View Full Version : TR2/3/3A Good Rust Remover

04-13-2018, 02:10 PM
I have a 1954 TR-2 long door that has some surface rust I would like to remove before painting. Have any of you had success with any particular product? I plan to paint the areas, all behind doors or fenders, with POR-15 after I get rid of the rust. I did some research and there are so many different ways; 1 Step, 2 Steps, 3 Steps etc.


04-13-2018, 02:22 PM
My favorite rust remover is Black Diamond blasting media from NH. Second is 90 grit sandpaper. Sand(ing) gives the best surface for primer and paint to bond to.

You probably want a chemical treatment, though??

04-13-2018, 03:09 PM
Yes! Paint or spray.


04-13-2018, 03:13 PM
Do some research on the comparison of Eastwood's rust convertor vs Por 15. I used Eastwood's and TP Tools rust convertor. I like both but never cared for Por 15. For surface rust I use a product that is no longer advertised to stop rust but i have used it for years and it works, Penetrol. I know of one other Triumph restorer who uses it but most people wont as it is not sold for automobile use.

04-13-2018, 03:56 PM
If it's just surface rust, I've used kerosene and steel wool many times in the past. Always works fine for me.

Tom M.

04-13-2018, 05:44 PM

I'm with you on wanting to remove the rust. There are both mechanical and chemical ways to do this, but neither rust converters nor products like POR 15 actually remove the rust. They either "encapsulate" it or convert the surface layer of the rust to something else.

I suppose there are situations where conversion or encapsulation is an acceptible or only option, but IMO, most times there is no substitute for bare metal.

Though I've used some of the encapsulator and converter products, I always prefer sand blasting or phosphoric acid.


04-13-2018, 10:52 PM
I have been using Clean Bite medium from Northern Tool. It is recycled glass and you do not get as dirty as you do with Black diamond. Also I have found it seems to flow better.
Cuts fast and gives a great finish as well. I put a blue tarp under the parts I am blasting so I can reuse most of the medium.



Graham H
04-14-2018, 07:52 AM
Phosphoric acid is good for lite surface rust,you can wipe it on with a cloth leave it for 10 minutes then nutralise it with water and dry the surface ready to rub it back and prime before the rust comes back.


04-14-2018, 11:48 AM
+1 for both phosphoric acid and media blasting.

I have used POR for all sorts of things but I would not use under fenders. In general, it will not stick to a smooth, bare metal surface. You need "tooth" provided by either media blasting, heavy acid etching, or... a rough surface left behind by removing rust. POR can peel off in sheets if the surface is smooth. Epoxy primers generally do a good job on bare metal.

04-14-2018, 11:55 AM
I've left phosphoric acid on new/old bare steel rusty sheet metal overnight which eliminated the rust and the result was slightly cloud bare steel - no rust. After using, wash with soap and water then dry. It won't flash rust because of the water rinse, just dry it then prime. On bare metal I always use acid etch primer. Home Depot sells PhosPhor-clean in gallon cans or something like that - it's phosphoric acid.

Not a fan or POR-15 at all.

04-14-2018, 05:27 PM
I'm in much the same situation, finishing off my TR4A body "tub" and getting ready to prime it with epoxy primer. I'm planning to sand off the paint, clean the surface, and prime it immediately. The problem is rust in pits, which won't sand off, and rust in places that are inaccessible for sanding.

I tried a number of things, and eventually decided to sand off whatever I could and abrasive-blast the rest. I hate blasting, as it makes a mess, but it definitely does the job. I may use some phosphoric acid where appropriate. If you do a little research, you'll find all kinds of stories about poor paint adhesion after using phosphoric acid, but I suspect that the problem is really inadequate clean-up. Just wash the surface well and make SURE it is dry, and it really should be OK. The iron phosphate coating it leaves on the metal surface should provide good adhesion. But, it also leaves open the possibility of rerusting in spots that were not treated.

My remaining dilemma is a couple places where there is rust, but it is not accessible to blasting. In particular, under the front valence and inside the cavities for the tail lights. I will have to sand these manually; should be a real pain. I am considering putting some rust encapsulator on those areas, but then I don't really know how well that will work with the epoxy primer. But, at the same time, I don't want to prime over a previously rusty surface that has been minimally derusted.

04-15-2018, 11:24 AM
Study what rust is or in this case iron oxide at an atomic level. Basically the sheet metal is pulling in a loose oxygen electron to fill the outside band on the iron atom from 3 to 4 electrons and creating iron oxide which is a bigger, weaker, and heavier iron atom than the original sheet metal or iron.

Those treatments we put on there are Band-Aids that will either fall off or stay on if you seal over them with something. They are black or gray from the acid in the product, but will fall off paint just them stay longer. Plus paint can trap the 3 layers together; it is the can part that is painful because those products can let go of the surface. The best bet is to sand off the top few atoms by sanding or blasting then getting something on the top to stop the free oxygen electron from jumping on and making iron oxide, AKA red rust.

In those tight body gravities, like on the back of a tr3, I cut an access hole with a hole saw then sand blast the best I can in there through the hole then put in a product like Waxall, basically wax and oil and figure it might last 20 years. Then it is a race to see who lives longer me or the paint job.

04-20-2018, 10:11 AM
I like evaporust and use it a lot. It removes the rust, not an encapsulate or paint over product, and is non toxic. A soak overnight or two removes most surface to slightly deeper rust. I use it anywhere I can so I don't have to set up my sandblast cabinet as I have to haul it outside each time. On panels it is harder to use in situ. You can put a paper towel on the surface and wet it, keep it wet with either evaporust or phosphoric acid. I also will put a larger part in a.thick plastic bag and then wrap it with duct tape loosely, then fill it with evaporust.

04-21-2018, 10:17 AM
I've used evaporust also, works well and is not at all nasty, does not remove breath from your lungs. It does become less effective with use. I have used it mostly on small parts that should not be and/or are difficult to mechanically clean.

04-21-2018, 10:26 AM
I have found Evaporust and phosphoric acid to be about equally effective, but usually prefer phosphoric because it is cheaper and lasts longer. However, phosphoric will dissolve zinc or cad plating, so if I want to preserve plating, I go with ER.