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Cleaning Engine Cases

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Norcoastal, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. Norcoastal

    Norcoastal

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    I’m getting a pretty gritty set of engine cases.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to clean them so they look like new (well better than they are now anyway)?

    Open to ideas.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Ultrasonic bath?
     
  3. MichaelB

    MichaelB VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Vapor Blast. Will look better than new.

    I can first hand, highly recommend this outfit.
    https://partsreborn.com/
    Motorcycle rider people tending to motorcycle people.
     
  4. comnoz

    comnoz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Vapor or low pressure glass bead. I would not recommend a siphon type glass bead machine.

    Do not blast the inside of the cases as any abrasive will end up in the pores where it will stay -until it's in use.
     
  5. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Get it hot tanked first.

    Folks with blasters don't like dirty stuff.
     
  6. Time Warp

    Time Warp .......back to the 70's. VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Before you do anything (and it is surprising what Duragloss 851 and a hand brass bristle wooden handle wire brush can do) check those cases over closely including why the cam shaft pinion shaft is missing (hopefully not due to a flogged bore)

    IMG_0450.JPG
     
  7. kommando

    kommando

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Ultrasonic bath with oxalic acid solution, attacks the aluminium oxide and rust on steel to give you close to vapour blasted cases without the risk of grit hiding in crevices. Phosphoric acid works too but leave it in too long and you get aluminium phosphate on the aluminium as a dark smut which then needs removing.
     
  8. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Anyone using soda blasting? I hear that is preferred for engines as any residual particulates will dissolve in the post blast washing water.
     
  9. Richard Tool

    Richard Tool

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2019
    I used soda blast on my crankcases, cylinder head and gearbox shell - does not do as good a job as vapor blast but I was able to do it myself - be aware that that some sodium bicarbonate blast media has added aggressive abrasives - you DO NOT want this for your aluminum components .
     
    Tornado likes this.
  10. rvich

    rvich VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    My homemade parts washer is a large plastic tub and a sump pump with a hose attached. Circulate a dilute solution of the cleaner of choice. Some (like the Purple stuff) are not intended for use on aluminum because it will dull the surface. You decide based on your own bias. Simple Green works. Pinesol is a great one for cutting heavy grime, and it smells nice too, but its hard on your hands.
     
  11. joe czech

    joe czech

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2019
    amen!
     
  12. Norcoastal

    Norcoastal

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Now I’m very concerned.

    Are pinion shafts repairable?
     
  13. Scout63

    Scout63 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    +1 vapor blasting. I cleaned off grease and oil with petrol and a brush first.
     
  14. Jdub

    Jdub

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2018
    Hot tank or judicious and cranny-cleaning brushes, then for certain vapor blasting. The BMW guys swear by vapor blasting nowadays and you know how THEY are about their engine cases...
     
  15. rvich

    rvich VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Yes. They can be repaired. There are a lot of bikes out there with loose pinion shafts that rely on the timing cover to keep them in place. It isn't perfect, but its the reality. The biggest problem with the shaft being loose is that it makes it very hard to adjust the chain properly. So with that said, the fix is to make or buy a tool to hold the pinion shaft while you work on torquing and adjusting. Not only does this help prevent damage to the pinion shaft it also holds the thing in place so that you can get an accurate adjustment.

    If mine were loose enough to cause concern, I'd probably clean it all up, put some JB Weld on it and put on the timing cover until the JB Weld hardened. Making sure of course that I didn't glue my cover on. Others might recommend having it sleeved.
     
  16. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
  17. Norcoastal

    Norcoastal

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Great, thanks
     
  18. Norcoastal

    Norcoastal

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
  19. Norcoastal

    Norcoastal

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    I’ve Googled “vapor blasting near me” and I can’t find anyone around me that does this. I may need to send them out somewhere.
     
  20. MichaelB

    MichaelB VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    An option on the cases are to scrub them up real good and paint them.
    Norton painted them originally.
    Focus on detailing the Head and barrel.
     

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