What do you use to make your engine bright (Air head)

User avatar
schrader7032
Posts: 7312
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:00 am

What do you use to make your engine bright (Air head)

Post by schrader7032 »

I've never really heard of the silver bullet on that one...I went through a restoration on my /2 and since I had everything all apart, I could go at things easily. The heads were bead blasted; I took the bare block to the car wash and used Scotchbrite pads and elbow grease. I tackled a few odd pieces like valve covers and engine covers with either more bead blasting or scotchbrite pads and Wally World foaming engine cleaner.

I tried probably a dozen cleaners, from mag cleaners, welding supply cleaners, Never Dull, etc., and nothing really worked. Oak Okleshen recommended Nice n Easy Storm Door and Screen cleaner but that left a dullness to the aluminum. It has phosphoric acid in it and if left on too long it can stain the aluminum. I've heard people use Simple Green but again, if left on too long, it can etch the aluminum.

The best I found was foaming engine cleaner and/or WD-40 and the Scotchbrite pads...the thin green kind. Don't use steel wool or brushes...you might could try some brass brushes. Maybe you can get some ideas here:

http://pweb.jps.net/~snowbum/alcorr.htm

Kurt in S.A.
Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

magnetic
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:24 pm

What do you use to make your engine bright (Air head)

Post by magnetic »

I read somewhere that Muratic acid(hydro cloric acid) worked well to remove the oxidation, however I am a little leary to do this with out some confirmation.

The engine is very clean, its just the oxidation that I am looking to get rid of. Especially on the head fins where I can't really scrub.

User avatar
schrader7032
Posts: 7312
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:00 am

What do you use to make your engine bright (Air head)

Post by schrader7032 »

For the head fins, you might try and find some brass bottle brushes...not sure if that's the term. They consist of a center wound steel wand with brass bristles inserted in a conical shape. The diameter of the bristles come in various sizes. I saw some at a swap meet and decided to get them. Or you could go to a gun shop and see what they have for bore cleaning tools. These would allow you to get between the fins. Also, that scotchbite pad works pretty well when it's folded in half...allows you to stuff it down in there so you can work it back and forth.

Kurt in S.A.
Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

magnetic
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:24 pm

What do you use to make your engine bright (Air head)

Post by magnetic »

Yeah I have been looking for something like those brass bottle brushs, and none of the hardware stores arround here have anything servicable. I'll keep looking, though I did buy some muratic acid, I will try it on a little underside patch and report the effectiveness :P

EuroIron
Posts: 367
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:38 pm

What do you use to make your engine bright (Air head)

Post by EuroIron »

stainless steel wool works very well

I make my own but you can buy it in several grades


many scrubbing mediums leave deposits in the pores........ actual ferrous steel wool is the worst offender........ and will cause never ending oxidation

if you rinse your cases with water after acid..... add white vinegar or they will very likely turn an unpleasant dark gray

EuroIron
Posts: 367
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:38 pm

What do you use to make your engine bright (Air head)

Post by EuroIron »

and if I got any of that backwards or out of order

I'm sure you'll be able to figure it out


ohhh.... many aluminum polishes leave residues in the pores that will turn a chalky white over time......

R.D. Green
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:38 pm

What do you use to make your engine bright?

Post by R.D. Green »

S100 engine cleaner does a pretty good job at generally brightening things up. For really dis-colored, stained, and grungy engine cases, I've used a product called Aluma-Brite. You cut it with water and scrub it on with a plastic Tuffy-Pad or the like. Work from the top down and then flush it off with water. Pretty amazing stuff and leaves no residue whatsoever. Doesn't seem to bother paint but I'd still be careful with it. You might find it at a marine supply store. Also good on non-aluminum bits and pieces.

Richard

magnetic
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:24 pm

What do you use to make your engine bright (Air head)

Post by magnetic »

Thanks for the advice, the hydro cloric did leave a gray residue. I am going to try a few other things then I will report back what worked best.

EuroIron
Posts: 367
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:38 pm

What do you use to make your engine bright (Air head)

Post by EuroIron »

it will brighten now with stainless steel wool and a stainless steel tooth brush will go a long way to getting the pores bright as well

the minerals in tap water......... distilled maybe too but I don't know for sure because I've never tried it......

will gray freshly blasted cases unless you add white vinegar

I typically boil freshly blasted engine bits in a big lobster pot to hopefully loosen and remove any embedded media

but only if they will not fit in my big ultrasonic


I used to use a two step wheel cleaner for spoked car wheels, by eagle, one acid and another neutralizer...... seems like it didn't work out well for aluminum because of the discoloration

bombard4101
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:00 am

What do you use to make your engine bright (Air head)

Post by bombard4101 »

I had really good luck on the cases of my '66 using WD40 and a wire wheel in the die grinder, although it did leave the cases looking somewhat shiny.
Even better, I found a product at a marine store named SLX, made for cleaning outdrives and other exposed metal on boats. With much skeptisism, I tried it on the 30 year old never been cleaned front hub and couldn't believe it!! Really worked great. I use it all the time now for all kinds of cleaning. Works great for getting off the white residue that seems to leech from the cases and other parts. And it didn't hurt the paint.
It is phosphoric acid, though, so it must be washed off, and gloves are nice too. It's a thick pink liquid that goes on with a green scrubby and left for 15 or so minutes, then rinsed off. Even have seen a diluted version of it in Winn Dixie for floor cleaning.

Post Reply