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Thread: Cleaning tips for grit and baked oil

  1. #1
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    Default Cleaning tips for grit and baked oil

    Heya,
    I've been working on documenting the process of doing a top-end job on my 450 for other newbies, once done I'll be painting the engine in-place.

    Two part question:

    1. How can I remove baked on oil? The silver factory paint is already kind of shot, so not really a concern. I've tried concentrated simple green, regular engine degreaser from O'reilly's, and of course steel brush and elbow grease. Tedious, and surprisingly didn't work in a couple of spots. Someone mentioned oven cleaner, would that work?
    2. When I was taking the jugs off, there was a lot of oily, sizable grit around the central 4 engine studs that suddenly fell out onto/into the chain gallery area -> crankcase. What's the best way to prevent this happening with e.g. the GS1000 I'm going to rebuild? I had just washed the engine and didn't even know all this crap was hiding in there.


    Thanks for your advice!
    1982 GS 450L aka Lil' Red
    1980 GS 1000G aka Big Red (Resto-mod WIP)

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by free99 View Post
    Heya,
    (...)
    1. How can I remove baked on oil? The silver factory paint is already kind of shot, so not really a concern. I've tried concentrated simple green, regular engine degreaser from O'reilly's, and of course steel brush and elbow grease. Tedious, and surprisingly didn't work in a couple of spots. Someone mentioned oven cleaner, would that work?(...)


    (...)
    Not sure what kinda baked-on we're talking about since it resisted a steel brush; but I had good results with pressure washing. Not sure if the cheapo bottom-of-the-barrel homegamer units suffice, I've used the ones at a car wash. They have serious machinery behind them, and you can select between various mixes (pure water/soap).
    #1: 1979 GS 550 EC "Red" Very first Bike / Overhaul thread        New here? ☛ Read the Top 10 Newbie mistakes thread
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    Burque73 is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    Though I haven't tried it yet, I read that leaning the bike/ engine over to the side will help keep the crud from falling into the crank case.
    Roger

    1983 GS 850G
    2003 FJR 1300A



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    Gorminrider is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    Someone here used a steam-cleaner which something I have yet to try when I can find one at a yard sale...

    Oven cleaner - yes that'd work and is cheap. BUT you MUST rinse a lot and you MIGHT expect some discolouration on the alloy so test first

  5. #5
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    That was me with the steam cleaner. Tell you what. When I get home tonight, i'll get it out, try to take some before and after or maybe a short video, using the steam cleaner on some baked on engine crud. It's worked well for some things. Tune in later.

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    Gorminrider is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    I'd like that too,Rich82! I think seeing which steam cleaner works is important from what I read about 'em before.

    meanwhile a clump of neurons left over from the 70's has almost convinced me a steam thing is not so hard to make..and even remembered it should have a relief valve...thinking air tank here...also, esspresso machine steam milk foamer that pump water over an element...connect a hose and it'd take 48 hours but...

    Or maybe a small pressure washer running VERY hot water. wearing Goggles eh!

    I too would like an alternative to scrub brush + kerosene/stove oil/ paint thinner...

    An oil-drain basin below to catch the crapish fluid is useful for all
    Last edited by Gorminrider; 03-25-2021 at 12:08 PM.

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    Here ya go. I figured Id work on an area of this engine that hadnt had a good cleaning in about 38 years.

    before:


    the video:


    after:

  8. #8
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    Thanks for that vid & pics Rich, cool little tool. Pity, I already have so many..

    Regarding darkening the aluminum on the engine, it won't matter as I'm painting it with VHT primer/satin black.

    As for the grit, I could hear it gently scritch-scratching inside my engine while I mounted the cams and such back in place. Sigh. There's gotta be a better way to avoid this in the future.
    1982 GS 450L aka Lil' Red
    1980 GS 1000G aka Big Red (Resto-mod WIP)

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    Gorminrider is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    Thanks for the Video!
    mmm, I'm not sure the scotchbrite are better-it looks like it is actually abrading the surface? though a finer pad wouldn't move the junk as fast...and, I am thinking the steam cleaner much easier when the engine is IN the bike (that's when i really want something like this), especially underneath....of course I never have any useful life from brass bristle brushes so I'd maybe jam a small slice of scotchbrite (FINE?) pad in place of it or a tough plastic bristle if it'll take the heat but yes, That's maybe unlikely to stay stiff

    ADD: and by the way, it made me wince to see you working that wd40 without nitrile gloves...sure it's maybe too late for me per skin absorption etc. but for the last 5 years I've been wearing them for things like this and they are cheap and well worth it. They are so thin I forget they are on and can last a couple of jobs sometimes too
    Last edited by Gorminrider; 03-26-2021 at 12:30 PM.

  10. #10
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    The steamer does come with a round scotchbrite type nozzle, looks like green donut, as well a plastic bristle brush. I probably should have used that instead. Yeah, brass brushes wear down pretty quick.

    Here's a link to the McCulloch Steamer I bought on Amazon.
    https://www.amazon.com/McCulloch-MC1...6780958&sr=8-1

    There's a lot of chemicals I were gloves for. WD-40 has never been one of them. Not saying you shouldn't, I just know I've been using it for all of my life and have never had the slightest problem with it on my skin.
    Last edited by Rich82GS750TZ; 03-26-2021 at 01:58 PM.

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