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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I realize the issue with with a Harley, but thought everyone here should be aware of this as well.

The following warning and experience should be passed on to anyone considering using POR-15 to seal a rusted area that is surrounded by original paint they want to retain. The problem I’m about to describe just happened to me about 2 hours ago and I do not want anyone to have to suffer what I just suffered through.

I have an original paint, Skyway Blue 1947 EL Harley. The bike was completely disassembled to clean, replace bushings, rebuild the blown engine, etc. The bike had spent the last 50+ years under a tarp since the motor blew sometime in the 50’s. I bought the bike from the daughter of the original owner.

When I removed the rear taillight and the front fender light, I found extensive rust from moisture and mud being trapped under the solid rubber gaskets used under those lights. I needed to remove the loose rust and somehow seal the area to prevent rust from continuing when the bike was reassembled.

I asked experts I knew, posted my questions on the AMCA site, researched products on the web, called companies and talked to them. When all was said and done, POR-15 came out as the best choice. I spoke with the company and made sure they understood the application and they said it would do what I wanted. I told them this was an original paint bike.

Today I started the process. First step is to clean the area with their product call Marine Clean. It is a water-based degreaser. Although the area was very clean, I wanted to make sure I did everything right. I read all the directions in the box and on the container labels several times. The Marine Clean directions actually recommended it for degreasing “painted surfaces”. So, since it was water based and recommended for painted surfaces, I got out a new toothbrush, made up a small mixture of Marine Clean and hot water using their recommended 1:1 ratio and started scrubbing the area to be coated with POR-15. After the first scrubbing I rinsed it with fresh water and I could not believe my eyes. The cleaner had bleached the blue paint everywhere it touched it. I had about a 5/8 light blue area around the rusted tail light area and everywhere it ran down the paint, it bleached it a lighter blue as well. I immediately grabbed the hose and flushed the entire fender. I have to admit I was frantic, and real men are not supposed to get frantic. I made sure it was complete flushed of degreaser and then dried it with a towel. The paint was a mess. So, I cooled off, dried the fender well, blew it all out and down with an air hose and then decided to see if I could save it. I tried scratch remover and a number of other polishing compounds, all of which were meant to just polish. Some were for use on clear coats. I used a cotton towel and my fingers. Where the degreaser had not been on heavy, the damage was not that deep. Where it had lingered in quantity, like adjacent to the rusted area, the damage was very deep into the paint. I spent the next 2 or more hours carefully polishing the paint until most of the damage was gone. I went thru the paint to the primer in one area because it had eaten so deeply into the paint. Needless to say, I’m not happy. Sick is maybe a better term. But it’s over and there is nothing I can do about it at this point to make it better again.

Another thing I noticed was because I was using a toothbrush, everywhere the stuff spattered it left small baby blue spots. So the main portion of the fender had to be rubbed out, too. That damage was not as deep and I polished it all out.

I’m calling POR-15 tomorrow and letting them know what their degreaser did to my paint. I’m not sure how far I will take this yet. Keep in mind that this paint had not been polished to death like so many other old bikes. Most of the original orange peel was still there.

I don’t want anyone else to go thru this. DO NOT USE POR-15 MARINE CLEAN ON ANY PAINT YOU DO NOT WANT TO DAMAGE. It may not hurt modern urethanes, but it will damage vintage Harley paint and I would have to assume other vintage bike and car paint. Please let everyone know about this. I’m not trying to hurt POR-15 or take revenge on them. That would be pointless. My intention here is to save somebody else from going thru this.

Sorry for the long post but I needed to vent. I think this should be a sticky. If the Paul would like to make this a sticky, just let me know and I'll edit down to just the facts.

Regards,
Rob
 

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Doh! So sorry to hear that. My lesson learned: test these products in a small and inconspicuous area first, no matter what the reviews/directions/etc say.

-M
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
enquiring minds want to know what did POR 15 have to say?
Not much so far. They tried to find a disclaimer in their literature. But I've read all their literature on the product and it actually recommends using on painted surfaces.

It ain't over yet.

regards,
Rob
 

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I just repaired a GL1000 tank with the POR15 system.

I got Marine Clean ALL OVER the tank and it didn't cause a single problem. There were no bleaching or runs or anything.

However, I got Metal Ready on the paint and it very obviously bleached the black paint a lighter color.

This isn't much of an issue for me since the tank is under the seat and can be easily rattle-can-painted. The GL1000s have a false tank up top.

YMMV.
 

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I wonder if it happened because of the 60+ year old paint. They may have tested the product on more modern paints, urethanes etc, but not the old lacquers and enamels.

Good that you've let us know: Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, cannot believe this thread still has life. I managed to rub out the paint, which made it way too shiny for a '47 paintjob, but still better than light blue streaks. Never took it any further because I knew I was beating a dead horse. I'm not trying to dump on the company and my experience with the actual paint is it is great stuff. But, I would have really liked to know the risks up front rather than find it out the hard way.

By the way, I fixed a cracked molded vinyl seat on my Sears tractor with the stuff 2 years ago and it is still going strong. Very flexible and resilient.

Another risk with the stuff is in regards to removing it. I understand th only way to get it off is with heat. And when you use a torch or similar it gives of cyanide gas, which as we all know is not conducive to longevity. If you have to remove the stuff with heat, I would suggest a full blown air supply type of respirator to prevent the cold body on the floor syndrome.
regards,
Rob
 

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That cleaner is real strong. I just used it the other day on my Tiger's stripped frame. I'll have to get my old Harley's tins out and do a field test.

By the way, the POR15 is a fabulous product, but, not UV resistant. I used it on my frame and could'nt be more pleased, but, used their rattle can top coat, gloss black, and the paint came out uneven, gloss in some areas and matte in others, very disappointing. I hope the POR15 company can eventually put the UV inhibitors in without using a top coat.
 
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