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I recently restored my engine compartment and either replaced the nuts/bolts/washers with repo's or wire wheeled the originals. Everything looked great for a while but now they are all starting to discolor.

Is there any tricks to keeping the mounting hardware looking like new?

Thanks!
 

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Humidity is your enemy. In Palmdale, there is no humidity so fasteners will stay nice for a long time even as bare steel. Orange County is relatively low humidity as well (high compared to Palmdale) so I had mine plated. Clear finish will hold up for a time in higher humidity but it eventually fails. I don't have a great answer for higher humidity areas.
 

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I replaced everything with stainless. No good for concours but the way to go for modded cars.
 

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I replace a lot of fasteners like fender bolts, with stainless steel & polish the heck out of them.
 

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If you live somewhere like I do (Florida), stainless is the only way to go. If you're looking for a concours appearance...idk what to tell you man!
 

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On my Mustang I have replaced most of the underhood stuff with polished stainless. The stuff that isn't obvious I loaded up wirth anti-seize paste and forgot abolut.

I have been using Eastwoods blackening solution on the Falcon hardware as I have been trying to keep things looking more original. Truthfully I don't know how great iy is because you have to cleaqrcoat it right away or it will flash rust. I don't know what the longevity of this stuff is.

Someone mentioned oil-phosphate. How does that work?
 

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There are some "backyard" methods using 1:1 phosphoric acid & water solutions, but IIRC Eastwoods has a kit. The phosphoric acid neutralizes ferrous oxide (rust) and the oil provides a moisture barrier. Ford used phosphate & oil on things like hood hinges and body bolts.
 

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Sems at www.sem.ws has a color chart for "Bumper Coater Aerosols" 800-831-1122. They have about every gray tone available in a dull finish paints. Starting with a clean rust free piece, coating it first with Sems self etch primer, a nice surface will result. It is not too difficult to come close to many of the original surfaces. The instructions for plastic pieces call for no primer being necessary. But for metal, the primer is a must. Great for driven cars in places like Fl. where flash rust is an occurrence even in a closed garage. Our rainy season so far has been a drag for restorers with dismantled cars.
 
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