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Cleaning An Aluminum Intake Manifold

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Madnomad, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. hotrodderhaag
    Joined: Jan 22, 2007
    Posts: 2,123


    i used to either glass bead blast them or use wheel acid for semi truck wheels and a piece of steel wool works great. the acid you can get at any truck stop
  2. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,123


    See if your local transmission rebuilder will clean it for you.
  3. rustang
    Joined: Sep 10, 2009
    Posts: 710


    I glassbeaded mine, then sent it through a "pots n pans" cycle on my wifes dishwasher...
  4. Carnuba
    Joined: Mar 19, 2012
    Posts: 430


    X2. I use the very fine white glass, (not the red garnet glass). Makes em look new. Nice sheen. I don't like the clear coat idea after glass beading. It changes the color of the aluminum to more resemble grey paint. If it gas stains, first try Gunk engine degreaser. If that don't work carefully cover painted surrounding areas and spray with Gumout carb spray or brake/parts spray.
  5. Carnuba
    Joined: Mar 19, 2012
    Posts: 430


  6. Bad Daddy
    Joined: Nov 13, 2010
    Posts: 829

    Bad Daddy

    Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
  7. Gomojo55
    Joined: May 18, 2011
    Posts: 97


    I've used Eagle 1 mag wheel cleaner with great success. It etches the aluminum to bring the brightness back out. Don't let it dry though. Just follow the directions on the bottle and treat it as if it was a wheel.
  8. no55mad
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 1,864


    Spray with WD40 and then brush with a stainless steel brush (tooth brush size).
  9. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,917

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    The OP asked for things short of media blasting and then we get lots of replies on blasting it :rolleyes:

    And other weird suggestions. The Aluminum Jelly will leave it looking new and preserve the original appearance.

    Many of the other ideas suggested (especially the wire brushing) will alter the surface finish and appearance.
  10. the boogieman
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 33

    the boogieman

    sounds like a job for pine sol!
  11. Carnuba
    Joined: Mar 19, 2012
    Posts: 430


    I don't think he's going to be happy with anything short of media blasting. And yes, I agree, wire brushing of any sort will make it look like ass.
  12. rustang
    Joined: Sep 10, 2009
    Posts: 710


    +1 /\/\/\/\ I would not wire wheel it.. the brass wires would turn the aluminum black stainless wheel would still make it look like blast is the way to go IMO....but I've not done any of the chemical dips before, so who knows...
  13. josh77
    Joined: Jun 8, 2008
    Posts: 235


    I use a citrus concentrate spray and an old toothbrush.
  14. Hiway Star
    Joined: Oct 3, 2012
    Posts: 10

    Hiway Star

    Hey Nomad - I Have done many manifolds over the years. I have found that a good SAND blasting with fine sand will clean the aluminum great. But that is just a starting point. Follow that up with a fine steel or brass wire wheel on a high speed drill motor and go over every part of the surface you can to bring up as much shine as possible. Then, while the manifold is fresh and clean, spray it with a clear single stage urethane two part finish. I use Nason clear( part of the Du Pont family of finishes) and let it cure for a couple days at 70 degrees.
    The clear will dull the manifold back toward the gray color, but will be fuel proof and all you have to do is wipe it clean... not many things stick to it.
    Whatever you do, don't use spray can paint. Even VHT clear is not the same as it once was.
    Hope this info helps.
  15. jimbousman
    Joined: Jul 24, 2008
    Posts: 543


    ....and if it is really stained and discolored you can alway paint it with one of the new mat metallic paints. Yes, yes, I know it's a sin to paint raw aluminum but done right you cannot tell the difference from a bead blast original and it will always look bright and sparkly.
  16. Tom S. in Tn.
    Joined: Jan 16, 2011
    Posts: 1,108

    Tom S. in Tn.

    I've used paint stripper in the past. Looked like new.
    The next best idea was already mentioned is Purple Power Cleaner which is very much like, if not the exact same as Aluminum Wheel Cleaner, and best to use after stripping it first. Then use Green or other detergent based cleaner and run through the dish washer if you're a fanatic for show quality clean.

    I would not use oven cleaner. Oxidizes ferrous as well as non-ferrous metals.
    Also, I would not clear coat if you're after an original appearance.
    Tom S.
  17. I use the raw aluminum wheel cleaner

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