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    Default Best way to clean a cylinder head

    I have some heavy carbon build up in my cylinder heads, and I'm looking for the best way to clean them. Some friends have suggested everything from using burrs, wire brushes, and oven cleaner. Let's hear it. What do you do?

  2. #2
    chopemall
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    I don't feel like replying much on tech because I have so much to learn, but here's my two cents. I used non cholrinated brake cleaner, a copper wire
    brush, a scotchbrite pad, tootbrush, and a nice sunny day with the kids playing in the yard next to me. Turned out tits and my chopper didn't explode into a million pieces when I kicked her over so I guess I didn't fuck that part of it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chopemall View Post
    I don't feel like replying much on tech because I have so much to learn, but here's my two cents. I used non cholrinated brake cleaner, a copper wire
    brush, a scotchbrite pad, tootbrush, and a nice sunny day with the kids playing in the yard next to me. Turned out tits and my chopper didn't explode into a million pieces when I kicked her over so I guess I didn't fuck that part of it up.
    Right on. I'll probably go the spray cleaner / wire brush route once i get the heavy build up off. I know a brass wire brush won't get the real heavy build up off though (unless it's on a dremmel?) It's ~ 1/8" thick in one spot

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    Bump. Here's the type of build up i'm talking about. Pretty heavy. Would a carbide burr be unsafe to use on this heavy build up? How about a stone grinding dremel bit? I've read that Seafoam works good for a soak. Anyone try that?

     photo 0ca3c5b4-3bd5-494a-b02f-1060c144ef69.jpg

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    Oven cleaner works wonders and you can get it for a buck at the dollar store.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramzilla View Post
    Oven cleaner works wonders and you can get it for a buck at the dollar store.
    The picture above is after a 24 hour soak with heavy duty oven cleaner...

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    I used to clean 'em manually by scraping or with a rotary wire brush, but now I just find a bud with a bead or (preferably) soda blaster. (I twist off toilet paper in any threaded holes so I don't have to dig out impacted blast media with a scriber.)

    An automotive machine shop can run your parts through their cleaning tank or oven for cheap too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    I used to clean 'em manually by scraping or with a rotary wire brush, but now I just find a bud with a bead or (preferably) soda blaster. (I twist off toilet paper in any threaded holes so I don't have to dig out impacted blast media with a scriber.)

    An automotive machine shop can run your parts through their cleaning tank or oven for cheap too.
    I had a buddy warn me about bead/glass blasting the heads because of the valve seats & stems. I've read a little about soda blasting, but don't know anyone that does it yet.

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    If you were close to me I'd run them through our hot vat cabinet at work. That goes for anybody on the 33, if you ever need a part bead blasted or washed in our hot washer or steamed with the steam wand feel free to ask. If it will fit I'll knock it out for you if I can.

  10. #10
    McGrizzle
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    You should use a radial bristle brush, otherwise known as a plastic finger wheel on a high speed grinder. Don't use oven cleaner on aluminum, it's eats it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDog View Post
    I had a buddy warn me about bead/glass blasting the heads because of the valve seats & stems. I've read a little about soda blasting, but don't know anyone that does it yet.
    When I use a bead blaster, I don't blast the valve stem, only the really built up places, and finish it by hand. As far as the valve seats, I don't blast them directly, but I always lap the valves back in afterwards so any indirect blast doesn't jack anything up. Maybe I'm also paranoid, but I do a leakdown test on the valves after assembly as well to make sure they seat properly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McGrizzle View Post
    You should use a radial bristle brush, otherwise known as a plastic finger wheel on a high speed grinder. Don't use oven cleaner on aluminum, it's eats it!
    Yeah, the oven cleaner made a bigger mess...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramzilla View Post
    If you were close to me I'd run them through our hot vat cabinet at work. That goes for anybody on the 33, if you ever need a part bead blasted or washed in our hot washer or steamed with the steam wand feel free to ask. If it will fit I'll knock it out for you if I can.
    Thanks man. I'm looking into some local (Syracuse, NY) shops that can maybe soda/bead blast them now

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    Quote Originally Posted by McGrizzle View Post
    You should use a radial bristle brush, otherwise known as a plastic finger wheel on a high speed grinder. Don't use oven cleaner on aluminum, it's eats it!
    Yeah oven cleaner will eat aluminum if left on it but if just used shortly and then neutralized I've never had an issue.

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    Soaking it in Pine Sol (get the real stuff and not a store brand) works pretty well and is also cheap. The more shit you have built up on there, the longer you'll have to let it sit. Let my heads sit for 48 hrs and and the removed almost all of it.

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