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!
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.
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 .
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!
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...
#304530 - 03/23/107:05 pmRe: Best way to clean engine cases
Joined: Oct 2003 Posts: 3,524dave jones
BritBike Forum member
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.
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.
#306324 - 04/03/103:28 pmRe: Best way to clean engine cases
Joined: Dec 2007 Posts: 37cmessenk
BritBike Forum member
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:
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! )
There's a thread on the Triumph Forum called "Cost to spot face inner head bolt surfaces?", you can see the results there....
Last edited by JubeePrince; 04/20/101:36 am.
'77 T140J "Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?
"The paying customer is always right."
Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
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
#437609 - 05/31/127:56 pmRe: Best way to clean engine cases