Cox Engines Forum
You are not logged in! Please login or register! Guests are limited to posting in the "General Questions (Guest Posting Allowed)" section only. Becoming a member is fast, easy and FREE!


removing fuel stains Babe_b10
Log in

I forgot my password

removing fuel stains Pixel
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Cox Engine of The Month
November-2019
jmcalata's

"Pee Wee .020 throttled combinated"



PAST WINNERS
CEF Traveling Engine

Win This Engine!
The Traveling Prop
Gallery


removing fuel stains Empty
World of Aviation

removing fuel stains

Go down

removing fuel stains Empty removing fuel stains

Post  prostreet on Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:08 pm

Hello,

Is there a safe method available to remove the light brown/tan colored fuel stains from an old gas powered model airplane? I'm unsure of the type of plastic (polystyrene?) the plane is made of but it is of late 1950's to early 1960's vintage. Thank you.

Joe
prostreet
prostreet
Bronze Member
Bronze Member

Posts : 40
Join date : 2016-04-25

Back to top Go down

removing fuel stains Empty Re: removing fuel stains

Post  Ken Cook on Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:06 am

Joe, this is a difficult thing to repair. I have never successfully found ANY product that would remove the stains you describe. Basically, once I removed as much of the area using other methods such as soaking, washing etc. I had to wet sand the area and polish back using Mother's aluminum polish or something like Novus plastic polish. Brasso also works well. Even then, while my attempted repairs looked pretty substantial to what it was prior, I could never seem to fully withdraw the discolored area. This also looks somewhat funny due to this one area now being extremely shiny which had me wet sanding and buffing in surrounding areas to somewhat detract everyone's eyes from that one spot. The real test of patience is when the affected areas have panel lines or raised surfaces where details are molded in. One thing I would suggest however if this is a somewhat cherished piece is to do any tests on a inconspicuous area first prior to going at it.

Another process that comes to mind and I have no experience with trying or doing this is a brake fluid wash. I've read of others successfully doing this to remove paint. I don't know how this would react to the staining. From simple Google searches, it claims that standard DOT3 doesn't attack plastics. This could also be a good go to first method to try prior to any sanding or polishing if it comes to that. Maybe someone else here has done such a task. Ken
Ken Cook
Ken Cook
Top Poster
Top Poster

Posts : 3654
Join date : 2012-03-27
Location : pennsylvania

Back to top Go down

removing fuel stains Empty Re: removing fuel stains

Post  Oldenginerod on Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:23 pm

Ken Cook wrote: Another process that comes to mind and I have no experience with trying or doing this is a brake fluid wash. I've read  of others successfully doing this to remove paint. I don't know how this would react to the staining.

I tried the brake fluid soak on the cowl from my Wen Mac RAF Dayfighter. Ther plane was white & had turned a yellowish brown. The brake fluid looks to have had absolutely no effect. I also tried a strong alkaline degreaser which removed crud but not the stain.
I recall Bob cleaned up a white Dayfighter to look like new. Not sure what he used. I'd like to locate some new stickers for mine first. I don't want to rip off the originals just yet.

Rod.
Oldenginerod
Oldenginerod
Diamond Member
Diamond Member

Posts : 2772
Join date : 2012-06-15
Age : 57
Location : Victoria, Australia

Back to top Go down

removing fuel stains Empty fuel stains

Post  prostreet on Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:58 am

Thanks for the replies and suggestions. I've got a Wen Mac P-38 Lightning that is currently on its way to me but I know it has some fuel staining per the owner's description from it actually being flown. I've tried automotive polishing compound to remove the stains on another gas powered car without causing scratches as rubbing compound would and had little to no success in getting the stains out. I haven't tried the brake fluid removal method. If the stains don't come out through any removal method, the only other thing I can see to do is clean up the plane and leave it as it is or repaint it in as close a color to the original gray that I can match. How adversely would the collector value of the plane be affected if it were painted to clean it up?

Joe
prostreet
prostreet
Bronze Member
Bronze Member

Posts : 40
Join date : 2016-04-25

Back to top Go down

removing fuel stains Empty Re: removing fuel stains

Post  Mudhen on Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:16 am

Whether or not the stain can be removed depends on the depth to which the stain has penetrated the plastic.
Sometimes it is only on the surface, or just slightly below, and can be removed with Dawn dishwashing liquid in warm water plus a light polishing. (I usually use Novus # 3, then 2.)
Other times the stain is not just a foreign additive to the plastic, but instead has permanently altered the pigment or hue. These are the stains that cannot be removed, because it is not really a stain in the sense that it’s foreign to the plastic, but a new color.
You have to be very careful with brake fluid because it will penetrate the plastic and it will permanently alter the color.
My suggestion would be to first thoroughly wash the airplane with rubbing alcohol and a toothbrush. This will immediately remove all the surface junk, (old fuels, oils, grass, etc.)
Then wash the parts in warm Dawn dishwashing liquid. Afterwards wash the parts free of residue and then apply a light coat of polishing over the stained area. If after the polishing, the stain is still present, then it is likely an altered hue rather than a simple stain.
Mudhen
Mudhen
Gold Member
Gold Member

Posts : 443
Join date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

removing fuel stains Empty Re: removing fuel stains

Post  wha-tah-hey on Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:59 pm

An English modeller whose name I don't remember says the best way to remove castor oil stains from clothing is with scissors.
wha-tah-hey
wha-tah-hey
Rest In Peace
Rest In Peace

I Support My Forum

Posts : 264
Join date : 2013-12-04
Location : Elgin, Al

Back to top Go down

removing fuel stains Empty Re: removing fuel stains

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum