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  #1  
Old 11-19-2018, 04:23 PM
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Soda blasters.....

I'm trying to figure out just what to get. It looks like a soda blaster is the way to go. Or is it?

The biggest thing I will ever be cleaning is a cylinder head and not many of those. Mostly alloy parts that I have degreased and want to look nicer before I bolt them back in.

I looked at gravity fed sprayers but apparently you have to refill them about every thirty seconds.

I have a lot of land around me so I don't need a blast cabinet. I just want to be able to go to the shop on a nice day and clean stuff but I want something that will work and not work me.

Think about an alloy radiator fan like you might find on a 108. That's the kind of stuff I am talking about cleaning. Or perhaps a warm up regulator for a 450sl.

Right now I am changing the cam on a six cylinder Fintail and I hate to install the one I found caked up like it is. The lobes are fine but the rest of it has about 50 years of baked on oil.

Any comments on stuff you have used?
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2018, 05:25 PM
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Soda is actually quite an expensive way to go - mainly because you are meant to use it just the one time. With sand you can sieve and re-use. I use sand - speed blast - lightest weight sand.

I've got a cheapo DIY sand blasting kettle and an under powered compressor. It does the job - just. I've built a large sand blasting cabinet to contain the dust - made an extraction system so I can see in the cabinet too. The weakest part of my system is the compressor. It is a single phase jobber running at about the maximum you can suck from a single phase supply here (tis different from the US => 50Hz 220V - 16 amp supply). The compressor is rated at 320 Litres/min but it isn't really enough. For decent sand blasting (and probably decent soda blasting) I reckon you need to be looking at three phase compressors that can shift upwards of 800 litres a minute - otherwise you'll be waiting for tanks to refill...

...if you want to do cleaning like the camshaft I think you're better off using chemicals to shift the caked on oil rather than an abrasive medium like soda or sand. You'd have to mask the lobes to stop them from being nadgered - chemicals would probably be quicker and easier to keep off the shiny parts
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  #3  
Old 11-19-2018, 06:38 PM
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I have done a lot of media blasting-it works great but is messy if outside a cabinet. But a cabinet is confining. A pressure pot blaster is more efficient-I have rigged a plastic tent to contain the mess but you will need a supplied air respirator. I would not use "sand" or any thing other than walnut or plastic bead on engine parts-a few grains of grit will ruin a cylinder wall. Also your air supply needs to be very dry or you will constantly have problems with clogging. I built a aftercooler and trap between the output of the compressor and the tank to cool the air and collect the moisture. It is difficult to remove moisture from hot air.
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  #4  
Old 11-19-2018, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony H View Post
It is difficult to remove moisture from hot air.
What? Are you suggesting Idle is surrounded by hot air?

I'm a "glass bead" kind of guy. Sand is too abrasive and as Stretch mentioned, soda and walnut shells are an expensive way to go.

Cabinets are restrictive but much nicer to use. I bought a HongKong Freight one on special for $69, added a "real" pick-up tube and nozzle assembly, got a "Bucket Head" set-up from home depot and added a switch to control the light/vacuum. Works a treat and any loose beads which pass through the foam filter can be recycled back into the blast chamber.

Wouldn't work on a radiator but I don't know why anyone would want to blast one anyway. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

Regarding air pressure. Most people use too much pressure. About 20-40 psi is about right. De-greasing your parts is key.

https://www.kramerindustriesonline.com/resources/blasting-media-selection-guide/
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  #5  
Old 11-19-2018, 09:06 PM
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I wouldn't blast anything oily with solid media especially if it is a recycling cabinet, you will end up with clumps.

Be aware that soda blasted parts need some sort of after treatment if you are going to paint them as the paint won't stick for very long.

As for moisture, having a second tank helps cool and pull moisture from the air. A refrigerated dryer is great but $$ . If you have a large compressor pump, more tank reduces the number of starts. If you have a small pump, this gives more blast time before you out run the pump.
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  #6  
Old 11-20-2018, 11:37 AM
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It's answers like these that are impossible to get outside of a forum setting. You folks have given me a lot to think about.

The last time I used a refrigerant dryer was 1977 and the cost then was right at $1,000. But if you need dry air this will deliver it.

