How do you guys bust rust this bad?

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I bought this rusty Schwinn back in January for $20, and while it was not the slightly-less-rusty Schwinn straight bar I had driven an hour away from home to buy, I could tell from the remaining paint on this frame that this bike was special. While I'm no expert, it must've been a Black Phantom at one point in its life; now, only the frame, the pedal blocks and a little paint is all that's left to tell the tale. It It was completely frozen solid from rust when I bought it, but I figured it was worth a gamble at $20.
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_1.jpg
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_8.jpg


A couple weeks ago, I started chipping away at disassembling this bike. First I mixed and applied a solution @Oldbikeguy1960 recommended of 1 part acetone and 3 parts used automatic transmission fluid to all the parts I wanted to break loose. It seemed to help on a couple parts after soaking for a few days, but I found that using a propane torch worked better on other parts. First, I took the rear wheel off, then I tried removing the bottom bracket assembly. I had never seen a pedal rusted this badly before, but I was able to get it off the crank at least.
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_black_disassembly_1.jpg


Getting the crank off the frame, on the other hand, proved to be more challenging. I found that hitting the crank arms with a hammer seemed to free everything up, but instead, I found that I was merely threading the crank through the bearing nut, which no amount of hitting with a hammer and screwdriver would break free.
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_black_disassembly_2.jpg
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_black_disassembly_3.jpg


Here's what that first round of progress looked like.
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_black_disassembly_4.jpg


While I was able to free up a few parts thanks to that home-brewed solution and a torch, I would have to sacrifice a few parts if I wanted to get this bike torn down to the bare frame. I had no problem cutting the handlebar stem to remove the fork, but I would've preferred sparing the crank arm if I could. Still, I could replace it later, so I cut off one arm near the threads so I could remove it from the frame.
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_black_disassembly_5.jpg
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_black_disassembly_6.jpg
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_black_disassembly_7.jpg


If there's a way for me to save this bearing cup, I'd like to use it again, but it appears the bearing is stuck to it. No telling whether it's salvageable at this time. But that's not even the craziest part...
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_black_disassembly_8.jpg
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_black_disassembly_9.jpg


I have never encountered rust this bad before. The bottom bracket bearings are fused to the bearing cups! And I wouldn't be surprised if the bearing cups are fairly stuck to the frame as well.
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_black_disassembly_10.jpg
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_black_disassembly_11.jpg


It might be possible to get the headset bearing cups out, but they're pretty stuck as well. Also, one more hint that this might've been a Black Phantom is the bottom bearing cup seems to be designed for a locking springer fork. I've not seen a bearing cup like this before, so I'd like to salvage it if I can.
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_black_disassembly_12.jpg
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_black_disassembly_13.jpg


I was able to cut off the seat clamp bolt, but the seat post is pretty stuck in there, even after soaking the solution around it for over a week.
BftD_schwinns_after_dark_black_disassembly_14.jpg


Here's where I stand and what I need help with: As rough as it looks, this frame does appear salvageable. There are no major dents, the rear triangle is straight, there are no rust holes, and I even loosened up the kickstand. I really want to try and build this bike back up, either with equally-rusty stock Black Phantom parts, or as a custom rat bike. Either way, I want to preserve what's left of the original paint, as it's the whole reason I even bought this bike. The problem is that I don't know how I'll remove the last few remaining parts without damaging the frame or the paint. Last time I tried to remove a really-stuck seat post, it did not end well, mostly because I took it to someone who didn't know what they were doing. I also don't know how I'll remove the rusty bearing cups, as hitting them with a hammer and screwdriver doesn't seem to be enough. And my ATF/acetone solution seems to be capable of only so much. If anyone here can help me figure out how to save this frame, I'd really appreciate it!
 
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Man, you really put that solution to the test. I have never seen one that bad that I was trying to save! I hope it works out for you man.

Do you have a Compressor and an air chisel? They make a bit with a round flat head about the diameter of a quarter. If you hit the back of the bearing cup with that the cup should come loose.
 
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Man, you really put that solution to the test. I have never seen one that bad that I was trying to save! I hope it works out for you man.

Do you have a Compressor and an air chisel? They make a bit with a round flat head about the diameter of a quarter. If you hit the back of the bearing cup with that the cup should come loose.
It definitely helped in spots, but you can see what I'm up against. Thanks for the tip though! It was worth trying.

I've got an air compressor, but I don't know if I've got an air chisel. I can ask my dad and see if he's got one I can use. I'm just worried that the bearing cups might be so stuck that hitting it with an air chisel might damage the frame. Still, it's worth trying. Thanks for the tip!
 
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I mix my witch's brew 50/50 ATF & acetone. That makes for a thinner, more penetrating solution. Don't be stingy with it. The good news is, everything is STEEL--none of the corrosion, bad as it is, is galvanic (i.e. aluminum-on-steel).

A question, though: Is the seat tube open where it connects to the bottom bracket shell? Some bikes are and if that's the case on yours, then I have an idea for an extractor.
 
