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DIY aluminium Cylinder head cleaning #418185
02/12/12 12:02 pm
02/12/12 12:02 pm
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 14
UK
R
RobQ30 Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
RobQ30  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
R
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 14
UK
Does anyone a suitable suggestions on how to clean the crud off my BSA alloy cylinder head please. Have read about people using Mr muscle oven cleaner!, soaking it in alloy wheel cleaner or Traffic film Remover. Its really the inaccessable bits and the burnt on oil stains that are the problem. I don't have access to a blast cleaner. Just wondering if there is an alternative to parceling the head up and sending it away somewhere. Can't seem to find anyone locally to do it either. Fancy having a go at doing it myself if possible.

Thanks Rob

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Re: DIY aluminium Cylinder head cleaning [Re: RobQ30] #418194
02/12/12 1:23 pm
02/12/12 1:23 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 888
Annapolis, MD
Dennis B, R.I.P. Offline
BritBike Forum member
Dennis B, R.I.P.  Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 888
Annapolis, MD
One thing that has worked well for me is paint remover
the jelly stuff works best. Work it into those tight spots
just slather it on with a cheap brush, and keep it wet for about
hour. Then rinse with a hose. Tough stains may need more treatment
If you have a big enough pot, you can boil it in water and detergent.
Paint remover also softens the carbon inside the combustion chamber
HTH
Cheers
Dennis B


Member # 182
'73 750 Commando
'72 Combat Commando
'71 Triumph Blazer
'69 Victors
'68 Starfire
'51 Royal Enfield 250 'S'

Re: DIY aluminium Cylinder head cleaning [Re: RobQ30] #418205
02/12/12 2:07 pm
02/12/12 2:07 pm
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,483
Scotland
kommando Offline
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kommando  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,483
Scotland
Do not use Mr Muscle oven cleaner, it eats aluminium as it contains caustic.

I stick mine in an old dishwasher and use a low phosphate detergent, comes out grease free and a follow up with a nylon scouring pad wrapped around a spatula gets in between the fins. Phosphoric acid in water heated by a fish tank heater to 30C+ works well too once it has been degreased.

Re: DIY aluminium Cylinder head cleaning [Re: kommando] #418229
02/12/12 3:51 pm
02/12/12 3:51 pm
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 834
Farnham, Surrey, UK
gunner Offline
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gunner  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 834
Farnham, Surrey, UK
Ive recently tried swarfega oil & grease remover, available from your local B&Q store or Halfords. Its non caustic and is surprisingly effective. Its meant to be diluted and I found soaking parts in it overnight removed most of the hidden crud as well as burn on stains. See Here

Once clean, I would try using a scotch brite pad either by hand or on a drill see Here

Last edited by gunner; 02/12/12 3:56 pm.

1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
Re: DIY aluminium Cylinder head cleaning [Re: gunner] #418258
02/12/12 6:13 pm
02/12/12 6:13 pm
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 588
Toronto, Canada
B
Bola Offline
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Bola  Offline
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B
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 588
Toronto, Canada
Plus one for the Phosphoric Acid approach. But if you can't find any use Naval Jelly. It contains Phos Acid but is diluted in a jelly form. Slather it on and leave it there for 30-40 minutes. Clean it off with (#0000) steel wool. It produces a clean, original looking finish.

Re: DIY aluminium Cylinder head cleaning [Re: Bola] #418261
02/12/12 6:42 pm
02/12/12 6:42 pm
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 14
UK
R
RobQ30 Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
RobQ30  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
R
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 14
UK
Thank you for the suggestions so far. Don't have a dishwasher old or otherwise I'm affraid. Will start with the Swarfega oil and grease remover, then try the Phosphoric Acid approach, assuming I can find a source. So off to Halfords tomorrow to start... Cheers Rob

Re: DIY aluminium Cylinder head cleaning [Re: RobQ30] #418365
02/13/12 9:41 am
02/13/12 9:41 am
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,818
Sydney Australia
B
BSA_WM20 Offline
BritBike Forum member
BSA_WM20  Offline
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B
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,818
Sydney Australia
Well go down to your local charity shop and buy an old used pot big enough for the head to sit flat in.
Pop it on your BBQ fill with water, bring it to the boil drop 3 or 4 dish washer tablets in there then pop the head in and boil with a rolling boil for 15 miutes.
Easy peasy


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Trevor

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