Engine refinishing - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Engine refinishing

Aluminum engine (air cooled), what's the best route here? I've been working over the pieces with scotchbright pads and it's cleaning up, but this 40 year old engine just isn't going to get where I want it with just scotchbright pads. I'm considering either sand paper (how do i get down in all the grooves and between the cooling fins) or high temp paint. What do you guys recommend? I want the engine to look like new. Most of it is dismantled and I can work on most the pieces individually. I've already soaked them all in degreaser and scrubbed them with stiff brushes and SB pads. So they are clean and grease free, just not new looking.

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 10:57 PM
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Aluminum engine (air cooled), what's the best route here? I've been working over the pieces with scotchbright pads and it's cleaning up, but this 40 year old engine just isn't going to get where I want it with just scotchbright pads. I'm considering either sand paper (how do i get down in all the grooves and between the cooling fins) or high temp paint. What do you guys recommend? I want the engine to look like new. Most of it is dismantled and I can work on most the pieces individually. I've already soaked them all in degreaser and scrubbed them with stiff brushes and SB pads. So they are clean and grease free, just not new looking.
i'm going to do the same with my aircooled.

I remember someone doing the same. I think he used sandpaper with the engine fins. And I believe a clear coat of paint is the only way to stop the oxidation of the aluminum.

If your really anal, you can get a buffing wheel and get it looking like a mirror, and shoot a clear coat over it for the side covers.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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don't want a mirror finish, i want a finish similar to what it came with just a clean silver.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 11:19 PM
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bead blasting

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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bead blasting
I've heard that's not a good idea, but i never heard the reasoning behind it , would definitely be the easiest.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 11:37 PM
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only thing i can think of is because of the risk of leaving grit in the engine

walnut shells would remove paint nicely as restore some of the cast aluminum look with very minimal material removal, a fine glass bead would work nicely as well...


if someone knows why its not a good idea and i missed the mark lemme know

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 06:15 AM
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I hear that bead blasting is the way to go (either glass beads or soda), but there is the slight risk of getting some bits inside the engine. The only way around this I hear is to be super anal about sealing all holes in the engine before you start blasting. I am considering doing this with help from Gus, since I have done the sandpaper route before and it was just too much work. Getting in between the fins the "hard way" requires the use of a really thin metal brush, usually used for cleaning guns I hear. I haven't been able to find the right one yet.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 06:30 AM
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Powder coating




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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 07:58 AM
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Powder coating
still need surface prep

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 08:16 AM
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Would powder coating survive the engine temps? Would it also trap too much heat?
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 08:23 AM
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id think its be ok on the block temps, the heat thing worries me especially on an air cooled, since youre basically coating the engine in plastic

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 08:47 AM
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id think its be ok on the block temps, the heat thing worries me especially on an air cooled, since youre basically coating the engine in plastic
HD engines are powder coated; cases, jugs and heads. Mine has looked great for 10600 miles, though I do clean off the grime on a regular basis.

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 08:59 AM
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HD engines are powder coated; cases, jugs and heads. Mine has looked great for 10600 miles, though I do clean off the grime on a regular basis.
+1

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Would powder coating survive the engine temps? Would it also trap too much heat?
Ducati guys do it all the time

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still need surface prep
the shops are going to do it as part of the price, most are soda or media blasting




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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 08:59 AM
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Look around http://www.eastwood.com, you might find some ideas there
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 09:06 AM

 
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Blasting these parts is fine the concern is the fella behind the gun.
If you spend to much time in one spot you will damage it!!

Be careful and proceed knowing that clean up is critical.

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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 12:50 PM
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I glass bead blast parts here everyday. The surface finish is affected by the quality of the beads. New bead give a better finish. As the beads are used they crack, or break.(they are glass afterall). The used beads give a more etched finish, almost kind of frosted. I'm not sure that is the finish that you are looking for. The key to bead blasting is the prior cleaning. Beads have a hard time removing anything soft. The part needs to be free of anything soft. When we blast cylinder heads, we jet wash them & then thermal clean them. The thermal cleaning removes all moisture. The beads will stick to anything not dry. Thermal cleaning will also turn paint, carbon, most gasket material hard, and it can then be blasted. The key is dry parts. After the parts are blasted and the machine work is completed we thoroughly clean everything. We brush all passages and wash with high pressure hot water. We then blow dry with compressed air.
I have been using a thermal dispersant coating for m/c cylinders. It turns out to be a satin finish black. It looks good and also helps the cyls rid them selves of heat. I have also been looking at some appearance coatings that for parts that don't get too hot.
Any question, just ask.
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 08:05 PM
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Good thread I was just doing some reading on ADVrider a lot of discussion with the BMW aircooled guys. I am looking to do this also. I want to leave the motor together for now, paint the cases and cylinders, blast the engine covers and head. From what I have read soda blasting is safer for this job as it washes away with water though I don't know what the finish will be like. I know that people have done it with bead blasting just have to be extra careful you don't get any in the motor. Someone stated to clear it afterwards I have read many places this is a bad idea as it will yellow after a few years and you will be back where you started.

