Trailer Hinges: How To Refinish

Page 1 of 2  
The hinges and other hardware for my trailer doors are rusting - again.
A few years ago I removed all of the hardware from my trailer doors (hinges, lock hasp, cam keepers, bar retainers, etc) and removed all the old finish and rust with a wire wheel on my bench grinder.
I then dipped all of the parts in a clear finish that was supposedly made to prevent rust. I'm pretty sure that the product was recommended in this group, but I don't have any left so I can't tell you the name. What I do know is that it didn't really last very long. When the parts were first coated, they looked great, but less than a year later the finish began to peel off and the parts started to rust again. Now, 3 years later the finish is cracked, crumbling and peeling.
The finish was like a thick coat of polyurethane, but I know it wasn't just polyurethane, it was something specifically made for coating metal that was exposed to the elements. When it was first applied, the bright, shiny metal showed through but today the parts are black where the finish hasn't peeled off and rusty where it has.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq121/DerbyDad03/photobucket-18379-1375392467779_zps82e04d88.jpg
So, short of replacing ~$100 worth of door hardware, what are my options for refinishing what I have? If I clean all of the parts again is there something that will prevent rust for a significant number of years? I considered spray paint, but I'm not sure how that would look. It's certainly not going to look like real metal.
Suggestions welcome. Thanks!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DerbyDad03 wrote:

Hi, IMO, replacing whole parts with SS or bronze ones would be better. I don't have my fiver any more so those works are passed. GL,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DerbyDad03 wrote:

Cold galvanizing paint after thorough cleaning?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Never heard of that, but just read up on it. Sounds like it might be what I am looking for.
D*mn, just got back from Home Depot...wish I had read your post first.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Looking at your photo, I'd say that your cleaning job was less than stellar. Scale like that takes a while to develop; and as it does, it pops the paint.
I'd suggest you...
1. remove hardware 2. chemically/physically remove paint 3. physically remove the rust & scale that is easily removeable 4. remove the rest of the rust galvanically http://www.rickswoodshopcreations.com/miscellaneous/rust_removal.htm 5. paint immediately http://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Oleum-Professional-20-oz-Professional-Flat-Gray-Cold-Galvanizing-Compound-7585838/100142963#.UfubIj5Mpw0 6. top coat if desired
Neither that nor anything else will keep the hinges from rusting where one knuckle rides over another...whatever you put on them will eventually wear away. The only permanent solution is SS, bronze or brass (or monel, do they make monel hinges?). Including the pins.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

... Snip...

I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion. When I was done cleaning the hinges and other parts there was absolutely no rust on any part. What I couldn't get with the wire wheel on my bench grinder, I got with my Dremel. I then wiped all parts down with mineral spirits before dipping them in the coating and hanging to dry. As I said in my OP, the parts were bright and shiny and looked great after they were recoated.

What's your definition of "a while"? I don't recall when I did them, but it's probably been at least 4 - 5 years, maybe more. Keep in mind that the finish started peeling off in roughly a year, exposing the metal underneath, so we're looking at at least 3 - 4 years of exposure in salt laden winters.

Just to make sure we are on the same page, they were not "painted" They were dipped in a clear coating made for metal that was supposed to prevent rust. I wish I could find/remember the name of the product, but I can't.

Someone else suggested the cold galvanizing compound. I've look into that and it will probably be the way I"ll go.
...snip...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You can make scale nice and shiny but it is still there. IME, wire brushing won't remove it, just shines the surface. The only way I know to get it off is to chip it off; a chipping hammer works well but any hammer and a cold chisel works too.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Phosphoric acid is normally applied to shiny metal to etch it. It also converts light rust, turns it black. Additional converter can be added to heavy rust. Then primer. I normally use a self etching primer.
Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not arguing, just wondering...
Once the hinges and other parts were wire wheeled and smooth and shiny, there was nothing to "chip off", at least nothing visible.
Imagine 16" of smooth metal. What would I take a chipping hammer or cold chisel to?
----Android NewsGroup Reader---- http://www.piaohong.tk/newsgroup
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote in message

