Thread Number: 84857  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
LA 506 - cleaning, rust removal, and restoration
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Post# 1093242   10/15/2020 at 09:21 (894 days old) by dough77494 (TX)        

Both drums of my 1986 Maytag LA 506 are removed and require cleaning, rust remediation, and repair of a pin hole in the outer drum adjacent to the boot seal mounting flange. The seal surface of the agitator stem is rusted and also in need of restoration to ensure the new mounting stem seal is not quickly damaged. Have read several posts on the topic of cleaning / removing soap scum and heavier residue accumulation and understand acid base cleaning agents are not for use on porcelain. As both drums and the agitator shaft are no longer available - further damage by cleaning must be avoided.

What cleaning products are recommended for removing heaving detergent accumulation? After a several minutes of using a plastic scrapper on heavy accumulation the edge was blunted to the point of no longer being useful. A friend mentioned using a Scotch Brite pad and WD-40.

Was planning to use a rust converter and cold galvanizing spray on the rusted areas - upon reading the rust converter application instructions they advised to not use a zinc based material as a following top coat, suggesting an oil based paint.

Have considered use of FlexSeal on the bottom of the outer tub - not clear if that material is suitable for exposure to detergent and bleach. FlexSeal's application instructions recommend the surface be scuffed / roughed up prior application - not clear this is a good idea for use on porcelain. The extent of the spotty surface rusting is such that the entire interior bottom surface of the outer tub should be coated.

Use of JB Weld was recommended in a posting on this forum for patching small holes - not clear what JB Weld product is preferred for this application - their RTV silicone or classic epoxy. My concern is that whichever material is applied to the inside of the outer tub that it never come loose to plug the tub drain, drain hose, or the pump.

Regarding the agitator shaft seal area - had considered use of a shrink sleeve, although have not researched to determine availability. As suggested in another post in this forum, removing the agitator shaft is strongly not recommended, which precludes machining the seal area. What is recommended to reliably repair the shaft's seal area?

I need to complete all repairs and return the machine to service ASAP as I do not have a backup.

Thank you for your recommendations and comments.


Post# 1093247 , Reply# 1   10/15/2020 at 10:35 (894 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

I have used POR-15 for years to rust-proof. Never had a problem with rust re-appearing on treated areas.

As for Flex-Seal.If you need to make an area water-tight, it is the wrong stuff.
What you need is the "Right Stuff" which you can usually get at any auto-parts store.

I have used Lime-Away many times to remove scale. Just have to dilute it and don't just walk-away. Scrub the surface clear and rinse. Long-term soaking may be an issue.

Post# 1093252 , Reply# 2   10/15/2020 at 11:18 (894 days old) by dough77494 (TX)        

Thank you Gyrafoam.

What dilution ratio do you use with Lime-Away?

I have pro strength Lime-Away, HCL acid - nasty stuff according the warning's on the label.

Not familiar with the "Right Stuff" - is it available as spray, brush on, or both? Will check today at the local auto parts.

Thanks again!

Post# 1093266 , Reply# 3   10/15/2020 at 13:26 (894 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

About 1/2 cup to a gal. Water. I have hard water.

The Right Stuff is very thick like axle grease. Makes it easy to work with and dries quickly. Wear gloves.
I find that plain rubbing alcohol gets it off if you catch it quick enough.

Post# 1093276 , Reply# 4   10/15/2020 at 15:47 (894 days old) by dough77494 (TX)        


Searching the net found "Right Stuff" Permatex® Gasket Maker.

Is "Right Stuff" applied as the final top coat over POR-015 or is POR-15 the final product applied?

Thank you again for the benefit of your experience.


Post# 1093278 , Reply# 5   10/15/2020 at 16:52 (894 days old) by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
understand acid base cleaning agents are not for use on porc

I've used diluted Muriatic acid for hard water deposits without damaging the porcelain, very hard to remove otherwise and I'm not a fan of hard scrubbing/scraping.

As mentioned, the trick is to leave it on just long enough to dissolve the deposits which is a matter of minutes, then wash well with lots of water, repeat if necessary. I mix up the solution then wipe it on where needed with a saturated paper towel.

For other cleaning I use Bon-Ami and common dish detergent.

Post# 1093279 , Reply# 6   10/15/2020 at 17:03 (893 days old) by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
friend mentioned using a Scotch Brite pad and WD-40.

WD-40 or other solvent/degreasers are useless on hard water deposits.

Scotch Brite Pad can pad can scratch the porcelain.

I wouldn't take any cleaning advice from your friend.

Post# 1093286 , Reply# 7   10/15/2020 at 18:27 (893 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Two different things.
POR-15 is used to stop rust. You can even paint it right over the rust.

The Right Stuff is a sealant. Make your own gaskets or shmeer it around to seal an area from water.

Post# 1093319 , Reply# 8   10/16/2020 at 02:03 (893 days old) by dough77494 (TX)        


Thanks for the clarification. Upon removal of all rust, will prep the surface, apply POR-15, followed by Right Stuff.

Thank you!

Post# 1093337 , Reply# 9   10/16/2020 at 08:04 (893 days old) by dough77494 (TX)        


Thank you for the helpful recommendation. I too am not a fan of hard scrubbing/scraping, although am not unfamiliar with those procedures.

What dilution ratio of Muriatic acid / water do you find works best?

Upon hearing the recommendation for using a Scotch Brite pad and WD-40 to remove scale, etc., the Smell-O-Meter was well off the peg.

Thank you.

Post# 1093379 , Reply# 10   10/16/2020 at 12:59 (893 days old) by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
dilution ratio of Muriatic acid / water

Try 50/50 and adjust as needed.

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