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Best way to clean engine cases #304263
03/21/10 9:53 pm
03/21/10 9:53 pm
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 28
A
Arnold1896 Offline OP
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Arnold1896  Offline OP
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A
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 28
Hi All,

Any advice about best way to clean engine case (inside and out).

I do not want to bead blast, as an apprentice early 1970 the work shop had a basis vapor degreaser using a inhibisol fluid(tric).

My velocette case cleaned up immaculately using this method.

What do you use?

Cheers
Arnold

N

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Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: Arnold1896] #304274
03/21/10 10:54 pm
03/21/10 10:54 pm
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,930
Ohio
R
Rickman Offline
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Rickman  Offline
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R
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,930
Ohio
I've used gasoline, diesel, solvent, brake cleaner, WD-40, semi-caustic [?] store-bought carb cleaner, amongst whatever else over the years....

Now, I just go to a friend's machine shop. He puts the parts into a hot-tank, but it uses a soap and water solution, not the typical hot tank stuff!

Clean and beautiful stuff comes back to me, and it isn't bad for the environment...
Nor is it harmful to good paint.
Recently sent a filthy, oily, gunged up OLD oil tank, that had sticky gunge in the bottom of the tank that I couldn't get out. It's all gone. But the paint on the outside of the tank still shines!

Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: Arnold1896] #304275
03/21/10 11:10 pm
03/21/10 11:10 pm
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 65
St. Augustine, Florida
T
tri650cc Offline
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tri650cc  Offline
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T
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 65
St. Augustine, Florida
I just did a set for a 650 Bonneville , borrowed a outdoor turkey deep frier . Mixed water with about a quart of simple green boiled each case about an hour pulled them out wire brushed put them back in for another hour rinsed off . Results were excellent.

Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: tri650cc] #304282
03/21/10 11:50 pm
03/21/10 11:50 pm
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 3,249
arkansas
L
leon bee Offline
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leon bee  Offline
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L
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 3,249
arkansas
I've been taking them to the local transmission rebuild guy. He puts them in the ultrasonic machine- they get real clean.

Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: leon bee] #304288
03/22/10 12:35 am
03/22/10 12:35 am
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 467
just a guy from Jersey [Hopewe...
N
nert Offline
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nert  Offline
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N
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 467
just a guy from Jersey [Hopewe...
tri650cc
i wondered why the next turkey tasted funny.
i won't lend that item out again.


keep your "oddies" lubricated, and carry a dime
Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: nert] #304297
03/22/10 1:19 am
03/22/10 1:19 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,348
Michigan, USA
BONZO R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
BONZO R.I.P.  Offline
In Remembrance
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,348
Michigan, USA
I have been using a really big stock pot on the garage stove similar to what TRI650 mentions , with good results . I have a wire shelf from an old toaster one held a few inches from the bottom so any debris/crud that comes out of the pores will hopefully be trapped and not reenter those tiny spots . Havben't used simple green, gonna try that next time .

FWIW-BONZO

Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: leon bee] #304360
03/22/10 2:51 pm
03/22/10 2:51 pm
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,930
Ohio
R
Rickman Offline
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Rickman  Offline
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R
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,930
Ohio
Originally Posted By: leon bee
I've been taking them to the local transmission rebuild guy. He puts them in the ultrasonic machine- they get real clean.


Why Thank You Leon Bee!
THAT is a solution I never thought of....
I'll have to ask the local tranny shops if any of them have ultrasonic bath cleaners...

Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: Rickman] #304373
03/22/10 3:27 pm
03/22/10 3:27 pm
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 804
Halifax, Butt end of Europe
andrewinpopayan Offline
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andrewinpopayan  Offline
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Posts: 804
Halifax, Butt end of Europe
Put them in the dishwasher, does an excellent job.


99% of carb problems are electrical.

1959 3TA

BMW R1150 Oilhead
Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: andrewinpopayan] #304442
03/23/10 1:52 am
03/23/10 1:52 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 157
P
Pat Offline
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Pat  Offline
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P
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 157
Andrew has it right but your wife will kill you! Get some DISHWASHER soap , add it to hot water and soak over night. If you have a barby with a side burner, use a big pot and boil. The aluminum will sparkle, dirty bits will clean with a small wire brush, and it doesn't stink like solvent!

Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: Pat] #304505
03/23/10 4:01 pm
03/23/10 4:01 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,839
British Columbia
hh Offline
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hh  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,839
British Columbia
Has anybody cleaned a case with a bad case of barnacleitis? I'm talking completely white with corrosion. Does dishwasher detergent clean this up with a good boil?


"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin
Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: hh] #304524
03/23/10 5:48 pm
03/23/10 5:48 pm
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,963
NL
G
Ger B Offline
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Ger B  Offline
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G
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,963
NL
On board of ships we used to clean corroded aluminium things on deck (salt corrosion) with a washing powder called Biotex, obtainable at the chinese laundyman, who kept it in stalboald lockel next to steeling geal loom.
I do not know the US or or Canadian equivalent, but Biotex is a biological powder used also for baby diapers.

OMG how far have I sunk? I'm advertising soap... sick


Ger B

Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: hh] #304530
03/23/10 7:05 pm
03/23/10 7:05 pm
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,600
Emsworth, sunny south of Engla...
D
dave jones Offline
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dave jones  Offline
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D
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,600
Emsworth, sunny south of Engla...
For that white corrosion maybe some of that acidic alloy wheel cleaner would do it. Hermetite used to do something called Ali- Clean which was for corroded alloy engine cases. Not sure if you can still get it.

