Sandblasting the engine - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-24-2011, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Sandblasting the engine

When i get ready to paint to engine (im going to do it all when i have to replace the stator and when i replace the dampers) i was thinking about cleaning up the engine using a sand blaster. I have never used a sandblaster on aluminum, only steel. Would this be a good idea? I do have a lot of oxidation on the engine, and a sandblaster would be perfect for it, it is a portable one that kind of looks like a paint spray gun so i wouldnt have to worry about fitting the engine into a blasting cabinet. Just curious if sandblasting the engine is a good idea or not. I am going to sandblast the frame, fenders, and tank to get ready for fresh paint, so i might as well do it all at the same time if i can.

Devin Mohler
Corporal, United States Marine Corps

1989 Honda Interceptor 500
1986 Vulcan 750, paid in full (250 bucks)

R/R Relocated (Thanks flitecontrol)
Splines Lubed
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Planned mods and things:
Ear shave (using stock ears as storage)
Coastering
Wrapping exhaust
Custom Exhaust
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-24-2011, 09:14 PM
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I used a sandblaster about ten years ago on heavy rust spots on an older truck, and made some mistakes. I used sand media which leaves small deep holes where miroscopic droplets of solvent can remain after wiping the panel down just prior to painting. This solvent will eventually evaporate and mar the paint surface.

I think if you are going to use a sandblaster, that you will want to use some sort of bead media which is not so agressive when cutting, and leaves a smoother surface for surfaces to be painted. I would try the beads on the aluminum first too, to see if it will clean the engine satisfactorily, before deciding to use sand media on it.

Others with more painting experience may have other ideas regarding this.

Gordon

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Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-24-2011, 09:28 PM
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What about Aqua Vapour Blasting? No damage to screw threads or even scribed markings. Don't know if this technique is available everywhere, but the results are very impressive.


Chris Glennon - Portland, OR
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-24-2011, 10:19 PM
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I used to have an '82 Kawasaki 750 LTD which I completely restored. Having had the frame powder coated and the chrome work rechromed I couldn't leave the engine looking like it was. I sandblasted it using sand that was mild, for lack of a better word. The place you buy media from will be able to suggest the right type. Be very careful though to seal, seal, and reseal every possible opening into the engine. Triple check it to be sure you haven't missed anything. Sand under pressure is as intrusive as water and you don't want any of it getting into the engine. I will say though that it came out beautifully. I actually used it to blast the wheels as well and they came out nicely. I borrowed a little portable hopper with the hose and gun already attached. Next I spread out some relatively thick visqueen (won't tear as easily) and put the piece I was blasting in the middle. When the hopper got low I gathered the visqueen from the corners and collected the sand. The hopper had a screen through which to sift the media and was more than enough for the whole job. On the LTD I had removed the side cases as they were getting polished so it required a little more attention to detail when sealing up openings and shaft penetrations. The engine itself looked new afterwards.

You'll be happy with the results.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-24-2011, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unk View Post
I used to have an '82 Kawasaki 750 LTD which I completely restored. Having had the frame powder coated and the chrome work rechromed I couldn't leave the engine looking like it was. I sandblasted it using sand that was mild, for lack of a better word. The place you buy media from will be able to suggest the right type. Be very careful though to seal, seal, and reseal every possible opening into the engine. Triple check it to be sure you haven't missed anything. Sand under pressure is as intrusive as water and you don't want any of it getting into the engine. I will say though that it came out beautifully. I actually used it to blast the wheels as well and they came out nicely. I borrowed a little portable hopper with the hose and gun already attached. Next I spread out some relatively thick visqueen (won't tear as easily) and put the piece I was blasting in the middle. When the hopper got low I gathered the visqueen from the corners and collected the sand. The hopper had a screen through which to sift the media and was more than enough for the whole job. On the LTD I had removed the side cases as they were getting polished so it required a little more attention to detail when sealing up openings and shaft penetrations. The engine itself looked new afterwards.

You'll be happy with the results.

