View Full Version : wire wheel to clean off head gasket on block?

07-09-2012, 11:41 AM
About to clean and scrape off the old head gasket material but wanted some feedback on how to tackle it. since this is an iron block, is the material a bit more resistant from chipping than aluminum if I use something like a nonabrasive buffer wheel on either a dremel or drill with some WD40 or just use the old fashion razor blade? The bristles on the wire wheel are soft to the touch and I believe it is a combination of fabric and mineral rock.

07-09-2012, 12:27 PM
Iv heard of using an ice scraper like the kind you keep in a car in the winter with degreaser.

07-09-2012, 12:37 PM
I used sandpaper and a razor blade on my aluminum block. Worked fine. Then vacuumed everything up and out of the cylinders.


07-09-2012, 12:38 PM
If alluminum i wouldnt use a wire wheel. if iron block yes it is fine. just dont let it take any metal with it...

07-09-2012, 10:30 PM
DON'T use a wire wheel. You can get pieces of metal wire throughout the engine and it will ruin your bearings eventually.

Just spray some carb cleaner on the gasket and it softens it right up. Then go ahead and use a razor blade to scrape off the material. Then spray carb cleaner again and wipe it with a rag until you get it all off.

07-09-2012, 10:38 PM
thanks concerned about carb cleaner getting into the piston and rings? or should i just stuff paper towels in there to catch anything dripping/dropping in there as well as the water hole/jackets?

07-10-2012, 08:29 AM
Ice scraper to knock off the thick stuff then Carb cleaner and scotchbrite pads. Knocks it off pretty easy and looks like new after your done. Use rags in the cylinders that are down and vacuum out the bolt holds water passages when your done. Cleaning always takes time so plan to be there for a couple of hours.

07-10-2012, 08:51 AM
I use a angle grinder with a scotch brite pad non course, but thats of course if you have access to a air compressor, i would think so... but or a old style "gasket scraper" razor blade style or regular style. either way. just some ideas!

07-10-2012, 01:36 PM
X3 on the red scotch bright pad. It just works.

07-10-2012, 04:55 PM
Use rags not paper towels. I had to replace an oil pump on a customer's street rod one time because he decided to use paper towels when he was doing engine work and pieces wound up clogging the oil pick-up.

07-10-2012, 05:31 PM
thanks for the suggestions. i dont have an air compressor :-\

07-11-2012, 12:30 PM
Green wheels work great but I see you don't have air.

07-11-2012, 08:26 PM
nope. no air compressor. just cleaned the deck as best i could with a plastic scraper, razor blade and carb cleaner. its smooth as much as i can get it.

took the waterpump and front cover off. going to get a ls1 front cover kit from advance even though i understand ppl reuse them. lined up the cam and crankshaft dots with piston #1 TDC and took off the oil pump and oil pickup tube after removing the truck oil pan.

also removed the oil tray and checked the rod bearings(just wiggled each one to see if theres any play and felt none). does the oil tray have any torque specs to them? also i can reuse the oil pan gasket correct? im going to be using the oil pan from the ls1 motor(spun a rod bearing).