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Old 02-18-2019, 11:29 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by WoodenYouKnowIt View Post
If you're thinking that that rust shown in the photos would make it unsafe to drive, not to worry. And this is what we've been saying. There is nothing there that is cancerous. The chassis is really thick metal (compared to sheet metal on the body) and it's just too thick for the rust to make any real incursion. So, unless the bus has other mechanical issues, (which I doubt) I wouldn't worry at all.

As a point of comparison, many bridges, towers and other structural steel creations are often left in their natural steel with no paints or rust preventatives. Then the rust covers the surface and that's that. Once the structure develops a good coat of rust, the metal becomes protected and the rust itself reaches a point where it makes no more progress.

In order to have rust, you need three things - metal, air (oxygen) and moisture. Remove any one of the three and the rusting process stops cold. Thus, once the rust develops to a certain point, the metal that hasn't rusted yet becomes protected from the air and water. This is the situation with the frame rails on your bus.
I've never found any metal preserved by rusting. I had a frame that looked better than OP's and could put a screwdriver through what looked solid in many places. The undercoated parts looked real good till I scraped some. THe undercoating was keeping moisture under it and it advanced the rust.
Maybe its a climate thing but here once rust starts beyond superficial surface rust it keeps going till the metal is gone or its repaired.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:08 PM   #22
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That bus is actually in good shape compared to what I see around here. I looked at your pics and not bad at all. My bus is a little less rusty than yours, but no worried about it at all. Come spring I will scale all the loose rust off and then spray the undercarriage and frame with motor oil thinned with mineral spirits with my wagner spray gun to keep the rust at bay. This will be done yearly.
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:03 PM   #23
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I'm with Charlie. Until you actually poke around on the metal, you just don't know what is left. Appearances can be very deceiving.
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:48 PM   #24
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I've never found any metal preserved by rusting.
Oh yeah, absolutely! I know it sounds crazy but it's for real. As an example, here are a few photos showing bridges where the metal has intentionally been left bare just to form a coating of rust. This completely saves the effort of prep for painting and then the paint and labor.

Now I agree that you wouldn't want to do this on thin metal. But on thick stuff, this is a perfectly acceptable way of doing things even though it does indeed SOUND counterintuitive. (Now THERE is a big word. LOL)
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:56 PM   #25
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The undercoated parts looked real good till I scraped some. THe undercoating was keeping moisture under it and it advanced the rust.
I think you could be correct ! ...at least in some cases. I've never been a strong believer in undercoats because we don't see it offered in my neck of the woods. I don't really know anything about them. But it does make sense that having some undercoat eventually peel would trap moisture between the peeling part and the metal. So, I suppose it always makes sense to take each on a case by case basis.
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Old 02-18-2019, 02:49 PM   #26
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[QUOTE=WoodenYouKnowIt;310988]Oh yeah, absolutely! I know it sounds crazy but it's for real. As an example, here are a few photos showing bridges where the metal has intentionally been left bare just to form a coating of rust. This completely saves the effort of prep for painting and then the paint and labor.

Now I agree that you wouldn't want to do this on thin metal. But on thick stuff, this is a perfectly acceptable way of doing things even though it does indeed SOUND counterintuitive. (Now THERE is a big word.

"Weathering" steel used for structural and decorative purposes has the addition of copper to the alloy. When it oxidizes it forms a barrier to air and water. Regular steel like the type bus frames are made from will form an oxide that is porous which will allow air and water to continue to oxidize until all that is left is rust.

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Old 02-18-2019, 04:29 PM   #27
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"Weathering" steel used for structural and decorative purposes has the addition of copper to the alloy. When it oxidizes it forms a barrier to air and water. Regular steel like the type bus frames are made from will form an oxide that is porous which will allow air and water to continue to oxidize until all that is left is rust.

Ted
What he said. I didn't know about the copper part, but the steel that is used on bridges, buildings, etc. that is designed to rust is called COR-TEN and is a proprietary product of U.S. Steel. Or it was proprietary, back when I worked in an architectural office. Key word designed. Leave any old steel out in the rain, and it'll turn completely to rust.
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:49 PM   #28
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Well guys, i didn't know all of that about the copper... But still, my point is that as thick as the frame rails are, the rust is not nearly as critical as other, much thinner components. I don't think the guy has a lot to worry about from what I can in the photos.
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Old 02-24-2019, 10:48 AM   #29
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It’s hard to call how much time and energy to invest into rust treatment. On my rusty 2004 shortie went underneath and banged lightly on the frame with a 3 lb maul hammer. Scale fell off all over the place. Then I pressure washed underneath a couple times to loosen more scale and try to flush out salts. Then scraped a hour or two hours per day for a couple weeks. Then sprayed ospho with a decent quality hand pump bottle. I went through 3.5 gallons of ospho with 3 initial applications. After that I plan on a annual application of ospho of about 1 gallon.
I’m not sure what else ospho has in it besides phosphoric acid? I haven’t looked up the MSDS.
I had my fingers crossed that there was no structural damage due to rust. I couldn’t see any. Or feel any. The only serious problem was the fuel tank started getting “water in fuel” trouble light everytime it rained hard. Ive sealed the tank temporarily by spray foaming all around the top of the tank. And am looking for a new or good used fuel tank.
There are special “drying oil” paint additives similar to Penetrol that might help draw paint into all the cracks and pitting after descaling and treating. I tried one. I added a special drying oil to equipment paint. I’ve been fairly impressed by equipment paint for the money. It’s available for $40/gal locally. Ive painted a rusty old horse trailer after scouring it by pressure washing it in hot sun. None of the paint is flaking 4 years later. Equipment paint color selection is low but asking the sales representative to blend a color is sometimes an option.
Is there a discussion of Penetrol somewhere or someone with more experience?
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Old 02-24-2019, 01:33 PM   #30
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I'm putting a link here to a product that I have not tried myself yet. But the company does carry a very good reputation and so, it might be worth investigating.

https://www.eastwood.com/gas-tank-se...nk-sealer.html
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:12 PM   #31
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I'm putting a link here to a product that I have not tried myself yet. But the company does carry a very good reputation and so, it might be worth investigating.

https://www.eastwood.com/gas-tank-se...nk-sealer.html
Caswell makes a tank sealer that far exceeds the others. Most require a surgically clean surface before coating. Caswells has thixotropic properties that make it cling to the surface better and actually prefers a rusty surface to bond to. I use it in all my bikes.

https://www.caswellplating.com/epoxy...nk-sealer.html
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:21 PM   #32
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Thanks.....I looked at the epoxy tank sealer you linked. Iím sure itís a good product. But too expensive for a giant tank. Now that I think about it I might use marine epoxy thinned slightly, very slightly, as it thins itself when it kicks off. I would not be suprised if these epoxy tank products are marine epoxy repackaged. Or a similar chemistry epoxy. Years ago a master wooden boatbuilder told me they sometimes made fuel tanks from marine plywood and marine epoxy. These days with better and cheaper aluminum welding they are made of aluminum.
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Old 02-24-2019, 09:13 PM   #33
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Years ago a master wooden boatbuilder told me they sometimes made fuel tanks from marine plywood and marine epoxy.
Yup, they did! But gasoline will eventually cause epoxy to fail so they also had to paint the inside of the tank with some sort of finish that was impervious to long term exposure to the gasoline.

I am really familiar with marine plywood and epoxy. My username "WoodenYouKnowIt" was the name of a mahogany runabout I built years ago.
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Old 02-25-2019, 06:31 PM   #34
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I would let a good body shot look over the frame if you have concerns.
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