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How to clean crankcase, transmission case and brake drums?
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William Crowell
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:36 am    Post subject: How to clean crankcase, transmission case and brake drums? Reply with quote

I've got my engine and transmission out of my car, and have already cleaned all the grease of of them with solvent, but am left with a brown film that I haven't been able to remove. The brown film is even thicker on the brake drums. Do you guys recognize what I'm talking about? Is it dirt, or what? And how can I remove it?

I tried oven cleaner on the brake drums, but it didn't seem to do very much.

I don't want to disassemble the engine or transmission, so I wouldn't want to media blast them. I might sandblast the drums, though. Whatsay?

Thanks.
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Unobtanium-inc
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wire brush and mineral spirits, wear thick gloves and glasses.
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fcampbell356
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use lot's of elbow grease, rub hard.
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Unobtanium-inc
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frank knows, he has probably cleaned a few more than me.
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Pat KG
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carb cleaner works.
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William Crowell
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again, guys. I think I'll try carb cleaner and a brass wire brush.
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dawerks
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use 'concrete etch cleaner' mixed with water. The stuff is AWESOME! It obliterates grease (and rust to a degree). Plus it's cheap.

But you have to be careful with it, it's pretty powerful stuff.
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gordon maltby
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:10 pm    Post subject: cleaning aluminum Reply with quote

William, I think you'd be amazed at how effective soda blasting is on that type of job. It will remove almost any stain and have little or no effect on the surface. Residue is washed off with water. You can buy a soda blast attachment for your bead blaster from Scat (TP Tools) or have it done by a shop. I would not mess with nasty chemicals before I try it.

Gordon
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bbspdstr
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be very careful with the chemistry, as aluminum or cast light metals can turn a dark gray if the wrong 2 come together.

The safest is the soda blasting, as Gordon recommends. If rinsed well, it doesn't clog any openings, including carb bodies. It's environmentally friendly, too.

Other than that, I have used paint stripper, especially on brake drums. Let it do the work and occasionally keep it wet and agitated gently, then rinse. An old trick is then steel wool and WD40, easiest with no studs, massaged into the metal for a nice sheen, not shine. Wipe off and they are preserved and looking natural.

One thing to remember is to not open pores of a casting with too aggressive an approach. You want to keep the 'look' of a new cast or forged part, not rough or stained or corroded, as an 'opened' surface will allow.

Another idea is to use an automotive machine shop that has a parts 'dishwasher' that uses hot high-pressure water and detergent to clean major parts. A nominal charge and let THAT do the work. Basically, "all of the above" can work, but what is best for the least (work or money) is determined by the owner. Be careful.
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bbspdstr
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:56 am    Post subject: Re: How to clean crankcase, transmission case and brake drum Reply with quote

William Crowell wrote:
............I don't want to disassemble the engine or transmission, so I wouldn't want to media blast them. I might sandblast the drums, though. Whatsay?Thanks.


William, I reread your original thread and have another idea for assembled or "fully dressed" units. IF the inlets to any internal passages are sealed and the carbs covered with plastic baggies and tape and the trans vent is, too.....you can use a strong detergent and a pressure washer. Much of the old chemistry we used to use is now unavailable or weakened, but an auto supply store may recommend what's best to spray and/or brush on prior to pressure-washing.

If there were no painted parts in the line of fire, I'd recommend a gun full of the cheapest lacquer thinner. Fast and easy....I do it all the time.

If it wasn't clear before, I recommend NO sandblasting or glassbeading, etc. around anything involved with oil and bearings.
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overrestored
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After soda blasting them... for a nice factory looking finish on the outer faces of the brake drums... use oooo steel wool soaked in a lot of WD40 spray. This creates an almost perfect surface character.
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TK6A5
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

overrestored wrote:
After soda blasting them... for a nice factory looking finish on the outer faces of the brake drums... use oooo steel wool soaked in a lot of WD40 spray. This creates an almost perfect surface character.


+1 I have used this technique also and it makes them look real nice without making them to shiny. If you look at period pictures you will notice that the drums aside from the machined surfaces were actually quite dull
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