flexi
flexi New Reader
12/10/13 9:04 p.m.

I'm looking to clean up an ugly intake manifold (and some other aluminum parts). Is there a safe media that can take off corrosion and crud and yet not leave residual that will wreck an engine?

I've heard people use bead blasting - is that glass bead? for intake manifolds. How do you make sure the beads or their fragments are completely removed? Or is there a better media? Walnut shells or plastic?

HF is selling their 40 lb blast cabinet for $189.99 right now. So enable me , what should I get?

Rob_Mopar
Rob_Mopar SuperDork
12/10/13 9:44 p.m.

Yes bead blasting is glass bead. Works great for aluminum intake manifolds. As far as I know dry ice chips are the only blasting media that doesn't leave residue. And I don't think Harbor Freight is selling a dry ice blaster yet.

Whatever you blast it with, you need to clean it thoroughly afterward to make sure there isn't any blasting residue left. Lots of hot soapy water and lots of rinsing. If you think you got it all, wash & rinse it again. Blow dry with compressed air and check it again.

Depending on the part, I've also rinsed them thoroughly with brake clean. Unbaffled valve covers and other pieces that didn't have nooks and crannies to hold the blast material.

I also prefer to degrease the parts before tossing them in the cabinet.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn PowerDork
12/10/13 9:55 p.m.

Depending on how dirty the parts are, heavy duty aluminum wheel cleaner (the type meant for uncoated aluminum) works pretty well. It's nasty stuff with hydrofluoric acid, so wear rubber gloves and eye protection.

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltraDork
12/10/13 10:00 p.m.

Soda blasting(ie baking soda), water soluble so you can just rinse the residue off. I've read that you can use a basic siphon gun for it, like so http://www.harborfreight.com/1-liter-abrasive-blast-gun-92857.html a lot of the reviews seem to be using it with soda.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition HalfDork
12/10/13 10:48 p.m.

I looked into the HF cabinet. They are OK, but generally people find they need to upgrade the gun, the gloves, and the light. Also, you've got to seal them up well or they'll leak everywhere. After doing the research I bought one of these: www.barrelblaster.com. Turnkey vs. the HF version and made in the USA. Not much more money once you've done the upgrades on the HF one.

The compressor is key, as well. A 3 hp 60 gallon is the minimum size you'll need, and that's really kinda marginal.

Small soda blasting jobs can be done without a cabinet, with a medium sized compressor. I'm talking about doing one carb, for example. There are numerous resources on the web.

BMW uses walnut shells to clean intake valves in situ. The idea being they won't damage internals if they accidently get into the combustion chamber.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury MegaDork
12/11/13 10:18 a.m.

An even easier way to blast parts with baking soda CAN BE FOUND IN THE TECH TIPS FORUM.

youre welcome...

Don49
Don49 HalfDork
12/11/13 11:22 a.m.

How come no one has mentioned dishwasher?

flexi
flexi New Reader
12/11/13 11:37 a.m.

In reply to Don49: Those of us who are married would die a very unpleasant death if found out. Besides, would you want to eat that crud off a manifold? I wouldn't.

flexi
flexi New Reader
12/11/13 11:47 a.m.
Basil Exposition wrote: I looked into the HF cabinet. They are OK, but generally people find they need to upgrade the gun, the gloves, and the light. Also, you've got to seal them up well or they'll leak everywhere. After doing the research I bought one of these: www.barrelblaster.com. Turnkey vs. the HF version and made in the USA. Not much more money once you've done the upgrades on the HF one. BMW uses walnut shells to clean intake valves in situ. The idea being they won't damage internals if they accidently get into the combustion chamber.

The barrel blaster looks pretty nice. What do you think of it, now that you have used it? Can you use soda with it? Are the nozzles custom, or could I find carbide nozzles in the 'after-market'?

I'm leaning towards a soda or walnut shell solution right now. Do I need a special adapter for soda?

motomoron
motomoron SuperDork
12/11/13 12:21 p.m.

I won't use glass bead for internals, but I've never ~needed~ to blast internals, ever.

When I do something like a valve cover or intake manifold I take it outside after blasting, blow it it off the scrub it in HOT water w/ genuine Dawn brand dish detergent or Simple Green and brushes. I have a bunch of bottle brushes from 1/8" up to 3" to get in everywhere. Rinse and rinse and rinse some more, then blow it off again.

EDIT: I have done crusty valve heads and the odd piston crown in the past, but anymore I usually go to oven cleaner and aircraft stripper and brass or steel brushes.

Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar Associate Editor
12/11/13 12:59 p.m.
Kenny_McCormic wrote: Soda blasting(ie baking soda), water soluble so you can just rinse the residue off. I've read that you can use a basic siphon gun for it, like so http://www.harborfreight.com/1-liter-abrasive-blast-gun-92857.html a lot of the reviews seem to be using it with soda.

I had the Subaru's engine block hot-tanked. The guys said it didn't take everything off, so they offered to soda blast it. Still didn't remove everything, but it did a much better job and didn't damage any surfaces.

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/11/13 1:00 p.m.

Soda blasting is the E36 M3

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition HalfDork
12/11/13 3:44 p.m.
flexi wrote:
Basil Exposition wrote: I looked into the HF cabinet. They are OK, but generally people find they need to upgrade the gun, the gloves, and the light. Also, you've got to seal them up well or they'll leak everywhere. After doing the research I bought one of these: www.barrelblaster.com. Turnkey vs. the HF version and made in the USA. Not much more money once you've done the upgrades on the HF one. BMW uses walnut shells to clean intake valves in situ. The idea being they won't damage internals if they accidently get into the combustion chamber.
The barrel blaster looks pretty nice. What do you think of it, now that you have used it? Can you use soda with it? Are the nozzles custom, or could I find carbide nozzles in the 'after-market'? I'm leaning towards a soda or walnut shell solution right now. Do I need a special adapter for soda?

I like it. It is made of quality materials and it seals up well. The guy that makes them is a nice guy, as well. He has been making and selling these for a lot of years. He used to haul them around to swap meets, but now he deals exclusively over the internet. The parts are standard, as far as I can tell. I think you would need a different tip for soda, maybe HF sells one? When I did soda I just used a DIY gun, like that referenced in the Tech Tip.

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