Get a handle on rust!
BEET THE RUST — One of the most difficult things to restore on a vehicle are rusty door handle mechanisms. However, they are easy to clean with Rustbeeter™, a byproduct of the sugar beet-refining process that removes rust from steel, chrome and cast iron without degrading or damaging the base metal. It is particularly good for small parts such as door handle mechanisms, as it follows the rust deep down into the nooks and crannies where other processes can't reach. Shown above are matching door handles, the one in the foreground having been treated with Rustbeeter™.
Squeak, squeak, squeak.
That's the sound of rusty door handles on the dream car that took you countless hours and a heap of money to restore.
From bumper to taillights, the vehicle seems perfect: The body's smooth, the chrome sparkles, the motor purrs ... and the door handles squeak.
Replacing rusty door handle mechanisms is nearly impossible. They don't make reproductions and any matches you find at a swap meet or on eBay are probably rustier than your originals. If you don't clean them at all, the mechanism will further rust, seize up and stop moving altogether. So you squirt on penetrating oil and work the handle back and forth, hoping for the best. But all you're doing is lubricating the rust. ... and the handles still squeak.
There is a solution. Rustbeeter™, a byproduct of the sugar beet-refining process that removes rust from steel, chrome and cast iron without degrading or damaging the base metal. It is particularly good for small parts such as door handle mechanisms, as it follows the rust deep down into the nooks and crannies where other processes can't reach.
With sandblasting, you might be able to get a little rust off of the visible surfaces of the door handle, but then the sand or media becomes stuck in the mechanism, gumming up the works. Acids can become trapped in the interior surfaces and are difficult to neutralize and clean out. Also, they tend to eat the good metal along with the rust.
Rustbeeter™, on the other hand, is a water-based product that flushes clean. Simply mix it with tapwater to form a slurry and submerge the door handle or other metal part for three to four days for average rust. Since oil and water don't mix, use a degreaser to remove any oil or grease from the mechanism so Rustbeeter™ can work.
Then just go to the sink and run water through several times at different angles until it runs clean. Dry the door handle mechanism using an air hose, and then treat it with a water displacer such as WD-40 to ensure that all the moisture is gone. Another few blasts with the air hose and you're ready to lubricate the mechanism with a little spray-on grease.
The end result: No rust. No gumminess. No squeaks.
A natural, environmentally friendly product, Rustbeeter™ is safe for all metals, including galvanized. However, it does affect aluminum.
Rustbeeter™ is available in amounts to fill 5-quart and 5- and 7-gallon pails. To order or for more information, contact Rustbeeter at 618 Monroe St., Fort Atkinson, WI, 53538, or (920) 563-4048 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. CST. Detailed information is available on the company's website at rustbeeter.com.