Go Back   Corvette Forum > Off Topic > Off Topic
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Register Albums Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read FAQ
Search
Off Topic
Off Topic | Non-Corvette Sponsored by
Bondurant School of HPD

Welcome to Corvetteforum.com!
Welcome to Corvetteforum.com.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, join Corvetteforum.com today!


Corvette Store
 
 
C6 Parts & Accessories
C5 Parts & Accessories
Wheels & Tires
Sponsored Ads
 
 
Vendor Directory
  
Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-16-2010, 03:04 PM   #1
TPFKATK
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
 
TPFKATK's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 1999
Location: Paint Hill NC
Default What's the best solvent for cleaning aluminum heads?

Have the heads off an OHV V twin mower. The valves are sticking, guides have heavy varnish from bad gas. Need something to clean that and the carbon from the valves and combustion chamber.
TPFKATK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:05 PM   #2
smearig
CF Senior Member
 
smearig's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2006
Location: Driving a hybrid in Hipsterville
Default

Oven cleaner works great, just don't let it sit for days on end and wash it with plenty of water when you're done.
smearig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:12 PM   #3
Kevin_73
CF Senior Member
Cruise-In X Veteran
St. Jude Donor '09-'11
 
Kevin_73's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2001
Location: Standing still with all my might Texas
Send a message via AIM to Kevin_73
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by smearig View Post
Oven cleaner works great, just don't let it sit for days on end and wash it with plenty of water when you're done.


Do not put oven cleaner on aluminum unless you want to dissolve it immediately.

I learned this lesson years ago while trying to clean a aluminum piston of a model airplane engine.
Kevin_73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:12 PM   #4
Silverspeed
CF Senior Member
St. Jude Donor '13
 
Silverspeed's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 2007
Location: From zero to doucherocket in 3.5 seconds
Default

Sea Foam.
Silverspeed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:22 PM   #5
smearig
CF Senior Member
 
smearig's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2006
Location: Driving a hybrid in Hipsterville
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_73 View Post


Do not put oven cleaner on aluminum unless you want to dissolve it immediately.

I learned this lesson years ago while trying to clean a aluminum piston of a model airplane engine.
It doesn't dissolve aluminum quickly. At least the stuff available today doesn't.
smearig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:32 PM   #6
Kevin_73
CF Senior Member
Cruise-In X Veteran
St. Jude Donor '09-'11
 
Kevin_73's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2001
Location: Standing still with all my might Texas
Send a message via AIM to Kevin_73
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by smearig View Post
It doesn't dissolve aluminum quickly. At least the stuff available today doesn't.
I used Easy Off oven cleaner and it basically boiled the aluminum, bubbled and spit like crazy. It left the surface very pitted and dark gray.
This was in the late 70's though so they might have changed the formula since then.
Kevin_73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:35 PM   #7
Fastguy
CF Senior Member
St. Jude Donor '03-'05

 
Fastguy's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 1999
Location: This vette goes to 11 Milford MA
Default

Just use carb cleaner, you know, the stuff made for removing that sort of thing from an aluminum carb.
Fastguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:36 PM   #8
Entropy
CF Senior Member
St. Jude Donor '08-'09
 
Entropy's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 2005
Location: central America
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_73 View Post
I used Easy Off oven cleaner and it basically boiled the aluminum, bubbled and spit like crazy. It left the surface very pitted and dark gray.
This was in the late 70's though so they might have changed the formula since then.
High acid content will do that.

TPFKATK: I wouldn't use Easy Off if it has a high acid content, particularly muriatic or sulfuric acid. Have you tried mineral spirits or engine degreaser?
Entropy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:43 PM   #9
smearig
CF Senior Member
 
smearig's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2006
Location: Driving a hybrid in Hipsterville
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
High acid content will do that.

TPFKATK: I wouldn't use Easy Off if it has a high acid content, particularly muriatic or sulfuric acid. Have you tried mineral spirits or engine degreaser?
Weird, it has NaOH and some kind of compound with a high ph.



http://www.wired.com/science/discove...-06/st_easyoff

Anyway, I've used it to clean aluminum intakes and timing covers without problems. Like I said, don't let it sit forever and wash it with plenty of water when you're done.
smearig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:47 PM   #10
Entropy
CF Senior Member
St. Jude Donor '08-'09
 
Entropy's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 2005
Location: central America
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by smearig View Post
Weird, it has NaOH and some kind of compound with a high ph.



http://www.wired.com/science/discove...-06/st_easyoff

Anyway, I've used it to clean aluminum intakes and timing covers without problems. Like I said, don't let it sit forever and wash it with plenty of water when you're done.


Crap you're right, I knew I should have checked under the kitchen sink first.

