Getting the ‘57 beetle back on the road in 2024

Jim

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No the soda will only dissolve to saturation (the ideal mix) any extra will just sit in the bottom of the bucket.
Agree w/Gary.

Vic, when I was experimenting with nickel plating, I hooked an ammeter inline with the power supply so could monitor current.... then I added salt (would be soda in your case) until the ammeter showed the amount of current I was shooting for.

So, hook your meter inline with it on the 10A scale and see whatcha got for current draw.
 

bosco659

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Agree w/Gary.

Vic, when I was experimenting with nickel plating, I hooked an ammeter inline with the power supply so could monitor current.... then I added salt (would be soda in your case) until the ammeter showed the amount of current I was shooting for.

So, hook your meter inline with it on the 10A scale and see whatcha got for current draw.
Will do Jim, thx. I’ll measure that tomorrow.
 

bosco659

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Couldn’t wait. Hooked up my battery tender and no current flow. Hooked up the lawn tractor battery and it was drawing 8.5A. Put my “not so smart” charger on the battery and it provided plenty of juice to keep the battery charged. Only ran it for about 15-20 minutes. I’ll do more tomorrow.
While I was doing this I thought, all this work and once buttoned up I’ll never see it again. Lol
I found a local guy with a used 10A old school charger. I’ll hunt him down tomorrow.

Question - if the electrolyte is bubbling, does that mean it’s still actively eating away at the rust or would a piece of bare steel produce the same reaction? I’m just trying to gauge whether or not I need to keep lifting the part out of the solution to see if it’s clean or can I judge that by the turbulence of the electrolyte?
 
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Jim

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Couldn’t wait. Hooked up my battery tender and no current flow. Hooked up the lawn tractor battery and it was drawing 8.5A. Put my “not down smart” charger on the battery and it provided plenty of juice to keep the battery charged. Only ran it for about 15-20 minutes. I’ll do more tomorrow.
While I was doing this I thought, all this work and once buttoned up I’ll never see it again. Lol
I found a local guy with a used 10A old school charger. I’ll hunt him down tomorrow.

Question - if the electrolyte is bubbling, does that mean it’s still actively eating away at the rust or would a piece of bare steel produce the same reaction? I’m just trying to gauge whether or not I need to keep lifting the part out of the solution to see if it’s clean or can I judge that by the turbulence of the electrolyte?

Good question. I don't know the answer. I would guess that no rust would mean no bubbling... but that's just a guess.
 

bosco659

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yeah once the rust is gone it slows down a lot. I've let stuff run for hours n hours no harm.
An ocassional wire brushing speeds things up.
Ok imma gonna cook the $hit out of that backing plate tomorrow and that’s it for that piece. Looks pretty good already, relative to what it looked like before. The two levers were done as per Jim’s wire wheel recommendation then Evaporust to get at the small pockets.
 

bosco659

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Hoping not to bore followers but did a bunch of work on the beetle again. The following pics show the progression in cleaning from when the brake drum was first removed after 50++ years, to what it looks like now after degreasing; wire wheel; scraping and about 4+ hours of electrolysis. Pretty please with the results although it was a lot of messing around. I’m concerned the front ones will be bad too.
 

bosco659

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Drained the transaxle and the stuff that came out was like grease. I think it’s going to need a couple of flushes once it’s back on the road. Then I removed one of the rubber swing axle boots and the RR flex line that may not appear to be a big deal but it was rusted in really well. Good news is every brake line fitting has loosened off (so far) without rounding or line damage.

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bosco659

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I disassembled my electrolysis bucket to look at the anodes and how much junk there was at the bottom of the bucket. It was surprisingly clean but I scraped the anodes down and mixed a fresh batch of electrolyte for tomorrow, when I’ll hopefully get the two brake drums done. One is half baked now. I was surprised by the black film that is on the part after going through the derusting process. Must be converted rust? Sticks like $hit to TP. I got it on my bare hands and it was a bugger to get off. As per gggGary, it was helpful to wire brush some of the heavy rust deposits, partway through the process. I’m a big fan of this process. Degrease, wire brush and electrolysis are rust’s worst enemies. If you’re very patient, Evaporust still does well.
 

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gggGary

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bosco659

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View attachment 256105
I use softened water (we have VERY hard water) and haven't had much of an issue with black oxide...
There's more to read.
https://www.metaldetectingworld.com/remove_black_coating_p27.shtml
Now ya tell me. lol. More info for the memory bank. I washed the backing plate with Dawn dish soap and it seemed to come off of the part, but there may be some in the rough areas. I’ll hunt for deionized water. Too bad because I was dumping anbout a gallon a day from my dehumidifiers. Now the furnace is running that source is gone until next summer.
 

bosco659

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I found a used battery charger that I plan to use for my electrolysis bath. It’s an older 12V only with a selector for 2A &10A. It’s automatic so it reduces the current as the battery charges (maybe they all do that?). I tried hooking my smart charger to the bath when I first tried to use it. Its brain told it to go to a 6V charge and when it did that it was useless as a power supply by itself. The new one isn’t so smart. When I hook it up to the bath by itself, will I be able to put it on 10A and expect it to maintain that output or does it need a battery still, to put a load on the charger to get it to run.

I know I should just hook it up and try it but impatient me would like to know sooner. 😀. Thx!
 

Jim

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A battery charger... the old ones, not the new "smart" ones, vary current as a function of voltage differential. The charger will output about 14.5 to 15 volts. If the battery is down at about 11v, then the charger will likely give it the full 10A because there's about 5-6 volts difference. As it approaches full charge, current will automatically drop because there's less differential in voltage. Once the battery is fully charged (no voltage differential), the current is down to about nothing.

So..... your bath has 0 (zero) volts, the charger about 15v. Pretty large differential... or potential if you will. Enough that the charger "could" deliver the full 10A.

Now the limiting factor becomes the resistance of the bath. Without looking back, I believe you said a battery was giving about 8A into the brew? If that's correct, the charger will likely deliver about the same.
 

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That's right. The old iron transformer-based chargers were largely self-limiting, and nicely lowered their charge rate as the battery came up, but they couldn't be left unattended for a long time as they wouldn't chop off the lower rate of charge they eventually reached, resulting in over-charged (and damaged) batteries.
For this, though, they're perfect.
 

bosco659

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Thanks! I was looking at the manual I found in the box and it said the charger won’t start unless it senses 1Vdc. Will this work and if not can I jump start it with a battery?
Yes the battery was providing 8.5A.
I was planning to leave the battery out of the set up if possible. If I needs to remain there I guess I can live with that.
 

Jim

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Thanks! I was looking at the manual I found in the box and it said the charger won’t start unless it senses 1Vdc.
If it's the plain ol' iron core charger, your instructions are mistaken.... It'll look for resistance to start up.
Want proof? Short the two leads together. That's a dead short... and the charger's ammeter will peg itself.
 
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