Based on just what is said here it looks like I need to rethink this project. I might have to go big or not at all to get to what I want.

And thanks! And if anyone has anything else to add then don't be shy. I am sure others can use this info, too.
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2018, 12:53 PM
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More info?

If you're keen on cleaning black burnt oil based stuff from engine parts try Cellulose thinner. It is cheap - smells dreadful (wear a mask) - don't get it on your skin or your eyes. It works a treat on old fashioned underseal so I guess it'll come good for burnt oil too.
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1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

I'm here to chat about cars and to help others - I'm not here "to always be right" like an internet warrior



Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2018, 01:15 AM
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The aftercooler I built worked very well-even in winter when it was humid. It is basically a fan powered large plate transmission cooler than outputs to a moisture trap then to the tank. It cools the air and removes the moisture before it goes into the tank so the tank stays cool.
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  #9  
Old 11-21-2018, 07:26 AM
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For what you want to do, it will be much less expensive to outsource the cleaning. Do not consider any form of abrasive blasting on internal engine parts or the lubricating system.
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2018, 10:54 AM
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Oh - just remembered another tip - allot wheel cleaner often does a nice job of smartening up alloy castings - be aware that some of them can tarnish alloys if left for too long soaking. You probably won't get them looking like new but they will look loved with these cleaners.

(Others have tried oven cleaners - but - I can't stand the hacking coughing you get from using that poison - all very dodgy)
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1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

I'm here to chat about cars and to help others - I'm not here "to always be right" like an internet warrior



Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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  #11  
Old 11-21-2018, 11:40 PM
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BYW-oven cleaner does a great job of cleaning greasy parts..
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2018, 05:32 PM
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I will give the chemicals mentioned here a try. Both of them. And report back.

It might be a week or so. We are getting four inches of snow tonight and temps in the low 20's next week. But after that I should have some good weather.

And I have plenty of outdoors to work in. My nearest neighbor is about a mile or so away so there is no chance of upsetting them.

After that on to looking into having the work done by an outsider. My situation is that the nearest place to me doing this sort of work is about 100 miles away. This is why I was wondering if I should get into it myself. The only customer I would have is me, though.
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2018, 11:46 AM
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A report on the oven cleaner method.....

It works.

I first used the yellow can Easy Off oven cleaner. The results were poor. So I went with the black can Easy Off, the type used for BBQ pits.

It worked far beyond anything I expected.

This stuff sprays on and then must sit for at least 40 minutes. It goes on as a foam and has no chemical smell. The foam cleaner and the oil/grease dissolved into a light goo and wiped off with a rag. And I mean it just wiped right off.

Then I put the part in a large plastic tub and sprayed it again. Then into the truck, to the car wash, and a power spray knocked off the last remaining bits from the steel. It worked well on alloy parts, but not perfect. There is still some hand cleaning to do on the alloy but the heavy sludge is gone.

After that I sprayed it down with WD-40 to prevent rust.

Next up: Cellulose thinner. A report on this is coming.
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  #14  
Old 12-21-2018, 11:33 PM
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I can vouch for that. I put a few parts in the grill to warm them up when it was cold. And it's biodegradable(I think). I probably used 5 cans on my front suspension alone.
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  #15  
Old 12-23-2018, 11:22 AM
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Post Bead Basters & Oven Cleaners

Thanx for the feed back Idle .

FWIW, there are two different basic aerosol oven cleaners , READ THE LABELS as one will say "not for alloy" .

If you're anywhere near handy with hammer & nails a BIG blast cabinet is easy to make out of plywood, the top can be made of fiberglass / plastic sheeting, this will allow in mugh more light .

The back wall should be covered in sheet metal so you don't blast through the plywood .

An old junk shop vacuum works very well, be sire to plumb it's intake at a top corner so it doesn't get in the way of working .

The clean and dry COOL air too isn't terribly difficult, I've set up a simple 20' high pipe out of the compressor with a drain valve at the bottom and a dryer in line, the tall 'U' shaped air pipe cools off the air very quickly indeed .

Look at Rollguy's Best Degreaser On The Planet thread for good info on home de greasing of anything including machined / polished parts .

Once again, placing your general location in the profile would help greatly as the local weather changes how you set things up .
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