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Least Evil Head/Cam/Intake Gasket Removal? (Read 866 times)
OK-944
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Least Evil Head/Cam/Intake Gasket Removal?
Apr 1st, 2020 at 11:42am
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Ya gotta love U-Tube…One guy swears by his Nyloc wheel - says “this is the only safe way to remove those old, baked-on gaskets from your delicate aluminum heads.” 

Next guy says “you know those Nyloc wheels?  Never use them - they’ll ruin your heads!  What do I do?  Of course…I block sand - so that any material that gets removed from the head comes off evenly.”  To this, I say…WTF?  Remove material from your head? And block sanding?  All those gritty bits everyplace they should not be?  Seems like maybe some additional material has indeed been removed - from the head that sits on this guys shoulders!

Thing is…the folks in the above examples each claim to be “professionals,” and I cannot for the life of me ever see how any of us can ever trust them with our aluminum engines.

But this is the tip of the iceberg…with other “pros” touting sand blasting, glass beading, shot blasting, hot tanking, dry ice blasting, vapor honing, etc. etc…right down to the good old steel razor blade. 

None of the above mentioned methods have garnered anything close to a consensus - with the possible exception of soda blasting.  But to do soda blasting effectively, especially with things like old, baked on gasket bits and pieces, takes a huge amount of air…and while my 30 gallon/175psi tank can clean up a surface pretty well, it is simply no match for these old gasket bits.

Yesterday I tried applying a “gasket-removing” chemical…then waited the thirty minutes as instructed - and tried a plastic razor with absolutely no success.  Then I tried a steel razor - and try as I might, I cannot seem to avoid creating fine scratches.

At this point I feel the need to apologize for this long rant…but I’m really frustrated.  I’d done this job awhile ago on my 85.5 - but those gaskets seemed to come off, down to bare metal, relatively easily.  The gaskets on my ’87 are a completely different deal - with large, baked-on chunks on the intake, and lots of smaller, equally baked-on bits on both head and cam sides of the cylinder head. 

A question for those with the patience to have read this far…what about heat? I realize that aluminum may have a relatively low melting point, and that something like map gas may be out of the question - but what about a “mild” application of heat from a propane torch?
  
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OhioTom
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Re: Least Evil Head/Cam/Intake Gasket Removal?
Reply #1 - Apr 1st, 2020 at 12:50pm
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Baked on chunks?
Use a propane torch to loosen them up.

I usually take the head to a machine shop dis-assembled so it can be cleaned.

The bock gets a flat file or "India" stone to clean up the surfaces.


I can tell you are mad.....
  

Tom Simpson&&VW/Porsche freak.
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OK-944
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Re: Least Evil Head/Cam/Intake Gasket Removal?
Reply #2 - Apr 1st, 2020 at 2:37pm
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As in crazy mad?  Yup...just a little!

And thanks for the support.  I'll go try a little heat!
  
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T_Ryan.
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Re: Least Evil Head/Cam/Intake Gasket Removal?
Reply #3 - Apr 1st, 2020 at 11:15pm
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on aluminum, I beat a 6" length of 1/2" soft copper tubing into a scraper. copper wont harm aluminum.
  
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jacob estes
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Re: Least Evil Head/Cam/Intake Gasket Removal?
Reply #4 - May 15th, 2020 at 11:36pm
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I imagine hammering a pipe feels pretty good, too. I may give this a shot.
  

1985.5 944 NA
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Dave W
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Re: Least Evil Head/Cam/Intake Gasket Removal?
Reply #5 - May 19th, 2020 at 9:35pm
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The correct answer is that those wheels do cut into aluminum.  They are great for cast iron, but if you use it on aluminum, then you need a surfacing done.

There are plastic razor blades that you should be using.
  

Dave - black 84 no longer exists. Sad 83 self destructed. All better now. Smiley
... Let's go hit some twisty roads! ...
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