Thats what i was looking for lol, someone that had done it and not ruined the soft aluminum blocks and heads by marring the metal beyond repair. When i do this im not going to be to super worried about the dirt getting into the engine because i will be tearing it down and having it professionally cleaned and checked for cracks and warppage, but thanks for the tip on keeping it all covered. What did you use to cover the holes? Mainly the coolant passages and the intake/exhaust ports?

Devin Mohler
Corporal, United States Marine Corps

1989 Honda Interceptor 500
1986 Vulcan 750, paid in full (250 bucks)

R/R Relocated (Thanks flitecontrol)
Splines Lubed
Battery Tender permanetly installed
Custom Seat

Planned mods and things:
Ear shave (using stock ears as storage)
Coastering
Wrapping exhaust
Custom Exhaust
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 08:50 AM
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You could also use walnut shells to do the same job as sand but not as abrasive. Any place that you get sand blasting media should have this. It is for softer metals and delicate work but it will do the job. Any open port should be covered. You can use masking tape a couple layers should be plenty and stuff a rag in the hole as well.

01' VN750
Jardine cross over exaust
Kyriakin grips and foot pegs
Modified seat and backrest
Windshield
Luggage rack
Crash bar with Kyriakin pegs and extensions
Kumho 758 165/80-15 CT rear Dunlop 404 110/90-19 front
Coastered and air/fuel screws at 2.5 turns
Spline lube

93' VN750 getting TLC
Decals and mirrors
Coastered and air/fuel screws at 2.5 turns
ACCTs to MCCTs
Degoated with Harley mufflers
Duro 110-90-19 front 150-90-15 rear
Pick-up coils at .020
Spline lube

Last edited by baldy; 01-25-2011 at 08:53 AM.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 09:05 AM
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On "American Restoration" with the Pawn Stars buddy who owns a restoration shop, the owner Rick, says to never use sand on aluminum because aluminum is soft compared to steel. He says to use walnuts so that's what I would try first. You can always work your way up to something more abrasive. Before sand blasting the aluminum, I would get a junk peice somewhere and see what sand does to it.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LibertyPilot View Post
On "American Restoration" with the Pawn Stars buddy who owns a restoration shop, the owner Rick, says to never use sand on aluminum because aluminum is soft compared to steel. He says to use walnuts so that's what I would try first. You can always work your way up to something more abrasive. Before sand blasting the aluminum, I would get a junk peice somewhere and see what sand does to it.
Ha ha I beat ya to it LP. lol

01' VN750
Jardine cross over exaust
Kyriakin grips and foot pegs
Modified seat and backrest
Windshield
Luggage rack
Crash bar with Kyriakin pegs and extensions
Kumho 758 165/80-15 CT rear Dunlop 404 110/90-19 front
Coastered and air/fuel screws at 2.5 turns
Spline lube

93' VN750 getting TLC
Decals and mirrors
Coastered and air/fuel screws at 2.5 turns
ACCTs to MCCTs
Degoated with Harley mufflers
Duro 110-90-19 front 150-90-15 rear
Pick-up coils at .020
Spline lube
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 09:09 AM
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Anyone ever use baking soda on the engine? I've seen pics here of carbs cleaned with it, and it did a good job.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
_____________________________________________
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1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 09:13 AM
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I was going to say baking soda also but it might not be quite as good as the walnut shells. Baking soda is good for carbs and stuff with a lot of moving parts where it is a finer grain and chunks can't get stuck in the moving parts.

I used to do a lot of bead blasting and learned about all the different media for certain applications.

01' VN750
Jardine cross over exaust
Kyriakin grips and foot pegs
Modified seat and backrest
Windshield
Luggage rack
Crash bar with Kyriakin pegs and extensions
Kumho 758 165/80-15 CT rear Dunlop 404 110/90-19 front
Coastered and air/fuel screws at 2.5 turns
Spline lube

93' VN750 getting TLC
Decals and mirrors
Coastered and air/fuel screws at 2.5 turns
ACCTs to MCCTs
Degoated with Harley mufflers
Duro 110-90-19 front 150-90-15 rear
Pick-up coils at .020
Spline lube
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