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Old 04-17-2017, 08:38 AM   #1
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Rust removal for lug nuts?

Looking for the best process to remove rust and overall brown discolouration from the lug nuts. Is soaking them overnight in a solution of CLR the best method?

2001 Lapis Blue Boxster 5spd.
2011 Sand White Cayenne 6spd.
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:12 AM   #2
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Give apple cider vinegar a try. It works on almost anything to remove rust.
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:13 PM   #3
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The only problem I have experienced while using vinegar or any other acidic substance (like CLR) is that the rust removed comes back immediately. Only dousing it with oil seems to keep it off and that is not really feasible to keep the lugnuts oiled up all the time. Let us know how it goes long term or if they turn back to rusty within a few weeks.
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:13 PM   #4
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I wire brushed mine and sprayed them with Rustoleum silver. They're holding up pretty well a year or so later.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:03 PM   #5
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A neutral PH, "color-changing"wheel cleaner would be the thing to soak the lug nuts in to convert the brownish rust deposits to purple residue which can be washed off with water. This would also save much of the zinc/aluminum fininsh as possible. Maybe require multiple applications and to speed the rust stain removal, I'd suggest wire brushing by hand with brass or stainless wire brush on the soiled areas. If not handy, yes, you could use acid-based cleaners. They can be hard on pure zinc, but the dip-spun coatings on these Porsche fasteners have layers of aluminum in addition to layers of zinc, so maybe would be OK. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinc_flake_coating

However, before trying chemically remove the iron oxide stains, I'd use a strong solvent like anything with acetone in it (brake parts cleaner, carb cleaner, lacquer thinner) with a paper towel to wash off any loose dirt and old oil or grease residue. This strong solvent won't harm the bolt in any way, although it's hard on your bare hands, and will tear up even chemical resistant gloves. I've had good results with nitrile gloves and chlorinated brake parts cleaner, although that stuff seems banned in places like California. I have no idea about Canada, but it is available here in Washington state.

After they are cleaned an dried, I'd suggest spray coating the outer-appearing surfaces (not where the bolts seats or the threads) with a high zinc content (> 90%) cold galvanizing spray. Give time (and maybe heating?) to allow the cold galv to cure and harden.

Then, apply a thin coating of gray colored anti-size on the threads and reinstall.
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Last edited by jakeru; 04-17-2017 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:27 PM   #6
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I bought those black plastic lug nut covers. Love them, very clean looking.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by DWBOX2000 View Post
I bought those black plastic lug nut covers. Love them, very clean looking.
Reference to supplier?
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:51 AM   #8
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I use Loctite Naval Jelly. Just brush it on, let it sit, and rinse it off and the rust is gone. You can then either polish, sand, paint, whatever.

I used this on an old drum set which had rusted parts and it came out looking like new.


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