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Old 10-08-2004, 06:47 AM
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Cleaning aluminum

Recently came into a heap of Muncie four speed parts, gears, mainshafts, cluster gears, cases, tail housings, side covers, and midplates. Cleaning the gears and everything non aluminum is easy, what do your guys recommend for cleaning the aluminum. Sandblasting is out, does too much damage. Oven cleaner turns aluminum grey. I need something that is going to remove road grime, and in some cases paint. I have tried acetone, MEK, lacquer thinner, Gunk carburator cleaner, and Berrymans carburator cleaner. The Berrymans did so so, the Gunk stuf is absolutely worthless.

Vince

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Old 10-08-2004, 07:11 AM
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im not great with aluminum but try some rough sand paper for the heavy stuff and then finer grit when you get closer to aluminum and then buff and polish the rest away.... like i said i dont work with it alot just giving some ideas
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Old 10-08-2004, 07:35 AM
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Sanding is out of the question, I do not want to change the surface finish of the transmission cases.

Vince
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:38 AM
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I have used aircraft paint stripper on painted aluminum parts prior to polishing them with pretty good results, but this was on clean, painted parts in good shape. (polishing motorcylcle parts)

For road grime, what about pressure washing?
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:42 AM
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What about a fine wire wheel?
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Old 10-08-2004, 09:03 AM
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Bead blast makes them look like new.

Troy
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Old 10-08-2004, 09:08 AM
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Bead blasting, or blasting with ground walnut shells is probably what I will wind up doing. Both those alternatives offer less surface degradation. I need something that is going to clean all the little recesses that other methods cannot touch.

Vince
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:44 PM
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Glass bead blasting works great. I've been using it to restore antique motorcycle parts (OK, and car stuff) for years. If it degrades the surfaces at all, I've never been able to tell. Note that motorcycle parts tend to be highly visible and inspectable when they back on the bike. Unlike transmissions which spend 99% of their lives hidden up in a transmission tunnel. No reason they can't look nice too though.
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Old 10-09-2004, 09:25 AM
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Got a quote on a 50lb bag of crushed walnut shells from a local blasting supply outfit, $15.95 not too bad. That is how I am going, it's lots cheaper than glass beads, and safer.

Vince
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