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Cleaning bare aluminum intake?

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Old 10-30-2008, 02:51 PM   #1
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Cleaning bare aluminum intake?

What should I use? My Performer TBI bare aluminum intake has some spots on it around the thermostat area, from the tech changing the thermostat. It should be pretty much dried coolant and grease. What should I use on a rough surface like this? An aluminum polish like Never Dull?

Thanks to anyone who can help!
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Old 10-30-2008, 02:57 PM   #2
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Re: Cleaning bare aluminum intake?

I've always had better luck with covering it up with aluminum engine paint than cleaning it once its stained.
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Old 10-30-2008, 03:52 PM   #3
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Re: Cleaning bare aluminum intake?

I would spray brake cleaner on the surface. This should remove most stains. If the aluminum is oxidized from contamination, you should try some steel wool and buff the area.
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:32 PM   #4
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Re: Cleaning bare aluminum intake?

heavy duty grease remover and a brush to clean off the crap, then a wire wheel on a drill works very well to break up the oxidation and spruce up the finish a little. When its good and clean and free of oil/grease/degrease, a quick coat of clear will keep it looking good for a good while
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:27 PM   #5
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Re: Cleaning bare aluminum intake?

I second the engine paint method. It looks like the original aluminum, cleans easier, and touches up easily. Because the aluminum is porous, once it's stained it will probably never look like new again.
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Old 11-05-2008, 03:09 AM   #6
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Re: Cleaning bare aluminum intake?

I had really good luck with this stuff called Greased Lightning blast, a toothbrush to get into all the tight spots. I think it was around $4 or so at wal-mart. I also used a steam cleaner to clean the gunk out of the ports, and a couple of the really tough stains.

http://housewares.hardwarestore.com/...st-626631.aspx

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Old 11-05-2008, 10:23 AM   #7
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Re: Cleaning bare aluminum intake?

brake cleaner and a good brass bristol brush.
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Old 11-08-2008, 03:06 PM   #8
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Re: Cleaning bare aluminum intake?

I will try the brake cleaner...didn't think of that. The intake is currently on the car, and 90% of it looks perfect (its only been on the car for a little over a year), so painting it probably isn't the best idea...we're talking faint spots, like coolant stains or something. There is no oxidation.

Would brake cleaner and steel wool be ok? I don't want to use a wire brush that is so stiff it will put significant scratches in the aluminum. Thanks for the help so far!
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Old 11-08-2008, 08:45 PM   #9
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Re: Cleaning bare aluminum intake?

Aluminum mag cleaner and a nylon bristle brush. It'll clean it up.

EDIT: I mean the spray-on stuff, not the paste....

Last edited by Confuzed1; 11-08-2008 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:50 AM   #10
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Re: Cleaning bare aluminum intake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason E View Post
I will try the brake cleaner...didn't think of that. The intake is currently on the car, and 90% of it looks perfect (its only been on the car for a little over a year), so painting it probably isn't the best idea...we're talking faint spots, like coolant stains or something. There is no oxidation.

Would brake cleaner and steel wool be ok? I don't want to use a wire brush that is so stiff it will put significant scratches in the aluminum. Thanks for the help so far!
Brass Bursh wont do anything to scratch the intake
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Old 11-09-2008, 02:09 PM   #11
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Re: Cleaning bare aluminum intake?

Might be a lil late for this now, but the first thing i did to my intake was blast it with a few coats of clear coat when it was new. Let cure, and it likes to keep itself clean. Ive spilled my fair share of oil, and coolant on it, but it wont "soak" into the aluminum with a clear coat there. Hopefully it wont yellow on me, but we'll have to wait and see.

After a year, i just sprayed brake cleaner to get rid of dust, or any grease that had accumulated.
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