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Cleaning Heads

This is a discussion on Cleaning Heads within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; What chemicals and methods should I use to clean the carbon build-ups on some used heads before I put them ...

  1. #1
    Sold: LS1 '85 El Camino ls1camino's Avatar
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    Cleaning Heads

    What chemicals and methods should I use to clean the carbon build-ups on some used heads before I put them on my car?

  2. #2
    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ls1camino View Post
    What chemicals and methods should I use to clean the carbon build-ups on some used heads before I put them on my car?
    I used a fine wire brush on my 90° grinder to clean the carbon, valves and gasket surfaces on mine when I redid my heads

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    Soap, Water and Steel Wool...2 Hours of elbow grease only got one done...

    Before:




    During:


    After:



  4. #4
    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    hugger orange
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    looking good

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    Looks pretty good. what about your piston tops how do you clean them ? Mine has carbon buld up on them.

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    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbias View Post
    Looks pretty good. what about your piston tops how do you clean them ? Mine has carbon buld up on them.
    same thing. a fine wire brush on a 90°, or drill will clean them up nice an quick and won't hurt anything

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    Finished up the second one...my arm is tired

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    black
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    really? how do you get all the fines and crap cleaned up when your done so that none of it gets down around the rings? shop vac and compressed air?

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    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbias View Post
    really? how do you get all the fines and crap cleaned up when your done so that none of it gets down around the rings? shop vac and compressed air?
    yup, I use my wet/dry vac with a homemade tip (poster board and ductape cone) to suck all the junk out when I'm done, then wipe the area down with a clean shop rag

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    I used rags during the scrubbing process to wipe up the dirty water. I then sed compress air to blow out the metal shavings left behind by the steel wool.

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    Still The Junior Member RedVertTA's Avatar
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    Wow, those heads look good after they're done.

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    Believe it or not I first use a bamboo chop stick filed to a scraper edge to get off the carbon as the bamboo will not scratch aluminum. Then a nylon scotchbrite pad (non-metallic) with some lacquer thinner to finish them off. You can see the results on the heads I just finished (in for sale section).

    Link

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    Senior Member 01ws6er's Avatar
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    lookin good man! What casting # are they cause they look different than my 241 casting heads...? I sent mine to a machine shop and had them do a valve job, mill them .005 just to make sure they were straight, and I ended up having 1 bent valve so I'm glad I sent em out. They hot tanked em for me and did all the cleaning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 01ws6er View Post
    lookin good man! What casting # are they cause they look different than my 241 casting heads...? I sent mine to a machine shop and had them do a valve job, mill them .005 just to make sure they were straight, and I ended up having 1 bent valve so I'm glad I sent em out. They hot tanked em for me and did all the cleaning.
    706 Casting (5.3L Heads)

    They were CNC Ported and milled to 60cc before I bought them...I also sent mine to a local head shop to port match the new valves and install the double valve springs. I can't wait to put them on

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    Senior Member 01ws6er's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ls1camino View Post
    706 Casting (5.3L Heads)

    They were CNC Ported and milled to 60cc before I bought them...I also sent mine to a local head shop to port match the new valves and install the double valve springs. I can't wait to put them on
    Very nice! So I take it you're going heads only for now? Do you have any idea of a CR, power #'s, or PTV clearences?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 01ws6er View Post
    Very nice! So I take it you're going heads only for now? Do you have any idea of a CR, power #'s, or PTV clearences?
    Nah...I've got parts piled in my garage...FAST 90 combo, Torquer V.2 Cam, High Flow Fuel Rails, 38# Injectors, Roller Rockers, LS7 Lifters, Hardened Push Rods, Ported Oil Pump, Underdrive Pulley, SLP Adjustable Timing Chain, LS6 Valley Cover, Catch Can, FTP Lid and probably some more parts I can't think of right now. I'm also driving down to SC tomorrow to pick up an Adjustable Torque Arm, Drag Sway Bar and a 9" Rear (Detroit Locker and 4.11 Gearing).

    I still need the following: Serpentine Belt to match my Underdrive Pulley, LS2 Lifter Trays, Front Main Seal, NGK Spark Plugs and True Duals from Texas Speed.

