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Apparently the old fashioned caustic hot tanks are no longer allowed/available. (Yea, I know, it has been a long time since I did any engine work.) When I picked up my engine from the machine shop, several areas were coated with a light coat of surface rust. (Water based cleaner, don't you know.) Because the cam bearings had been installed, I was curious if the material and process engineers at work had any idea if "Metal Prep" would harm the soft bearing material. I haven't yet received a real/complete answer but they did return this bit of data .... use tea. See: http://www.bhi.co.uk/hints/rust2.htm
 

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Muriatic acid will quickly eat rust right off the base steel or iron. Wash it off with water and you have a clean, rust free part. Let in stand in humid air for several minutes and it will start rusting again, so you've got to protect it with a primer or paint immeadiately.
 

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Depending on exactly where it is, i use a wire wheel on a grinder or drill to remove 90% of it. I then spray rust converter available in aerosol cans. Let dry then paint with whatever paint your using. I've done this for years and it works very well for very little.
 
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