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Cosmoline/yellowing clear coat removal


Hodgepodge
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Apparently, the engine compartment and trunk of my car have been treated with Cosmoline, a rust treatment from the 70's. (Thanks to John_in_Va for naming the culprit.)   As a result the whole engine compartment and much of the trunk have yellowed horribly. 

 

Attached is an image where you can see:

1. The yellowing from the Cosmoline.

2. The original Polaris paint underneath

3. The horrible result, I think, of the 1985 Maaco respray of the fender right over the Cosmoline. (Fender top under the stripped area.)

 

So it all has to come off.  

My paint guy was able to get this off with something called gun stock cleaner, but it also de-glossed the paint and I may not be re-spraying the whole engine compartment.   I plan on replacing most of the stickers once the re-spray is complete, so I'm not worried about them.   

 

Does anyone know any good ways to remove this crap? 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Hodgepodge
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Back in the day (the 80s) we used to spray kerosene on with a hand pump sprayer, let sit, then power wash it off with incredibly hot water. 40 some odd years later you may be looking at dynamite. Cosmoline is essentially paraffin wax thinned down with VOC's to be sprayable. VOC's evaporate, leaving the wax. 

 

Removers geared towards weapons are incredibly aggressive as the underlying material is typically bare metal and/or wood no one cares about (cold war era Russian rifles come to mind). 

 

I suspect there is no removing the staining at this point. 

 

You can try a soaked cotton cloth with Acetone in a out of sight spot. Turn cloth frequently, and keep damp (Acetone evaporates very quickly), suggest you wear gloves and a respirator as well. Acetone will make your hands ashen white in about 10 seconds, as it will remove every trace of skin oil. 

 

Edited by 1974_Verona
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1 hour ago, '76mintgrun'02 said:

I just found this, but have no idea whether it would harm the paint.

 

http://www.cosmolinedirect.com/cosmoline-remover-aerosol-ss-245/ 

 

What does rubbing compound do to it?

That would leave you with shiny paint.

This looks interesting but pricey.  I would need several cans. I have a paint locker full of solvents and will try a few of them.  Acetone will do it, of course, but it softens the paint so much that I would not want to respray over it.  As for the fender tops, I will probably take those to bare metal anyway since there is paint over the Cosmolene.   I'll let you guys know what worked.  

 

Thanks,


Scott

 

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All Polaris paint yellows in the engine bay, it isn't cosmoline, it is very, very common.  And there is no reason they would have done it to Polaris cars only.

 

BMW did cosmoline e30 enigines and it is very hard to get off.  I think Easy Off will remove cosmoline but it will also soften the paint, not good.  It is used to remove undercoating too.

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38 minutes ago, HBChris said:

All Polaris paint yellows in the engine bay, it isn't cosmoline, it is very, very common.  And there is no reason they would have done it to Polaris cars only.

 

BMW did cosmoline e30 enigines and it is very hard to get off.  I think Easy Off will remove cosmoline but it will also soften the paint, not good.  It is used to remove undercoating too.

 

+1

 

Removing the "Cosmoline" de-glossed the paint because it wasn't Cosmoline, but was the clear coat of Polaris PVC-frei -- an early two-stage paint -- that had turned yellow.  And, as Chris says, they all did that!

 

I just posted an entry yesterday in another thread on this subject.  I, ever-so-briefly, considered carefully stripping the yellowed clear coat and re-clearcoating the original color coat.  I decided that was un-wise as the early-'70's BMW two-stage metallics just plain sucked and I'd end up pulling the engine again solely to strip the compartment to bare metal and repaint.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

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10 minutes ago, Conserv said:

 

+1

 

Removing the "Cosmoline" de-glossed the paint because it wasn't Cosmoline, but was the clear coat of Polaris PVC-frei -- an early two-stage paint -- that had turned yellow.  And, as Chris says, they all did that!

 

I just posted an entry yesterday in another thread on this subject.  I, ever-so-briefly, considered carefully stripping the yellowed clear coat and re-clearcoating the original color coat.  I decided that was un-wise as the early-'70's BMW two-stage metallics just plain sucked and I'd end up pulling the engine again solely to strip the compartment to bare metal and repaint.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

I saw your other post.  I really need to check the engine compression and refresh or replace all the belt-driven items before I determine how far I want to go to clean up the engine compartment.   

 

If it is just the clear coat, it is the worst stuff I've ever seen since I can scratch it off with my fingernail.  It isn't all over the engine bay, just on the fender tops and some fender wall surfaces.  Would they have just clear-coated those areas when they painted the body at the factory?  ...Possibly.   Whether it is clear coat or Cosmoline, it looks like hell and I'm probably going to have to strip it before the car is repainted. The only thing I haven't figured out yet is how much I will have to take apart to get the engine compartment to look good.  And that, of course, is after I identify and fix all the fluid leaks.  I was not planning on pulling the engine if I on't have to.   The good news is that this car is stock and there are lots of puzzle-box images out there, plus my own, that will help if I end up pulling everything to respray the engine bay.  The bad news is it will take months.....

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If it isn't the clear coat then someone else applied that coating as BMW sure didn't.  I don't see any of it on your emissions sticker leading me to believe it's the clear coat.  It even extends to the hood seal but outside of the engine bay it is clean, another weird trait of the clear coat.

Edited by HBChris
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23 minutes ago, Hodgepodge said:

I saw your other post.  I really need to check the engine compression and refresh or replace all the belt-driven items before I determine how far I want to go to clean up the engine compartment.   

 

If it is just the clear coat, it is the worst stuff I've ever seen since I can scratch it off with my fingernail.  It isn't all over the engine bay, just on the fender tops and some fender wall surfaces.  Would they have just clear-coated those areas when they painted the body at the factory?  ...Possibly.   Whether it is clear coat or Cosmoline, it looks like hell and I'm probably going to have to strip it before the car is repainted. The only thing I haven't figured out yet is how much I will have to take apart to get the engine compartment to look good.  And that, of course, is after I identify and fix all the fluid leaks.  I was not planning on pulling the engine if I on't have to.   The good news is that this car is stock and there are lots of puzzle-box images out there, plus my own, that will help if I end up pulling everything to respray the engine bay.  The bad news is it will take months.....

 

The factory was still experimenting with two-stage paints at this point in time.  And they didn’t spend a lot of time making engine compartments pretty, so the coating is likely uneven, with little or no clearcoat down by the frame rails.  The problem with removing the clearcoat entirely is that the PVC-frei (1973-76) color coat was never designed to hold up on its own.  So you’d need to re-clear it.  My ‘76 had most of its original exterior paint up until 2015, when we began the Big Re-Paint.  But from ca. 1980 onward, a fingernail would take off the clear coat on almost any panel!  And that is why it was 34 years until I bought my next BMW!

 

Here’s my original Polaris metallic by 2015....

 

And once the clearcoat is gone, the color coat is close behind! ?

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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Edited by Conserv
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Fwiw, when I went through my TUV debacle when I first bought my car, I stripped and cleaned the entire underside/engine bay of 40 years of cosmoline, oil, wax, and undercoating to prove the car was rust-free and the oil leaks had been contained.

 

I did my removal with primarily a handheld steam-cleaner and scrapers/microfiber towels. Non-destructive, gentile, and effective.

 

Perhaps give it a try, especially given cosmoline is paraffin based. I bought steam cleaner for 20-30 bucks.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

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