there but the biggy is the separated seam at the bottom. Chemical stripped the paint, used a nylox brush in a drill for a bit. I got some of the rust out of the seam with a pick and can get out some more but I have not tried any "chemical dips" Yet. I have a 5 gallon bucket of vinegar and would spend the money on an evaporust type product. I actually went to Menards yesterday to buy evaporust but they had a placard about how great it was, with Sunnyside brand knock off product for sale, kind of huffed me off, I didn't buy.

    I also have a selection of various acids in full strength bottles Muriatic, phosphoric, Milk stone remover.

    Thought I'd throw this up for group think BEFORE I start dipping, hate to come back to a bucket of acid with a few scraps of metal in it. Then after the rust is gone what next? need to solidly bond it at the seam and protect the metal, make it shiny black.
  2. figure8

    figure8 XS650 Guru

    May not work the same, but I've had good luck with apple cider vinegar. I'm a cast iron cooking kinda guy, love to use them. However from time to time the seasoning brakes down and rust starts showing. A day or two soak in apple cider vinegar and a fine steel wool brush does the trick. The vinegar destroys the rust. Just my .02 cents.
  3. NONclow

    NONclow Confirmed Laquer Breather

    Good ol' iron oxide, lol. Any thoughts on electrolysis?


    I just happen to use an old plastic 200 gal insulated fish tote, an oooooold 30A golf cart battery charger, 3 boxes of A & H washing soda, and a pair of econoline fenders currently in my caustic hot tank getting the paint removed for anodes, the rebar grid ones were what I started with -availability:)-. The process works better with anodes with a larger surface area. After this stage, pressure washing to literally wash off the Magnetite (converted rust). Then you could solder, braze, or weld the split.

    One more thing..... the rust will be completely gone. So if the metal is really eaten up/pitted, some craters or even bigger holes CAN appear needing patching or even more......

    BTW the best part: you can sit back, drink a beer and watch it work!

    Attached Files:

  4. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Um what kind of beer works best?

    Cool, kind of forgot about electrolysis and have never tried it. I have the most of the stuff will give it a try and post up a pic of what's left :grin:

    So it only eats rust, won't erode the good steel?
  5. NONclow

    NONclow Confirmed Laquer Breather

    It converts iron oxide to magnetite, which can be scrubbed/pressure washed off, then dried and painted. What hasn't been rusted away is right back to the parent metal. :thumbsup:
  6. DogBunny

    DogBunny Motorcychologist Top Contributor

    Google "rust converter". The Rustoleum brand is called Rust Reformer. There are several other brands. The good brands include a polymer coating. See what Wikipedia has to say about rust converters.

    Or buy a good battery box on eBay. They aren't that expensive.
  7. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Had the same rust/pinhole/thin/cracked issues on my XS1B seatpan. Sandblasted it, straightened bent areas, then flowed brass over most of it. Really stiffened-up the weak/thin areas. Not pretty, but functional...
  8. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Did the vinegar for about 4 hours since the bucket was right there. Removed a bit of rust and paint but overall, meh..... electrolysis next.
  9. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Flowing brass; I picked up an oxy acetyline rig with a dedicated cutting torch but haven't found a good weld/braze torch and tips for it yet.
  10. I was going to suggest electrolysis, seems to work for tanks on the inside!

    Have you though of dipping the whole lot in plastidip? Pretty rugged if you do a few coats, and you get it in loads of colours too!
  11. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty XS650 Guru XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Be careful about what you derust with electrolysis. I would avoid structural parts. I'm not a metallurgist, but I do believe that the process can lead to hydrogen embrittlement. If someone here is an expert in this field and knows I'm wrong, I would love the learn about it. It the meantime, I pretty much avoid the process.

  12. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

  13. weekendrider

    weekendrider Iron Horse cowboy Top Contributor

    S.W. MO
    Electrolysis is mainly line of site so you may find the off sides don't shed as well.
    Vinegar isn't for those in a hurry. I soaked mine for a week. It is quick to flash rust afterwards so I followed up with a soda blast.
  14. weaselbeak

    weaselbeak XS650 Junkie

    I use a lot of Rust Reformer from Rustoleum. It is a damn good black paint to begin with, and sprayed on LITE rust, it works very well. A rusty battery box is the perfect use for the stuff.
  15. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Gary,
    the cutting torch head's outer ring of jets makes a pretty good general heating flame for brazing but DON'T HIT THE 0XYGEN LEVER, EH?
    Just as importantly, the brass won't stick unless the area to be brazed is shiny clean and swimming in molten brazing flux.
    gggGary likes this.
  16. NONclow

    NONclow Confirmed Laquer Breather

    One small scale version I tried used a scrap piece of 18ga sheet metal approx. 12" x 36" to wrap around the inside of the bucket.

    Note: The sheet metal was cut from an old pickup truck fender (not galvanized) and stripped via the hot tank.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015
  17. Electrolysis is what i would have preferred on such a fragile part, just make sure you have good ventilation.
  18. racerdave

    racerdave ^ Gone not forgotten ^

    I was not impressed with Evaporust when I tried it. Maybe I din't use it properly.
  19. Higgy

    Higgy XS650 Addict

    New guy here.

    gggGary, here's what I would do:

    I'd sandblast it with some fine AO and light pressure, then I would soak it in acetone overnight. I got a special steel soaking container just for acetone. I've done a lot of gunsmithing, and an acetone soak will totally sterilize anything, i.e. getting out every last bit of unwanted oil or whatever. This even worked great for me to pull every drop of old gun oil from wood stocks before refinishing. Anyhow...

    Then I would give it a coat of POR-15 or Eastwood Rust Encapsulator. Done.
  20. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    After paint stripper and about 4 hours in vinegar.

    70 battery box.jpg

    Electrolysis next. I am an acetone user also. I've gotten away from sand blasting though.

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