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I mix my witch's brew 50/50 ATF & acetone. That makes for a thinner, more penetrating solution. Don't be stingy with it. The good news is, everything is STEEL--none of the corrosion, bad as it is, is galvanic (i.e. aluminum-on-steel).

A question, though: Is the seat tube open where it connects to the bottom bracket shell. Some bikes are and if that's the case on yours, then I have an idea for an extractor.
I still have plenty of used ATF and acetone I could mix up...

I think it is, but I need to check first. I've thought about spraying penetrating fluid down the seat tube that way, but if you've got another idea, I'm all for trying different techniques.
 
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You can get one pretty reasonably at a Harbor Freight if you have one near. Or online at harborfreight.com the flat headed bit I don't know for sure they have. It looks kinda like a hammer head on a stick.
My air tool drawer locked itself, I do not know if my bit is in there or another drawer. I will look in the morning and send a photo if I find it.
You lube the part, pour some down inside the back of the cup and give the back of the cup short blasts from inside.

I have another idea. Please make sure you have safety glasses for this trick.. I burned my eyes a couple times and they do not get better when it happens.
Try this first before any more lube. If you can get some Phosphoric Acid or Naval Jelly you can carefully pour (or brush for Naval Jelly) some in behind the cup from the back and wait about 10 minutes. Then hit it with the chisel.
Phosphoric Acid eats rust but not paint if you are careful about applying and rinse well after each cup is out.
The stuff I buy is made by Stearns and I buy it at Farm and Fleet. If you do not have one try any farm store in your area. It is in a round gallon bottle and it is orange in color. In Illinois it costs about $12 plus tax.
20220218_203557.jpg

Don't try CLR or any of those products, they are like peeing on it in comparison. I have tried other brands from farm stores and they are not any better than CLR.
If you check other brands make sure they are Phosphoric Acid.
Hope this helps, Rob
 
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I do...but it is much easier to try when one has access to the area below the seat post. I'll have to look for my diagrams, but the basic idea is to lift the post out of the seat tube (by its bottom) using some all-thread, several nuts & washers, and a length of spare tubing.
 
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This is the tool as I envision it. It would have to be much longer to reach the BB shell, however. The nut & washer at the bottom needs to be small enough to pass through the seat tube, but not so small that it enters the seat post. The key to this working is to have another length of tubing (ideally a seat tube cannibalized from a donor bike) to cover the exposed portion of the post. As you tighten the intermediate nut, it will essentially draw the offending stuck post from one seat tube into the other. You really only need it to move a little. Once the rust's choke hold is broken, the post should come out.

Post extractor.jpg
 
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You can get one pretty reasonably at a Harbor Freight if you have one near. Or online at harborfreight.com the flat headed bit I don't know for sure they have. It looks kinda like a hammer head on a stick.
My air tool drawer locked itself, I do not know if my bit is in there or another drawer. I will look in the morning and send a photo if I find it.
You lube the part, pour some down inside the back of the cup and give the back of the cup short blasts from inside.

I have another idea. Please make sure you have safety glasses for this trick.. I burned my eyes a couple times and they do not get better when it happens.
Try this first before any more lube. If you can get some Phosphoric Acid or Naval Jelly you can carefully pour (or brush for Naval Jelly) some in behind the cup from the back and wait about 10 minutes. Then hit it with the chisel.
Phosphoric Acid eats rust but not paint if you are careful about applying and rinse well after each cup is out.
The stuff I buy is made by Stearns and I buy it at Farm and Fleet. If you do not have one try any farm store in your area. It is in a round gallon bottle and it is orange in color. In Illinois it costs about $12 plus tax.
View attachment 186160
Don't try CLR or any of those products, they are like peeing on it in comparison. I have tried other brands from farm stores and they are not any better than CLR.
If you check other brands make sure they are Phosphoric Acid.
Hope this helps, Rob
We've got a few Harbor Freights close to home, so that shouldn't be a problem. If you're able to show me a picture of the correct head, that'd help a lot. When you lube the parts to be chiseled, what do you lube it with, motor oil or penetrating fluid? I want to make sure I get this all sorted out before I do anything.

Ok, thanks. I'll see what it'll cost to get one of those air chisels and the correct head for this job, then go from there. If I can do this without spending too much cash or using chemicals that may prove more hazardous than others, that would be great. It'll be a few days before I can really test this stuff out, but I should be able to try some of these solutions next week. I just need to do a little homework and a little shopping too.
 
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I do...but it is much easier to try when one has access to the area below the seat post. I'll have to look for my diagrams, but the basic idea is to lift the post out of the seat tube (by its bottom) using some all-thread, several nuts & washers, and a length of spare tubing.
This is the tool as I envision it. It would have to be much longer to reach the BB shell, however. The nut & washer at the bottom needs to be small enough to pass through the seat tube, but not so small that it enters the seat post. The key to this working is to have another length of tubing (ideally a seat tube cannibalized from a donor bike) to cover the exposed portion of the post. As you tighten the intermediate nut, it will essentially draw the offending stuck post from one seat tube into the other. You really only need it to move a little. Once the rust's choke hold is broken, the post should come out.

