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Hi guys, wondering if rigging up a way to submerge my trunk lid in a phosphoric acid solution would be an effective way to save the panel. Due to how it is constructed short of cutting it all open it is nearly impossible to get a wire brush into all the places there is corrosion and welding in repairs is a fools errand without the inner rust neutralized.

Any ideas or been there / done that suggestions?

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Phosphoric acid will work, and isn't terribly aggressive, but still requires care in use. "Evaporust" is expensive, and as it has sulphur in it, can stain some items. You can mix up a batch of your own "rust converter" for cheap:

Mix five lbs citric acid (I get mine at a fabric dying shop) into 15 gallons of hot water, with a 1 qt bottle of detergent free ammonia to buffer (watch your eyes and nose, the ammonia is pretty sharp, esp. with the hot water) in your tank/tub, and soak the panel. It works relatively quickly when hot, but won't eat good metal, so you can wait 'til it's cool without fear.

Rinse well with hot water, scrubbing off any smut (powdery residue) and immediately dry thoroughly (compressed air, an oven, or a shop vac blowing warm air, helps), and you should be good to go. Depending on the material it leaves a bare finish, and will flash rust. As a plus, it shouldn't damage the original finish.

As for the left over ****tail, use it as a general de-rusting agent. It works fine cold, just slower. It also works on other metals.

As a light acid, it theoretically can cause hydrogen embrittlement, but that isn't an issue for panels, fuel tanks and other non-stressed items. I probably wouldn't use it for rods or cranks, etc., w/o baking it directly afterwards.
 
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