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Rust on top tube guides

Old 04-28-20, 02:13 PM
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Chicago Al 
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Rust on top tube guides

I have had my 1985 Pro Miyata stored under a porch, under a cover, for a few years, and apparently I did not do an adequate job of cleaning it up before putting it there, as now it has the rust you see around two of the cable guides (worst is pictured). The paint is still there but bubbled. I know about OA, have used that successfully, have not had such good luck with 'rust converter' as it never seems to do anything, but possibly I had the wrong brand/bad batch/bad luck.

Other than this the bike's paint just has the usual nicks and scratches, no big deal to touch up, so I would like to do a precise job on this. Maybe that means carefully scraping this down and painting with red Testor's, or...?

What have you used (successfully) on this kind of situation?


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Old 04-28-20, 02:52 PM
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a) Live with it
b) Remove the paint and rust around it, and use touchup paint
c) Repaint frame

Cost and quality go up from b to c.

Choice b sounds like the direction you'd like to head in, ain't that ain't bad. 80 grit garnet cloth is probably your best bet, to get to the rust you'll need to get the paint off the affected area, at that point you could use naval jelly (good for small areas) OA, or whatever you have on hand to remove the rust, rinse, sand just a bit, and touchup. I can imagine making a small dam out of putty if you go the OA route.

I think you're on the right track.
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Old 04-28-20, 06:03 PM
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I don't like OA, but as Gugie suggests, I once made some little cup-shaped dams around rusty cable guides from modeling clay, and filled them with Evaporust. The trick is to really smear the clay onto the tubes to get a liquid-tight seal. I forget what I used to get the clay residue off when I was done--mineral spirits, probably.
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Old 04-28-20, 08:40 PM
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Do not leave it alone as it will just get worse pretty quick.....
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Old 04-29-20, 12:37 AM
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+1 to gugie. if this is a frame you like and consider a keeper, I'd opt for option b--sand area down to bare metal and repaint with touch up paint. As a heavy sweater and steel rider, I'm consigned to a lifetime battle against top tube rust. I ended up repainting a good portion of my Look's top tube this past winter. The red on your Miyata should be fairly easy to match, but there does appear to be some texture to your paint beyond the rust areas (maybe just the photo?). This texture will be hard to duplicate and may contrast with touch-up. Still, I'd do it. The cable is your friend; it'll hide some of the paint. Try to sand in a uniform circle/oval area with smooth sanded transition from steel to orig paint. Mask off, spray, wet sand to blend. Repeat if as needed.

Sometimes you can treat it early while it's surface rust. Unfortunately, your rust seems to have formed decent sized clumps under the surface--too far gone for soaking in any anti-rust solvent to be totally effective. You can try picking off the tops of the rust bubbles before soaking, but at that point may as well sand & repaint in my experience.

Coincidentally, here is essentially a live photo from my garage (taken a few minutes ago). I noticed surface rust on all my cable guides and a couple other spots on my Parkpre recently. I soaked some strips of rags in Evaporust, wrapped it in & around the cable guides, then covered it all in plastic wrap. (Was held in stand upside down to keep liquid concentrated around guides, but flipped right side up for photo). If you catch it early, this will buy you some time:


if this is a frame you like and consider a keeper.
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Old 04-29-20, 12:51 PM
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This might be a option for touch up paint , It's Krylon SCB-005 Red Pepper .
IMG_0585 by mark westi, on Flickr
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Old 04-29-20, 02:55 PM
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a) Live with it
b) Remove the paint and rust around it, and use touchup paint
c) Repaint frame.
d) Drew
e) Sell

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Old 04-29-20, 03:39 PM
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I go at those cable guides with a little wire brush on a Dremel. If for some reason you go the whole repaint route, be sure and have the builder/painter take off the 3 top tube guides and put 2 stops on the 7 or 10 o'clock position. Unless of course it is important to keep it looking original. I've done many braze-on redos and repaints and those 3 are always the most problematic for rusting.
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Old 04-30-20, 11:32 AM
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I'm a little disappointed with you all as a group, as no one has come up with a product like 'Magic DEE-RUST #999 ,' of which a mere light dusting would solve the problem, leaving no trace behind.

But then I never got a pony for my birthday, either.

So thank you all!

Seems like I'm on the right track. I'll have to see if our Dremel kit includes a little wire brush, as that sounds perfect.
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Old 04-30-20, 03:57 PM
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@jonwvara that anti-rust pool idea is interesting! I'll have to try that.
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