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  1. #1
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    Default Removing paint off a shovelhead engine?

    Ive got a 1984 shovelhead motor that the cases were painted black at the factory. I was just wonder what is the best way to remove this stuff. If it helps the motor is already out of the frame on a stand and the heads are off( They needed to be sand blasted). Ive heard that aircraft stripper works, but others have said it will discolor the case. Ive also heard Dot 3 brake fluid but I havent heard any more responses about that one. Any input is appreciated. Im just looking to take the paint off the bottom end and not do anything else.

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    It's not going to look very good no matter what you do unless you take it apart and blast it.....

    Yes you can get the paint off but it will be iffy in the corners.......

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    It's powder coat, and it don't come off easy. I just stripped a set of '82 cases by glass beading and there were times I wish I had never started on them.

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinNC View Post
    It's powder coat, and it don't come off easy. I just stripped a set of '82 cases by glass beading and there were times I wish I had never started on them.

    Jim
    Are you sure it's powder coat????? If that's right when did they start that..... My 79 FXS was black wrinkle paint....... Just curious......

    Here is a pic of the motor after sitting for 25 years in a dirt floor shed.......
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails JuniorsLowRider1.JPG  
    Last edited by Tattooo; 05-19-2020 at 7:56 PM.

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    At least as far back as '80. My '80 FLH had the cases and inner primary powder coated black. It is not a wrinkle finish. If yours had a wrinkle finish, I don't think it was factory applied.

    Jim

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    I was pretty sure it was paint. I really dont want to bust the cases on this motor unless I really have to. the heads are kind of eh they need some sprucing up but the bottom end is solid.

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    Clean it good and paint over it. That's about your only choice. I would not use chemical stripper on an assembled motor.

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinNC View Post
    If yours had a wrinkle finish, I don't think it was factory applied. Jim

    So you have never seen Black wrinkle paint on a Harley motor?????

    Oh yea it's original...... It's a 15,500 mile original paint bike..... Nothing had been changed or taken further apart until I started taking it apart to restore it........ Even the calipers were clean inside no corrosion.... It was an awesome bike to restore....... You should be so lucky to work on such an unmolested bike....

    The guy that bought it new started taking it apart to find a short in the wiring because it had stopped running, then he got cancer and died 6 months later....... After 25 years of being apart his mother donated it to her church...... I found the short he was looking for he didn't take it apart enough..... It still had the original electronic ignition in it..... That wasn't the problem.....

    The painted parts were hung on the wall luckily......

    Here it is...... I did a restore thread over on JJ but the mods pulled it because of jealousy.....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails MVC-015S_zpsef848745.JPG  
    Last edited by Tattooo; 05-19-2020 at 8:58 PM.

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    Here are another pic....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails MVC-018S-18.JPG  
    Last edited by Tattooo; 05-19-2020 at 9:02 PM.

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    Yeah the motor on the 84 is literally painted exactly the same. So I'll see what I can do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimino289 View Post
    Yeah the motor on the 84 is literally painted exactly the same. So I'll see what I can do.
    Yep that's what I was thinking...... It's easier if it's apart but that takes time also.......

    Best of luck......

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    Try DOT 3 brake fluid Takes most paint off and leaves the aluminum surface alone. Not as fast as aircraft stripper but cleans up with brake clean and leaves the aluminum looking way better.
    Dusty

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    I'll get some brake fluid and test it. Since I have memorial day weekend up ahead I'm going to try and get a lot done.

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    oven cleaner, strips a lot of finishes but have water hose ready to deactivate it.About a 5 second sit strips any loose gunk. maybe silicone the gasket areas strip clean then pull silicone and hand sand? just throwing out ideas.

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    I've seen an engine who's owner did it done with tal stripper and a q tip in the nooks and crannies. The engine was out of the frame though. Turned out good. whatever you do,if you don't split the cases to blast it, try a sample section in an out of the way spot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DustyDave View Post
    Not as fast as aircraft stripper but cleans up with brake clean and leaves the aluminum looking way better.
    Dusty
    Yep that's the problem with most of the chemical stripping....... The aluminum looks weird......

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    You might want to look at Cryogenic blasting, It is blasting with Dry Ice & can be used on a complete motor, NO NEED TO TAKE ANYTHING APART !!!.... as the dry Ice leaves no residue there is no reason to mask anything off,
    as the Dry Ice hits it freezes the oil grease orPaint that flakes off,
    a Buddy had his Norton Commando motor done this way and it almost looked new at the end, there are plenty of Films of it on YouTube showing how it works and the end result..... check it out here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrHchu1tNyc

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    Dry ice blasting is an old proven process in the aerospace world and if available an ideal choice.

    HD sells engine case paint but I've not looked into it since I hate paint (and chrome) on engine parts as they exist to deteriorate and piss me off.

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    No trouble whatsoever pulling the black off my '78 with aircraft stripper. Nylon bristle attachments are in ace hardware in the wire brush aisle, those never mar the finish and polish the motor really nice with just some soap or degreaser.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    So you have never seen Black wrinkle paint on a Harley motor?????

    Oh yea it's original...... It's a 15,500 mile original paint bike..... Nothing had been changed or taken further apart until I started taking it apart to restore it........ Even the calipers were clean inside no corrosion.... It was an awesome bike to restore....... You should be so lucky to work on such an unmolested bike....

    The guy that bought it new started taking it apart to find a short in the wiring because it had stopped running, then he got cancer and died 6 months later....... After 25 years of being apart his mother donated it to her church...... I found the short he was looking for he didn't take it apart enough..... It still had the original electronic ignition in it..... That wasn't the problem.....

    The painted parts were hung on the wall luckily......

    Here it is...... I did a restore thread over on JJ but the mods pulled it because of jealousy.....
    I have a 78 low rider with black wrinkle paint from factory also . NOWHERE NEAR as cherry as tatooo bike. Mine is a beater that i enjoy very much

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