Chrome allens forming rust

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by steelpix, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. steelpix

    steelpix Member

    I've noticed on my XL883C that the chrome allens are starting to show signs of rust in where you insert into the allen head. What to do?


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  2. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

  3. glazier

    glazier Junior Member

    If the rust isn't too bad, a little WD-40 on a Q-tip works. Don't wipe it all off and it will help prevent the rust from coming back.
  4. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

  5. kdaddy

    kdaddy Active Member

    Having worked in the machining business all my life I can shed some light on this subject. The rust your seeing is carbon deposits left behind from using standard Allen wrenches. When you tighten the screws the pressure impregnates the wrench material into the microscopic pores of the chrome plating then rusting due to moisture etc. Carbon (standard) tools are not allowed in some industries including nuclear applications where stainless steel is involved. It will leach into the material and oxidize microscopically like a cancer causing arteries of deterioration. Thus a radioactive leak. The only way to avoid this is to use stainless tools which most of us cannot afford to buy or use chrome plated Allen wrenches which are reasonably available. Swab the hex holes out with navel jelly and a q-tip or a good cleaning oil like gun cleaner. Dry the holes when your done and look fir a set of chrome wrenches. I can walk up to most any bike and tell which screws have been removed and installed by looking for the slightest copper colored residue.
  6. stray dog

    stray dog Junior Member

    Thats very interesting.

    I always thought it was bad chrome job or the tools somehow leaving small cracks in the chrome.

    I have a keyless chuck on my dremel and have in the past cut q-tips and used chrome polish to clean them. It doesnt always last too long tho.

    I like the replace with stainless idea personally.
  7. steelpix

    steelpix Member

    Thx Guys. I tried both the Qtip & WD40 it worked fine. I then subbed the WD40 for some fine metal polish and it worked a little better. Either way they're both good.
  8. dbmg

    dbmg Guest

    And I guess this would be the answer for the Allen bolts that were installed at the factory also. I have a couple of rusty Allen bolts that I have never removed and I purchased bike new...