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Old 01-29-2009, 04:46 AM
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Acid dipped engine?

I have stumbled across a 389 Pontiac engine that was bored to 400 and acid dipped after the machine work was done. Anyone have any experience or info on this? Why would you dip the block after machining? Any info greatly appreciated.

Vince

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Old 01-29-2009, 05:55 AM
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Acid dipping is done to lighten up a part. If the block was dipped after machining, then there goes all the machine work. The acid has etched any or all the machining , making it useless for fitting anything , especially the pistons in the bore.
It may have been dipped before the machining to remove any crud built up on the outside. I would talk to the shop that did the machining to find out the real truth.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:09 AM
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Was it acid or alkaline? Hot tanks use caustic soda. It will loosen all the crude, but shouldn't hurt the machined surfaces.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:30 AM
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Thanks for the reply's!
The guy that owns the engine was specific in that the block was dipped after the machine work. That is what prompted my question. He was also specific in that it was acid dipped. The engine was done a few years ago and would need to be redone. My question is how much damage would you expect to see, on the internals, if in fact the block was dipped after the machine work?

Vince
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:45 AM
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Automotive machine shops don't dip or vat a block after machine work. It's done before machining.
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:09 AM
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I don't recall what we used to dip the blocks in..but it was prior to machine work, anything done after could affect the tolerances. The solution was lye based I believe and could cause you to "burn" your skin if left on, that may be how he interpreted it as an acid bath...IF it was an acid bath I would avoid it...every dimension would be affected....cam bearing bores,main registers and the cylinder walls internally as well as externally. It would have had to be neutralized afterward as well or the acid would continue to work.
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:10 AM
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Hot tanking is some times refered to as acid dipping. It cleans all the oil and sludge off of the block and strips it to bare metal. This is probably what he is refering to. Acid dipping as in hoods and fenders is done with a true acid that eats part of the metal away to make the part lighter for racing use.

Blocks are dipped prior to magnafluxing and all the machine work. Then after all of the work is done they are dipped again to remove all of the metal chips and oil from the machining process. Then washed down with soapy water, dried and usually spyed with something like WD 40 to prevent rust.

If the block has sat for a long period of time it may of rusted.
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:33 AM
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My machinist uses a machine called jet hot cleaning. I think it`s a high pressure high tempature water job. when he gets the engine he cleans it then after the machine work he cleans it again then wraps it in a plastic bag so when you get your block home it`s ready to build. Which always worked out good for me since I really didn`t like having to scrub the bores to get the inpregnated hone grit out.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleVision
My machinist uses a machine called jet hot cleaning. I think it`s a high pressure high tempature water job. when he gets the engine he cleans it then after the machine work he cleans it again then wraps it in a plastic bag so when you get your block home it`s ready to build. Which always worked out good for me since I really didn`t like having to scrub the bores to get the inpregnated hone grit out.
The old hot tanking process became EPA unfriendly, most newer shops use a baking process or the another less ecologicly disasterous method.
Just from experience I wouldn't build an engine until I personally re-cleaned and scrubbed it. I have gotten as much as a 1/4 of peanut butter jar full of crud that was supposed to not be there.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:57 AM
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Don`t get me wrong Woodz. I always inspected it closely and rewashed it with soap before I did the build. When my machinist screwed up the clearences on my build a few years ago and I didn`t check behind him I got taugh a lesson. As the engine was junk from the second I started it and I had invested 5 grand in the engine and the one time I didn`t check was the one time I got burned. Live and learn.
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