Electronics > Mechanical & Automation Engineering

Paint Bubbles On Snowblower

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bostonman:
Since this is a mechanical question, I figured this would be the best place to post my question.

I have an Ariens snowblower that's maybe eight-years-old and I always maintain it along with cleaning the body before storing it for the summer. This year I noticed the paint is bubbling in many areas.

My parents also have an Ariens that's well over twenty-years-old, and, with the exception of paint chips, the paint is immaculate.

They don't live far from me, so we get equal salt poured from the plow trucks, and we both store them the say way in all seasons.

The bubbles can be seen in the attached picture. Most places that are bubbling have a black color that doesn't come off easy.

My question: since both snowblowers are the same company (different vintages though), they see the same type of snow/salt, etc... Does anyone know what is happening with the paint on mine?

My assumption is that it's a factory issue and the paint didn't adhere to the metal, but I'm not a paint person.

BrokenYugo:
I'd guess bad prep, rust under the paint type issues.

coromonadalix:
bad prep,  contaminated surfaces ...

bostonman:
Bad prep and contamination was my fear.

A few weeks ago I was at the Ariens supplier store where I purchased it and asked whether other customers have complained about the paint. They claim that this was a first they've heard of it, said it's too old to still be under any warranty (which I assumed), and offered to sell touch up spray paint.

The only thing I did differently in the garage (where the snowblower is stored) this past summer was sand wood, not PT, just natural wood. I thought maybe the saw dust did something, but doubt it since it's just wood. My toolbox and car didn't see any sort of issues, but figured I'd mention the wood since it's the only thing I've done different since owning it.

T3sl4co1l:
I would guess pinholes letting through the tiniest bit of contamination; could be ambient salt spray (e.g. sweaty dust, road dust, partially melted snow, etc.), condensation, just high humidity; and, if the paint is tight otherwise and the rust is black, it would seem to be Fe(II) i.e. a reducing atmosphere, oxygen-poor, so at least it's going slowly, and that means the paint is mostly doing its job except for where it's been compromised.  Unfortunately I don't think there's much to do about that, other than grind it down and repaint it, and get it coated in enough layers to be sure it's not pinholed.

Possibly a microscope can confirm pinholing, but you'll have to inspect a lot of surface to tell, probably with a good scope, and... whatever.  I suppose if you can do a fluorescent stain process that would be handy.

When done in use, keep it hosed down with fresh water, let it dry out, I suppose; keep it in a dry place, etc.  About all you can do now is reduce continued growth.

Probably the engine, gearing or impeller(s) wears out before panels rust completely through anyway, and if not, patches are easy enough to weld in place (assuming you are so equipped, or can get someone to do it economically -- even a top professional should be able to do that for a couple hundred bucks, well under the thousand ish sale price of a new one?), then grind down and repaint.

Tim

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