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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the deal: I have a Bonnie semi-basket with only 6k miles. Previous owner said bottom end is perfect. I really don't want to get into the cases unless I absolutely have to. Dilemma: cases look pretty rowdy. They look dingey to the maximum. I've seen the soda-blasted look and it looks like new cast aluminum.

If I were to take the motor and button it up tight as a drum, plug all openings with rubber plugs, make sure all holes are filled, would it be safe to soda blast intact? I'm not really trying to just slack off, it's just that I don't have any of the specialty tools and spent all of my money on the bike, and the rest is going into having the top end rebuilt.

I realize blasting an intact motor isn't the best option, but im just wondering if it can be done responsibly and Also, if anyone here has ever attempted it.

Thanks.
 

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im just wondering if it can be done responsibly .

Thanks.
No, it cannot be done responsibly. You CANNOT seal one up well enough. Not to mention, 99% of the time a previous owner tells you the bottom end is fine, the sludge trap is packed full of shit.

If you're that concerned about the way it looks and unwilling to blow it apart, get some Super Clean and some wire brushes and have at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah that's what i was afraid of. I guess I'm just going to have to soldier through the bottom end and try to do it cheaply. I'm just dreading buying all those specialty tools! I guess in the long run, it would be better doing it now instead of getting a new top end on and grenading the lower due to sludge chunks.
 

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Crack the cases! Collect cans, cash in your change cut back on you utilities. I did it. It took almost two years but the pay off is worth it, ten fold.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, I'm 100% convinced now. I'll do it right! Let's just say that i crack em and everything is okay. I clean the sludge trap, etc, how much money do you think it'll cost Just to get into em?
 

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$400-800 roughly in parts if the engines in good shape. You'd be crazy not to replace all the basic wear items while the engines split, and think about machine work on the crank and top end, which can easily double the cost. Rebuilding a engine is nothing to jump into if you've never done one... without supervision of someone experienced. And I'm assuming this would be your first rodeo if your asking about blasting a intact motor.
 

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You will be surprised what wire wheels and some elbow grease can do. If the concern is saving money I wouldnt be buying blasting equiptment, theres plenty other things youll need. Thats one of those things to farm out if you have to have the engine you can eat off. It will cost more than your planning, more than you think and them alittle more yet. ;)
 

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Even when I split my cases I don't blast them, throw them in the parts washer get the pneumatic grinder with a wire attachment, the shine you can get is incredible. Most blasting media actually will leave a far duller finish.
 

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you've already gotten the correct answer, NO.

but I'm still so appalled by the "cherry" motor that I bought (via Jim Dodson at Gangster choppers), that I post pics any time I can. Sorta like the new pictures on cigarettes, just in case you were thinking about doing it...... Needless to say, I won't be buying another used motor from them.


















 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice tips everyone. Hopefully with the help of the four aces DVDs I can tackle it. I knew that blasting an intact motor was a bad idea, I just saw some moron online who did it to a honda CB and it got me wondering. Are the 4 aces DVDs sufficient enough for a novice to rebuild a low end unsupervised?
 

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Can someone post a pic of the wire wheels they are using? I have to put the engine back up on the bench when everything goes out for paint and I wouldn't mind going at the cases a little bit.
 

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Wes's DVD is helpful. You'll want the correct workshop manual, and make a friend you can pester with questions on the phone or in town. Don't forget you'll need the CORRECT specialty tools.
 

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http://www.amazon.com/Lisle-14020-2-1-Wire-Brush/dp/B000P0ZJBU

It's nice to have a 1" cup and a 2-1/2" cup for main surface areas. Also a wheel version for areas require a different approach. The parts washer allows a good lubricant and cleaning agent when using the brushes. It does take a bit of practice to get a nice even finish. Do not wire wheel any gasket surfaces! Use a razor blade or gasket scraper.
 

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I never wire wheel any castings. I use "Alumnabrite" It's basically phosphoric acid. It leaves them brite and shiny AND unaltered. Wire wheels will change the finish, and you'll have to do all of it. I do use wire brushes, but only small ones and just to dislodge crap from nooks and crannies. Using a power wire brush will definitely flatten the casting, and make it look kinda half shiny. Mild acid solutions will take out the stains and leave the metal alone.

I only blast what I want a blasted look on, as it alters the base metal also. I have cleaned up used motors without disassembling them and the phosphoric acid works like a charm. I would never assume a motors good, unless I built it and knew it well. Used is a very widely interpreted term.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Oh okay, I've never heard of alumabrite. Do you happen to have any before and after photos? Also, soda blasting changes the surface of the metal?
 
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