I got it crossed with the old Works Toilet cleaner experiment.

Guess that means my meth lab is probably a bust.
Entropy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:53 PM   #11
smearig
CF Senior Member
 
smearig's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2006
Location: Driving a hybrid in Hipsterville
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Entropy View Post


Crap you're right, I knew I should have checked under the kitchen sink first.

I got it crossed with the old Works Toilet cleaner experiment.

Guess that means my meth lab is probably a bust.
If you've ever had it on your fingers (I don't recommend this) you'd know immediately that it's a base.

smearig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:54 PM   #12
88Z51
CF Senior Member

 
88Z51's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2003
Location: Portland OR
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TPFKATK View Post
Have the heads off an OHV V twin mower. The valves are sticking, guides have heavy varnish from bad gas. Need something to clean that and the carbon from the valves and combustion chamber.
I'm not sure if there is much in the way of a spray cleaner that will completely remove carbon buildup on the valves and chambers. If they were mine, I'd pull them apart, clean them with solvent, bead blast the chambers and take the valves to a wire wheel.
88Z51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:54 PM   #13
Entropy
CF Senior Member
St. Jude Donor '08-'09
 
Entropy's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 2005
Location: central America
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by smearig View Post
If you've ever had it on your fingers (I don't recommend this) you'd know immediately that it's a base.

Yup, I hated cleaning apartment ovens.
Entropy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 06:12 PM   #14
Carguy2112
CF Senior Member
St. Jude Donor '14
 
Carguy2112's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2008
Location: Jackson MO
Default

Put them in here and walk away for a couple hours.

Click the image to open in full size.
Carguy2112 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 06:16 PM   #15
smearig
CF Senior Member
 
smearig's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2006
Location: Driving a hybrid in Hipsterville
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 88Z51 View Post
I'm not sure if there is much in the way of a spray cleaner that will completely remove carbon buildup on the valves and chambers. If they were mine, I'd pull them apart, clean them with solvent, bead blast the chambers and take the valves to a wire wheel.
Well that's also what I'd do. You have no business getting this deep into an engine unless you own a blast cabinet. But even then I frequently use oven cleaner to take off the dirt before using the glass beads to refresh the finish on the aluminum.
smearig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 07:00 PM   #16
TPFKATK
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
 
TPFKATK's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 1999
Location: Paint Hill NC
Default

Hmm. Online research mentions acetone, mek, and xylene but the vast majority just say "solvent". I want to stay away from blasting:
Quote:
Glass beads are very hard and abrasive. When soft aluminum parts are blasted in a glass bead machine, we have found that some of those same beads that do such a great job of cleaning, get stuck in the metal. You can try to shake them out, blow them out, wash them out, or use any other method you may want to try to get rid of the beads, but some of those glass beads still seem to remain in the part. They get in bolt holes and spark plug threads, oil passages, and cooling system passages. But perhaps most importantly they can damage finely machined surfaces like cam bearing bores. So in most cases we do not throw anything at the aluminum part. No glass beads, steel shot, sand, or walnut shells.
http://www.enginebuildermag.com/Arti...rspective.aspx

Thanks for the input.
TPFKATK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 07:37 PM   #17
88Z51
CF Senior Member

 
88Z51's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2003
Location: Portland OR
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TPFKATK View Post
Hmm. Online research mentions acetone, mek, and xylene but the vast majority just say "solvent". I want to stay away from blasting:

http://www.enginebuildermag.com/Arti...rspective.aspx

Thanks for the input.
While I can understand their reasons for not bead blasting, this is why it is very important that the subject be clean and free of all oil or grease prior to blasting. Depending on the item, I would either run them back through the aluminum tank after blasting or in the case of something like an intake manifold, just thoroughly rinse with water and air hose dry. And I would have thought it was a given not to blast cam journals, etc. and only focus on the combustion chambers and ports If you aren't going to bead blast, then after tanking or cleaning with solvent, just use a soft bristle wire brush on your air drill to clean any remaining carbon deposits in the chambers. But along the lines of residual glass beads, dust, etc., keep in mind if you are planning on doing any machine work on the heads, it is just as critical to make sure they are perfectly clean. There is dust generated from machining the seats for example and of course if you are going to do any kind of porting work, there will be lots of crap generated from that as well that will need to be thoroughly cleaned out before reassembly.
88Z51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 07:37 PM
 
Go Back   Corvette Forum > Off Topic > Off Topic
Reload this Page What's the best solvent for cleaning aluminum heads?
 
 
 
Reply

Tags
aluminum, aqueous, carbon, chamber, chambers, clean, cleaner, cleaning, cleaninge, combustion, head, heads, homemade, oven, solution


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Click for Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:33 AM.


Emails & Password Backup

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2