On that Discovery DVD where the chap restores a 1970 Bonneville he used some plastic scotchbrite pads on an angle grinder to clean the alloy front brake plate but I don't know if it would give the finish you want.

Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: dave jones] #305633
03/30/10 6:31 pm
03/30/10 6:31 pm
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,153
Winona, MN
Swan Offline

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Swan  Offline

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Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,153
Winona, MN
I use Simple Green, 3M brand synthetic red scrub pad for metal and elbow grease. Summit Pale Ale makes the job enjoyable. The results are very good, no beads to worry about or clean up.

I have considered vapor blasting but cannot justifying paying more to clean something than I paid for the item itself.


1966 Triton
1962 BSA DBD34 Gold Star
1966 Triumph Bonneville
Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: Arnold1896] #305675
03/31/10 12:48 am
03/31/10 12:48 am
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,882
Scotland
S
Stuart Offline
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Stuart  Offline
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S
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,882
Scotland
Hi Arnold,

Imho: best is ultrasonic cleaning; second-best is something I found about recently - soda blasting.

Ordinarily, I wouldn't consider any sort of blasting, because particularly sand-cast alloy is relatively soft and you risk embedding blast media which, internally, can then be loosened by the engine oil acting the same way as an ultrasonic cleaner. However, by defintion, the soda dissolves in the water you wash the iem with after blasting.

Hth.

Regards,

Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: hh] #306324
04/03/10 3:28 pm
04/03/10 3:28 pm
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 37
St. Petersburg, Florida
cmessenk Offline
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cmessenk  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 37
St. Petersburg, Florida
This is a little bit off the thread topic, but I've found an amazing product that helps your engine cases maintain a mirror-like shine after you get them cleaned up and buffed out. The product is called "Flawless Wax" and is made by Sherwin-Williams.



During my bike's restoration, GP (Born Again Bikes) sent my cases to a professional buffing shop and transformed them into nice shiny bits. I've been keeping that shine with tons of elbow grease mixed with Mothers Aluminum Polish...but after a week or so the tarnish would reappear. With this product, polish the cases with the Mothers polish and then apply a coating of the "Flawless Wax" as a finishing touch. It lays down a final layer a canuba wax and keeps the Mothers shine going for weeks without tarnishing. Here's some photos:





Chip
'72 Combat
Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: cmessenk] #308907
04/19/10 9:14 am
04/19/10 9:14 am
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 3
Brisbane, Australia
51Trump Offline
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51Trump  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 3
Brisbane, Australia
Mate you got me on the wax, think i'll give it a go too.


51 Speed Twin
47 Douglas T35
Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: 51Trump] #309033
04/20/10 1:36 am
04/20/10 1:36 am
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,384
Back on the mainland!
JubeePrince Offline

Life member
JubeePrince  Offline

Life member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,384
Back on the mainland!
I just used soda blasting (baking soda) on my cylinder head and rocker boxes....Cleans without destroying the patina and cast surface on the aluminum, no beads, grit, etc to worry about cleaning out afterwards AND it's environmentally friendly! (except for the gas/coal/oil that gets used to run the blaster! laugh )

There's a thread on the Triumph Forum called "Cost to spot face inner head bolt surfaces?", you can see the results there....

Cheers,

Steve

Last edited by JubeePrince; 04/20/10 1:36 am.

'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: JubeePrince] #309691
04/24/10 3:03 pm
04/24/10 3:03 pm
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 690
Carmel, CA
D
Doc_dup1 Offline
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Doc_dup1  Offline
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D
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 690
Carmel, CA
Can you use the soda medium in standard blast cabinet? If so, is there a good source for the stuff?

Thanks,

Doc


Doc

Mostly Triumphs with a few BSA's a Norton, and two BMW's

Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: Doc_dup1] #310649
04/30/10 12:20 am
04/30/10 12:20 am
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,384
Back on the mainland!
JubeePrince Offline

Life member
JubeePrince  Offline

Life member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,384
Back on the mainland!
Doc -

I'm not sure about the blast cabinet part...my guy did my stuff outside with a portable rig....his shop is near the Cheasapeake Bay and he does ALOT of boats with the stuff....

Google "Soda Blasting". You'll be reading for hours! bigt

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: Arnold1896] #433538
05/06/12 3:28 am
05/06/12 3:28 am
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 225
Los Angeles, CA
M
Mike Cornwall Offline
BritBike Forum member
Mike Cornwall  Offline
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M
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 225
Los Angeles, CA
Question: Does boiling the cases mess up the bushes?

Keith Moore used to tell me to boil my Triumph cases, but I'm doing this A65 now after a few years off the habit and I just dont want to ruin the bronze bits. Sure wish I could call Keith, I just about cried when I heard.


1972 Tiger 650
1978 Bonneville 750
1968 Victor 441
Re: Best way to clean engine cases [Re: ] #437609
05/31/12 7:56 pm
05/31/12 7:56 pm
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,154
Trenton, New Jersey
royaloilfield Offline
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royaloilfield  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,154
Trenton, New Jersey
So, is the dishwasher bad or good? Cascade? regular dish soap? My wife is away so I'd like to try this.


Brian

Moderated by  Alan_nc 


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