Saturday, November 15, 2008

Terry's question

Terry Shegrud of West Richland, Wa. sent this sugestion and question to Auto Restorer magizine and got this response.

"­Vinegar rust removal & broken taps

Vinegar is a tool that you can use to remove rust from car parts. I have various size tubs to de-rust small nuts and bolts or even larger body parts. It takes about two weeks of soaking in the vinegar and then, after drying the parts, use a wire brush in a drill or in a drill press to finish cleaning off the rust.
Vinegar will clean a corroded battery cable in 5-10 minutes and leave it much cleaner than soda, and vinegar is cheaper than catsup. I use and reuse my vinegar.
Now, I also have a question. I am restoring a 1925 Model T Ford and broke a tap in a screw hole. Is there any help for me on this?
Teny Shegrud
Richland, Washington

Vinegar will, in fact, remove rust because, as the taste tells us, it contains a weak acid.
This acid, called acetic or ethanoic acid, will dissolve rnst but care must be exercised because it also will dissolve other things, including zinc and nickel.
So if, for example, you have a nickel ­plated part that has rnst on one portion, be mindful of the fact that vinegar will likely remove the nickel plating in addi­tion to the rust.
The broken tap can be very difficult to extract. If part of it is sticking out of the hole you may be able to weld a nut to it and then use a wrench or socket to turn the nut and tap out of the hole.
If the tap is broken flush or beneath the surface then you can try drilling it out. It is crucial to drill through the center of the broken tap and this may be virtually impossible if the break is jagged.
Another possible option is to dissolve the tap using a plasma cutter or EDM
(electrical discharge machine). An advanced machine shop will sometimes have one or both of these and in the hands of a skilled operator they may be effective in removing the broken tap if the surrounding material on your antique car part can stand up to the process.

Some Tips Regarding Broken Tap Extraction.

In response to Teny Shegrud's December question about broken tap removal, he should try a broken tap extractor made . by Walton tools. Check their Web site.
The extractor consists of four fingers that slide down the flutes of the broken tap. A barrel and collar hold everything together, and a tap handle fits on top.
You need to be careful and gentle in backing out the broken tap, but it works very well.

Here are some other approaches: If the hole is not a blind hole, a brute force method is to take a flat-nosed punch and just smack the bugger and drive it out. Of course, some thread dam­age will result, but maybe not enough to matter. If there's lots of damage, you can drill the hole and thread it to the next
largest size, or use a Helicoil. .
The torch method works pretty well (with large taps), because the broken tap is high carbon steel and sometimes will bum out neatly before the lower-carbon or cast iron bums, but you need luck and finesse, and will have to clean up the threads.
John Brower Whitehall, Montana

Broken taps can be easily removed with a Walton tap extrac­tor. Check out their Web site for pictures and details on how the tool works:
Paul Johnson Oregon, Illinois.

The Walton Company also can be contacted at: 600 New Parle Ave., West Hartford, CT06110phone: 860-523-5231;jax: 860-236-9968.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would never have thought of using vinager to remove rust. I run a car club in the UK for MG owners and I will pass this information on, along with a link to you blog, to my members in the next newsletter - if you are familiar with MG's you will know about the rust problems. I also run a company that specialises in Car Finance for older cars. Thanks for the useful post. Dave