How do i clean the heads on my aluminum block?
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, How do i clean the heads on my aluminum block? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Okay let me just say that the northstar is incredible, ive never worked on an engine so complicated...but then again ...
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    jacks93STS is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    How do i clean the heads on my aluminum block?

    Okay let me just say that the northstar is incredible, ive never worked on an engine so complicated...but then again my last car was a Camaro so that would explain it haha. I recently blew a headgasket in my 1993 STS... dealer told me they didnt timesert and they wanted 10,000 for a new engine and installation...thats like double the value of the car. So i opted to fix it myself. I jacked it up in my backyard got the GM service manual and took it apart by hand. The engine is now out of the car (it was aweful pulling it out, no space what soever) once i pulled off my cam cover i realized my problem...the top left corner head bolt had completely pulled through the threads and was just floating (pulled it out by hand) and oil and coolant were leaking, it was a mess. any ways i got the timesert kit with 20 inserts and both headgasket sets with new headbolts. BUT, i need to have the surfaces of the heads clean, how would i go about doing this with out a razor or anything, the block is aluminum i do not want to scratch it, any advice? I almost wish i did not buy this car but i do love it. less then 300 miles after i bought it the head gasket blew, and 200 of those 300 were just driving it home from NY to Boston. If i had known this was going to happen i would have just bought a 1999 with a blown head for cheap and fixed that instead of a 93. Either way, i need to clean my heads and i have no idea how to go about it. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How do i clean the heads on my aluminum block?

    I am not sure but I would think a scraper would be fine (with care of coarse). I do know that you absolutely do not want to use ScotchBrite. You don't even want it anywhere near an open engine. There used to be a post about it in the Tech Tips section but alas, it is gone.

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    jacks93STS is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How do i clean the heads on my aluminum block?

    i actually used a little carb cleaner on a rag but its not getting the gaskets totally clean, basically its totally flat on the surface but its still not down to aluminum, its like a greyish aluminum color, im really tempted to just use like extreemly fine grit sand paper but i have a feeling that would be a bad idea. it actually would have probably been cheaper to buy a used engine in the long run my costs are up near $1000 now.

    oh yeah...and does anyone know where i could find a water pump pulley remover, Napa? things insanely hard to get off, i used a regular puller and it snapped a little chip off the pully bolt or whatever. without the pulley off i cant get into the second cam cover

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    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: How do i clean the heads on my aluminum block?

    Quote Originally Posted by jacks93STS
    i actually used a little carb cleaner on a rag but its not getting the gaskets totally clean, basically its totally flat on the surface but its still not down to aluminum, its like a greyish aluminum color, im really tempted to just use like extreemly fine grit sand paper but i have a feeling that would be a bad idea. it actually would have probably been cheaper to buy a used engine in the long run my costs are up near $1000 now.

    oh yeah...and does anyone know where i could find a water pump pulley remover, Napa? things insanely hard to get off, i used a regular puller and it snapped a little chip off the pully bolt or whatever. without the pulley off i cant get into the second cam cover
    This is weird, I could've sworn I replied to this thread... I thought you might've double posted, but I can't find anything I've replied to. Anyways, a razor blade will work just fine to remove the gasket material left behind. Just keep it flat against it, and use common sense to keep you from gouging anything. Sandpaper would be a very bad idea, these surfaces are precision ground, and sandpaper would trash the sealing surface, and potentially cause uneven low spots.

    Go to napa/autozone/whereever and get a GM power steering puller. That will remove your pulley with ease, and if you get it at autozone, you can just rent it.

    oh nevermind, it was the N*headgasket diag thread.... so I'm NOT crazy.

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    dkozloski's Avatar
    dkozloski is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: How do i clean the heads on my aluminum block?

    A well stocked auto parts store like NAPA sells gasket remover in spray cans that softens most of the stuff you'll find. Use a plastic windshield scraper or wooden paint stirrers sharpened with a pocket knife.

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    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: How do i clean the heads on my aluminum block?

    3m has abasive brushes that go in an electric drill. Checker used to carry them but doesn't anymore. I think an industrial abrasives shop would have them. Not cheap but they do not wear fast. 3M also makes surface conditioner discs. They are about 2" dia. I've used those on aluminum with no problems.I know Walmart carries those.

    Here's the brush, it is actually a " roloc bristle disc ": http://products3.3m.com/catalog/us/e...er/output_html

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