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Project Zeal, Rust Killer

The Zeal has been slowly trucking along. I have been finding it hard to get motivated to do much, as it’s so cold and dark after work these days.

Since the last update, the Zeal has taken over the garage, kicking the daily outside (and into the rain).

It turns out, as I suspected, that the rust has more bark than bite, and looks worse than it is. The salty air of where it was sitting for the past few years has found its way up under the paint and has been creating this ugly flaky surface rust. Once you get through the flaky paint and rust, the metal beneath is solid, albeit a little pitted.

Remember, this is what I was working with

Obviously I cant leave it like that, it’s ugly and will only keep getting worse. The original plan was to strip the whole bike down and redo the whole frame, but once I got the rest of the plastics off, it was pretty easy to access the rusty parts, and let’s face it, stripping the whole thing was a huge job.

I sold Scooty the other day, and with the money from that I went and picked up a Ryobi One+ angle grinder, a flap disk and a twisted wire brush for it. I had heard that the flap disks were really good for stripping rust and paint, but I also knew the brushes were good too, so I thought I would put them to the test.

I found very quickly that although the flap disk is SUPER effective for stripping everything and leaves a nice smooth finish, it’s a little too aggressive.

The wire brush on the other hand only really attacks the rust and any flaky/bubbling paint. It’s no where near as aggressive, so I stuck with that for the rest of it.

To give me more room to work, I removed the complete exhaust system. Very easy to do, 8 nuts in the head, and two bolts along the pipe to hold it to the bike.

The system is in average shape with lots of surface rust. The only issues I can see is that both mufflers have a hole in the underside of them. Whether this is by design, or age/rust, I’m not sure. Will need to investigate further in the future. In the meantime, they will do.

I also removed the brake master and res for the rear as this takes up a lot of space. I hung this out of the way with a bungee cord (so I didnt have to undo the brake hose).

I have spent the past couple of days attacking every bit of rust I can get my hands on, both with the grinder and with a normal hand powered wire brush.

The main focus was to remove all the loose bits of paint and rust, and give the rust converter something to work with. Of course where I could, I got it down to bare metal, but some areas just weren’t that accessible (like the mount above).

I used CRC rust converter, and so far im impressed. It sprays on well, sticks well, and seems to do a good job of killing the rust. It turns it into a black “primer” that can be painted over. It’s a tad messy but will do the job. Unlike the other rust converter I tried last time, it doesn’t eat/melt the paint around it either, which makes everything a bit nicer.

Its pretty ugly now. Very blotchy

The next step will fix that. The whole frame will get a rub down with sandpaper to key it, and then I’ll prime the whole thing. Once the primer is dry, it will get a couple of coats of paint. I’m not 100% on which shade, but I’ll be trying to match the original paint as close as possible. Thankfully once the tank and plastics are on you can’t see much of the frame, so it doesn’t need to be show bike quality.

Until next time….

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