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  1. #1
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Need help removing ocean salt/corrosion from wheels

    My fat wheels have dried ocean water salt/corrosion on the nipples and signs of it coming out of the rim seam.

    Large Marge DH, brass nipples. I have crusty white deposits on and around the nipples, inside the rim and out.

    I have removed the rim tape.

    Last night I hosed them down, then soaked in a tub of soapy water for a couple of hours, 1/3 of the rim at a time, spinning them in the water every 10 minutes.

    Rinsed, drained, let dry over night.

    Still have some deposits.

    Am I going to have to scrub each nipple with a tiny brush?
    Is there something I can use to better remove/neutralize the salts?
    I do plan on relubing each nipple after cleaning.
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  2. #2
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    My 36H DH Marges are 4 1/2 years old and the white stuff you talk about has always been on my nipples (oh err... ) from beach riding in salt water.

    But the brass nipples have never seized to the stainless spokes yet. I have heard of a liquid used by BMW motorcycles that neutralises salt and removes this white residue left that keeps reappearing. It is used to coat their motorcycles once built.
    We are at the moment waiting to here back from BMW on the availability of the product to purchase to coat our hire pugsleys for beachriding...
    will post up when we hear from them
    Last edited by coastkid71; 05-10-2012 at 12:38 PM.
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
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  3. #3
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    Odds are some of that white buildup is from galvanic corrosion (steel on brass on aluminium). The environment you ride accelerates the reaction.

    Brass = -.40
    Aluminium = -.92 -ish
    Steel = -.8 - ish

    To remove I'd use a combo of ketchup and a copper brush. Ketchup has some salt and acid in it that will help remove that surface blemish. A copper bush is soft enough not to damage your brass nipples, but aggressive enough to get the stuff off. A copper brush can be found at any gunsmith / gun shop for $.25.
    - The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.

  4. #4
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    Fishermen use distilled water to soak saltwater fishing reels in. I don't know what difference the distillation makes, but it's common practice. There's also that stuff that removes mineral deposits off showerheads. Don't know what kind of chemicals we're talking though.

  5. #5
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    If you can't get the wheels sorted to your satisfaction maybe set them aside for loaning to bike magazines so the damage will already be done before they get the test bike...
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  6. #6
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestatevirgin View Post
    Fishermen use distilled water to soak saltwater fishing reels in. I don't know what difference the distillation makes, but it's common practice. There's also that stuff that removes mineral deposits off showerheads. Don't know what kind of chemicals we're talking though.
    Yup, after Oma's reply I remembered white vinegar can remove mineral deposits. Going to try that.

    These are crusty crystal like buildups, not just cosmetic surface blemishes.
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  7. #7
    workin' it Administrator
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    Shouldn't MBA be cleaning those!
    Try this: HTFU

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Yup, after Oma's reply I remembered white vinegar can remove mineral deposits. Going to try that.

    These are crusty crystal like buildups, not just cosmetic surface blemishes.
    Ah, yes. I forgot the vinegar part of the equation. Distilled water and white vinegar.

  9. #9
    @adelorenzo
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    This thread reminds me of Simpsons episode where Lisa gets gum in her hair

  10. #10
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    Distilled water, rainwater and snow is mineral free, so "hungry" to absorb minerals and corrosive to everything with a mineral content. So using it to absorb salt minerals is actually a pretty good idea - just not really practical on a wheel unless you have a big shallow recipient or something similar... you could try wrapping the spoke nipples in little wads of toilet paper or pieces or rag, soaking those with distilled water and letting them rest overnight ?
    Not sure if that will help a lot though...

  11. #11
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    I use Salt-X on my car:

    Salt-X = The best salt and salt corrosion fighter!

    I put it in a weed sprayer and spray it on the underside, wait a few
    Moments, and rinse. It really does help rinse off the salt. My 18-year-old car looks good still even with Cleveland winters factored in.

    You could make up a solution in a tub and soak them. Toss any other salt-encrusted parts in with them...

  12. #12
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Yup, after Oma's reply I remembered white vinegar can remove mineral deposits. Going to try that.

    These are crusty crystal like buildups, not just cosmetic surface blemishes.
    The white vinegar worked. Just poured (dribbled) it on the problem areas and let it flow inside the rim. Rinsed with the garden hose later. Looks clean.
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