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cleaning a rusty distributor
Posted by: junkman ()
Date: December 30, 2017 12:09PM

While sorting some used parts, I came upon some distributors that have rust on them from being stored in a damp building. What is the best way to clean them up, to make them usable again.

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Re: cleaning a rusty distributor
Posted by: Seth Emerson ()
Date: December 30, 2017 12:13PM

In stages. Remove the rotor and every thing on top with the two screws. Clean off the shaft below the drive gear, then remove the drive gear. Then clean off the shaft up to the retainer pin. Remove the pin and the spacers, and pull the shaft out. Inspect the advance mechanism carefully to make sure everything is moving properly.

Seth Emerson

Check my new Performance Corvair Web site [www.perfvair.com]

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Re: cleaning a rusty distributor
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: December 30, 2017 12:15PM

I took one apart and used a Dremel tool with small wire brush wheels to clean it up. It did ok, but it took numerous wheels as those things come apart fairly quickly. Scotch brite probably better bet. Still time consuming.

Al Lane
Ellabell GA

1966 Monza Coupe, 110 hp, 4 Spd
1966 Corsa Turbo Coupe, 180 hp 4 Spd
1964 Greenbrier Deluxe, 6 dr, 80 hp car engine, PG
2015 Chevrolet Malibu 2LT
2015 GMC Sierra SLT Crew Cab
1968 Camaro SS Coupe 350 CI 295+ HP PG
1947 Farmall A tractor 15 hp


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Re: cleaning a rusty distributor
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: December 30, 2017 05:32PM

If the area just above the tang is rusty clean that first. If it is pitted just disassemble the distributor for parts. The same applies to the driven gear on the tooth area, of course the gear can be replaced if everything else is good.

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: cleaning a rusty distributor
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: December 30, 2017 05:34PM

Paying attention to the order as suggested is the right way but I would use Evaporust. It will remove all the rust and not disturb the good metal.

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Re: cleaning a rusty distributor
Posted by: gnvair ()
Date: December 31, 2017 07:40AM

Do not use Evaporust or any chemicals on the advance springs as it will cause them to break

Lee J

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Re: cleaning a rusty distributor
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: December 31, 2017 12:44PM

Evaporust won't hurt them. It's just polarized iron molecules or something like that. It isn't an acid.

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Re: cleaning a rusty distributor
Posted by: gnvair ()
Date: December 31, 2017 02:23PM

joelsplace Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Evaporust won't hurt them. It's just polarized
> iron molecules or something like that. It isn't
> an acid.


Looks like it's a little bit stronger than you think. I would still use caution with any heat treated or spring steel materials. It is obviously strong enough to remove zinc and other platings [www.practicalmachinist.com]

Lee J



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/31/2017 02:24PM by gnvair.

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Re: cleaning a rusty distributor
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: December 31, 2017 07:40PM

My tests have not produced the results from that link. I've left a C3 brake caliper and a hydrovac slave cylinder in it for days and they came out looking brand new except for some pits that the rust had caused. I did soak some cad plated tie down ratchets in it that were severely rusty and the rust/cad combo turned black. Not sure what that was. YMMV
Springs that are rusty should probably be replaced anyway. If they aren't rusty why soak them?
They claim that since it's just iron and water you can dump it on your yard for fertilizer when it is used up.

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Re: cleaning a rusty distributor
Posted by: caroseiii ()
Date: December 31, 2017 08:49PM

Soak the lower shaft in vinegar until the rust is gone.
If you want to soak the advance mechanism, remove springs first.
Crawford

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Re: cleaning a rusty distributor
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: December 31, 2017 09:01PM

I should probably be more careful and pull things out as soon as the rust is gone.
Better safe than sorry.
Thanks

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