Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads! - The Jockey Journal Board

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Old 02-18-2011, 12:14 PM   #1
2Loose
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Question Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

Pulled apart my '62 pan motor, first time it's been apart in 40 years, have owned it for 42 yrs, have been trying to clean it up, and the black crap baked on the cylinder fins and heads is really stubborn!

Have tried gasket remover, and oven cleaner, with limited success, scrubbing with a wire brush with the oven cleaner gave the best results, but can't get in between the fins with the wire brush to thoroughly clean it. Maybe if I could find a smaller wire brush that would fit down between the fins........

I had those barrels metal sprayed with an aluminum finish in 1970, it has lasted well all these years, but as the motor aged and has some small leaks here and there, if I didn't keep it scrupulously clean it got baked on! Parked this bike in '92 with tranny problems and lots of leaks, when I picked up a '91 FXDB (Sturgis Special) and started riding that every day, but am now restoring the '62 (slowly, and carefully), and trying to get the jugs, heads and cases really sparkling clean! Not polished, that's not me at all, just clean.....

Am hesitant to do a glass bead job, which I am sure would clean them up, but might also take off that metal spray finish, which I want to keep!

The jugs are 0.060" over bore, and I can't find more than 0.001" taper in the cylinders, and there is no ridge to cut, so am just going to hone, put in new rings, do a valve job, and go with it! The bottom end is solid! Been running a .468 Sifton solid cam all those years, just going to leave it and see how she runs!

Always ran AeroShell straight 50 weight, and always warmed up the motor before getting on it, it paid off, the motor looks great inside!

Anyway, enough rattling on, looking for IDEAS on how to get these jugs/heads sparkling clean, anyone out there got suggestions???

Much Aloha,
"2Loose" Willy

Last edited by 2Loose; 01-09-2013 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

Here's how it looked after pulling the heads off...
(this after about 22 years of almost daily operation, about 60,000 miles, ya don't get to go far living on an island...)


And after a session with some gasket remover....
It's a little cleaner, but I'm going to keep working on it...


Link to more pix (scroll down to bottom)
Aloha,
Willy
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

Willy!

Aeroshell RULES!

But this may be one time when the motor knows best, and you should only clean what comes off easy.

More History has been destroyed by "restoration" than will EVER be preserved.

Seriously.
Well, it would be serious if it weren't for that belt thingy.
Nevermind. Blast the bitch.

....Cotten
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

I got a handheld soda blaster from HF, works great without affecting the alloy.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

I was going to suggest soda blasting as well. From what I understand soda blasting is really the way to go nowadays. They use baking soda which is not nearly as abrasive to the metal and it is more environmentally friendly as well. I can't attest to how pricey it is but for this kind of job I would think that it would be money well spent.
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotten View Post
......if it weren't for that belt thingy.......
Hey, I put that belt drive on in at least 1972, maybe '73, and ran it all over a goodly portion of the lower 48 in 1975, and a good portion of Canada, so it is a piece of history also, a Primo Belt Drive, used to eat my left pants cuffs if I didn't remember to roll 'em up....
And no, I never was tempted to stick my fingers in there....
Yeah, I think I am just going to "ovenoff" and wire brush the edges of the fins, and leave it with the "history"....
It was running great when I last shut it down, just the tranny, spokes, wheel bearings slowly going south, cracks in the original frame I chopped, have fixed all that, the motor should be good to go with a simple hone job, new rings, and a valve job, and of course new gaskets, will post pix of the first run when it is back on the road....
Aloha,
Willy

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Old 02-19-2011, 04:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

I,d like to see the pistons from running that oil. the tops look like it was using oil. was it ?
bob
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

The major complaint I have heard about soda blasting (aside from the expense) is that you can't see a thing inside the cabinet.

Visibility is always an issue with any blasting, but apparently soda results in a "white-out".

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Old 02-19-2011, 07:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

I use my soda blaster outdoors, no cabinet.
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

Quote:
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I use my soda blaster outdoors, no cabinet.
Ob1quixote!

I could very well lose my license from the State if I tried that.
Or at least the city would shut me down!
....Cotten
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

howdy check this out:http://www.aircooledtech.com/tools-o.../soda_blaster/

this should be fine for you needs..if not hey it didnīt cost arm and a leg...

Timppa
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

Thats why we like it the way we do it 'round here! Too many Yanks wanna move here and bring their Nanny State ways along for the ride.

We even have beer koozies that say "Go back to Ohio"!


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Ob1quixote!

I could very well lose my license from the State if I tried that.
Or at least the city would shut me down!
....Cotten
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

Would vapor blasting work for a task like this?

-Bill
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

Quote:
Originally Posted by timppa-69 View Post
howdy check this out:http://www.aircooledtech.com/tools-o.../soda_blaster/

this should be fine for you needs..if not hey it didnīt cost arm and a leg...

