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Chasin' the blacktop
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1,498 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My engine building experience is pretty old when iron and steel was all that engines used where gaskets were. On iron blocks I used a sharp wood chisel and sand paper to remove the gaskets but with this aluminum block I'm afraid of deeply nicking it so I've just been using a sharp putty knife which takes forever.

Any of you more experienced mechanics got any tips for getting the old gaskets off?
 

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Sparky!!!
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8,696 Posts
I cheat when it comes to aluminum... I use a die grinder with a flapper wheel and almost 0 pressure... for the less stuborn stuff I still use my Die Grinder, but use a Rubber Eraser Bit... some times spraying the aluminum down with wd-40 a few times and letting it soak in can do the trick, fallowed by a real light sanding to remove any gum left behind... Chisels and "Gasket Scrapers" are my last resort on aluminum because they can gouge the part very badly.
 

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Chasin' the blacktop
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1,498 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
SV, I think I'll try the flapper wheel but with a Dremel and see how that goes.
 

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1986 VN750
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3,255 Posts
I honestly just use some pry tools i have and be very careful. I scrape the gasket down, and once it's almost to the aluminum I'll spray some carb cleaner on it to make it brittle, helps pop it off of the aluminium.
 

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Dr. Vulcanstein
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1,536 Posts
I honestly just use some pry tools i have and be very careful. I scrape the gasket down, and once it's almost to the aluminum I'll spray some carb cleaner on it to make it brittle, helps pop it off of the aluminium.
X2......
 

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Banned
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10,354 Posts
It aint legal no more....but if ya spray it with Freon, it'll freeze it, and any sealant, and will crumble off with a plastic winshield scraper.....I dunno, but dry ice might work instead.....aluminum sucks....

Liquid oxygen or nitogen would work, but try gettin some, lol....
 

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Chasin' the blacktop
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1,498 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I honestly just use some pry tools i have and be very careful. I scrape the gasket down, and once it's almost to the aluminum I'll spray some carb cleaner on it to make it brittle, helps pop it off of the aluminium.
Resorted to the wood chisel last night with a little help from a 120 grit small flapper wheel which worked ok but still time consuming. I'll add a little carb cleaner to the mix tonight.

I've got a can of Freon (saved from years ago) but don't have the ability to shoot it in short squirts.
 

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Registered
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856 Posts
It aint legal no more....but if ya spray it with Freon, it'll freeze it, and any sealant, and will crumble off with a plastic winshield scraper.....I dunno, but dry ice might work instead.....aluminum sucks....

Liquid oxygen or nitogen would work, but try gettin some, lol....
I wonder if that canned air / computer duster stuff will work to the same effect? Turn the can upside down, squeeze the trigger and the liquid stuff comes out and flash freezes pretty quickly.
 

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Jack of all trades
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2,863 Posts
I use a razor blade and almost no pressure to peel off as much as I can. Any residual material I take some brake cleaner and a scotch brite pad and it scrubs right off. No scratches or anything.
 

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Jack of all trades
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2,863 Posts
Obviously I only use the sb pad on parts I can thoroughly rinse with carb cleaner or brake cleaner. If it hasany chance of contamination I use the razor and a stiff brush.
 

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Banned
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2,190 Posts
M_, i hope your experience varies. The reason I will not tolerate it in the shop, it is impossible to clean. No matter what it looks like.
 

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Crowley
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1,263 Posts
It isn't impossible to clean up. Doing head gaskets on imports, I'd scuff hard to reach areas. Use tape to remove the brillo residue from the surfaces, and then some brakleen on a rag to make sure all the gook is off.
 

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Banned
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I wonder if that canned air / computer duster stuff will work to the same effect? Turn the can upside down, squeeze the trigger and the liquid stuff comes out and flash freezes pretty quickly.
Yes...it would...but that stuff costs an arm and a leg......
Id rather take some acetone....soak the existing gasket...wait an hour...acetone will dissolve most all sealants....just keep it away from any windshields and plastic parts....might need to do twice....spray acetone on a bike windshield, it spiderwebs almost immediately (most bike windshields).....

If yer neighbor has an annoying sportbike....spray a lil acetone on his windshield when yer walkin yer dog, lol......I really shouldnt be suggesting stuff like this, should I ?....but hay...I been a bad boy a long time...and I aint changin....lest Kim Basinger moves in with me and changes me....

Not fer nuthin....ya can still buy the R-134 refrigerant most states.....that would work.....I think....I hate aluminum in engines.....but I used the older refrigerent to clean the aluminum heads on my 151 Iron Duke...
What dumbass engineer would put aluminum heads on a cast iron block ????....at least the Cosworth motors were ALL aluminum....
 

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Chasin' the blacktop
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1,498 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
The carb/choke cleaner really does help soften the gasket after I've skinned off most of it. Not a miracle worker but between the razor sharp chisel, the flapper wheel, and the carb cleaner the surfaces are looking much better.
 
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