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The best way to clean an aluminum intake

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Lono, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. Lono
    Joined: May 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,384


    I picked up a used intake and want to clean it up nice nice before installing on my 360. Any suggestions on what works best ( there's no bead blasters around here so I need a chemical fix).

    Nix the engine shampoo
    skip the oven cleaner.... what have you used for the best success?

  2. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,846

    from trevose pa

    For the degreaser I think its called Eagle One Magwheel cleaner ,Then beadblast ,I would paint it ,If you dont have access to a bead blaster
  3. Try aerosol Carb Cleaner and a toothbrush...

  4. Acetone or brake cleaner works quite well, then wash it with hot water with a little dishsoap mixed in, rinse with hot water let it dry completely then coat it with clear engine paint (satin) It will look sharp and stay that way!
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  5. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478


    SOS pads, in the hard to reach spots hold the pad with needle nose pliers.
    Joined: Mar 30, 2010
    Posts: 3,254


    carb cleaner & toothbrush .
    i blasted mine & valve covers look kick ass.
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 33,999


    Mineral spirits paint thinner type solvent will get the thick oily deposits off, but you'll need carb cleaner or lacquer thinner to get rid of the varnish fuel stains. Rust stains will probably need to be bead blasted off.
  8. Lono
    Joined: May 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,384


    no bead blasters around here.. sand blasting only.
    will try the armstrong methods first i guess.
  9. 32-3 WINDOW
    Joined: Nov 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,697

    32-3 WINDOW
    from utah

    i have a 5 gal bucket of berryman carb cleaner dip it the hot water jet it comes out as clean as a babbys buttocks
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 33,999


    good luck fitting that intake in a 5 gal bucket
  11. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478


    if the sand blaster put glass beads in the pot it would be a bead blaster, any cheap blaster would work, just use fine beads, but i dont like to look of bead blasting.
  12. aacfmach
    Joined: Jul 17, 2009
    Posts: 28


    There is an acid made for cleaning aluminum, busch makes some they have a display at most bigger rod meets, or go to a heavy truck parts house. Mix it about 4 times stronger that the directions say and it will take a million years of gunk off. Don't let it dry or it will leave terrible streaks and other wise it will leave the part kind of bleached out white like all aluminum after age. Trucker use it to clean aluminum trailers also work for a good prep for polishing weathered aluminum. Hope this helps, best I got!!!
  13. TheWrenchbender
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 60

    from Belton SC

    Send it to the vat, or better yet send it to a vat with heated diluted caustic acid in it then it'll shine like new money. I used to work at a company called Wells Aluminum here in Belton we had a vat like that in the die shop, we cleaned a lot of intakes, valve covers and even a few motorcycle parts in it. We just never let the bosses know what we were doing.:D
  14. pastlane
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,054


    If no bead blast cabinet is available blast it with very fine sand and it will look great.
  15. shanesflames
    Joined: Dec 21, 2005
    Posts: 139


    Try marine clean ive been useing it for all cleaning projects lately.Paint stores have it ..POR-15 boys use it.
  16. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,964

    Blue One
    from Alberta

  17. hammerstien
    Joined: Sep 16, 2010
    Posts: 49


    The soap from a k&n cleaner kits works awesome. It cuts all of the oil and will etch the aluminum if you let it sit for too long. I recently used it on an old torker and it looks like new, it even removed all of the fuel varnish from people doing jet swaps without draining the bowls right. I buy it by the gallon at my local yamaha shop.
  18. After it's clean, soda blast it.
  19. Fast67VelleN2O
    Joined: Mar 6, 2007
    Posts: 494


    NAPA wheel cleaner. The stuff used to clean cast aluminum. Works wonders. Scrub the intake with it.
  20. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,763



    As found.


    After glass beading.


    And finally powder coated.
  21. 50Delux
    Joined: Oct 19, 2009
    Posts: 153

    from Michigan

    Ive used toliet bowl cleaner mixed with water and that works good.
  22. selohssa
    Joined: Jun 16, 2009
    Posts: 412


    I get roasted every time I say this but muriatic acid works great. If you bead blast it, the look changes but muriatic acid will make it look like it did when it first came out of the box. I mix it 4:1 with water and first get the part clean of any gunk and grime. Spray the intake and let it sit for 30-60 seconds. use a stiff bristled brush to clean any stains (wear rubber gloves and a face shield). DO NOT LET THIS STUFF DRY. Rinse it off with water and repeat if necesarry.
  23. I clean and degrease as good as possible, then coat them down with cast aluminum paint. Get enough paint on it and it will always clean up good after some use. Looks just as good as bare aluminum!!
  24. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 5,128


  25. x2. Soda blasted my blower manifold and it came back like new.
  26. I've used this method too. Decent results, but I still go back to Eagle 1 Chrome and Wire Wheel cleaner. It's a caustic material but it works better than anything else I've tried. Spray it on, let it sit for a few minutes then scrub it with a toothbrush, rinse it thoroughly and see how it looks. Sometimes the tougher stains may need a second or even third treatment.
  27. Road Runner
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 1,197

    Road Runner

    Various mild acid solutions are safe and will remove the oxide surface of aluminum, for cleaning.
    Lye (sodium hydroxide) and muriatic acid (diluted HCL) are very caustic and can result in a violent reaction with aluminum and are not so safe.
    It's too strong an acid for cleaning aluminum and will rather disolve it.

    After its clean, you can have it clear anodized to preserve the surface longer, restoring and increasing thickness of the protective oxide coating.
  28. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478


  29. Iceberg460
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 880


    Had an old timer tell me to use wire wheel acid, but was never able to find any. Anybody else tried that stuff?

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