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Frequently asked questions

The number one questions when people call: "My buddy told me" or "I heard" stuff keeps coming out of the seams after acid dipping?

The most common thing I hear. Problem is nobody can actually tell me about this. Here is what I hear “somebody, someplace, sometime ago, somewhere, had something dipped, and they had something coming out of the seams forever” Well I can’t even begin to guess what “someone, someplace, sometime ago” might have done or not done. Our process has been around over 40 years. It’s specifically designed to remove paint & rust giving you a product that is 100% clean and ready for bodywork and paint. We take our job very serious and do our very best to make sure very part is 100% fully cleaned and ready for the next step. I can’t say what any other person or company may have done in the past. What I can say is we have a process and flow that is designed chemically to treat your parts and leave them ready for the painting process. We are enthusiasts just like you and know what you want and need out of our cleaning process. We will challenge anyone to find a better and more cost effective method of removing paint and rust from classic car and truck parts.

I heard the acid that eats the paint off will cause problems with my new paint job?

First off it’s not the acid that removes the paint. Once again, wrong info floating around out there. It’s the heated base chemical that removes the paint. The use of acid is a required step after the base chemical bath. Everyone knows how to neutralize battery acid. With the use of baking soda. Baking soda is a base chemical. Note neutralize one by adding the opposite. Same thing we do. Just that we use the acid to neutralize the base chemical. That way you’re 100% sure this can’t cause problems later.

I heard paint wont stick after dipping?

We don’t have problems with this at all. Just follow the very simple steps needed and paint adhesion is perfectly fine. Where does this idea come from? From hearing this at car shows it sounds like a person saying this didn’t follow the correct steps and tried using primer directly on bare metal. Of course if you do that you’re going to have problems. Bare metal requires epoxy primer to seal it and become the adhesion coat for primer and paint. Zero rust paint is designed for bare metal. Normal primer is not designed for adhesion to bare metal.

How do you clean the seams?

We use very high pressure fresh water to clean the seams. Our guys are very diligent about following all the seams with the pressure washer to ensure they are fully cleaned. We spray from outside and inside to ensure fresh water is forced into every spot possible. The flow of our acid dipping / metal cleaning process requires that each pieces goes through two separate cleaning treatments with high pressure fresh water. Parts are pressure washed after each chemical tank. By the time each part has been cleaned twice with high pressure water and low pressure rinse it’s sure to have the seams fully cleaned.

Do I need to take everything apart?

Yes!! Everything that is intended to come apart needs to be apart. If parts are left together we can’t clean behind them. We want to be able to clean each and everything the very best we can. Knowing solution will get behind or between parts is why we want to see them apart so we can fully clean each surface and ensure solution isn’t trapped somewhere.

How do I prep a part for painting?

Prep or paint is very easy.
Here are the steps our guys in the body shop take:
1) DA or scotchbrite the surface to scuff it a little
2) wipe clean with a wax & grease remover until fully clean
3) final wipe
4) epoxy prime

Those are the exact steps we use and recommend. We have some videos on YouTube showing these steps.

What about wood framed parts?

All wood needs to be removed from parts before dipping. Wood sitting in a heated tank of liquid for two days will become fully saturated and ruined. Additionally, we are very careful to avoid contamination of our second tank, the acid tank. For this reason we can’t have saturated wood pieces going through both tanks.

What about aluminum?

Very important. We do not clean aluminum. Any aluminum part going into our tank will be destroyed. Including VIN tags. These need to be removed prior to our cleaning process.

How long do I have before it starts rusting?

Great question. The last step in our process is the application of an rust inhibitor product to guard against items re-rusting. It’s a very effective product that can keep your metal dipped items looking the very same for years. Having said that parts must be kept dry and in a dry environment to them from rusting again. What I tell people is that as long as you keep your parts in our average garage or shop they will look the same a year later. Don’t keep your dipped parts in your barn or under an open car port and think they won’t rust.

Will the acid damage the metal?

The acid we use will not damage your sheetmetal parts. We use phosphoric acid that’s been used for decades to treat rusted surfaces for paint. Another misconception from the internet or somewhere. Let me state it again: the acid WILL NOT damage your sheetmetal panels, parts, bodies, or cabs. There are a few types of metals that the acid will damage: cast parts, spring metals, & pot metal. We can still clean cast parts and spring parts like seat springs. However, most of the cleaning on these types of metal items is done in the hot tank. Cast parts and spring material parts get only a very light acid treatment to ensure no damage is done to them.

How do you neutralize the acid?

Again, misunderstanding is at the root of this question. The acid is our friend in the process. It is the neutralizer. You have to follow the flow of our process and understand a little basic chemistry. Step one is the heated base solution that removes the paint and grease. Step two we use high pressure fresh water to removal everything possible. Step three is the acid tank which neutralized the base solution and treats the rust at the same time. Step four is another high pressure cleaning followed by low pressure fresh water rinse. Final step is the rust inhibitor. Okay, note which chemical removed the paint: base chemical. Everyone knows you neutralize batter acid with baking soda (a base). We do just the opposite. Neutralize the base chemical with an acid. Leaving your metal parts ready for paint.

Why do you need to drill a small hole in the roof?

Some cars and most pickup cabs will not sink without a hole for the air to escape. Also, if these is trapped air the chemicals can get to the metal and do their job. Any hole required in the roof will be very small.

Why do fuel tanks have to have a hole drilled in them?

If you want us to clean it we have to add at least one penny sized hole. We know fuel tanks have at least two holes already. We don’t need you to explain that. Think for a minute what would happen if you put it in a swimming pool. It’s going to slowly fill up, flip one part of it up, and bob around forever. The tank has to fully fill with chemicals for us to clean it. So we must have a hold in one corner spot so we can get all the air out possible. Then that same hold becomes the very bottom hole when we are pressure washing it. This is the one hole where all the junk inside can exit. No exceptions about the hole if you want us to clean it. Please don’t even ask.