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Join Date: Oct 2001
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Cleaning pistons

What's the best method in getting the pistons nice and clean again. I've jused regular engine cleaning spray which took away all of the carbon stuff and made a pretty fine result overall. But it took me hours to get one done. I know it's doesn't have to be extremly clean but is there a better way to get the pistons nice and tidy so then can start build-up carbon again?
Old 08-31-2004, 02:29 PM
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I wonder if you could use Naval Jelly. (phosphoric acid I believe)
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Old 08-31-2004, 03:12 PM
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I used carb cleaner with a green scrubby pad....got tired of how long it was taking....buffed smooth by hand after that.


I would probably second the oven cleaner thing in retrospect. Chopper guys use it on engines and parts all the time...works great and is cheap.
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Old 08-31-2004, 04:26 PM
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find a machine shop or an turbine overhaul shop and talk them into letting you use their walnut shell blast cabinet. will strip off the carbon but will not harm the underlying material in any way.
Rob
Old 08-31-2004, 07:49 PM
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Hmm, some nice and never heard of suggestions. As far as i'm concerned: i would like to keep the design of the pistons as much as possbile (structure of the pistons surface etc). But, on some places some hard particles really scratched the piston. I'm affraid that when i use scrubby pads or buffing the piston i will do more harm to pistons than good.
Old 09-01-2004, 01:02 AM
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All the above methods will work, the main concern when you clean them is not to damage the ring grooves. If you can soak the pistons in mineral spirits overnite , that will help loosen any carbon deposits. Oven cleaner works great. use a soft brass wire brush on the piston dome. if you have any of the old rings , break a piece off and use that to clean the ring grooves. A light scuffing on the sides and skirt of the piston wont hurt it, just dont remove any material. If you can for a final cleaning run them thhrough a cycle in a dishwasher. It gives them a great cleaning. we put one in our shop just for that purpose.
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Old 09-01-2004, 03:52 AM
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For me, mine were still in the head so I just filled each cylinder with carb cleaner about 1/4 inch. left overnight... scrubbed in the morning.

very, very little in the way of scratches.

I even had to use a brass brush on a few spots. that is were I followed up with the green scrubby then light sandpaper. turned out great.

dont sweat it too much with the tops...they are meant to withstand much more than a green scrubby.
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Old 09-01-2004, 07:29 AM
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