I've been through this many times with bicycles and vintage cars. What consistently works very well for me is super fine bronze or brass steel wool, available at places like Home Depot. I spay Windex on the lightly rusted area and then using the bronze/brass wool I simply scrub (light to moderate pressure) away the rust specs without ever having any adverse effect on the chrome. It's amazing how some parts that an individual thought was junk can turn out absolutely fantastic. I usually then use Semichrome polishing paste to clean and brighten everthing up.
I have no educated advise on the clearcoat, that said, my guess is that as long as clearcoat is applied properly to a dry surface it would seal the chrome/metal underneath not allowing new rust to develop as the steel would be deprived of moisture.
> I have an old French fork with half chrome blades and drop outs. The chrome
> is fairly clean except for a sprinkling of rust specks on the right leg. If
> I get the fork repainted and clear coated, will the clear coat protect the
> chrome from further rusting, and halt the progress of existing rust? Or
> will the chrome rust like crazy under the clear coat? Any tips for removing
> rust specks from chrome w/o damaging the chrome? Eagle One metal
> cleaner-polish wadding failed to touch it, and my fingernails couldn't
> scrape it off.
> Thanks for any help.
> Tom Adams in "windtrainer out of storage" Kansas City