After 8 years of questions, I finally completed the fence. The issue I’m having now is that the loops in the steel are rusting at a pretty fast rate.

I’m looking to spray them with something that will just stop the corrosion.

What do you suggest? The screw eyes are stainless steel.

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  • I believe given what I see in that picture there that #1, that cable will need to be replaced (nothing will fix or stop it completely). Also, given the eyehook/loop/crimp being used, It would have to be protected from rubbing with (for example) nylon hose (almost like using a heat shrink). Further, once crimped, the protective coating (if this wire has any to start with) will inevitbly be damaged. It will have to be recoated. There are a number of products on the market. You'd want to keep water off of this wire.
    – noybman
    Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 19:11
  • 1
    are you sure that the cable is galvanized?
    – jsotola
    Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 20:01
  • @jsotola: that’s what the item description said: amazon.com/Forney-70452-Aircraft-250-Feet-16-Inch/dp/B003YDK49M
    – rbhat
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 3:47
  • it appears that it may not be galvanized .... the item title does not say galvanized and the label on the spool in the picture seems to confirm that ...... the picture that you posted looks like a vinyl coated steel cable that has had the vinyl coating compromised
    – jsotola
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 23:34
  • 1
    Vinyl-coated wire rope is rarely galvanized. U-bolt clamps over the vinyl coating probably would've provided enough retention strength and allowed you to keep the weather protection.
    – isherwood
    Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 13:07

4 Answers 4


That horse has already left the barn.

You striped off the protective rubberized coating and exposed the cable underneath which is not galvanized and the rust has already started to eat the cable. Had you left the coating on it would have lasted much longer, at least until UV light cracked and compromised the coating and exposed the cable to the elements.

The best cable for outdoor applications is stainless steel (especially in your location).

Also you should have use the protective Wire Rope Thimbles on the loop going around the eye bolt.

Coating the already rusted cable will be futile, the rust is already there and probably deep in the strands of wire.

I suppose you could coat the rusted cable with naval jelly and then spray a coating of liquid rubber but that is really just a hack which is unlikely to stop the rust and you will need to replace the cable in the future anyway.

  • My thoughts exactly! The other concern I had and still do, is even if he replaces the cable, the act of crimping a ferrule on it, and leaving even the exposed end of the wire (where the jagged cuts are now as pictured), will still introduce water, even if just humdity. The act of cutting and clamping needs to be further protected once complete.
    – noybman
    Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 23:01

The problem is that you have a metal to metal connection between the stainless eyes and galvanized wire rope. Add water and you get galvanic corrosion. Either electrically insulate the connection or change the eyes to galvanized ones. The purpose of the plastic coating is mainly to give the cable a cleaner/smoother/softer surface. The galvanizing is to prevent corrosion.


Depending on the strength required, its possible to place a crimp with the wire's coating/sheath still on, and if a thinble was also used INSIDE the loop this would help extend the useful life of the looped section. Soaking the wire in heavy oil or a rust preventative wherever the coating is removed or damaged will slow rusting.

PS. Even galvanized wire rope will rust when moisture is TRAPPED under a vinyl coating.


At this point grease with a low viscosity agent to carry it into the rope. I would dissolve automotive type grease with a little gasoline or light oil . That should carry the grease through the steel rope. You could do the easy thing and spray with something like WD-40 but that will require routine repeated applications. Other coatings like paints may actually make it worse as they will trap moisture in the rope. There is no galvanic effect of dissimilar metals.

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