Author Topic: Cleaning XLCH Engine Cases  (Read 921 times)

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Offline iamdouglas1

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Cleaning XLCH Engine Cases
« on: May 10, 2016, 12:24:25 PM »
Hi Y'All again,

I'm curious what ideas are floating around out there on cleaning engine cases. I'm restoring a '69 engine. I've got the empty engine cases to clean.

Anybody mess with soda blasting? I'd glass bead the cases but I want as close to the factory sand cast cases as possible. While I really like the finish of glass beading that's not the direction I want to go. Also, I don't like the idea of powdered glass or sand anywhere near the internals of the cases.

I've cleaned them in a varsol tank pretty good but the finish just doesn't "Pop". 'you know what I mean Vern?

I'm also looking for a factory rough finish cam and sprocket cover.

Thanks Folkes

Offline JW113

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Re: Cleaning XLCH Engine Cases
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2016, 08:22:37 PM »
Frankly my friend, I get real nervous about any media blasting around old iron cases and such these days. If you are only trying to clean the cases, and keep the original apperance, and keep that "as cast" aluminum look....

I say Pine Sol. Yes, that crap you clean toilets with. For pistons, heads, and small parts, it's a no-brainer. For an XL engine case, all I can say is WOW. You gonna need a might big tub for that, but no fear, hardware store is near.

Pine Sol. Yes, check it out. Put the parts in a tub big enough to hold them, immerse in Pine Sol, and wait. In a week, they will look like they came right out of that green sand casting mold they came from at the factory. Maybe every day give them a scrub with a parts brush to knock off the top layers, but man I tell you. That stuff works great, and at the end of the day, you can pour it down the drain and not feel like a total A-hole.

Just my 2 cents...

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline FSG

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Re: Cleaning XLCH Engine Cases
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2016, 12:45:22 AM »
Get them Hydroblasted (Non Abrasive Water Blasting)

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Offline Panzer

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Re: Cleaning XLCH Engine Cases
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2016, 06:18:02 AM »
Water blasting did a fine job.  :up:
Power washer do the same?
You don't have to shovel sunshine ..... let's ride.

Offline iamdouglas1

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Re: Cleaning XLCH Engine Cases
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2016, 10:18:11 AM »
Hey FSG, I looked into hydro-blasting, it seems it's also known as vapor-blasting. Images of parts before and after were impressive. It seems that some hydro-blasting is with glass bead in the stream of water. I wouldn't want that but I'll look around my town for a shop that might have a hydro-blaster. I think there is a automotive transmission shop that has a sonic tank. Maybe they have hydro-blasting equipment. I'm going to check on that. Thanks.

JW, Several people suggest a good detergent soaking. I've got a large steel tank that I could put the cases in with the Pine Sol.  I could even put some heat to the tank. How do the steel bits like living in detergent for several days? What happens to bearing surfaces and such?

I've been looking into Soda Blasting too. I'll be giving a detergent soak some consideration.

Thanks peoples.
Doug Y.

Offline Burnout

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Re: Cleaning XLCH Engine Cases
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2016, 11:43:59 AM »
Walnut shells
They don't call me Ironhead Rick just because I'm "hard headed"

Offline JW113

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Re: Cleaning XLCH Engine Cases
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2016, 12:27:43 PM »
Likely to cause steel to rust. What steel are you concerned with? If you're pulling the cases apart, hope you're replacing the bearings while you're in there.

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline iamdouglas1

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Re: Cleaning XLCH Engine Cases
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2016, 04:04:39 AM »
Walnut shells would probably do it but I still don't want to put any polish on the cases. it's a good look but not quite what I'm looking forward.

I'm liking the Pine Sol cleaner. I've got a jug of Mean Green that's probably very similar to Pine Sol.

As far as rust on steel parts; I guess I'm talking about surface rust on the pinion race in the cases and all the alignment pins and such. I'll be having the pinion race align honed after the cleaning so the surface rust that might start during the cleaning should be wiped away. It should be fine.

I appreciate the inputs.

Offline harley_cruiser

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Re: Cleaning XLCH Engine Cases
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2016, 05:26:08 AM »
Mag wheel cleaner for in uncleared aluminum.
It has phosphoric acid.
You can also use ospho deluted.
Ospho is phosphoric acid great for cleaning rust and aluminum.
Don't let it dry.

Offline FSG

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Re: Cleaning XLCH Engine Cases
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2016, 06:55:15 AM »
Don't use Soda

The Hydroblasting was developed by Rolls-Royce to clean the turbine blades, the method is widely used in the UK and Oz by the Bike and Car Resto Enthusiasts

This guy http://www.suncoasthydrablast.com.au/ a BMW Rider/Restorer has done work for me, my own brother a thousand miles south of me is now also in the Hydroblasting Business servicing enthusiasts in Melbourne and Adelaide.



 

 

Offline iamdouglas1

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Re: Cleaning XLCH Engine Cases
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2016, 05:20:24 PM »
FSG...
That must be gratifying to clean parts like that using just water. Amazing. I'll shop around for a shop in my area. I'd be surprised if there was a hydrablaster in my area but it's worth looking.

I think there's something to the detergent or mag cleaner. If the detergent doesn't do it then I'll go from there.

Offline FSG

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Re: Cleaning XLCH Engine Cases
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2016, 05:43:30 PM »
Often called Vapor blasting, someone posted a while back that they had purchased one for their business.

http://www.vaporblastingequipment.com/wet-blasting/what-wetblasting-guide-vapor-blasting-process