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Old 06-24-2008, 09:30 AM   #1
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How to fix surface rust on cam that has been sitting?

I had a cam that was sitting in a block for a while. it developed a little surface rust on some of the lobes. What should i use to clean that off?
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:34 AM   #2
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I would try a rag soaked in WD40 first. That will remove the top layer and you'll see what's actually embedded into the steel. From there you may need to lightly polish the lobes with either crocus cloth and a light oil or #0000 steel wool. Be sure you only move the paper or steel wool in the direction of the rotation cam (not across the face of the lobe). When finished be sure you clean everything REALLY well.
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:18 AM   #3
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if it is a STEEL cam core,
then use scotchbrite and PB blaster spray....

if it is a CAST IRON cam core ,
then you should have it checked for surface nicks or wear and have it "parkerized"...
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:57 AM   #4
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Don't even try to fix it. Throw the cam away.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:30 AM   #5
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That's very common and if it's truly 'light surface rust' can be fixed very easily. (Hack?) In fact, a light polishing can improve things all the way around. As others said - a VERY fine abrasive of some sort with oil usually takes it right off. If you'd like to go further, get a fine emery cloth and a length of leather boot lace. Cut the cloth about the width of the lobe or journal, long enough to completely encircle the lobe/journal. Spray a bit of WD40 for lube, wrap the emery cloth around the lobe/journal, and completely encircle it with the boot lace. Alternating pulls on the end of the bootlace will move the emery cloth very evenly back and forth over the entire surface of the lobe/journal. A half hour's worth of time will reward you with highly polished lobes and journals. Don't go crazy - don't want to remove much material at all. Just nice and shiny.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Yount View Post
That's very common and if it's truly 'light surface rust' can be fixed very easily. (Hack?) In fact, a light polishing can improve things all the way around. As others said - a VERY fine abrasive of some sort with oil usually takes it right off. If you'd like to go further, get a fine emery cloth and a length of leather boot lace. Cut the cloth about the width of the lobe or journal, long enough to completely encircle the lobe/journal. Spray a bit of WD40 for lube, wrap the emery cloth around the lobe/journal, and completely encircle it with the boot lace. Alternating pulls on the end of the bootlace will move the emery cloth very evenly back and forth over the entire surface of the lobe/journal. A half hour's worth of time will reward you with highly polished lobes and journals. Don't go crazy - don't want to remove much material at all. Just nice and shiny.


michael and kato have given the best answers. i would tell you the same thing however i dont feel the need to sound like a broken record.

good luck

brian
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:33 PM   #7
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Oil the crap out of it like an old gun. It'll come clean.
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:44 PM   #8
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i just hit mine with scotcbrite and WD40 and havent had any problems
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:17 PM   #9
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just put the damn thing in a media blaster and it will all come off....


































rust and cam lobes


and then as "hack" put it... throw it away.
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If it's cheap and fast it isn't reliable
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:18 PM   #10
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Don't even try to fix it. Throw the cam away.


virgin of the month comment


i love mm and ff and 5.0 and super fords magazines
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If it's cheap and reliable it isn't fast
If it's cheap and fast it isn't reliable
If it's fast and reliable it isn't cheap
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:27 PM   #11
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Don't even try to fix it. Throw the cam away.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:24 PM   #12
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I wouldn't run a marginal cam in an engine. I think all of you are assuming that it's a roller and that the rust is extremely light. It doesn't take long at all to wipe a lobe and wreck all your new bearings with a flat tappet cam. Is it worth it? Not to me. Cams aren't that expensive.

Even a formerly rusty roller cam will put metal fragments in your engine.

But I'm conservative when it comes to spending money. One thing wrong inside a new motor and a bunch of your new parts are junk. I'm not much for gambling.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I wouldn't run a marginal cam in an engine. I think all of you are assuming that it's a roller and that the rust is extremely light. It doesn't take long at all to wipe a lobe and wreck all your new bearings with a flat tappet cam. Is it worth it? Not to me. Cams aren't that expensive.

Even a formerly rusty roller cam will put metal fragments in your engine.

But I'm conservative when it comes to spending money. One thing wrong inside a new motor and a bunch of your new parts are junk. I'm not much for gambling.


i think you worry to much....

i guess the 1/2 millon junk yark blocks that have been pulled over the year with enough rust to fill a lake are all junk. throw away every block now... especially the a4 blocks. they are the worst for rust.

dude surface rust is not a big deal. in a cylinder a little wd40 and a light hone will fix it. as others have stated a cam can be cleaned and if need be polished.

not knocking you but your very conserative and i think a little uneducated when it comes to rust. if you understood it better you would not have made that comment.

just my .02 cents

good luck
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:24 AM   #14
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Rust isn't steel, its iron oxide not some strong hard particle.
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Old 06-26-2008, 07:16 AM   #15
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i think you worry to much....

i guess the 1/2 millon junk yark blocks that have been pulled over the year with enough rust to fill a lake are all junk. throw away every block now... especially the a4 blocks. they are the worst for rust.

dude surface rust is not a big deal. in a cylinder a little wd40 and a light hone will fix it. as others have stated a cam can be cleaned and if need be polished.

not knocking you but your very conserative and i think a little uneducated when it comes to rust. if you understood it better you would not have made that comment.

just my .02 cents

good luck
Talk about apples and oranges!

The surface of the cam is one of the most stressed areas in an engine. IMO it's really an odd thing that flat tappets even work, especially in a higher performance application. I didn't say anything about rust on an engine block. That's a totally different thing.

It's odd how people on this forum constantly advise others to purchase custom cams, because the letter cams are so terrible, but now someone has an odd, rusty cam laying around and it's smart to save it? Hmmm.

Yes I understand what rust is. I do have a friggin' engineering degree, which included some rudimentary training in chemistry and material science.

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Rust isn't steel, its iron oxide not some strong hard particle.
So rust will actually help lubricate your engine? Particles of any kind, including plain old dirt, brass, etc. are not helpful in preventing engine wear.
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Last edited by Hack; 06-26-2008 at 07:24 AM.
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