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Engine Case Cleaner

 
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Engine Case Cleaner
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rufusswan



Joined: 29 Sep 2007
Posts: 1786
Location: Taneyville, Missouri

Post Engine Case Cleaner Reply with quote
I've wondered how to clean and shine our aluminium engine cases. There's oil and grease that gets on'em, as well as salt, road tar, dirt and bugs and stuff. Baked on stuff. And alum is a reactive metal so there's some stuff that will turn it black, and its soft so you can't attack it with that $1.99 wire brush from Home Depot.

Yea, I know, warm water and Dawn works pretty good. I've got the normal toothbrush, which along with gas or kerosene can scrub the baked on stuff. I also have a steel toothbrush and a brass one for heavier work. You'll find these things where they sell welding do-dads.

Since I also have an R75/5 that I am putting back on the road this spring (I hope Confused) I was cruising the warm wicked web for alum cleaning ideas and came across this: http://www.metalwax.com/Motorcycles.htm This stuff might be a little pricey but it sure looks like it works real well. The stuff these folk sell seems to work real well on all types of other metal stuff one might have around the house.

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Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:32 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
dirkhunt
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Post Reply with quote
For degreasing I like Simple Green and a nylon scrub brush. To get road tar off of you paint, WD40.



But i never was able to get Al clean like they show.

As a kid I lived next to a small airport and we used a reducing wax on the airplanes and it did a pretty good job on the Magnesium wheels on the planes.

I have no idea what it was called though.
Mon Dec 29, 2008 4:35 pm
rufusswan



Joined: 29 Sep 2007
Posts: 1786
Location: Taneyville, Missouri

Post Reply with quote
That stuff looks like it does a great job, but reading the info about "filling micro-pores" and such does not sound very good for helping an alum engine case cool a motor Confused I have no intention of ruining either of my scoots engines with that stuff.

For cosmetic metal parts it might be the bees knees. You can shine and polish any good metal with all types of compounds from your local auto or paint store, then seal with a good paste wax. A Scotch-brite is ok on rough alum cases but will scratch stainless steel and glass so be careful what you use it on. Common Bon-Ami makes a real good polish but Comet will scratch most anything.

I'll stick with B-12 Chemtool, engine degreaser, WD-40, non-metal scrubbers, household cleaners, elbow grease and beer for cleaning equipment. And tunes .. ya can't forget the tunes.

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Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:46 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
rufusswan



Joined: 29 Sep 2007
Posts: 1786
Location: Taneyville, Missouri

Post Reply with quote
Over the last couple of months I have dragged my ass out the freezing cold shop to continue this research. Don't assume any of the following opinions cook down into facts that result in knowledge that culminate into a great gumbo of divine wisdom, OK Wink

A lot of stuff is harder for me 'cause I live out in the sticks. Although everyone knows of this "Simple Green" stuff, there ain't nobody who sells it!! Don't ask how many times I've heard the clerk say - "Sure I've heard of that, but we don't sell it". Well I was in the newest - biggest - supermega'ist Walmart in existence and upon the horizon were some very salesrep looking folks restocking the entire 'cleaning products' isle. Praise be for miracles until the dude said "No, it's only sold in big-box stores like Lowe's or Home Depot". So I been walking within a few feet of the long sought after product without knowing it. Haven't tried it yet, but most folk say to cut 50/50 with water and apply scrubbee and elbow grease.

I wish I had a Dremel kit with wire brushes. That would remove a lot of work that requires the "elbow grease". I do have a bench grinder which has been getting a lot of work of late. I have a brass wire wheel and a steel one. The brass is safe on most any metal where the steel one is not. This would not be so critical if one had a Dremel, but I have a 1 1/2HP 220V 1948 Emerson motor with belts and pulleys. I have it wired 110 so it only pulls 3/4HP but it still dims the lights as though I had started up the super-collider at CERN and spins them wheels at unheard of RPM's. It will eat up soft aluminum carb bodies with the steel wheel as though it were milk chocolate. The brass wheel will polish your carb like a meth freak went crazy with "000" steel wool.

Steel wool is ultra handy and cheap. It will polish anything smooth and can be used dry or wet. It makes surface rust on chrome parts disappear instantly. Using it does create micro-small steel dust so be careful with it. Rubbing stuff with it can cause electro-magic to precipitate on the workbench. It succeeded in magnetizing my fine needle-nose pliers, unless it was the excessive EM put out by my bench grinder.

Phosphoric Acid is safe on alum and steel as well. We used it to treat new metal at GE . . . acid bath, wash with water, dry and apply penetrating oil. You can get it at auto parts store ($5) and it will be called Naval Jelly. PhA in a thick paste. The paste helps prevent the active ingredient from evaporating too quickly. Wash well with water.

Those little parts at the end of your shift cables that corrode, then rust out? Remove them before they go bad, NJ them clean, and then coat with dielectric grease. They will then last, the dielectric grease prevents rust and corrosion between metals.

If Naval Jelly is for us shade tree mechanics, the pros apparently use the really cool stuff: ACF-50 and it can be purchased here: http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/cspages/acf50.php Removes oxidation and rust from aluminum engine cases and provides long-term protection. Pricey at $20 a can, but one can would probably protect your scoot for a lifetime.

In the end, once you have cosmetic things clean and shiny. Put a couple of coats of wax or chrome/alum polish on it. My old R75 that has set for almost 15 years would be far worse had I not been religious about clean and wax. Yep, it can build up, but it's easy to steel wool off, and wax up again. If you get out that can of wax, pick up a beer and give it 2 or 3 coats while you are at it. You'll thank yourself in the future.

Paz

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Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:33 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
fishcutter44



Joined: 09 Aug 2008
Posts: 78
Location: Rhode Island

Post Long Live /5's Reply with quote
Hey Rufus,
I had a '73 R75/5 for years and sold it two years ago. Had 66,000 miles and ran great. Those bikes are tanks, they run forever and don't need a lot of love. Only common problem I know of was the shaft splines running dry and wearing out-something to check. Good luck with your bike, those beemers have a lot of miles in them-
Ride safe,
Kurt

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Sat Jun 27, 2009 2:40 am View user's profile Send private message
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