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Thread: how to clean carbon build up?

  1. #1
    apriliaforum Member Tikitulamutu's Avatar
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    how to clean carbon build up?

    hi gents!

    I would like to know what you use to clean or remove carbon build up on your pistons, valves and heads.
    I mean, something that does not produce any damage on aluminum... something like a homemade potion where you put in your pistons and then half an hour later they appear like new and shinny...
    What do you use?
    I've searched a lot, but I don't find anything on the internet u___U . Maybe the most dificult part to clean are head ports... I did just once in my life with sandpaper, and no more, thanx... also, the result was not what I expected too... my fingers are just too big to work within there...
    I guess sand-blasting would be an option, and I have a cab to work them, but I don't want to damage valve seats nor guides when using this method...

    any idea?

  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert PumpinIron's Avatar
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    Brake cleaner seems to work well for me!
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  3. #3
    apriliaforum Member
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    Sandblasting...............NO! Beadblasting (which is actually glass beads) yes, you can do the top of the piston but NOT the sides, Valves yes, but again NOT to sides (stems) you can also use a bench grinder with a softer wire wheel then use a buffing pad (on bench grinder) to polish them up. but most defianatly...NOT SANDBLASTING.

  4. #4
    apriliaforum expert
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    Some folks clean baked on varnish off of model airplane motors by sticking in a crockpot full of antifreeze (ethylene glycol). Let it simmer for a day. I haven't tried it myself, but you might want to try a piston and see if it's effectve on the carbon. Don't ever use the crockpot again for cooking food because you don't want anyone to get poisoned.
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  5. #5
    apriliaforum expert sburns2421's Avatar
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    I have used oven cleaner to soften up the carbon. Bad for paint, bad for breathing in an unventilated area. Once it has soaked in you can usualy wipe or scrape it off with a plastic scraper. I have never tried but brass wool or brillo pad might help with really bad deposits and not mar the part surface.

  6. #6
    apriliaforum expert Motech's Avatar
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    I would take all parts to a machine shop and run through their parts washer.
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  7. #7
    apriliaforum expert shadyman's Avatar
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    I use a brass wire wheel, takes a little effort but works well. definately not sand blasting. the sand embeds itself into the alum. piston & will ruin the cyl. walls.

  8. #8
    Honest always, feared often Micah / AF1 Racing's Avatar
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    I am pretty anti blasting for iinternal motor parts though I do it ffrom time to time depending on the situation. I got some sspecial media ffor my blast cabinet that is made from fine but hard plastic shards. Another media is walnut shells. These clean wwell and do not imbed. If a local shop has an industrial sized transonic cleaner that is how the Pro's do it. I do use a cleaning solution and brass wire brush by hand on the combustion chambers and piston crowns on some motors.
    Diminished expectations is the key to happiness in life.

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  9. #9
    apriliaforum Member Tikitulamutu's Avatar
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    OK! got it; definitely no sanblasting for internal parts!
    Will try a bit of every thing you say...
    I've tried nafta, wich is like a cleaning product we use on every part for cleaning (but it has nothing to do on carbon...) and also tried to use heptane... I was told they use it to clean carbon build up form turbine gas injectors... but it did nothing... absolutely nothing.

  10. #10
    apriliaforum expert
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    would diesel not break it up a little, or the same kind of "engine flush" that is meant to break down that kinda gunk from forming inside engines. just a thought.

  11. #11
    apriliaforum expert Motech's Avatar
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    Carburetor soup has done well for me in a pinch too.


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    Wear very long, chemical-proof gloves and rinse very thoroughly.
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  12. #12
    apriliaforum Member
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    I think mentioned, but try oven cleaner spray "off" Ive used that before, make sure you wear gloves and use it outside!!

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