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  1. #1
    Ridiculously new to this Rodfather73's Avatar
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    Best way to clean engine parts

    I've recently broken my engine (1981 CB750K) completely down and started scraping the years of dirt, grime, etc. off. I began with Super Clean degreaser, a toothbrush, long thin screwdriver and a ton of paper towels. This weekend I started using LA's Awesome Cleaner from Dollar General and a pressure washer. Both ways work fairly well, but there is still some corners and crevices and cavities I can't quite get to. Does anyone have any advice for general cleaning of engine parts that is not as time consuming, more comprehensive and doesn't come with an hourly rate? Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    CB750 Guru amc49's Avatar
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    ALL parts cleaning has an hourly rate. I say that after thousands of hours doing it in mechanical work.

    I myself use solvent based cleaners instead of water based, the water based can work but never to the degree the solvent ones will. Safer of course, until you allow for the max effect ones that use whopping amounts of alkali and then they are worse than the solvents. Any alkali not fully rinsed clean will wreck parts if left overnight, they corrode horribly.

    ALL engines use gasoline and oil and the deposits are formed of such minus the volatile component. The thing that cuts them fastest is more of the same and soaktime to let them convert the dried and cooked on deposits back into more of the same surrounding them. I use fuel but outside and no source of flame anywhere. Cheap and works great and the ethanol added to it now actually makes the parts release all oil based residues completely now where before the parts would water rinse then have an oily film on them. Not any more, a water rinse pretty much has you at a bone dry part once it dries. By soaktime I mean a short set amount, leaving parts in ethanol fuel overnight will see the fuel phase separate and then you have corroded parts the next day.

    To clean parts high pressure air from a blower nozzle is just about required, no paper towels, which have no business around clean parts anyway, too much paper lint getting all over the place. The air will often remove great areas in deep corners of stacked up dirt too saving lots of toothbrush work.
    Last edited by amc49; 04-16-2018 at 10:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Moderator dirtdigger's Avatar
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    Agree water based cleaners do not work as well as solvent no matter what the bottle says. I do enough engine stuff I have a pressure wash cabinet I use first with extremely dirty parts then I go to the standard parts washing tank with solvent. My final wash when I am in a hurry is the aerosol cans of 3M brake parts cleaner, havent found a better one, I use it last because it cleans very well and dries fast with no residue. Air hose spraying off to dry and clean out galleries. For oil galleries in crank etc I use a cheap gun cleaning kit with the rods and brass brushes that fits the holes.

  4. #4
    CB750 New Member kmanator's Avatar
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    I have good results with the "Zep" degreaser from home-Deepo but I think it's the same as "Purple Power" brand sold elsewhere? I buy the gallon size and spray it out of the pump up bug juice sprayers sold at the home stores...let it soak for 5 minutes then pressure wash it with my 1500 psi electric PW. Be careful though it with etch[dull] polished aluminum.

  5. #5
    CB750 Guru amc49's Avatar
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    ' Be careful though it with etch[dull] polished aluminum.'

    That is easily enough to ruin say pistons or bearing registers in cases. Why one never drops aluminum parts in a vat (caustic soda, more alkali) like car parts commonly use. I have ruined a nice head before leaving it 12 hours in 'supersafe water miscible paint stripper'.

  6. #6
    Ridiculously new to this Rodfather73's Avatar
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    Thank you all for these responses. I'm taking this on as a project bike and will be using trial and error on most aspects. This is just one of the many aspects I've been looking forward to tackling. After cleaning, my next venture is polishing/buffing the aluminum casings, of which I am also a rookie. So I look forward to that as well.

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