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huffy

POR 15/Rust Reformer experiences

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huffy
The mowing deck on one of my tractors has some rust underneath. I'm debating whether to sand blast it and repaint, or just try POR 15 or Rustoleum Rust Reformer. I did a search and saw that both had gotten good reviews here. But, I also noticed that the threads were only a year or so old. So, I'm wondering how many of you have used one of these products on something that you've had for more than just a year or two? Did it continue to hold up after the first year or so, or did just work for a while and then eventually keep rusting through?

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MysTiK
IMHO the question contains the real problem - coating it can trap existing rust, and presumably moisture (?). If that's true, it might look pretty while it continues to rust. The only product type I would even consider would be called "rust converter" - and there are many products on the market with "sounds like" names; but I consider them to be misleading. You mentioned "rust reformer" - what does that mean, what does it do. I would rather convert it to something stable, than reform it into (what) (?). Really I don't know if I believe any of it. Converter supposedly converts the rust to something else inert (hopefully). Reformer sounds like same idea; but I have no info on that. Converter leaves (supposedly) a (usually) black surface finish that can be considered primed and ready to paint - if you believe it - or if you know the high tek chemistry involved. In Canada, the nasty chemical involved in converter is banned. My own thing w under the deck is to simply ignore it and go mow, and try not to leave it WET for very long, or CLEAN it after every mow, and let dry. Moisture trapped in grass clippings is the issue, esp. if it cakes on and sticks, trapping water. Mainly, I do nothing. I consider cleaning undersides and then oiling it with used oil change engine oil occasionally. Period. Underside of deck is a hostile environment - if it's clean, it is basically being sanded or sandblasted constantly. But some will clean it to bare metal, no rust, and then paint it; perhaps annually. I would use normal thin paint for that - it should wear off in normal use, eventually. Which makes me wonder how your deck got rusty, unless it has not been used for a while, or did you leave it wet. I would go mow and ignore it. And oil it. This is not the last time this topic will come up. And others will disagree with my approach - and others will agree, too. The jury is always out on this one. It's always an exciting discussion. sm03 No problem; go for it. I have seen people warranty claim a brand new deck cos the paint wore in spots after 5 mows. 8D And they got a new deck! And an apology. It's a strange world. :D I have strong opinions; but I do almost nothing; except delete excess buildup, and mow only when grass is dry. I apologize if my strong opinions are offensive. Peace. Your way is best for you. Paying attention is a good thing. sm01

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huffy
Thanks Mystik: This is a deck on a mower that I bought used last year. The slight rust was already on it. My mind is made up that I'm going to do something about it. In years past there would have been no question in my mind that sandblasting down to bare metal was the way to go. But I've been seeing a lot of people talk about these rust converters/reformers in different forums and threads. If anyone's used it and noticed decent, long term results, I might be tempted to try it since I really, really, really hate using my sandblaster.

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steve-wis
I would try one of the mentioned products and see for yourself. Blasting and repainting are still a possibility later on if you are unhappy with the results. I haven't used either one so have no information to share. Steve

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MysTiK
quote:
Originally posted by huffy
Thanks Mystik: This is a deck on a mower that I bought used last year. The slight rust was already on it. My mind is made up that I'm going to do something about it. In years past there would have been no question in my mind that sandblasting down to bare metal was the way to go. But I've been seeing a lot of people talk about these rust converters/reformers in different forums and threads. If anyone's used it and noticed decent, long term results, I might be tempted to try it since I really, really, really hate using my sandblaster.
hey huffy, I hear you. You really want to know about what works in the long term, or which of these high tek, expensive coatings are really the thing to use. I get it. Kinda surprised that you really really really hate your sandblaster - I have often thought it would be great to own one. But that's another topic. Also I did not think you caused the rust, of course; that would be so opposite. So yeh, ZOOM IN on longevity and experiences with products used in the rust wars. dOd

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Kent
If you can find true rust converter it really works. I've used it many times to stop the rust on old cars, especially VW bugs that were notorious for rusting through the floorboard underneath the back seat. I can't remember the brand names I've tried (I know one was a Naval Jelly brand, now bought up by someone else), but everything I've used contained NO paint or pigment. It went on white, converted the rust, and turned into something black that looked like automotive undercoating, except it was a much harder finish. Then you could prime and paint it if you wanted -- but it is NOT a smooth finish, and the labels clearly specified to NOT try to sand it smooth... You had to leave the rough finish that formed during the conversion process. In my experience it held up really well for years. I'd be a bit leery of anything that contained color pigment and tried to combine the conversion process... just as I'm leery of self-priming paint... With all that, I doubt it would hold up to the "sand-blasting" that naturally takes place underneath a mower deck. I don't think paint or anything else will... the only thing is maintenance to keep it clean, and perhaps occasional oiling or lubricant spray to try to control the inevitable rust.

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OrangeMetalGuy
I can answer. I did my deck 3 years ago with POR-15, and it is as pristine today as the day I did it. Not one speck of the coating has come off, and there is absolutely zero rust.

