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I am replacing the gas springs on my outdoor sun blinds, and have difficulty removing brass pins holding an aluminum lever. The sun blinds are about 16 years old and there is white corrosion visible. Obviously they are exposed to rain, sun and temperature variation.

I can pull the pins out with a makeshift screw-jack but it takes up to twenty minutes per pin. Once removed I can clean the corrosion easily with sandpaper.

Does anyone know a method to remove or soften this corrosion?

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  • On my boat I use a product called corrosion block. I find if locks are seized (brass /aluminum) they usually will start working again, I also use it on my crab davit the shaft is aluminum and the pivot is brass I drilled a hole in the shaft and spray it and it moves freely again, it’s designed to block corrosion on electrical but I found it works just about every place and reduces future problems, it’s kind of spendy but it helps. I just checked and Amazon has it, I got it at my local marina. ,, disclaimer I have no interest in the product other than being a satisfied customer.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Sep 8, 2021 at 19:44

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Copper alloys with aluminum is a bad combination for corrosion if they are ever wet. You were fortunate to be able to get them apart. The aluminum is sacrificially corroding ( white aluminum oxide) to protect the brass. You cannot reasonable dissolve aluminum oxide, remove it mechanically; wire brush, sandpaper. Then apply a grease to try to keep water out of the joint..

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Try penetrating oil after you have tried diluted vinegar. Try saturating a paper towel and placing on the corrosion for a few minutes and see if that clears your problem. Be sure to clean afterwards or the vinegar can destroy the aluminum. Using a small brush such as a toothbrush to brush the vinegar solution on and every minute or so for a few times and it should be free. Nice thing with this method you can do all the remaining at once. I would suggest trying on one to be sure it works OK.

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  • Since it's white corrosion, it's the aluminum that's degraded. There are various proprietary chemicals to remove that, such as Loctite Aluminum Jelly Cleaner. Let the cleaner soak in for a while. Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 3:05
  • I tried "cleaning vinegar" (7% acetic acid) and penetrating oil, but neither helped. The problem is that the brass pin is protected by nylon spacers, so it's hard to get anything into the problem area.
    – NL_Derek
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 21:51

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