8 replies [Last post]
djg's picture
VBMWMO #8396
Joined: 10/30/2012
Posts: 10

Is it OK to bead blast cylinders? My concern is harming the bore or oil passage. I tried to tape (duct tape) the bore but found abrasive residue on the first try. What is the safe way to remove paint and prepare for paint? I tried cover bore ends with duct tape but found residue in bore after removing tape so I've stopped but now need to know how to proceed. I need to safely clean to first cylinder and do the second one properly. Your suggestions are most appreciated.



capebretonmarkbmw's picture
VBMWMO #8407
Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts: 310
I would suggest

I would suggest soda blasting. Then clean off the residue with soap and water ,then prep for paint.

iagins's picture
VBMWMO #8471
New Mexico
Joined: 03/12/2013
Posts: 243
Or better still, vapor

Or better still, vapor blasting. I don't think it leaves any residue.

Ira Agins
Santa Fe, NM

Dan Vitaletti
Dan Vitaletti's picture
VBMWMO #8574
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Joined: 08/27/2013
Posts: 12
vapor blasting cylinders

Vapor Blasting will not embed abrasive particles, nor leave them behind.
It gives a superior finish over soda blasting
No metal is removed or damaged
Contact me if you have any questions or concerns on vapor blasting
Dan Vitaletti
(505) 946-7097

  • bmw_cylinder.jpg
  • bmw_piston.jpg
malenchek's picture
VBMWMO #9060
Joined: 01/22/2016
Posts: 2
Vapor Blasting in KY-Ohio-Tenn area

Anyone have contact information and experience with companies doing vapor blasting in this area?



tonyhutchinson's picture
Durham England
Joined: 08/17/2015
Posts: 98
I have had some alloy engine

I have had some alloy engine parts vapour blasted and had good results but I also had my wheels done to clean up the hubs and the chrome was ripped off the spokes, so I would recommend masking any parts that could be damaged.



johnpst's picture
Joined: 03/22/2016
Posts: 82
Abrassive Blasting/Cleaning Cylinders

Aloha all,

Abrasives and engines do not mix. By definition, abrasive blasting is, well, using an abrasive around the engine. You really need to be careful to; know what the critical areas are, know how to protect them without damaging them, know how to clean all of the abrasive out when complete.

As capebretonmarkbmw said, soda blasting may be a good idea for you at home but, if you are okay with the mess. You can just blow everything on the ground and sweep it up but, it that's not going to work, by the time you build the device, build a containment, and buy the tools to make a soda blaster, you could probably help the economy and make a friend who is an expert that will do a great job for you.

Each part has it particular hazards so, cylinders only;

1. Plug the oil ports. Plug not tape. Seal them completely against the grit and the pressure.
2. Plug the cylinder bore. Good painters/masking tape may be adequate for this if you stuff a rag in there to keep the tape in place.
3. Remove the pushrod tubes so that the bores can be easily cleaned and do not retain any abrasive.
4. Blast away with the lowest pressure you can get away with. This is to prevent the beads from embedding in the aluminum.
5. Rinse thoroughly with a high volume of lightly soapy water and soft/stiff bristled brush to remove any embedded abrasive.
5. Remove all the plugs and tape, rinse again. I mean really rinse and brush clean.
6. Dry with air, blow drier is good.
7. Lightly oil the cylinder bore iron to prevent rust.

I don't want to discourage anyone from doing work at home. I just want to insure you put serious effort to clean using magnifying glasses, and real elbow grease to insure there is no abrasive left before installing.

I hope this helps someone.



55 - R50, 06-R1200RT, 96-M900, 10-TU250x

Steevo's picture
S/E Idaho
Joined: 06/10/2016
Posts: 6
Running the parts through a

Running the parts through a hot parts washer, like automotive machine shops use, will remove all of the residue from blast media, much like the dishwasher will, but with less whining from the Mrs.

johnpst's picture
Joined: 03/22/2016
Posts: 82
Aloha, Good call Steevo,


Good call Steevo, "like automotive machine shops use". They usually have training on what media and how to remove it from the parts. A good rule of thumb is, if the shop does not have a written procedure for abrasive blasting for each type of job; engine block, cylinder heads, crankshaft, etc., you will have to use you own judgement on whether they are qualified to do the work. If they do have a procedure, you can run it by a trusted professional or even the manufacturer of the abrasive media to get some input. The manufacturer has the greatest motivation to get it right.

So, a procedure should specifically call out the following: abrasive material for each job (usually based on the part or material the part is made of) , size of the abrasive material, maximum use cycle of the abrasive media (even the best media will fracture and become sharp edged or dust and become ineffective or a contaminant), type of machine to be used (pressure or suction side delivery) and maximum pressures.

Awright, let's get back to restoring our bikes. Can't sit around the coffee pot all day.

Thanks all,


55 - R50, 06-R1200RT, 96-M900, 10-TU250x

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