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Hardened Salt Removal?? Bolt Up -- New Pics

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Hardened Salt Removal?? Bolt Up -- New Pics

Old 05-24-2010, 04:25 PM
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Default Hardened Salt Removal?? Bolt Up -- New Pics

Discovered a rotted bunk board this weekend on my aluminum I beam trailer. Put the boat on jacks to take a look and discovered some rusted hardware that needed changed out. When I took the galvanized vertical supports off of the crossbars, I found salt caked onto the face of the aluminum and on the back of the supports, no surprises there. The salt on the aluminum cleaned off easily enough but the stuff on the galvanized supports is hardened on to the point that I had to use the bench grinder to remove what I could get at. Would soaking these support pieces overnight help this? I tried spraying them with Salt X and letting it soak but it had no effect. I'd planned on hitting them all with Ospho, then Zinc Chromate followed by a healthy coating of trailer grease but this salt has to come off first. Thoughts??
74JB
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Last edited by '74 Jailbreak; 06-04-2010 at 06:12 PM.
Old 05-24-2010, 07:45 PM
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Keep the pics and the thread going! I am so ready to do what your doing....
Old 05-24-2010, 08:08 PM
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what about sanding em down and having them powder coated? a brass brush/grinding wheel should clean it up.
Old 05-24-2010, 09:01 PM
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That is not salt, but white oxides of zince on the galvanized pieces and oxide of aluminum on the aluminum pieces.
You can remove it by sanding, grinding, blasting, etc.
The zinc will need to be replaced on the galvanized pieces or epoxy paint.
The galvanizing should NOT touch the aluminum or galvanic corrosion sets up.
Separate by a piece of rubber, milk bottle plastic or other nonmetallic material.
Have fun!!
Old 05-24-2010, 09:02 PM
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Use stainless steel bolts too! Again, with nylon washers to keep it away from aluminum material.
Old 05-25-2010, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by deltarome View Post
Use stainless steel bolts too! Again, with nylon washers to keep it away from aluminum material.
Trailer shop told be not to use SS bolts because they are too soft.
Old 05-25-2010, 09:49 AM
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I bought squares of rubber from the plumbing dept. at Lowes and cut them into strips to put between my bunk supports and the aluminum on my trailer.
Old 05-25-2010, 11:31 AM
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Deltarome,
Interesting reply about that not being salt. I was starting to come to that conclusion as the soaking has helped remove the material but it doesn't really dissolve it as I would expect with salt. Also, after cleaning, I noticed some pitting beneath the caked on material on the aluminum cross supports. I've found a material called ECK (Electrolysis Corrosion Kontrol) that is designed as a spray barrier between dissimilar metals to prevent this. I've found some search results on here that recommend Tef-Gel for this same purpose as well. I'd like something I can spray on the crossbars to completely shield from contact with the u-bolts and brackets. Speaking of the brackets, they're relatively inexpensive so I may just put new ones back on. Thanks for the feedback, will post some pics of the rebuild this weekend,
74JB
Old 05-25-2010, 06:45 PM
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If it were me, I'd probably not even do anything to take the "salt" off.

In fact, I'd not even bother to replace any of that hardware as it still looks like it has a long way to go and the rust is very minor surface rust, but hey, if you got all the hardware off and want to not have to worry about it for a long, long time, you are doing the right thing.
Old 05-25-2010, 08:13 PM
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The job has definitely evolved from replacing a rotted bunk to discovering some rusted out non stainless/galvanized flat washers and nuts to finding the pitting on the aluminum cross bars. I figured since I've got the boat off and the trailer all torn down now and it's easy to work on, might as well do it up as well as I know how. (or as well as you guys know how,,,,) Getting the boat off and on jacks is a whole separate thread, first time I'd done that. I agree that the brackets don't look all that bad. We'll see how well they clean up and go from there. R /
74JB
Old 05-25-2010, 08:17 PM
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'74, while a spray coating might work on static pieces, a trailer is not a rigid structure and parts wiggle and slide relative to each other when it hits a bump or is loaded. The sliding between adjacent surfaces might wear away a thin spray coating. Now a heavier coating of a tarlike substance might keep them from touching each other at highspots.
The noted rubber pieces might work but they will squish out over time and parts might loosen up.
Use 304 or better stainless fasteners with blue loctite on threads and stick something between parts where they touch between dissimilar metals.
Send pics when you fix it all up.
Lucky whole trailer isn't the corroded galvanized material.
Old 05-26-2010, 04:24 AM
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Personally, I would continue cleaning the rust off. Paint with cold galvanize, then a final coat of Rustoleum aluminum paint over top of it (seems to make it last longer). Reassemble and touch up with the finish coat. Nothing will replace the galvanize thats gone. I also agree with nothing being wrong with your fastners, coat them and use them again. Worry about it in another 10 years when the bunks rot out again.
Old 05-26-2010, 08:01 AM
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as above...that is oxidation (aluminum "rust"), not salt
it looks worse than it really is
grind it off, and do like afish says above
no big deal
Old 06-04-2010, 05:21 PM
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Default Trailer Hardware Refurb -- New Pics --

Finished the bolt up and just got the boat loaded back on. Had to fine tune the bunk heights. What a PITA that was working solo, glad it's done. Re-used the tubular support brackets and mounts after rust removal and then spray galvanized. Couldn't find any of the rustoleum aluminum paint. Sprayed the supports and crossbar with the ECK at all mounting points. Turns out this stuff is a nice thick spray on grease type substance that I think will at least help. Put Lanocote on all threads and finished up with a heavy coat of marine bearing grease. All the old bunks were rotted from I think the plastic bunk caps on top of the carpet holding water. Replaced the bunks with MCQ treated 2 x 6's, supposedly the least corrosive, no carpet, caps on top of that. Thanks to all for the input as always,
74JB
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Last edited by '74 Jailbreak; 06-04-2010 at 06:14 PM.
Old 06-07-2010, 11:53 AM
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I also sprayed all my bunk supports/leaf springs, etc.. with that rubber undercoating you can get at auto parts stores. Almost 2 years and still looks great.
Old 06-07-2010, 12:05 PM
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Dang, you look orgainzed !! when I work on something, it looks like controlled chaos !!!
Old 06-09-2010, 03:55 PM
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Pictures can be very deceiving,,,,,,,

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