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squerly's Avatar
 
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Need to clean stainless steel headers

My son has stainless steel headers and needs to find a safe method to clean them. Any ideas?
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1988 - 930 Porsche (track Car)
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Old 01-17-2007, 04:15 PM
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If you mean internally, then I was advised to use hot soapy water (washing up liquid) and a bottle brush.

Hopefully you will get a second opinion too.
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Old 01-18-2007, 02:01 PM
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What's he trying to clean off them? dirt, discoloration, oil, melted materials or other?
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Old 01-18-2007, 02:40 PM
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Scotch- brite
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Old 01-18-2007, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lukesportsman
What's he trying to clean off them? dirt, discoloration, oil, melted materials or other?
To be honest, it looks like rust. But I guess that means that they wern't stainless in the first place? I'm only going off what he told me when he said that they were stainless, maybe they weren't.
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:11 PM
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Sure they might be chrome: Check for magnetic pull. Now saying that cheap SS will both have a WEAK magnetic pull and show surface corrosion. Many of the factory exhaust systems are SS but they look horrible because they are cheap SS. They will not rust through in the cars life cycle but they also won't keep a polish or fine finish.

Scotch brite will freshen it but will leave a satin finish. They sell grill SS cleaner that is safe for heat. If Chrome, Scotch brite with WD40 will reduce rust spots and stain but you must remove WD40 afterwards for safety. Chrome will show lots of color changes near the heads.
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Old 01-18-2007, 06:29 PM
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"0000" steel wool works great at cleaning/polishing metals like aluminum or stainless after a good scrub wash to remove the major crap and surface oxidation..
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Old 01-19-2007, 04:45 PM
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Thanks everyone.
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Old 01-20-2007, 11:17 AM
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Straighten me out guys....but I just saw a picture of the underside of a Porsche that was running SSI headers and exhaust that's touted as being good quality stainless, and a product that enjoys a good reputation....and they were completely "rust colored" as Squerly described. I'm told that stainless just turns that color due to the heat over time...not because of the manufacturer used a cheap grade of the stainless steel.
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Old 01-20-2007, 05:08 PM
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