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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Murray Sebring that I picked up for $30 is in great shape other than being heavier than a boat anchor and some pitting and rust on the rims. It will be fitted with a child seat for my son, so I can completely rule out any cool awards riding around, but I broke down and tried to clean up the rims. I have the front wheel done and it took about an hour, but it isn't completely rust free and I left some "swirl-type" marks. They look 10x better, but I was wondering if their is an easier or better way to do the rear. Any tips would also be applied to any future endevours.

I used my dremel on low which is about 5000rpm with a metal bristle wheel as shown. I wet the rim with the degreaser as I was doing it and then polished it up with ole WD-40. I now smell like my father. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh for anyone that is interested in how cool this bike is.... :p here is a pic.
I will post more after I fit the child seat and curb feelers.
 

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Steel wool

The standard for removing rust from chromed steel is steel wool. Using your Dremel has basically automated the process. Given what you are trying to "rescue" it seems like you put way more time into it than is warranted :) Also, you aren't likely to be riding that thing in the wet with your kid on the back, but recognize that chromed rims are essentially useless for braking in the rain.
 

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Naval Jelly? But you can't restore missing metal.

I probably would have attacked it the same way you did, though I imagine I would have lost patience a lot sooner.
My dad used to use a pink, gel-like stuff called Naval Jelly for rust removal. You gobbed it on, let it sit for awhile, then took it off with steel wool. In memory (which would be 40 years old now), it worked really well at taking off the actual rust, though of course it left a rough surface where metal had been eaten away. Don't know if it's still made, but Google should turn it up in 0.24 seconds.
As for the swirl marks, the only fix is to polish them out, which removes metal. You've probably got plenty of it to maintain strength, but I think all I'd do from where you are is put the wheel in the frame, spin it as fast as I could and hold a piece of sandpaper lightly to the braking surfaces to smooth out the big snags. Ordinary riding should finish the job. And as Kerry said, steel rims are essentially frictionless in the wet, so watch out.
Finally, if you can't live with these the way they are, thrift shops are likely to be full of similar old bikes pretty cheap (they run $10-$25 here). It's a good source of parts.

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handsomerob said:
The Murray Sebring that I picked up for $30 is in great shape other than being heavier than a boat anchor and some pitting and rust on the rims. It will be fitted with a child seat for my son, so I can completely rule out any cool awards riding around, but I broke down and tried to clean up the rims. I have the front wheel done and it took about an hour, but it isn't completely rust free and I left some "swirl-type" marks. They look 10x better, but I was wondering if their is an easier or better way to do the rear. Any tips would also be applied to any future endevours.

I used my dremel on low which is about 5000rpm with a metal bristle wheel as shown. I wet the rim with the degreaser as I was doing it and then polished it up with ole WD-40. I now smell like my father. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kerry Irons said:
The standard for removing rust from chromed steel is steel wool. Using your Dremel has basically automated the process. Given what you are trying to "rescue" it seems like you put way more time into it than is warranted :) Also, you aren't likely to be riding that thing in the wet with your kid on the back, but recognize that chromed rims are essentially useless for braking in the rain.
I think the "rescue" is more of a hobby than a requirement. Ever since getting on a road bike about 2 months ago, I have been hooked. The time spent wrenching has been a great stress reliever.

Thanks for the tip about wet weather riding, I had no idea that chrome wasn't very effective for braking.
 

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Bon Ami

I have used and have been happy with Bon Ami. It is like Ajax (in a grocery store it would be where Ajax is). It has a small picture of a chicken on the canister (not sure why a chicken) and says "Hasn't scratched yet." They are right. I have used this with a brass scrubber and haven't scratched anything yet. Not too effective when it is badly pitted though.
 

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I've used a Dremel with a wire brush like you have. I've also used fine steel wool. The steel wool with Brasso or Simichrome would be a good idea, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mr. Versatile said:
I've used a Dremel with a wire brush like you have. I've also used fine steel wool. The steel wool with Brasso or Simichrome would be a good idea, too.
We used to have to use Brasso in a restaurant I worked at, but we never had rust problems. Which of the Brasso or Simichrome seems to work better? Also, did the steel wool or dremel work better?
 

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handsomerob said:
We used to have to use Brasso in a restaurant I worked at, but we never had rust problems. Which of the Brasso or Simichrome seems to work better? Also, did the steel wool or dremel work better?
I like the Brasso better than the Simichrome. IMO, it's a bit easier to use. The Dremel & wire brush works very well, but like another poster said, it can leave swirls. I had a very old Schwinn hanging in the garage that I sold in a garage sale. It had steel rims, bars, stem, etc., & was pretty badly pitted. When I finished it, I had to go back & shine up some spots with a rag & some Brasso.

I just bought a commuter bike that was pretty dirty. I decided to use steel wool & Brasso on it. I did all the bright work, rims & spokes. It wasn't as bad as the Schwinn, & it's all alloy rather than steel. Looks great now. Still had to touch up some spots with a rag, but no big deal.

I'd say try the steel wool 1st. If that doesn't work then go to the dremel.
 

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I just cleaned up my backup wheel the other day for my three speed and used an SOS pad which I had seen recommended on the web. It worked great and didn't take much time. Sadly I'm always riding it when the pavement is wet and it is dirty again. They are speakin the truth about the brakes and I'm thinkin about getting a three speed coaster brake hub to try on my rain bike; although I don't like not being able rotate the pedals in reverse...Thats a nice old bike ya got there! I'm restoring an abandoned department store mountain bike currently, so I will have something better for snow and ice. I struck gold the other day in the scrap bin at a major sporting goods store where I found a Truvativ crankset that will complete my resto other than getting some bar ends.
 
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