Cleaning the engine, transmission and final drive

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srankin
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Location: Spencerport, NY USA

Cleaning the engine, transmission and final drive

Post by srankin »

I am doing a cosmetic overhaul of my long time rider. I have been scrubbing like mad with various degreasers but can't get the engine, trans and final drive looking clean as I would like.

I don't want to take things apart anymore than I have to so, any kind of media blasting is out.

Anybody have any tips as to a solvent, cleaner or degreaser which may work better than mineral sprits? St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

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schrader7032
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Re: Cleaning the engine, transmission and final drive

Post by schrader7032 »

It's going to take elbow grease. Plus try WD-40...I seem to recall that it was good for cleaning of surfaces.
Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

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srankin
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Location: Spencerport, NY USA

Re: Cleaning the engine, transmission and final drive

Post by srankin »

I just picked up a brass brush, the nylon one I had was not doing the job. St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

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palica
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Re: Cleaning the engine, transmission and final drive

Post by palica »

I am not a big fan of the WD40 but I must say that for cleaning an aluminum bloc without risking to damage paint, electrics etc... the WD40 with a brush (nylon or brass) is efficient.
1967 R50/2 with Duna sidecar
1974 R90S

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srankin
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Re: Cleaning the engine, transmission and final drive

Post by srankin »

At this point, paint and electrics is not a problem, bike is getting a major/minor, overhaul. The engine block, trans, and final drive are all separate.

I am just amazed at the amount of grime and crud built up in 36 years of riding in all kinds of weather, snow included. What I could see, I kept under constant control but it is the hidden stuff I am now becoming aware of. In an ideal situation, I would continue to strip things down and soda blast them. Since I am not doing a show bike restoration, I don't want to get that carried away. Powder coat and chrome will cost me enough not to mention seals, bearings and replacement electrical wiring. I still have not found anyone in my area to do paint. St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

Andey
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Re: Cleaning the engine, transmission and final drive

Post by Andey »

Coming across a similar situation. Will try the WD as well, but whats the best way to get rid of grey oxidation and pitting in aluminium?

Also whats the best way to keep it at bay?

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srankin
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Re: Cleaning the engine, transmission and final drive

Post by srankin »

Ah yes, the gray oxidation, and pitting, I have the same thing on my RT, 36 years of riding in rain, snow, and road salt have not been kind.

I scrubbed off an inch layer of grease, road grime and dirt. Have been looking for something to get rid of the gray, decided in my case to let it stay. At least it is uniform in color now.

Short of media blasting or soda blasting none which are candidates for me at this time, I don't really know of any chemical which will restore the cases back to original shine. At least not anything I would want to handle or apply.

In my case, I used mineral spirit parts washer, S100, WD40 and Brake cleaner, with a combination of nylon brush and brass brush. Lots of elbow grease and a pressure washer helped. (I know, pressure washers can inject water Into engines, mine is open for rinse out with solvent so water is a problem.)

Maybe at 300K miles, I will soda blast everything when I do the next overhaul. LOL, fat chance of that happening. St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

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srankin
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Re: Cleaning the engine, transmission and final drive

Post by srankin »

I am going to try Eastwood's small bottle of soda. They claim you can use a blast out of a bucket nozzle and such to do the job. I have such a beast and hey, I can't make anymore of a mess than I have now. St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

Andey
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Re: Cleaning the engine, transmission and final drive

Post by Andey »

srankin wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:01 am
Ah yes, the gray oxidation, and pitting, I have the same thing on my RT, 36 years of riding in rain, snow, and road salt have not been kind.

I scrubbed off an inch layer of grease, road grime and dirt. Have been looking for something to get rid of the gray, decided in my case to let it stay. At least it is uniform in color now.

Short of media blasting or soda blasting none which are candidates for me at this time, I don't really know of any chemical which will restore the cases back to original shine. At least not anything I would want to handle or apply.

In my case, I used mineral spirit parts washer, S100, WD40 and Brake cleaner, with a combination of nylon brush and brass brush. Lots of elbow grease and a pressure washer helped. (I know, pressure washers can inject water Into engines, mine is open for rinse out with solvent so water is a problem.)

Maybe at 300K miles, I will soda blast everything when I do the next overhaul. LOL, fat chance of that happening. St.
The problem on my side is that the grey gets worse quite quick and turns into white powder... talking a matter of half days...
I dont actually mind the patina, its more to stop the frosting happening...

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srankin
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Re: Cleaning the engine, transmission and final drive

Post by srankin »

I will be honest, I have never seen the white powder happen on my bikes. Perhaps it is because you are in a drier climate than I am, would that be fair to say?

Generally after I bead blast something I paint it with a clear paint. It holds up for a bit, pretty much after that, I use engine degreaser regularly to keep the engine clean. Perhaps after cleaning you could use a very light oil to coat the parts?

Oh I am sure there are others who will howl about bead blasting, as it has been said it tears up the surface much too much. I have never tried any other kind of media such as walnut.

Unfortunately, the new look does not always stay looking new if we ride in all kinds of weather. I also have salt applied to the roads in the winter to prevent ice. This is the worst thing to deal with. St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

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