First test - 1959 Edsel Fuel Level Sending Unit
For the first test, I placed a fuel level sending unit from a 1959 Edsel into a small jug of about 1:6 molasses and water solution. I will monitor the progress daily and report, with pictures, what happens. (*Update: I did a poor job of tracking the progress on this, but I do have the setup and results now.)
Here you can see the 5 gallon jug they gave me at the feed store, and the 1 gallon windshield washer jug I am using to put my parts in. I cut the jug so that the opening is hinged in the front, and I can screw the cap back on to help seal it. Needless to say, I sure appreciated that the next day when I kicked the jug over in the garage!
Here are pics of the fuel level sending unit just before placing into the molasses bath. I rubbed some of the heavy, flaking rust with my fingers. Also, some of what is on the unit could be gasoline residue, and may be resistant to the process, so I'll be looking for that. The insides of the unit appear to be very delicate, and I'm not positive that the thing will still work when I'm done. However, I do believe that there is nothing in the process that will hurt the unit, and this is simply a test of the rust removal, using a part that was handy, so whether it is harmful to the unit or not is beside the point of this experiment. My vote is for the unit working as well as it did when I pulled it (I think it worked fine, but I never had enough gas in the car to know for sure how well it worked!)
After about 24 hrs, you can see what the solution has done.
You can also see some yellowish spots, which look to be gasoline residue, and came off pretty easily.
The Fuel Level Sender today is clean
and shiny, and probably still works. I'll know when I test it. Complete
stripping took about 3 weeks, without the benefit of brushing. After the
parts were washed, and dried, they were coated with WD-40 to prevent the
rust from coming back, and they have sat in a tupperware container for
several months before these pictures were taken.