Rusty hubcaps - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-11-2006, 03:15 PM   #1
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I was so happy to find a couple of vintage full moon hubcaps that fit our trailer rims. They are rusty in places. Steel wool and paint? Any ideas appreciated!

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Old 04-11-2006, 05:23 PM   #2
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Naval Jelly, follow the instructions and it will remove the rust and make them look like new. After the rust is gone, wax them so they will not rust again.

You can find it at a hardware store. 2 types, you want the red. The other is for aluminum.


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Old 04-11-2006, 05:30 PM   #3
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well i will show the age of my father here ultra fine steel wool and pore some coke on the cap then rub with steel wool softl will do the job the wax when its clean...
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:49 PM   #4
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Thanks guys! I'll work on them this weekend.
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Old 04-11-2006, 06:07 PM   #5
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The Coke is acidic, but modern Coke isn't as aggressive as it was when our grandfathers were shining their military uniform buttons with it. I'd probably go straight to Naval Jelly or something similar (see Naval Jelly for a non-commercial description), which is also acidic, but so far I have only polished chrome stuff with rust pitting, not tried this chemical attack.

The wax - or some other clear sealant - is important because much of the visible rust is often from some tiny holes in the chrome plating, but spread out over the surface. Polishing removes rust deposits from the surface of the remaining chrome, but leaves the rust spot. Sealing the surface can help prevent further rusting.

Another option is re-plating, if you can find a bumper shop that still does it, but I would guess that new caps might be cheaper. I'd try polishing and seal like the other guys said, first.
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Old 04-11-2006, 06:40 PM   #6
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hummm, I'd be a bit leary of using something as aggressive as Naval MAY distort the overall shine on the good part. So use sparingly and only in the areas needed. I've heard too that rubbing the areas that WERE rusty with Aluminum foil is supposed to bring back some of the "silver" look. Don't know if it works or not, but might be worth a try. Then as others have mentioned, wax, wax, wax!
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:29 PM   #7
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From one car person to an other, the coke thing still works but works best when applied and worked with a crumpled up piece of "luminum foil. Works like gang busters on the chromed runnning boards of my T Touring. BUT the right way to correct the problem is to have them stripped via whatever means possible then re-plated. As stated, you may remove the visable rust but you'll never get the minute holes filled right with only a sealer.
Having said that about re-plating chrome pieces, its a little known fact that Canadian platters produce better quality work than their American counterparts mainly because we (up here) are not YET bound by as many environmental issues as American shops are. AND, YES, there is chrome and there is SHOW chrome!!!!1

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