Rusting Stainless Bumper and Side Bars? -
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-10-2010, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Rusting Stainless Bumper and Side Bars?

Last year I added stainless side bars (Rampage) and stainless front/rear tubular bumpers (Rugged Ridge) to my 06 TJ.

I'm finding small rust speks throughout all the pieces, especially around the welds on the tubular front bumper.

How is this possible? I bought the pieces new from Quadtratec. Chrome wasn't even an option. I'm not confusing chrome for stainless.

How is it possible that my stainless equipment is rusting, and what can I do (if anything) to polish away or stop the rust?

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post #2 of 6 Old 08-11-2010, 01:05 AM
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There are different grades of stainless. I used to know about stainless when I was a commercial tuna fisherman. It’s been so long now that I forgot. Obviously they used the cheap grade.

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post #3 of 6 Old 08-12-2010, 01:12 AM
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stainless is stainLESS. Almost all grades of "Stainless" steel can/will rust/oxidize.

The best way to stop it is to buff it out and clear coat it or wax it religiously.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-12-2010, 08:30 AM
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You can some what grade stainless steel by using a magnet. It's a low grade of SS if it holds a magnet well. I think 300 seriess stainless wont hold a magnet.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-12-2010, 10:27 AM
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There are different grades of stainless. Inexpensive ss flatware can rust. My SS Rolex watch doesn't rust, even after exposure to salt water.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-12-2010, 04:12 PM
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A lot falls under the category of 'stainless'

The non magnetic stainless (high nickel content) is the most corrosion resistant 304 etc used in halfway decent flatware, 316 etc (often used in better watches etc) is about the best for general use. You can recognize nickel bearing (austentitic) SST because it is non magnatic.

Unfortunately it does not weld easily, and is hard to fabricate. There are martensitic stainless which can be very hard (used for sst knives) and it is magnetic.

There is also ferritic sst, which is easier to fabricate and weld, less corrosion resistant.

But there other issues, which I suspect at the base of your problem. Welding can seriously damage the corrosion reisitance of SST, and must be done with special precautions. Boat builders know this, but perhaps shortcuts were taken here.

Additionally carbon steel in close extended contact with sst (such as using a carbon steel bolt) will actually start the SST corroding as the carbon particles migrate across the boundary.

Your best bet at this time is to throroughly clean all rust spots off, and be cautious about steel to sst contact.

If the welds do rust, I'd see about what the mfgr will do for you.
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rampage , rugged ridge

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