Best Rust-Removal for Hydraulic Rams? - Snow Plow Forum -†Let's Talk Snow Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-10-2018, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Question Best Rust-Removal for Hydraulic Rams?

Hi all,

Long-time lurker, with a question.

My '88 Jeep YJ, with a Western plow, sat at my mechanic's place, outside, for 3 years, during (one of) my wife's two, life-threatening health crisis (and my own health issues) but it is now, finally home. I'm finally going to get to plow with it (once I get it running again).

It was my mechanic's Jeep (twice--long story) and it's a solid vehicle, but please see the attached pics of the rust spots on the hydraulic lift ram. (There are also similar, but less-severe spots, on the angle-rams.) These three pics are all of the lift ram, and the third pic shows that one side of the ram is much better than the other, so I'd like to try to preserve it.

I'm no stranger to rust, having done autobody-work and welding, in the past.

However, I would like to know the best way to MINIMIZE the damage these rust spots will (I assume) do to the seals in the hydraulic cylinders.

Which Physical, Rust-removal Method Is Best?
Should I use a Scotchbrite (plastic) "scrubby" to remove the heavy scale and flaking? (If so, can you please recommend a specific "tooth" or coarseness/grade to use? Turns out I'm dangerous with those things. LOL)

Is any sandpaper safe to use, i.e., 2000+ grit?

Which Chemical, Rust-NEUTRALIZER Treatment Is Best?
After removing the heavy scale/flaking chrome, physically, I'd like to "neutralize" the underlying rust, so that it does not return.

I have considered Naval Jelly, but am afraid it might damage or lift the remaining (good) chrome plating. (I've also found it leaves a "murky," yet protective coating on rusted tools, and I fear that this coating might dissolve in hydraulic fluid, or otherwise cause problems....)

I have used "rust converters" like Loctiteģ Extend Rust Neutralizer on sheetmetal, with great success, but I've no idea how that might affect the undamaged chrome surrounding the individual rust spots....

Can I Fill in the (Chemically-treated) Pits with JB Weld, or Some Other Filler?
I'm assuming that if I just leave the (rust-converted?) PITS, that they will, eventually, ruin the seals. But IF I were to fill in the chemically-treated pits with JB Weld, I forsee damaging the surrounding (unrusted) chrome, when I try to sand down the hardened JB Weld, to the same level as the undamaged chrome.

Is there some other, easier-sanding filler I can use that will adhere to the Extend/Naval Jelly (or whatever is recommended) and NOT break down in hydraulic fluid?

And if I'm going at this all wrong, please advise--but I freely admit that I'm cheap (so trying to avoid destroying the seals), "anal" and OCD--and YES, I wish I'd simply had the foresight to coat the rams with grease. Being a Primary Care Giver has a way of making one forget about the small stuff, like a used, plow Jeep.

Thanks in advance, and Good Health to ALL,

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post #2 of 3 Old 11-10-2018, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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...Forgot to Add...

Sorry--didn't know we couldn't edit after 10 minutes from posting.

I forgot to ask if any of the following would be better tools for the physical rust removal:

Emery Cloth?

Crocus Cloth?

Steel Wool?

If so, please specify grits/grades that would be safe for the chrome. (I believe one advantage of Emery Cloth is that it doesn't leave grit behind, unlike sand paper--of course, I would remove any grit/rust, etc..., anyway, prior to moving to the rust neutralization stage.)

Full Disclosure: I don't know, and haven't researched, the difference between emery and crocus cloth.

Thanks again,

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post #3 of 3 Old 07-09-2019, 09:06 AM
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Do nothing
unless it is a two-way ram
there is no fluid on the stinger/ram side on one wave hydraulic cylinder,

Itís the packing on the end of the stinger thatís inside of the tube that contains the hydraulic fluid

When you go and clean them off stop nicking with the shovel every time
Theís nicks will create rust and Pitts when they go by the sweeper seal they will Nick it

This can allow water to enter the ram and freeze

You could spray or rust preventer or some WD-40 then use some steel wool and polish it up

Either way itíll be time to look for some replacements if it becomes an issue
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