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Zinc sacrificial electrode

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bobstr3 Avatar
bobstr3 Silver Member Bob Holt
Apache Junction, AZ, USA   USA
1960 Triumph TR3A
1973 Honda Street
2003 Nissan Sentra "Ole Yeller"
2004 Mini Cooper "MINIPRL"
Has anyone added a zinc sacrificial electrode to their car frame and body to keep rust from forming? I have heard of this method and the zinc electrodes are used in the marine industry and you can purchase the zinc electrodes from an outlet.



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DTW927 Dave W
San Jose, CA, USA   USA

In my youth i owned a sailboat that i lived on, in salt water. We attached sacrificial zinc prop shaft collars to minimize corrosion of the bronze prop and stainless steel shaft. The zincs needed replacement annually. It the marina where the boat was docked, everyone used 120 v AC power to maintain their 12 v batteries. This was the source of stray electric currents in the salt water that accelerated the corrosion of metal parts. It is my understanding that both an electrolyte like salt water and strongly dissimilar metals are needed to create rapid corrosion that is prevented by sacrificial zinc. Same situation for water heaters that use zinc rods to prevent corrosion, in which liquid water is the current carrying electrolyte.

Unless your car is constantly water wet, IMO no zinc is needed. All vehicles will have dissimilar metals in contact and some rust and corrosion are inevitable, aided by minute amounts of trapped water condensation and exposure to high humidity. i don't spend money on zinc anodes for my 73 TR. I save my money for fighting more pressing problems like tuning dual carbs, and repairing clickey U joints and dodgy electrical connectors.


peerlessgt Avatar
peerlessgt paul milsom
leigh on sea, essex, UK   GBR
Ford GB ventured into this back in the sixties.... doesn't work...what tends to happen is the frame rots away thus saving the zinc anode.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-01-02 03:26 PM by peerlessgt.

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hoyt Avatar
hoyt Silver Member Hoyt Duff
Virginia Beach, VA, USA   USA
I have this article which is, in part, about using a sacrificial zinc anode in your radiator.

Various devices that provide cathodic protection are said to not work.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-02-16 08:07 AM by hoyt.

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