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How To Remove Engine Varnish Myself?

Is there a way that I can safely (for the engine) remove the varnish deposits from the insides of my engine? As mentioned earlier, my engine is completely apart.

While I'm considering having the exterior of the engine blasted with some kind of media (hopefully soda-blasting), I'm feeling very hesitant to have anything on the inside of the engine blasted - even with something as "innocuous" as soda.

A follow up question: is it necessary to remove these varnish deposits?

Old 11-18-2019, 11:51 AM
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Find a local engine machine shop that has a hot tank. Its basically a hot chemical wash tank that steams all the crud from the engine block, head, and cam tower. That is the best way to get everything clean.
Old 11-18-2019, 11:59 AM
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just make sure the chemicals in that hot tank are aluminum safe.

alternatively you'd be surprised how effective a hot bath of circulating dish-soapy water can be to grease and stuff.
Old 11-18-2019, 12:36 PM
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Be careful with hot dipping a block as someone should chime in that it's OK and safe for this block. Sometimes there are yellow metal journals that get eaten by chemicals, or oil gallery plugs that are notoriously loosened with NLA seals, etc. I have no idea if that's the case here, but don't be the guinea pig and then find you've ruined some innocuous little part there is no replacement for.
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84 944, 87 Vanagon, 88 Mitsubishi Van Wagon, 88 Supra Targa, 1990 Audi 90 20V Quattro sedan, 1992 Lexus LS400, 1993 LandCruiser, 1997 LandCruiser, 2017 Subaru Outback.
Old 11-18-2019, 05:13 PM
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Thanks for the heads-up...I'll be sure to vet this out very carefully before moving forward!
Old 11-18-2019, 05:20 PM
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Driver
 
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I gotta tell you, I love what you are doing. My dream is to one day take my own '87 NA engine down all the way and make is spanking clean. I know you said you don't care about cosmetics but you should look at what Broadfoot does with engines. Even if you didn't send the bare block to him I'll bet you could get him on the phone and ask a question or two.

BTW Dry Ice blasting is a thing and leaves nothing behind...although soda is also innocuous and rinses out with water.

If you felt like doing a lot of taping vapor blasted aluminum looks amazing.

Good luck, please post pictures!

GHEN
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:26 PM
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Well...I gotta tell you - that my dream, once I've got all of my mechanical stuff sorted and back into my car - is to have the paint corrected as you have!

Interesting about dry ice. My problem is that up here in the sticks (northern Vermont) it can be tough to find people locally who do anything but sand blasting, so it looks like I may be in for some heavy shipping costs.

...and yes - I will post some pix at some point.
Old 11-19-2019, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OK-944 View Post
Well...I gotta tell you - that my dream, once I've got all of my mechanical stuff sorted and back into my car - is to have the paint corrected as you have!
That's kind of you to say, it is amazing how much more I enjoy my car now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OK-944 View Post
Interesting about dry ice. My problem is that up here in the sticks (northern Vermont) it can be tough to find people locally who do anything but sand blasting.
Maybe try these folks? Dry Ice Blasting | Nitrofreeze

They say they service Vermont.

Good luck!

GHEN
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Old 11-19-2019, 06:24 AM
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Looking a bit further into the plusses and minuses of various blast media...what a moving target!

When combining various factors like metals compatibility, costs, and logistics, I'm starting to warm up a bit more to soda blasting.

Considering the cost and PITA factor of schlepping/shipping parts around, it seems that a good solution may be to purchase a basic soda blast kit and do it myself. Seems like there are some decent, low-cost options from H.D. and H.F.
Old 11-19-2019, 02:18 PM
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I've used ZEP FAST 505 from HD. I'm not sure how safe it is on aluminum but I scrub and rinse quickly. It removed all the oil varnish from my 250K mile Toyota tundra oil pan in seconds.

Thanks
Mike G.

Old 11-19-2019, 04:45 PM
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