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Old 12-22-2008, 09:00 AM
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Best method for cleaning engine blocks.....

I have had engine blocks hot tanked, jet washed, baked and tumbled, but it seems like none of these methods are better than the other. What is the best way to have a engine block cleaned????

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Old 12-22-2008, 12:06 PM
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It's almost impossible to beat a hot tank cleaning job, but the solution in the tank has to be reasonably clean. Most if not all shops push it too far before they change it out or rejuvenate it. Short of hot tanking it, and depending on how sludged up it is you can do a fairly good job with oven cleaner, paint stripper and other solvents. Pull all oil galley plugs out and procure some brushes normally associated with gun cleaning to get into the oil galleys. After you have done all that then take it down to the local car wash and give it a good washing. DO NOT however take a heavily sludged up block right down to the car wash and commence to blow that cr@# all over the car wash. That will get you banned from the car wash quicker than a muddy 4 wheel drive will.

Vince
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Old 12-22-2008, 01:15 PM
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I had had blocks cleaned by the methods I listed before I rebuilt them, but it doesn't seem like one method is better than the next. All three methods I listed, get the grease and grime off pretty good but I always have rust in the water jackets. Is there another method that machine shops use to clean blocks that will get rid of rust in the water jackets along with all the grease and grime?
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Old 12-22-2008, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebadmerc
I had had blocks cleaned by the methods I listed before I rebuilt them, but it doesn't seem like one method is better than the next. All three methods I listed, get the grease and grime off pretty good but I always have rust in the water jackets. Is there another method that machine shops use to clean blocks that will get rid of rust in the water jackets along with all the grease and grime?
A real hot tank will dissolve the rust. Unfortunately, due to environmental requirements, most shops have stopped using real hot tanks and instead use steam cleaner tanks. This gets the crud off but doesn't touch the rust.
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:54 PM
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That is my dilemma on my Olds 455 - lots of rust. I did find some crazy stuff on the web about removing rust though...With a battery charger...
http://www.rowand.net/Shop/Tools/Electrolysis.htm
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:19 AM
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Due to EPA requirements. Most of the shops around here use a spray washer (like a big dish washer). The cleaner has to be compatible with aluminum and cast iron. Unfortunately what cleans rusty iron EATS aluminum.What cleans aluminum doesn't touch rust. Another problem is foaming of the detergent. Wrong combination and you have a LUCY show situation with soap bubbles. (been there). I personally use this system along with a bake and blast system. The bake/blast cleans all visable areas. But, is limited on some internal oil/coolant passages. Also you have to be VERY careful to get the spent blast media out of the casting. A few pieces left in an oil galley and instant bearing failure on startup. The blast media also tends to peen over the tops of lifter bores and exposed edges. These have to be chamfered ar reamed back to size.
The blocks look like fresh from the foundry tho.
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:20 AM
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We had our BBC jet washed and baked I believe, still had rust in the water jackets of course.

Any of you old timers heard about the vinegar trick? Drain the coolant, fill your radiator up with gallon of vinegar, the rest with water. Run the motor up to temperature, shut down and drain. Someone told me about it, but I've yet to try it. Anybody else hear about that?
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:48 AM
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i have a 1953 8ba ford/merc flathead engine block that we got out of the woods and have had machined and magnafuxed and cleaned a little bit but i need too clean the rust out of the water jackets and oil gallies does any one have any suggestions on how to besides using pipe cleaners?
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:28 AM
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block cleaning

i have used muratic acid,block off waterpump holes,and be sure core pluges ar in fill water jaket with 50/50 water and muratic acid. leave for 2 to 5 days.get muratic acid at hardware store(used to clean cement) be sure to use rubber gloves and eye protection,have a active hose readey as acid verry potent. good luck cliff
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:26 PM
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1953 8ba flathead merc/ford

i was putting the pistons and rods togather today the pistons i had no problems with but my question is that im using a 100horse merc crank and the rods are ford but 3 of them have oil relief holes and 5 do not do they all need these holes or not?
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by benson38 View Post
i was putting the pistons and rods togather today the pistons i had no problems with but my question is that im using a 100horse merc crank and the rods are ford but 3 of them have oil relief holes and 5 do not do they all need these holes or not?
Clarify the ""oil relief holes". The holes for the pin end or the squirt holes on the big end sides.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:55 AM
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the squirt holes because i have some rods that have holes in the bottom part that connects to the crank but some dont
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:11 AM
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"Super clean" has worked very well for me.

Brian
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:55 AM
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My heavy duty steam cleaner is not impressing me. Supposedly melts away grease with jets of steam, it does, not like they show.

The old pressure washer with solvent/soap works good. High pressure can be harsh.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:41 PM
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Easy Off oven cleaner Is all I use...And a pressure washer,,Work's great... Sometimes you have to do it more then once,, DON'T get this on any Alum.. It will turn it black..
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