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Pinball Rehab

pinball repair and restoration

Rustproofing Metal Parts Rustproofing Metal Parts Hot video

While we all like nice shiny metal pinball parts when restoring a pinball, once a part has been abraded it will rust faster than a new part.  In the case of coated parts (for example, zinc-coated) they will rust fairly quickly once the coating is removed. 

Of course it 's best to have coated parts re-coated, but in some situations it just doesn't make economical sense.  In other cases where the part was not coated from the factory, a rustproofing, or rust prevention, solution will provide protection while maintaining an original look.

Rustproofing products fall into one of three categories: oil, paint or wax-based.

While in many situations oil-based solutions work great, they are typically not a good choice for pinball games since the oil will transfer to other assemblies and attract dust and grit.  They also leave the part with a slick feel since they are lubricants.

Paint solutions work well if you spend the money for a good quality solution, although they do change the finish of the part.  In some cases this might be considered advantageous, for example, if you you wanted to gloss up a chrome lock-down bar or chrome legs.

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Rustproofing Metal Parts

Glisten PC from POR is a two-part automotive clear gloss that provides a rock-hard finish with excellent long-term protection.  You must first prep the metal using their AP129 product and the clear will require 3 days to fully cure.  ProtectaClear from Everbrite is not as good a solution as the Glisten PC, but is easier to work with and apply.

Do not use cheap solutions like Rustoleum as they will scratch easily and then rust.  It is also very difficult to get good adhesion to bare metal with this type of product.

Wax based products have been used for years by high-end automotive restorers.  Boeshield T9 is easy to apply, maintains the original look, but in an auto application is only rated to last about 6 months.  It also leaves the part with a waxy feel, which the following product does not.

The best solution on the market is RPM (Rust Prevention Magic) from ECS Automotive.  It requires a little more work to apply since you have to heat the item with a heat gun before applying it.  It will last a while though as it has passed a 1,000 hour salt spray test.

One of the few feasible solutions for small parts is Dry Coat from Metal Rescue since the parts can be dipped.  The problem though is the product can be washed off with mild detergents so depending on the application it won't last long.

See the attached video for more information.

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