View attachment 186166
I think I understand how your idea works, but a diagram would definitely help more. Sounds promising though!

Let me try and explain it as I understand it, and you can tell me whether I have the right idea or not.

1. Remove seat from seat post.
2. Get a piece of all-thread long enough to travel all the way through the seat post into the bottom bracket, so I can mount the washer and nut to the end of that all-thread. The nut and washer need to be just small enough to fit inside the seat tube, but big enough to butt up against the bottom of the seat post.
3. Get a piece of tubing, one wider than the seat post I'm pulling out, but not wider than the seat tube. If I understand correctly, the spare tubing needs to be about the same diameter as the seat tube, so it can sit on top of the seat tube.
4. Put a washer and nut that's big enough to not fit inside the spare tube on top of the spare tube, and tighten that nut to pull the seat post out of the seat tube.

Something like this?
seat post removal.jpg
 
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We've got a few Harbor Freights close to home, so that shouldn't be a problem. If you're able to show me a picture of the correct head, that'd help a lot. When you lube the parts to be chiseled, what do you lube it with, motor oil or penetrating fluid? I want to make sure I get this all sorted out before I do anything.

Ok, thanks. I'll see what it'll cost to get one of those air chisels and the correct head for this job, then go from there. If I can do this without spending too much cash or using chemicals that may prove more hazardous than others, that would be great. It'll be a few days before I can really test this stuff out, but I should be able to try some of these solutions next week. I just need to do a little homework and a little shopping too.
I will check on the chisel bit in the morning man.
Rob
 
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Naval jelly. HomeDepot carries Rustoleum Rust Dissolver in an 8 oz bottle but I prefer the Permatex Rust Dissolver version I buy from a local truck parts store. It will turn the rust to dust that can be removed with very fine steel wool. The Worksman trike I posted today was covered in rust, now look at it!
 
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Naval jelly. HomeDepot carries Rustoleum Rust Dissolver in an 8 oz bottle but I prefer the Permatex Rust Dissolver version I buy from a local truck parts store. It will turn the rust to dust that can be removed with very fine steel wool. The Worksman trike I posted today was covered in rust, now look at it!
Okay cool! Really helps to have a specific brand/type to search for! I'll look into that along with the air chisel that was recommended earlier. Thanks!
 
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There is a thread on The CABE I believe on Oxalic Acid baths for bikes, mostly guys use it to take rust off chrome. I will see if I can find it and send a link.
 
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I think I understand how your idea works, but a diagram would definitely help more. Sounds promising though!

Let me try and explain it as I understand it, and you can tell me whether I have the right idea or not.

1. Remove seat from seat post.
2. Get a piece of all-thread long enough to travel all the way through the seat post into the bottom bracket, so I can mount the washer and nut to the end of that all-thread. The nut and washer need to be just small enough to fit inside the seat tube, but big enough to butt up against the bottom of the seat post.
3. Get a piece of tubing, one wider than the seat post I'm pulling out, but not wider than the seat tube. If I understand correctly, the spare tubing needs to be about the same diameter as the seat tube, so it can sit on top of the seat tube.
4. Put a washer and nut that's big enough to not fit inside the spare tube on top of the spare tube, and tighten that nut to pull the seat post out of the seat tube.

Something like this?
View attachment 186169
You got it exactly! The all-thread need only be long enough to reach the BB shell, then you can add the nut/washer and draw it back up until it strikes the post. The jamb nuts at the very top of my diagram are for stabilizing the all-thread with a second wrench, in case it decides to start spinning. The spare tube (green) need only have an I.D. larger than the seat post you're extracting and a little longer than your diagram shows. (I realize it isn't to scale.) I keep a section of Schwinn tube, cut from a cast-off frame, just for this purpose.

If you can set it up much like the diagram shows, then all the pulling force will be focused right at the base of the stuck post, and no where else. Lube liberally...and have patience.
 
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You got it exactly! The all-thread need only be long enough to reach the BB shell, then you can add the nut/washer and draw it back up until it strikes the post. The jamb nuts at the very top of my diagram are for stabilizing the all-thread with a second wrench, in case it decides to start spinning. The spare tube (green) need only have an I.D. larger than the seat post you're extracting and a little longer than your diagram shows. (I realize it isn't to scale.) I keep a section of Schwinn tube, cut from a cast-off frame, just for this purpose.

If you can set it up much like the diagram shows, then all the pulling force will be focused right at the base of the stuck post, and no where else. Lube liberally...and have patience.
Awesome, I'll give it a shot! Thanks for your help! I've got just the tube to use for this. I'll probably want to remove the seat post after I remove the bearing cups though, so I'll have more room to work with.
 
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