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Old 05-29-2012, 08:14 PM
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DIY Head Cleaning, crack detection suggestion

So... I tried this out a couple months ago and never realized to post it up here and get some extra input. I really like how some shops bake and shot heads and blocks but for some reason most places around me do not... So I thought well I can bake the heads.... and I have a blast cabinet.

Well ten minutes later I got out the propane burner base for my parents outside deep fryer and a metal garbage can and voila. I heated the heads up to about 425-450*F. I went in stages and took about 30min to get up to temp as to try to prevent me from ruining them from heating them up too quickly... I then let them bake for about a half hour to let all the oil and grease dry up. I did this to a set of heads I found in my shed. I am gonna order a crack detection kit soon.... any suggestions? This is the one im looking at ... http://www.cylinderheadsupply.com/skpokit1.html The heads do not appear to be cracked from the naked eye but crack detection will tell me for sure.

But after that I put them in the blast cabinet and went to town on them... I think they turned out pretty good. Only thing that sucked was rotating the heads over a tote afterwards to try to get all the shot of out them lol. The heads still need a hot soapy scrubbing to get all the little stuff off of them but all in all not bad.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:38 AM
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Also remember to remove any freeze plugs in the heads and clean those passages as well..Looks like that kit is dye penetrant method which should work just fine..

Sam
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreTime
Also remember to remove any freeze plugs in the heads and clean those passages as well..Looks like that kit is dye penetrant method which should work just fine..

Sam
I recently did a set of gt40 heads for a buddy and I took the freeze plugs out for those.... never noticed any in sbc heads. Is there anything wrong with the way I did these? I used 20/40 media switching to something a little easier on it

Edit: Also that crack checker says non ferrous metals so would that be cast iron heads only? no aluminum?

Last edited by zildjian4life218; 05-30-2012 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:21 AM
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Magnaflux is used on iron heads the dye penetrate on aluminum heads though the dye penetrate will work on both..Some heads have a pipe plug instead of freeze plugs..in any case clean the coolant passages as I am convinced the coolant passages can be plugged in some cases leading to overheat issues..Your methods should work fine..

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Old 05-30-2012, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreTime
Magnaflux is used on iron heads the dye penetrate on aluminum heads though the dye penetrate will work on both..Some heads have a pipe plug instead of freeze plugs..in any case clean the coolant passages as I am convinced the coolant passages can be plugged in some cases leading to overheat issues..Your methods should work fine..

Sam
ahhh.. okay I was wondering since you cant magnetize aluminum. Should I switch to a small steel shot for my blast cabinet or would a glass bead or silica media continue to work? The 20/40 seems to eat away pretty good which I don't mind except for the gasket surfaces.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zildjian4life218
Edit: Also that crack checker says non ferrous metals so would that be cast iron heads only? no aluminum?
Non ferrous metals is anything EXCEPT cast iron/steel Examples of non ferrous metals are aluminum, brass, bronze, pewter, zinc, etc.

That said, there's no real reason a dye/penetrant-type crack detector couldn't be used on ferrous metals, although I would want to look for a system designed for use w/ferrous metal if that's what I was working with.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
Non ferrous metals is anything EXCEPT cast iron/steel Examples of non ferrous metals are aluminum, brass, bronze, pewter, zinc, etc.

That said, there's no real reason a dye/penetrant-type crack detector couldn't be used on ferrous metals, although I would want to look for a system designed for use w/ferrous metal if that's what I was working with.

I generally am rebuilding factory iron heads but I want to be able to do either steel or aluminum so would that dye kit be the better choice for me? I looked at the magnaflux kit for doing ferrous with the magnet and the electro magnet is expensive. I mean its a one time cost where as the kit I am looking at I will need to keep buying cans as I use them up.

I think at this point for how few heads I rebuild a year I will just buy that kit from cylinder head supply that I posted. It should last me a while and if I start doing a lot more then I will look into purchasing the electro magnet kit.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:54 AM
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My great grandad (born in 1900) used to work in the auto and aviation industry; was one of those 'can do' people. He used to use kerosene and chalkdust to find small cracks in cast items.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zildjian4life218
I generally am rebuilding factory iron heads but I want to be able to do either steel or aluminum so would that dye kit be the better choice for me? I looked at the magnaflux kit for doing ferrous with the magnet and the electro magnet is expensive. I mean its a one time cost where as the kit I am looking at I will need to keep buying cans as I use them up.

I think at this point for how few heads I rebuild a year I will just buy that kit from cylinder head supply that I posted. It should last me a while and if I start doing a lot more then I will look into purchasing the electro magnet kit.
It looks like the Magnaflux Spotcheck kit will do both aluminum and iron, along w/other metals. Looks trick, be nice to have if you were going "head hunting".
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:21 AM
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I hate buying head cores. I always seem to get screwed. Im surprised the 906s I have aren't cracked.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:13 AM
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Anyone have any suggestions on better media for blasting? I will be buying glass media for doing aluminum pistons. Will this be better for the heads or is the 20/40 im using now okay?
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zildjian4life218
Anyone have any suggestions on better media for blasting? I will be buying glass media for doing aluminum pistons. Will this be better for the heads or is the 20/40 im using now okay?
I uses 40/60 but mainly because that worked better w/the low-end asperator-type set-up I was using at the time. 20/40 is recommended for what you're doing, but I would mask/plug off decks, guides, seats, and any other machined surfaces unless the surfaces were being renewed.

I'm sure you're aware of this, but use a respirator and hood along w/gloves and protective clothing to keep the silica out of and off of you.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
I uses 40/60 but mainly because that worked better w/the low-end asperator-type set-up I was using at the time. 20/40 is recommended for what you're doing, but I would mask/plug off decks, guides, seats, and any other machined surfaces unless the surfaces were being renewed.

I'm sure you're aware of this, but use a respirator and hood along w/gloves and protective clothing to keep the silica out of and off of you.
Awesome! thanks for the input. My dad and I invested in a blast cabinet last year what a great purchase that was. Worth every penny.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:47 AM
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This is a picture of the setup I use in case anyone was interested in trying it. I changed it up from the picture. I have two pieces of 3/8" x 2" wide that go across with a patio block. Then the two heads sit on the patio block so that the burner flame isn't right on them and then the garbage can sits over the heads to help hold the heat in.

I originally didn't use the patio block and it was hard to keep the heads somewhat uniform. Now There is maybe at 15-20*F temp difference from top to bottom.
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