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For the past couple of years that you've taken your ride off the beaten path and during your weekend getaways, elements like dirt, mud, snow, and road salt must have taken their toll on your precious investment-and they might have started in your nerf bars, in the form of rust. But this shouldn't be much of a problem for you, as this form of damage can now be easily remedied even without the help of a qualified professional.
Here's how you can get rid of rust from your step bars to make your ride ready for adventures once again:
Step 1: Uninstall and prepare the nerf bars.
While it's easy to identify the rusted spot in your step bars, it will be easier for you to clean them and repair the damage if you'll take the bars off your truck. So start the process by loosening those bolts that secure the bars in place. It's wise to put them in a bowl or cup, so they won't roll away and get lost.
Place the bars on the tarp, and with the back of the wire brush, knock off loose rust. You can utilize the brush to remove dirt and rust that easily come off.
Step 2: Remove the rust.
Before dealing with harsh chemicals like the naval jelly, wear your gloves and safety glasses. With your paintbrush or rag, apply naval jelly on the rusted spots of the nerf bars. Then, scrub the rust off. Depending on the thickness of the rust, you can use either the wire brush or the steel wool.
After the rust has been dissolved by the jelly, neutralize the remaining phosphoric acid by applying baking soda on the affected spot. Rinse off and allow the step bars to dry.
Step 3: Repaint the nerf bars.
Once the bars have dried completely, get the emery cloth and wire brushes and start smoothing out rough surfaces. Then, spray paint the step bars. Paint one side of the bar at a time and allow the painted side to dry first before painting the other side. This way, smudging can be prevented especially on the side of the bars that are close to the ground. It is also wise to apply two more coats of paint to achieve durable and good-looking finish. Allow each coat to dry first before spraying the next coat.