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HerbP
In terms of converting rust, all the fancy shmancy rust converters use Phosphoric acid as a base and that's what does all the work. The rest of the additives are for color, consistency, or odor... You can go to a body shop supply place and get a bottle of PPG "Rust converter" which is basically a big jug of phosphoric acid colored green. You mix it 50/50 with water and put it in a spray bottle. I bought one about 8 years ago and still have lots left. I have converted lots of 'rust' into 'black inert' over the years and I routinely spray the stuff on freshly welded metal before I top-coat... I'm not sure where the idea of this being banned in Canada comes from but it hasn't been. I used to use POR-15 but no matter how closely you follow the prep instructions, it will always rust through... POR-15 works well in places like Arizona that don't get humidity or winter, but up here in Canada, POR-15 seems to consistantly fail. I had a 1978 land cruisr that I restored by sandblasting, welding, prepping and then POR-15'd the underside and inside of the chassis. 8 years later, the thing turned into a rust bucket with POR-15 peeling off in great big sheets. My experiences are not unique. I would stay away. I've had much better luck with Zero-Rust. Way less prep effort involved and seems to be a very tenacious product.

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427435
I've used a product called "Extend" and had good luck with it. It's a converter and leaves the rust black. However, one thing that you must do before applying a finish coat is to sand it after it dries.

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huffy
quote:
Kinda surprised that you really really really hate your sandblaster - I have often thought it would be great to own one.
Graham: it's not that I hate the sandblaster itself. It's actually a pretty good little unit and definitely cleans things well. I just find the process itself miserable. I hate having to wear the respirator, hood, long-sleeved shirt, etc, especially on hot, dry days which are the best for using my little unit. So, I'd rather use a wire brush or air sander or something if at all possible, and only use the blaster when I need to get down in crevices or need to clean odd-shaped surfaces, etc. I decided to go ahead and give the Rust Reformer a shot. I'm going to let it cure for a few days, then rub a good coat of some type of wax or something over the top of it to see if that helps keep the grass from building up/eating the Rust Reformer coating off. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens over time.

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MysTiK
quote:
Originally posted by HerbP
In terms of converting rust, all the fancy shmancy rust converters use Phosphoric acid as a base and that's what does all the work. The rest of the additives are for color, consistency, or odor... You can go to a body shop supply place and get a bottle of PPG "Rust converter" which is basically a big jug of phosphoric acid colored green. You mix it 50/50 with water and put it in a spray bottle. I bought one about 8 years ago and still have lots left. I have converted lots of 'rust' into 'black inert' over the years and I routinely spray the stuff on freshly welded metal before I top-coat... I'm not sure where the idea of this being banned in Canada comes from but it hasn't been. I used to use POR-15 but no matter how closely you follow the prep instructions, it will always rust through... POR-15 works well in places like Arizona that don't get humidity or winter, but up here in Canada, POR-15 seems to consistantly fail. I had a 1978 land cruisr that I restored by sandblasting, welding, prepping and then POR-15'd the underside and inside of the chassis. 8 years later, the thing turned into a rust bucket with POR-15 peeling off in great big sheets. My experiences are not unique. I would stay away. I've had much better luck with Zero-Rust. Way less prep effort involved and seems to be a very tenacious product.
I lost track of the research I once did on this; but I believe phosphoric is common to many rust treatments. I was talking about a much more toxic chemical. I don't know about Alberta much any more; I'm in Ontario now. All pesticides were banned a couple years ago. A NAPA parts guy told me the hard core toxic rust "converter" was NLA, and he had 1 can left at that time - that I thought about grabbing, but then started thinking "toxicity" issues - omg.! Things have also changed in the "bondo" category; and I think the same company manu'd the 'converter'. I was at the same NAPA the other day, and the guy showed me something 'converter' but I had no time to discuss further with him. I still need something; and will get back into all this later. My risky plan was to work outside and upwind and hold my breath - I dunno - scary stuff. Investing in a respirator is probly the thing to do. That would be handy for dealing with similar nasty solvents involved in painting. Read the labels and the "sheet" listing warnings, toxicity, symptoms, and potential results which might include (you name it) and death. I don't think phosphoric is the worst of it. I do think it's an 'inhibitor' rather than a converter. But, hey, I only read stuff, and talk to people - I am no authority, and don't want the responsibility either. Use at your own risk. Bottom line. But I think the toxic stuff should be forefront in discussions about all this. Mere contact with skin, eyes, never mind inhalation, can be a problem. Proceed with knowledge and caution. Read the ugly sheet that is available for these products. It's a similar story with commonly used lawn pesticides. Just know what you are getting into. This is the stuff the (o so nice) green movement knows nothing about, often. It's worse than that. Look for words like toluene, benzene, and derivatives with unpronounceable names. killers. perhaps linkable to cancer, stroke, organ failure, ms, etc. But hey, it's also ok to drive at highway speeds. I can't control the accepted norms. I can only look after me; and relying on the gov, doctors, or others with interests in "finance" or "economy" might not always work well. No shock over bailouts there either. I'm out. It's beyond my control. And this goes political way too fast - no thank you. Back to tractors - those are fun, and dangerous too. Machines have no brain. (no offense intended to anyone - it's just information - if it saves someone's life, I would rather talk - but it's "hot" topic.) Peace.

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timflury
A few years ago, I wire brushed the underside of my deck. I sprayed Loctite brand Rust Reformer per the instructions on the can. I followed up a day later with red oxide primer, and a couple coats of A/C Persian orange. I was trying to see if the Red primer would darken the orange paint a little so it would match the Simplicity color. Well it didn't. Fast forward to this past weekend. I pressure washed the bottom of my deck and the orange paint was till in tact!!! There was no chipping, or flaking at all!!!

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