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Best Way to Clean Engine Cases?

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Ive seen searching for hours and hours upon days and days for the best way to clean aluminum engine cases, ive found tons of different methods and what I would say the most thorough way to do it would be to take apart the cases and get them bare to clean in a parts washer and allow to get into small crevices but when it comes to cleaning it together I see so many people do it well but they never mention how they do it. I saw someone rebuild an RM125 on another forum and he said he polished the cases but never really mentioned how he did it. I saw this thing mentioned by someone else called a cross buff which is a pretty good idea but I just dont know what the limitation or precautions are for using it. I would say so far the best method ive seen is using mag wheel cleaner and then scrubbing it and finishing it off with that scotch brite pad or the cross buff thing. Not sure if any one else had any other ideas or input on that idea but I would like to hear about it. I would also think you can use this for other bare aluminum parts like triple clamps or linkage pieces and the part of swing arms that aren't coated. 

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It depends on the finish you're trying for. For the most part the stock aluminum finish looks best if everything is taken apart and soda blasted

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9 minutes ago, zotis777 said:

It depends on the finish you're trying for. For the most part the stock aluminum finish looks best if everything is taken apart and soda blasted

Yea I would have to agree with you on that. I think just taking the time to disassemble it all would be best in the long run as it will give you the opportunity to get it the cleanest the safest way with out risking any damages to any other painted or anodized parts. 

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Is the engine disassembled or still put together? If disassembled, you can use simple Green and a rag and it works great, I didn't have the luxury of a parts washer. If it's put together still, use the same thing with a rag. When I clean my bike I never use any abrasive pads bc it is going to gouge the cases and other components that I will be cleaning. Its better to take longer but to be safe instead of trying to do it fast and mess up parts.. imo.

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Is the engine disassembled or still put together? If disassembled, you can use simple Green and a rag and it works great, I didn't have the luxury of a parts washer. If it's put together still, use the same thing with a rag. When I clean my bike I never use any abrasive pads bc it is going to gouge the cases and other components that I will be cleaning. Its better to take longer but to be safe instead of trying to do it fast and mess up parts.. imo.



What abrasives are you talking about? Soda won't be damaging your cases I promise you that much. And scotch brite pads I've never seen damage aluminum. I used to use soda on everything and then green scotch brite pads on my frame spars and the cradle and the swing arm. The scotch brite brings back the grain well and the soda removes all the staining

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1 minute ago, zotis777 said:

 

 


What abrasives are you talking about? Soda won't be damaging your cases I promise you that much. And scotch brite pads I've never seen damage aluminum. I used to use soda on everything and then green scotch brite pads on my frame spars and the cradle and the swing arm. The scotch brite brings back the grain well and the soda removes all the staining

Yep, Scotch brite won't hurt aluminum.  I use it along with carb cleaner to clean the combustion chamber on cylinder heads.

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Well I tend to be pretty rough when cleaning so in my own experiences I have scratched up parts when I started cleaning so I just developed a better way of cleaning for myself. As in soda blasting I, I have a blaster but no cabinet to use so it tends to create quite a mess, so I was suggesting using simple Green also because I found out it works well for cleaning parts, without needing any special equipment

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3 minutes ago, Fundurorider said:

Well I tend to be pretty rough when cleaning so in my own experiences I have scratched up parts when I started cleaning so I just developed a better way of cleaning for myself. As in soda blasting I, I have a blaster but no cabinet to use so it tends to create quite a mess, so I was suggesting using simple Green also because I found out it works well for cleaning parts, without needing any special equipment

Harbor Freight has a nice little cabinet for pretty cheap.

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2 hours ago, SnowMule said:

Kitchen sink.

IMG_20140608_164054786_HDR-L.jpg

I'm pretty sure Snowmule is single

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I just spent quite a bit of time cleaning some 125 cases with purple power about 30 minutes later my son had made it so you couldn't even notice

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Ok well after your guy's input I think I have finally found the best method, take a sink or parts washer and clean the cases or let them soak if your are using a parts washer and scrub them and then after wards take a scotch brite pad or that rotary buffing tool thing top shine it up. Thank you all for the ideas and help. 

Edited by m1ke2001

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Go to the carwash and spray your engine down with the wheel/engine cleaner then let it soak for a min or two. Shit works wonders

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57 minutes ago, Bryan Bosch said:

The picture of the part in the kitchen sink pretty much confirmed that. ;)

Wife's gone for 2 weeks in Alaska.....

Nah, not worth it.

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I have tried toilet bowl cleaner since it contains muriatic acid and I think it works pretty good. Afterwards I clean it off with dish soap or Simple Green since it has a more neutral pH level

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