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Cleaning Aluminum manifolds...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by bigblaza, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. bigblaza

    bigblaza Registered Member

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    I got an edelbrock alum intake, but its been gunked up by years of old oil and dryed up radiator fluid. Ive tried pressure washing, Ive tried brake/carb cleaner and nothing seems to work to get it looking descent again. Does anyone have any experience doing this? or am I gonna have to pay to get it cleaned proffesionally by some machine shop or something?
     
  2. Pvt. Maggot

    Pvt. Maggot 1/2 ton status

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    To get it looking how you want it, your gonna have to bead blast it, or get to work with a wire wheel and some small wire brushes..
     
  3. 76zimmer

    76zimmer Flyin Rat Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    sand blasting....anything that is hardened on it will come off. If there is thread sealer or other soft compounds, chemically remove them, and then blast.
    I've also heard of using paint stripper, but haven't personally tried it.
     
  4. bigblaza

    bigblaza Registered Member

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    man, and I was hoping for something simple and quick. I guess that just isn't going to happen. So media blasting huh...well I dont have a sandblasting "kit". know of any cheap sandblasting kits? If I did use a wire wheel and/or wire brush should I use a liquid medium as well? carb cleaner or degreaser?
     
  5. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Don't use sand. Its too rough on aluminum. Use some other type of softer media. Glass beading would be the best bet.
     
  6. Pvt. Maggot

    Pvt. Maggot 1/2 ton status

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    Eh, I don't know if that would help or not, you'd be suprised what a wire wheel on a drill will do, but hey, spray her down with some cleaner, or stripper, and wire wheel the **** out of it, and have some fun hah
     
  7. 76zimmer

    76zimmer Flyin Rat Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    look in the yellow pages for an industrial shop that does sandblasting. I have one close that'll let you use their equipment for like $12/hr. Good luck.
     
  8. 76zimmer

    76zimmer Flyin Rat Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I don't think we're talking restoration here, I've blasted a few aluminum manifolds and have had great results, using silica sand.
     
  9. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Call some machine shops.. They all have blast cabinets and generally will do something like that for like $25, 30 or so...
     
  10. bigblaza

    bigblaza Registered Member

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    No we aren't talking restoration...but I would like to get it looking nice again. You know, so it actually looks like aluminum again. I saw this kit in Eastwood that you could change aluminum (rough finish) manifolds into mirror finish, but that $**t looks like it would take hours. I saw a cheap sandblasting kit on ebay for $8 maybe I'll just order some media and give it a try. Either way thanks for the advice.
     
  11. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I've polished intakes.. generally its about a 40 hr process... You can buy em polished for $100 more than the regular ones these days... Not worth the time unless it's something that can't be purchased...

    But I digress... Be aware, cheapie little sandblasters work very slowly... I'd spend the $25 at a machine shop before I sat there for hrs doing that.. A decent blaster would do it in minutes...
     
  12. bigblaza

    bigblaza Registered Member

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    descent blaster? got any suggestions as to which brand?
     
  13. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    It's not so much a brand thing, as it is a $ issue... A $6 blaster is gonna be a little gravity-feed spot blaster.. You can find decent pressure-fed blasters for like $50... Do a Google search, a bunch'll come up...
     
  14. 76zimmer

    76zimmer Flyin Rat Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    And keep in mind a high volume air supply helps with the work also. If this is going to be a once in a while type situation, as mentioned a few times now, I would look for a shop who can handle this for you. If you try it yourself, I hope you like the taste of sand. It'll get everywhere!
     
  15. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    egale 1 etching mag cleaner black bottle. auto parts stores like auto zone or advanced auto. its a rim cleaner. but its made with acids in it. and made for cast aluminum rims. i have used it before on intake manifolds. grab a small brass brisle brush to help clean up the bad stuff.

    wont do super job. but much better than what ya got now.

    new style bottle http://www.eagleone.com/pages/products/product.asp?itemid=1001&cat=5006

    old style bottle http://shop.ivalueinternet.com/washthecar/index.cfm/action/productdetail/product_id/128.htm
     
  16. littlejimmythatcould

    littlejimmythatcould 1/2 ton status

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    X2 on etching mag wheel cleaner! Spray it on there and let it soak for a few minutes and then hit it with either a pressure washer or high pressure hose nossle. Repeat as neccessary. You can scrub it if you want to, but I didn't need to on mine. Works like a champ!
     
  17. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    X3 on the Mag wheel cleaner. Works good on Carter AFB's too. Don't try it on Holleys or Q's.
     
  18. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    Try oven cleaner.

    Honestly. :D
     
  19. cegusman

    cegusman 3/4 ton status

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    Do not use oven cleaner it will eat the aluminum:eek1:
     
  20. HEAVY METAL

    HEAVY METAL 1/2 ton status

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    why clean it wheh its just gonna get dirty again?
     

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