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Cleaning aluminum, what solvents to use??

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Old 03-27-2009, 09:19 AM   #1
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Default Cleaning aluminum, what solvents to use??

Im in the process of rebuilding a LSx engine and I wanna clean all the road grime and tarnishing off the oil pan, water pump, valve covers etc. What do you guys use to get aluminum back to a nice new appearance? I was thinking of taking the parts I want cleaned, to a shop and have them clean them.

I just want that new, bare aluminum color so I can clearcoat the parts!!

What cleaners do you all use on aluminum??
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:50 AM   #2
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Do you have any place around there that can hot tank your parts as this will clean them up like new.Brake cleaner,gunk,scotchbrite pads,wire brushes will get most of the age off along with a lot of time.
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic Man View Post
Do you have any place around there that can hot tank your parts as this will clean them up like new.Brake cleaner,gunk,scotchbrite pads,wire brushes will get most of the age off along with a lot of time.
I have a few machine shops around that could possibly do it. I may try cleaning it before I give in and spend cash to have someone else do it.
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:26 PM   #4
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My wife came up with an idea and that was to use Easy Off the stuff used to clean ovens. I don't know but it does get stuff cooked on so might be something to look at.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:35 PM   #5
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Oven cleaner, or any other drain cleaner -type product (lye), will pit and turn aluminum black. If you could soak your oil pan in a vat of oven cleaner, it will eventually dissolve the oil pan. The best thing would be to wash it in petroleum-based parts washer, steam clean it, and treat it with hydrofluoric acid. I don't think that is easy to come by, so sandblasting or bead blasting would be a good alternative. If you had it clear coated with powder coat, the blasting will be included in the powder coat price. I did exactly what I described using sandblasting and clear enamel spray, and the part looked as-sandblasted for about a year, and then began corroding right through the spray-can coating. I think clear powder coat is the way to go.
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Old 03-28-2009, 12:35 AM   #6
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Have you tried acetone?

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Old 03-28-2009, 12:31 PM   #7
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we wash aluminum parts at work with a powered precision cleaner called Alconox. all our parts are fresh out of a CNC machine and have coolant residue on them and thats what we use.

http://www.alconox.com/static/sectio...en_catalog.asp
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:03 PM   #8
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acetone!!! i weld aluminum all day and thats what we use to clean it
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acetone, alconox, aluminum, black, brake, cleaner, cleaning, clearcoat, coolant, ls1, oil, pan, parts, residue, solvent, solvents, washer

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