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Parts Cleaning and Prep
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NC Adventurer
Posted 2020-02-06 5:03 PM (#593890)
Subject: Parts Cleaning and Prep


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Posts: 48
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With my background in aviation maintenance, I'm pretty fanatical about cleaning parts and associated hardware when working on anything. We never found a cloud at which we could pull over to and that caution has found its way into my non-flyable mechanics as well.

I've learned that a bit of dawn dish washing detergent in a plastic container goes a long way towards removing years of caked and baked on grimes/grease and gunk. In a lot of instances, there's no need to use hard cleaners. After cleaning and drying parts, there's always the inspection stage where a keen eye and a magnifying glass ( a bench-mounted lighted loop in dynamic for this!) are invaluable towards doing a job once and not over in short order. Depending on what the part is and where its going back on the car, wax, a light coat of oil or even brake fluid (for brake components only) will keep rust away pretty well even after its installed.

I've become a giant fan of the disposable plastic seal-able dishes from the grocery store and a sharpie marker for hardware storage until I can reinstall it. Even the sharpest mind can make a mistake or forget something and the plastic ware is pretty cheap. I like to run a bolt or nut through or around a die or at least swipe over the threads with a wire brush, depending what I find while inspecting the parts to ensure there's nothing on them when I go to reinstall them. Spraying hardware with a bit of WD-40 when storing it has also become one of my common practices and help lubricate the assembly a bit.

A friend of mine once called me anal retentive for how I do things. He's a wash it all off in some cleanser such as kerosene or gas and drive things back home when they get tough on the reinstall kind of a guy. Maybe I am but I'd rather just make things easy on myself and thorough in how I do things.

So what helpful practices do you guys use that makes their labors more enjoyable?
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56D500boy
Posted 2020-02-06 11:15 PM (#593899 - in reply to #593890)
Subject: RE: Parts Cleaning and Prep



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Posts: 5663
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Location: Lower Mainland BC
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Can't speak for the rest but your procedure(s) sound good to me.

I was under my car today playing with the left side exhaust (minor leak at the down pipe to manifold gasket) and could NOT help myself from cleaning the coaxial power steering gear box and the pitman arm etc. while I was laying there. I won't be happy until all the years of neglect and grime are gone, so yes, a little OCD there for sure.



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60 dart
Posted 2020-02-07 12:10 AM (#593901 - in reply to #593890)
Subject: Re: Parts Cleaning and Prep



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Location: WHEELING,WV.>>>HOME OF WWVA
i like to motor wire wheel everything that can be . maybe wash with dawn concentrated if needed , then spray everything with 92% alcohol running off wet ------------------------------------------later
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60 Imp
Posted 2020-02-07 3:14 AM (#593905 - in reply to #593890)
Subject: RE: Parts Cleaning and Prep


20001000100100100
Location: North Australia
When I cleaned the front end parts on my Imperial, the only way to remove the hard grease and road grime was by mechanically scraping/and wire wheel buffing, it was like chipping away baked on clay/cement!

Here are three tips for re-assembly, never-seize, never-seize and never-seize!

You might never pull it apart again, but the next Guy will thank you!

Steve.
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57chizler
Posted 2020-02-07 12:06 PM (#593917 - in reply to #593890)
Subject: RE: Parts Cleaning and Prep



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Location: NorCal
Having done transmission work for many years, I've got parts cleaning down to science.

For really grimy parts I use my hot-water cabinet washer and for smaller lightly soiled stuff I have a solvent tank.



(Solvtank.jpg)



(Wash Cabinet.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments Solvtank.jpg (70KB - 8 downloads)
Attachments Wash Cabinet.jpg (38KB - 6 downloads)
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57burb
Posted 2020-02-07 1:25 PM (#593923 - in reply to #593917)
Subject: RE: Parts Cleaning and Prep



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Posts: 3668
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Location: DFW, TX
Great thread!

My personal favorite cleaner is Simple Green, specifically the "purple" formula of the Simple Green brand. It degreases very well, it is biodegradable, and it is very safe to have in the shop. It is also not an issue to get it on your skin.

There are various other "purple" industrial cleaners that are MUCH more harsh, and I would avoid those at all costs. They put off fumes, will burn your skin for sure, and they can even damage plastic and some metal parts.

I degrease and sandblast most of my parts. Sometimes I use stainless brushes, or brillo pads, or bottle brushes, whatever may be needed to get all the gunk off them. Then wipe off any dirt, do a quick wipe with wax and grease remover, then prime and paint.

I prefer to use catalyzed paint to just about anything in a spray can. Small parts are okay, but for anything that sees heat cycles and is exposed to fluids, I prefer better paint.



(20171112_115635.jpg)



(20171112_165016.jpg)



(20171118_180909.jpg)



(DSC_5750.JPG)



(Simple-Green-13421-Pro-HD-HeavyDuty-Cleaner.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments 20171112_115635.jpg (176KB - 5 downloads)
Attachments 20171112_165016.jpg (149KB - 6 downloads)
Attachments 20171118_180909.jpg (143KB - 5 downloads)
Attachments DSC_5750.JPG (170KB - 5 downloads)
Attachments Simple-Green-13421-Pro-HD-HeavyDuty-Cleaner.jpg (116KB - 5 downloads)
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57plymouth
Posted 2020-02-07 3:29 PM (#593926 - in reply to #593890)
Subject: Re: Parts Cleaning and Prep



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My parts washer is full of mineral spirits. I scrape off the big crud, the rely on better living through chemistry. Purple power also works great, but wear gloves. As mentioned above it's tough on skin. But purple power is also tough on the parts washer so I stick with mineral spirits.
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60 dart
Posted 2020-02-07 11:41 PM (#593941 - in reply to #593890)
Subject: Re: Parts Cleaning and Prep



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Posts: 8604
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Location: WHEELING,WV.>>>HOME OF WWVA
forgot i bought two gallon of ZEP 505 to try along with old standby purple stuff --------------------------------------------later
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NC Adventurer
Posted 2020-02-08 3:20 PM (#593954 - in reply to #593923)
Subject: RE: Parts Cleaning and Prep


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Posts: 48
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57burb - WOW!!! Your work is beautiful!

I try to avoid the harsher methods of cleaning up an item but must admit to resorting to the blast cabinet once in a while. I think one of the best mild abrasives I've found is walnut shells. I've used them to get some great, really clean finishes without taking off any metal or causing any gouging - something very important when working with something like heads or a manifold with mating surfaces.

We used to throw handfuls into the jet engines on helos at times to clean out build up carbon between rebuilds. It goes against everything we'd ever been taught about foreign object destruction (FOD) but it worked like a champ and never caused any ill effects to the engines.

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57burb
Posted 2020-02-10 5:32 PM (#594035 - in reply to #593954)
Subject: RE: Parts Cleaning and Prep



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Posts: 3668
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Location: DFW, TX
Walnut shells do an awesome job for blasting. You see it quite a bit when doing entire bodies (rotisserie jobs) because the walnuts don't heat and stretch sheet metal.

It's wild that you were throwing them into turbine engines though!
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