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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 08:09 PM

 
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Glass bead does not work well if you plan to have the part powder coated. I'm a full time powder coater(thepowderpro.com) and learned this the hard way when I first got started and tried different media in my cabinet. Glass basically shot peens the surface, which is great for cleaning, but it will also force and trap contaminants into the metal. During curing temps in the oven those contaminants will burn back out into the powder and fish eye it. Same thing with walnut shells, really hard to get the oils off the metal that they will leave. Soda is a very mild media..designed to remove paint without putting so much heat into the part that can warp it. Warping a substrate from blasting is primarily only a concern when blasting thin items like the sheet metal of a car, hence soda is the new rage right now. Soda also leaves a fine dust/coating behind on the substrate which will prevent flash rust..once again perfect for steel sheet metal on a car. Soda is too mild to effectively remove rust and other stuck on oxidations though.

I blast everything with aluminum oxide before I coat it..digs in and cleans like no other, removes rust and corrosion quickly, and also puts a nice profile on the substrate for the powder to adhere to.

I have yet to be asked to blast/coat a bike motor that's all in one piece, wish I could offer a little more advice on that particular subject in terms of the best way to go about it.

If you need anything further, feel free to let me know.

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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Well things have changed a bit. I've decided if i'm going to go this far I might as well do it right and split the crank case and take everything apart. I've asked ceptor for info about blasting and coating some pieces, still waiting to hear back on all the details so that's one route i may go depending on price and durability. Also am interested in powder coating so maybe silver ghost will be able to give me a little info. Note quite done removing the guts yet, but hte case is split and it's getting there. Attached are pictures of all the pieces I'm looking to get refinished.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg crankcase.jpg (55.4 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg refinish.jpg (57.8 KB, 25 views)

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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 01:52 PM

 
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The parts in the picture on the right would be ready to go powder coating wise, that is no problem. Blast them up, mask the back sides/gasket areas, and fire away.

Parts on the left would still need all those gears, etc removed, but it sounds like you're aware of that.

I can even two tone things if you want the raised lettering done in a different color powder,etc. I just did a set in that manner for an old school gixxer.

I can make all that stuff look like brand new and then some Give me a call at 847-561-4361 if you'd like to discuss further, I'd be glad to help.

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Last edited by SilverGhost; 08-31-2009 at 01:57 PM.
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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 06:23 AM
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Sean is 100% right. I brought in my parts bike engine to Gus at Resurrection for glass bead blasting this past weekend. We found that it was amazing at taking off the old yellowed varnish and oxidation, but any sections that had built up 30 year old oil and grease did not get cleaned up that much. The parts of the engine that did get cleaned up have an amazing satin finish. Be sure to be liberal with your duct tape around the holes, I put on 3 layers and still found some glass beads around my intake and exhaust valves. I will post a pic later.
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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 07:15 PM
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Once again, nothing to write home about, but a world of difference compared to how I got it. The cooling fins look GREAT!





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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 09:17 PM

 
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looks great Mark

just give it another cleaning and an oil change .

I've had good luck sanding lightly in just one direction then a light steel wool to finish. Staying with the satin look.

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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 09:31 PM
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Looks really nice to me. Those sleeves cleaned up awesome.
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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Well sean has my parts right now, he's blasting and powder coating them. Can't wait to see how they turn out, should have them back by the weekend or so.

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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 10:14 AM

 
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Jeremy that powder should be here by the end of day today(holiday put me a day behind on getting powder in), I'll have these parts done ASAP.

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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Got my parts back from Sean (silverGhost) today, they look fantastic, exactly what I was looking for! Anyone looking to get something like this done should consider powdercoating and using sean for the work. Turn around was very fast even over a holiday and it was very reasonably priced.


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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 03:51 PM
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The muted color is perfect. Well done.
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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 01:13 AM

 
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Glad you are happy with the parts Jeremy, thanks again

That powder is called blasted aluminum for anyone wondering. Meant to simulate the look you get with media blasted aluminum..slight texture, random sparkle, silver color. Its a nice clean look.

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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 07:12 AM
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Those parts look great Jeremy,

Congrats Sean on another job well done!
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