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Classic, Vintage & Veteran For Coventry and Meriden Models. Anything pre-Hinckley goes.

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Old 04-27-2012, 04:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Frame corrosion mystery

My 1979 Bonneville has a white powdery corrosion, like what you sometimes find on battery terminals, on several parts of the frame and on the rectifier. It forms this even when I have the battery removed. I clean and paint the frame and a couple of weeks later it is back. I changed batteries to a sealed type to no effect. Ever see this before?
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What is the stage area like? garage? concrete floor? damp? drafty? shaded?

Condensation occurs when warm humid air contacts cold surfaces. i suppose it could leave a white residue.

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Old 04-27-2012, 09:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Make a solution of baking soda and water and flood the areas with the solution. Then rinse well and see what happens.

My thought here is at some point the battery broke or for some other reason acid was splashed all over the bike. It seaped into nooks and crannies and comes out as corrosion over time. Flooding the areas with a base, like baking soda should neutralize the acid and stop the the corrosive action. You cannot over-flood the area as the baking soda will not leave anything behind that will harm the metal. If this solves your problem, I would then go buy a new can of WD-40 and soak all the nooks and crannies. You cannot use too much.

If this does not solve your problem then it's probably a mold issue and using something like Clorox, Spray 9, Lysol or similar anti-fungus products, followed by WD40 to drive out the moisture should solve the issue.

If none of this works, sell the bike. It's possessed.

regards,
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If it's a mould issue then oil of cloves is the remedy, our local shops always run out of it in the wet season here as we use it for house wall & ceiling cleaning.
It kills mould spores and fungus like nothing else (even cures chronic tinnea )

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Old 04-28-2012, 04:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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this is a long shot and probably not the case but thought worth asking... has the frame ever been re-brazed/repaired? If so, is the build up around those areas?

(reason I ask is if it could be poorly cleaned up flux from brazing - in that case the white stuff would be in the areas where the braze welding was done. Depends on the flux but using flux coated brazing rods you can get it and if not cleaned up straight after the weld (or braze to be technically correct), it can be hard to remove and slowly turns to a white crystaline powder, often breaking through where it has been painted over)
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Something I forgot to mention is if acid is the problem, then the baking soda mixture should froth or bubble when it comes in contact with the acid. If it just sits there and does nothing, it's probably not an acid issue.

regards,
Rob
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i had to trailer my 74 in the winter, the misting of road salt has taken me 2 years to stop the corrosion that stuff did, its unreal what that stuff does to this old metal thats never seen salt before, aggressively attacked it. just a thought
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The problem continues. I have rinsed the area with baking soda, coated it with battery cleaner and then battery protector. I left this coating on the surface for a week and then cleaned and repainted. The white powder returned. during the winter project of reworking the rear master cylinder I notice the same power form in the holes where the brake light switch screwed to the frame. In the area of the front tubes the power forms in an area that appears to be a seam in the tubing. this occurs on both of the down tubes in the same relative area. The area the bike is kept is a garage with concrete floor. rust will form on unprotected metal but this white powder is not forming on any of the other 4 motorcycles or tools in the same area.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Rob,

when the area comes into contact with the spay cleaner it does fizz and act as battery terminal corrosion. I have just never seen it in this kind of area and it's persistance in coming back.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Never heard of anything like this. Is the bike original? I'm wondering if the bike had been stripped at some time and the stripper not totally neutralized. Knew a guy with a nice '55 pickup that he had tank stripped. After repainting the truck the stripper kept leaching out of welded seams and needless to say, lifted the new paint.

Was the bike in a flood? Maybe you have something inside the frame that keeps leaching out from moisture in the air.

I am not a fan of pressure washing a bike. I do it, but I like to think I know what I'm doing (more than one may argue that point). But, you could pressure wash those areas and see if it does not flush out what ever it is that is causing this.

You said is bubbled with the spray cleaner. But I said it should bubble with baking soda if it is acid. If baking soda had no reaction, then it is not an acid.

I'm starting to lean towards the bike being possessed.

You don't call it Christine by any chance, do you?

regards,
Rob

Last edited by Snakeoil; 05-11-2012 at 09:12 PM. Reason: Can't speel, can't thimk either
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