Timppa

This works great if you have a massive air compressor.

i used a 2.5hp 40lt and it worked for 0.5 of a second every 5 minutes....

But it does work when you have the gear!
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:35 PM   #15
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

Quote:
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Ob1quixote!

I could very well lose my license from the State if I tried that.
Or at least the city would shut me down!
....Cotten
Why? Soda should be bio-degradeable.
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

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Why? Soda should be bio-degradeable.
ROOkie!

I don't make the rules, whether EPA restrictions or zoning.
They make them up as they go.

Twenty years ago a State Police Inspector put his finger in my face and said if ever caught me with a spray gun he would march me up the street to the jail.

And Illinois bureaucracy has only gone from bad to worse since then, especially now that it has run up a thirteen billion dollar deficit, and don't look now but guess what political machine runs the White House.


....Cotten
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:33 PM   #17
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

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Why? Soda should be bio-degradeable.
The soda maybe Bio-Degradeable ~ But the shit that is coming off with it isn't!!!!!! You need to contain the none safe crap and not just leave it on the ground.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:53 AM   #18
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

If that oil had only dripped off when it leaked, it would be fine. But now that it is burnt-on cylinder grunge, it is unsafe?

And what ground is it falling on? Outside my shop is asphalt. Isnt it dangerous, all the petroleum product just laying there?

Anyways, a handheld soda blaster will do the job and do it well without damage to the parts. Wear a nuisance dust mask and have a box fan close by to move the cloud. Rinse well with soapy water.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:05 AM   #19
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Thumbs up Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

'62 RULES !! God Bless ya', Bro" !!!! I have been riding the same '62 for almost 44 years now ! My Dad,( God Rest him!),bought her in '68 and named her Nellie Belle.I was 13 the first time I rode her, and he gave her to me in '72 when I graduated High School!I have over 78000 since the last top end rebuild,done in the mid '90's, I think ! I will be doing valve and bore soon, but I really hate to tear her down, she starts and runs SO GOOD !!! But, she's smoking at idle from the front cylinder,so I have to! It's great to find someone that has had a '62 on the road nearly as long as Nellie and I have been !!! ( I just posted some photos on here!) Ride Safe, and God Bless !!!
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:15 PM   #20
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Default Re: Cleaning My 40 yr old Cylinders and Heads!

Thanks for the comments JB, my '62, "Ol Red", is my first HD, had a Honda Super Hawk when I got outta the Army, then traded that for a '62 BSA Lightning. Was riding the Lightning over on the big island in '68 or '69 with some buddies when I ran into a guy riding this '62. He had bought it at a Honolulu PD auction and bobbed it, but wanted to sell it in order to get the money to buy an Indian he had run across, so I bought it and chopped it. She served me faithfully for many, many years, but had a hard 60,000 or so by '92 so I stored her in my shed and bought a used '91 FXDB (Sturgis Special) I had run across. Still have that one, pretty much wore her out also, so parked her and will do a resto when I get "Ol Red" back on the road....

I took Ol Red on one mainland trip in '75, shipped into Oakland from Maui, rode along the Coast to Canada, across Canada, taking in Jasper Park, Edmonton, Winnepeg, then down to the HD factory in Milwaukee, down to Nashville, and back across via Des Moines (family), Reno (more family), and back to Oakland where I shipped her home. Ran into a club in Edmonton (Rebels M/C) and partied with them, and rode across to Winnepeg with them, partying along the way, had a great time!!!

Ol Red never let me down on that trip, only problem I had was in Jasper Park, where it got so cold that night that in the morning the 50 wgt oil was so thick, I couldn't kick 'er over hard enough to get the Joe Hunt mag to light a fire!!! A local guy gave me a tow with his pickup (risky with any bike, but especially with a 16 over front end!!!), skidded the tires in the first three gears, but she fired off in 4th and I was able to get on my way, never had a problem after that on the trip!

Here's some pix of the pistons. I never saw any evidence of burning oil, she did run rich though. I spent some time trying to tune that out of the old Linkert carb, but she seemed to run her best when she was running slight rich (could smell the fuel), so eventually I just left it that way. I think the carbon buildup on the pistons is fuel, but some bit of oil consumption could be involved also. Can anyone tell the difference between oil consumption and rich fuel burning looking at those piston crowns???

Front Piston, front side....


Front Piston, back side....


Rear Piston, back side....


Now I gotta pull those pistons and clean them up. Ordered a set of .050" over OEM style rings to fit back in there after honing the barrels. The pistons mike out at stock plus 50 or so close I can hardly tell any diff....
And the barrels are only showing max 0.001" wear on the thrust side...

I think she's good to go once I get 'er cleaned up and back together...
Aloha,
Willy


Last edited by 2Loose; 02-20-2011 at 12:40 PM. Reason: Added Pix.....
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