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Old 11-13-2011, 02:18 PM   #1
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How to Clean Aluminum Heads

I have some heads that a buddy of mine tried to clean with throttle body cleaner and now they are almost white. What can I use to clean them and get them back to the bright aluminum color. He only did one before we caught it. Not his fault as I didn't know it would do it either.

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Old 11-13-2011, 03:54 PM   #2
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I use brake parts cleaner.

Clean them with brake parts to get the oil off then soap and water. Then clean the carbon areas with brake parts and water again. blow dry

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Old 11-14-2011, 08:31 AM   #3
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I used scrub pads and soap and water. It will take some elbow grease to get them looking like new. For the valves I just ran them under my wire wheel on the bench grinder. I spun them in the direction of the swirl polish and it didnt effect it at all. If you can, fill the sink or tank with hot hot water and let them sit in it for a while.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:07 AM   #4
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I use a rag soaked with acetone, seems to get into the pores of the metal.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:15 AM   #5
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If you're having a hard time with the cast parts of the head, you can use a fine, small wire brush chucked into a drill. I use this on intakes and it works surprisingly well. It doesn't leave scratch marks, but gets the aluminum looking like new. I wouldn't use it on machined surfaces or inside the valve cover area, though.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:45 AM   #6
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Thanks guys, I will see what I can do. The main problems I am having are around the plug holes and exhaust.

Scott
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Old 11-18-2011, 02:35 PM   #7
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I have used paste type paint remover to get some of the varnish and carbon off of aluminum heads. It won't effect the metal and you can leave it on as long as it takes to loosen all the grundge.

On cast iron I would use oven cleaner. You can use it on aluminum too but you will stain the aluminum so I don't recommend it. I also have a blast cabinet that I then glass bead in to get the heads to that new cast look back.
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