Aluminum Oxidation Cleaning

Mayor West

Active Member
Sup friends,
My engine is covered in oxidation flakes. Normally I use oven cleaner for my greasy metal parts but I've heard that it's not good for aluminum parts.
While I have all of the parts disassembled, I plan on giving everything a deep clean, taking care of the oxidation is a pretty big part of that.

I've googled a few how-to's on what people are using, and Mag wheel polish, lemon water, baking soda, and barkeepers' friend (pumice powder) are the main options.

Anyone have any advice on their best aluminum cleaning methods, as well as protection against oxidation occurring again?

I don't want it polished, or mirror-like, I just want it "like-new" clean.
 

Torchandregdoc

Active Member
Before you start scrubbing with abrasives , try one of the brightners. I will post a Pic later today when I get home. I can't remember the name of the stuff I used, but the finish is very similar to batlwagns YZ Frame and sub. I believe the one I use is boric acid based. Zero work and looks very bright. Make sure you test on an inconspicuous spot.

Also, you will need to make sure it is completely degreased. The best degreaser.....the green tire and engine cleaner at the do it yourself car wash. Take a bug sprayer and use your whole $1.50 on the green stuff. You'll have a years supply.

The cleaner may make it clean enough, but if not the brightner will. It does take off a microscopic layer, and you'll want to do a baking soda scrub to neutralize and then a 2k clear coat will keep it that way for years.

I think it was JSATX that used duplicolor cast aluminum engine paint on his motor and that looked really good as well
 

Ark :D

Well-Known Member
I tried out the Eagle One product mentioned in this thread and it packs a punch. I was able to clean up my AC pump housing pretty nicely with it, though I still have to get into the nooks and crannies of the piece before it's done. Also cleaned up a patch on my supercharger. I won't have time to dig into cleaning the entire engine for a bit, but I can post a pic of the cleaned part of the supercharger later for comparison's sake.
 

Ark :D

Well-Known Member
Attached is a quick sample of two squirts of Eagle One and 30 seconds of elbow grease applied to a crimson-red Scotch-Brite pad. It's not perfect, but considering the corrosion level and the fact that this only took me about one minute, I'd say it's pretty impressive stuff.
 

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ncgoblin

Well-Known Member
Here are some results of my acid cleaning.

Only one real before picture... I think it turned out well.
I about to do this tonight did it require a lot of aggressive scrubbing? I saw your post after ordering the eagle MAG cleaner.
 

Batlwagn

Active Member
I bought a cheap set of brushes from Advanced auto parts, I used those and some green 3M scouring pads
 

Mayor West

Active Member
I about to do this tonight did it require a lot of aggressive scrubbing? I saw your post after ordering the eagle MAG cleaner.
No, it sort of melts away after spraying the acid on and doing some light agitation with a brush. Just be careful to wear eye protection and gloves, some mist got into my eyes even with goggles on and it burns quite a bit.

In no way was it on the level needing of "polishing" scrubbing.... just light agitation like the level of brushing your teeth. It really does just melt the dirt and grime away nicely.

I did rinse with soapy water, though, as to not waste the acid or get more of it in my eyes.

I don't have pictures yet, but the head really took well to the acid. The crud from the intake ports from being direct injected was difficult because getting it out proved hard, I had to remove all the valves and clean them individually to get it all out, but its spotless now.
 

ncgoblin

Well-Known Member
No, it sort of melts away after spraying the acid on and doing some light agitation with a brush. Just be careful to wear eye protection and gloves, some mist got into my eyes even with goggles on and it burns quite a bit.

In no way was it on the level needing of "polishing" scrubbing.... just light agitation like the level of brushing your teeth. It really does just melt the dirt and grime away nicely.

I did rinse with soapy water, though, as to not waste the acid or get more of it in my eyes.

I don't have pictures yet, but the head really took well to the acid. The crud from the intake ports from being direct injected was difficult because getting it out proved hard, I had to remove all the valves and clean them individually to get it all out, but its spotless now.
I need to take some photos myself but I agree with the head turning out like new. The block actually turned out awesome with just a little oxidation still. I had to swap engines due to a failed possible head gasket? I will figure that out later this fall but my original engine I painted with Alumablast which looked great but oils cause discoloration over time. I am staying with unpainted excluding the valve cover and the occasional cleaning.
 
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