Nothing at all if there were no scale.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ok, so now you've confused me. First you said my cleaning was less than stellar, to which I replied that it was nice and shiny. Then you said shiny doesn't mean no scale, the scale could be shiny and it needs to be chipped off. When I asked what I would chip off if the metal was shiny, you say "nothing if there was no scale."
So does that mean my initial cleaning was indeed "stellar"?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have no idea. There appears to be scale in your photograph; usually, it takes a fair amount of time to develop. If there were scale there before it could easily have appeared shiny after wire brushing. Was it there? I don't know, didn't see it. You did.
When I say scale can be shiny and metallic, here's what I mean...this engine has tons of scale but note particularly the area in the center near the bottom.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Opel_engine_X14NZ-rusty_block_near_the_water_pump.jpg
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ok, got it.
Take a look at this photo. One is a before, and one is an after. I may do a little more wire wheeling on the after, but what is your opinion at this point? Do you see anything that you would consider scale, as opposed to simply pitting?
This is basically what all of the parts looked like when I went through this exercise a few years (4 - 5?) ago.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq121/DerbyDad03/photobucket-22252-1375490970592_zps6534357b.jpg
Thanks!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I haven't read every post in this thread, so if someone has already made this suggestion, my apologies.
If I wanted to coat something steel so that it would last forever, I wouldn't even consider a paint or a clear coat. I would have it nickel plated at any shop that does chrome plating.
Nickel is a fairly hard metal, so even if these hinges have wearing surfaces on them where they rub against other metal surfaces, the nickel plating will outlast any other coating on that same surface. Electroplated coatings are probably the most durable coatings you can put on metal.
Nickel is an important metal in making stainless steels because, just like chrome and many metals, it forms an oxide film over itself that's extremely impermeable to air and water. So, the formation of that oxide film protects the underlying nickel from further oxidation. It's so thin, in fact, as to be invisible. That's why nickel and chrome don't appear to "rust". The oxide film they form is only a few dozen atoms thick, and light passes through it almost unaffected.
(Gold and platinum don't form an oxide film AT ALL. Most metals form some oxide film over themselves.)
In metallurgy, there's a general rule that when you mix metals, the properties of the alloy will be largely determined by the properties of the parent metals. So, if you mix a lot of nickel and chromium into iron, you get a steel that forms an protective oxide film over itself, just like nickel and chromium do. That's exactly what the various kinds of stainless steels are; iron with enough other stuff in it to make it behave like that other stuff.
So, if you can't buy stainless steel parts, the best alternative would be to have the ordinary steel parts nickel plated to give them the same self healing oxide film that stainless steel has.
--
nestork


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, August 3, 2013 12:22:27 AM UTC-4, nestork wrote:

Aside from the cost to nickel plate, which I suspect isn't going to be cheap, what happens to the hinge clearances necessary for rotation when you add metal?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Electroplating adds way less than a RCH. Additionally, there is always some slop built into the hinge.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote in message

It looks good, can't see anything obvious although there are a couple of darker spots near the bottom at the edges of the right raised portion that might be suspicious. If the raised portion around the spots can't be knocked off it looks good to go.
Nestork sugested nickel plating. A good suggestion. Another alternative, if the items are small enough, you could hot dip galvanize them. I'm not talking about zinc electroplate, I mean dipping in molten zinc which is easily melted on a gas stove.
Either will protect very well unless the coating is breached. Which it will be at the hinge knuckles; about all you can do there is apply some oil once in a while.
One thing I wouldn't do is use whatever you used before. I've been wondering about that. You said it was clear but turned black. Red rust is reduced to black "rust" by acid. Could your clear stuff have been acidic? If so, I wonder if it remained so after drying? And if it did, how did new rust form for it to reduce? Was it air/moisture permeable? Was it supposed to be primed/painted? If so, was it to act sort as a "court of last resort" if the paint barrier was breached? Understand, I have no idea, just wondering.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Val-Oil is what I used. I just found an old a.h.r post where I asked for opinions on it, but no one responded. It was back in March '09, so the parts were redone a little over 5 years ago. The Val-Oil was recommended by a guy in an independent paint store.
http://www.valsparmro.com/pdf/27_30%20Valspar%20Val%20Oil%20Sealer.pdf
Like I said, the parts looked really good when they were first done, but now, besides the rust, the finish is peeling off in sheets. Now that the parts are off and I can see them in good light, I'll take back the "black" coloring comment. It's more like dark brown/grey, as shown here:
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq121/DerbyDad03/photobucket-7725-1375539102074_zpsf67662f4.jpg
I'm going to try the RustOleum Cold Galvanizing Compound. It can't do any worse. If I was going to consider the whole nickel plating or hot dip galvanizing route, I'd just drop the $100 bucks and buy all new hardware from HaulMark.
Thanks for sticking with me on this one. While I was searching for my old post I came across another thread where I asked about rust back in '09 and you participated in that thread also. You're really into this rust thing aren't you? ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I live for rust. A day without rust is like a day without sunshine...without a bird's song...without a lover's touch...without a cooling breeze.
Fortunately(?) there are few rust free days for anyone :(
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Here's a before and after picture.
Before, just a hinge...
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq121/DerbyDad03/photobucket-7725-1375539102074_zpsf67662f4.jpg
After, mainly a hinge, but also a cam holder and closure bar clamp in the bottom left. The parts were refinished with the Bright Galvanizing Compound after all of the old finish (Val-Oil) and rust was removed with a wire wheel on a bench grinder.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq121/DerbyDad03/photobucket-10678-1375850469329_zps31aff1b6.jpg
As you can see, the parts are more of a bright gray than the normal silver you'd expect to see as hinges on a trailer. I also cleaned up the rusty carriage bolt heads and sprayed them. At 85 - 90 cents a piece at HD I didn't feel like replacing all of the bolts required (24) when all they needed was a quick cleaning with the wire wheel and then a quick spray with the compound.
Regarding the scaling you mentioned, one of closure bar clamps (the one shown in the picture, in fact) had considerable scaling which, as you pointed out, did not come off with the wire wheel. It will be interesting to see if that one acts any differently than the other parts. It is subject to more moisture being on the bottom and so close the ground. It was by far the rustiest of all the parts.
We'll now just wait and see how the compound holds up on the various parts, especially the parts subject to movement, like the lock clasp and hinges.
Thanks again for the advice.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.