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I have something unusual to talk about. Can pistons be cleaned up by dipping them in a hot tank? There is some sort of corrosion on the pistons I took out of my 2.3 Ford SOHC Turbo engine and they were low mile OEM pistons so id like to reuse them.

They were in a box that it looks like an animal got into and pee'd all over them. Kinda gross I know but I think if i wash them off with hot water and maybe have them hot tanked that they would be OK? Or I have some cast iron cleaner here I could dip them in myself.

I know you aren't supposed to do that to aluminum, but these shouldn't be aluminum I don't think? Coming from a turbo engine they should be some kind of forged steel I would think.

What do you guys think?
 

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all pistons are aluminum , either cast , hyperutectic or forged.

put them in the parts washer and let them soak and u can scrub them with a fine scotch bright pad , if u dont have a parts washer soak them in a bucket full of kerosene or diesel fuel.

any corrosion on the sides/pistons skirts and they should be thrown away, if they are pitted or corroded on the pistons tops u can lightly sand/polish them smooth but only on the piston top and it depends on how bad the corrosion/pitting actually is
 

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I dont see any pitting anywhere, just a white powder like substance on the surface. But yes it is on the skirts of the pistons :(
clean them and scrub with a soft bristle brush on the skirts and have them measured on the skirts to see if they are still within spec .

the white powder is just oxidation which happens to aluminum but if its severe enough ur piston to cyl wall clearance can be thrown off and then u will get piston slap/rock
 

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If you want them cleaned by a shop. Take them to a trans rebuilder. His chemicals will clean them..

Most machine shops "Hot tank". If they still use one. Is for materials other than aluminum. Aluminum will turn black and slowly disolve.

The government has stopped or restricted the "good stuff" we used to clean with.

If you want to do them yourself. Use diluted Super Clean/Purple power or Simple green with the previously mentioned green Scotchbrite.
 

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Caustic soda is the "soap" used in old-time hot tanks. Most shops stopped using that more than 20 years ago. It WILL "eat" aluminum, as others have already pointed out.

We use "Aluma-Brite" in our jet-washer (spray cabinet). Same stuff tranny shops use.

After they've been through the chemical wash, a thorough cleaining of the ring grooves is necessary. We turn the air pressure "down" to about 50 lbs. and glass-bead the ring grooves and the head of the piston. DO NOT blast the skirts...

Another thorough wash in solvent is next, followed by a "rinse" in clean water, blown dry and a small amount of oil added where the pins go through the piston/rod.

Jim
 

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I recently found that Simple green HD (only availible at Home Depot) in my HF ultrasonic cleaner does a great job of cleaning all the carbon off pistons even in the ring grooves. About 20 minutes for each piston and they come out looking like new.
 

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cleaning pistons

I recently found that Simple green HD (only availible at Home Depot) in my HF ultrasonic cleaner does a great job of cleaning all the carbon off pistons even in the ring grooves. About 20 minutes for each piston and they come out looking like new.
do you have a dish washer,if so throw them in the dish washer,then scotch bright the skirts.Some may laugh but i have used a old dish washer for years as a parts washer.it is great for engine and trans parts as a final wash befor assembly.just be sure tospray some sort of lube at the end of wash to prevent rust or corosion. Dont ask the wife ,forgivness is easeyer than permission. cliff
 
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