Old rusty Tonka dump trucks

melle_sactoApril 2, 2010

My mother left these at our house yesterday. I don't know if they are the ones my brothers played with as kids, or if she found them in someone's garbage (which is quite possible as she is a pack-rat/hoarder).

Anyway, my 5 year old is interested in them. Would it be worth trying to clean them up, would it be a lot of work (they are very rusty and my DH wants to throw them away). Should I just let my 5 year old play w/them corroded and rusty?

Thanks for reading :-)


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Before you touch them - do a search on them . I know old Tonka Trucks are worth $$$$ ......... I just don't know if the condition matters . You might have a real collector's item there !

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 7:53PM
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Intriguing -- do you know what I might search for? I guess I'll look them over tomorrow for some date/model # or any info. I'd be happy to sell them and give my mom the $, if there is any to be had.

I guess I have the pack-rat (or guilt) gene myself b/c I just couldn't let DH throw them in the garbage...yet!

It's so weird, the stickers/labels (and s@ve $5.00) are in great condition but the corrosion...there is a lot. My DH said all it takes it a little chip, once rust starts it will cause a lot of damage over time.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 12:45AM
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Ok, 1st clue is on the $5.00 off, is there an expiration date? That would tell you age right there. Are the tires plastic or rubber. Plastic are new & not too collectible. the 1 to left if quite rusted, tetanus is 1 nasty disease & it is sometimes gotten by cuts from rusty metal. So that 1 needs rust sanded off rust -primer & finish coat. Other 1 doesn't look rusty so wash it off & maybe just spray some clear sealer on it so it will last longer. A number 116, 1961 dump truck with sand loader in near mint condition was worth $200-1999 edition of Schroder's Antique book. Then in 2008 book by same co.#315,1964 ,14" dump truck near mint in box was $75 & #2315,1970,14"near mint in box$25. The model # & date are on it somewhere, but these are really select ones that are worth this much. Most kids tear up the box when they get it. With economy prices may have gone up or down also. Be sure there are no sharp edges on them before you let you little one play with them. They can be sanded & smoothed before painting. My son loved his & spent hours hauling everything around in it.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 12:49AM
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I took a 2nd look at 1 on right & it does look rusty, I thought it was mud 1st time I looked. You can sand it way down & do a great refinish job or you can sand off all the rust, put rust preventive primer & top coat on & not worry about a fancy job. Your 5 yr old probably won't care & give him some stickers with trucks on them he can plaster on them & he will be happy!! Good Luck! Jan

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 12:54AM
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My dh found some stuff that chemically converts rust into a primer (black) that you can paint over. You have to wire brush off the loose stuff first. We use it at home and at the building we manage. Amazing stuff. I don't have any left to look at the name. I'll ask him tonite.
But if in theory you could use it then repaint brite yellow. Don't you just love these trucks? A picture that I regret not taking when I lived on a back country road years ago: Heavy equipment left on the side of the dirt road after doing road repairs for the day AND the exact same tonka models in the sand next to them where some kid had been playing. Too funny!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 4:36PM
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I have several of the same type of trucks..
they're collectible I"m sure but that's as far as it goes, cuz mine are destined for planters.

you could take pictures of them and email them to certain antique shops or an old rusty, type of salvage/antique place like we have in my town.
it's totally amazing, astounding really, what is considered collectible and what isn't and as far as my experience goes, those trucks are in that category.

if you choose not to sell them for cash and the collector part of you is non-plus, then maybe you could do as suggested and get that rust off, so the kids can play to their heart's content...which is where my mind wonders..

I'd rather have the junk.
when economy shakes the crumbs out of society...
you see things very differently.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 2:11PM
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the kids here would totally be muddin' with those babies :D our toy dump truck is parked under the bottle tree next to a lawn gnome...that must be how that drunken gnome is able to carry so many empties :D


    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 7:30PM
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Gosh you guys, I'd really like to save the tr*ucks. My son would love to play w/them, and I prefer not to add to the landfills (which is why I use cloth diapers, but that's neither here nor there), but I am not really into sanding off rust. I have several other projects on my plate, and two kids (5 and 10 months). My DH doesn't want to save the tr*ucks so if they get saved it's b/c I do the work. How much work am I looking at to sand the rust? The paint is coming off in sheets so I don't think getting the paint off will be an issue, but the rust...

Can anyone estimate how many hours of sanding I might be doing? I think the bedz are almost 100% corroded under the paint, and the cab of one is also very rusty.

Does anyone know the name of the product that concretenprimroses is talking about? DH and I talked it over, if I do the work then he thinks it's worth buying paint/primer etc to salvage the tr*ucks, but I really don't want to get started, then find it's waaaay over my head, and have the tr*ucks PLUS restoration products to deal with. I do that a lot: I get super-excited about a project, I get the stuff I need to accomplish said project, I start the project, then I have a problem and I drop the project and I totally drag my feet finishing -- IF I finish. Are these tr*ucks a 5-hour project that I can finish quickly and will give me the immediate satisfaction I need to keep up my momentum?

Thanks for listening and for your feedback :-)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 7:12PM
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I found the product online that can change rust into magnetite -- it's called a rust converter. I can get a 4 oz "free sample" (I pay $5 shipping). Sounds like my kind of product, no rust sanding :-) I'm thinking of trying it out but first I have to figure out how to remove the be*d of the tr*uck so I can take care of all the corrosion problems.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 11:03PM
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Sorry I didn't answer you about the rust converter. Sounds like you found it. I noticed there's a spray paint at HD now that claims to do the same. But I didn't really look at it, how many ounces or the price. Once you do the rust converter, you could check for sharp edges or points and put a bit of epoxy on them.
I don't know how to take them apart.
Be sure to post pics when you are done!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 4:55AM
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Rustoleum is amazing stuff; I can't get along w/o it! Rub rust off w/steel wool. Don't have any? A Brillo pad works well. Spray w/rust converter, let dry in sun, then spray w/ rustoleum! The metal ones are NOT MADE any longer--you have jewels in the rough!
When you learn the tricks, you have a lifelong skill & can restore lots of treasure to your heart's content! Carol

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 5:25PM
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Make sure it's not lead paint!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 10:34PM
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They're still sitting in the garage. I've been going through a slump. I'm trying to turn things around this week...and depending on how successful I am it will determine what happens w/the trucks.

Any thoughts on how I can take the "dumper" part off to properly clean off and spray? I can't figure it out.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 8:11PM
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I watched an episode of "The Pickers" last night on TV two guys who hunt down really old rusty stuff we'd call junk. in someone's barn they found an old dump truck the owner had when he was a little boy ugh what a mess they offer him 500$ for it but he turned it down.. Someone somewhere would like that truck!!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 9:36PM
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