    CR should be around 11:1. PTV Clearance will be close, but I should be fine. And I'm hoping for somewhere around 450rwhp
    2000 Pontiac Trans Am WS6 M6: 427ci LS3, Built T56, Moser 9" w/ 4.11 Gearing, Full Suspension, and 6-point Cage.
    2000 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP: Twincharged w/ a T67 Turbocharger
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    Just a slow Camaro KING Z28 HAWK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ls1camino View Post
    Nah...I've got parts piled in my garage...FAST 90 combo, Torquer V.2 Cam, High Flow Fuel Rails, 38# Injectors, Roller Rockers, LS7 Lifters, Hardened Push Rods, Ported Oil Pump, Underdrive Pulley, SLP Adjustable Timing Chain, LS6 Valley Cover, Catch Can, FTP Lid and probably some more parts I can't think of right now. I'm also driving down to SC tomorrow to pick up an Adjustable Torque Arm, Drag Sway Bar and a 9" Rear (Detroit Locker and 4.11 Gearing).

    I still need the following: Serpentine Belt to match my Underdrive Pulley, LS2 Lifter Trays, Front Main Seal, NGK Spark Plugs and True Duals from Texas Speed.

    CR should be around 11:1. PTV Clearance will be close, but I should be fine. And I'm hoping for somewhere around 450rwhp

    WOW! Are you going to install it all yourself?

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    Senior Member 01ws6er's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ls1camino View Post
    Nah...I've got parts piled in my garage...FAST 90 combo, Torquer V.2 Cam, High Flow Fuel Rails, 38# Injectors, Roller Rockers, LS7 Lifters, Hardened Push Rods, Ported Oil Pump, Underdrive Pulley, SLP Adjustable Timing Chain, LS6 Valley Cover, Catch Can, FTP Lid and probably some more parts I can't think of right now. I'm also driving down to SC tomorrow to pick up an Adjustable Torque Arm, Drag Sway Bar and a 9" Rear (Detroit Locker and 4.11 Gearing).

    I still need the following: Serpentine Belt to match my Underdrive Pulley, LS2 Lifter Trays, Front Main Seal, NGK Spark Plugs and True Duals from Texas Speed.

    CR should be around 11:1. PTV Clearance will be close, but I should be fine. And I'm hoping for somewhere around 450rwhp
    That's quite the parts list! I'm actually almost finished putting my motor toegether as we speak. I just have a few little things to bolt together and then I'm gonna be putting the motor back on the k-member tonight hopefully. I'm using stock heads (cleaned up and radius 3 angle valve job) custom ground 230/230 .612/.591 111+2, 850 lifters, tsp pushrods, ported pump, etc, etc. Oh and not to mention ls6 shortblock since my old motor has a hole in it

    I'm sure I forgot some stuff in the parts list but I stole the grind from a guy on tech with stock heads and an auto with a 4000 stall and he put down 422/394 so hopefully in that range or maybe better since I'm an m6. Sounds like you have a pretty strong combo! I'm surprised you didn't go with the tried and true 5.3 heads and MS3 like a lot of people do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KING Z28 HAWK View Post
    WOW! Are you going to install it all yourself?
    Yup, waiting on the last of the parts to arrive from different online stores.

    The Rear and Torque Arm will be put in at my buddies shop, he has a lift

    Quote Originally Posted by 01ws6er View Post
    That's quite the parts list! I'm actually almost finished putting my motor toegether as we speak. I just have a few little things to bolt together and then I'm gonna be putting the motor back on the k-member tonight hopefully. I'm using stock heads (cleaned up and radius 3 angle valve job) custom ground 230/230 .612/.591 111+2, 850 lifters, tsp pushrods, ported pump, etc, etc. Oh and not to mention ls6 shortblock since my old motor has a hole in it

    I'm sure I forgot some stuff in the parts list but I stole the grind from a guy on tech with stock heads and an auto with a 4000 stall and he put down 422/394 so hopefully in that range or maybe better since I'm an m6. Sounds like you have a pretty strong combo! I'm surprised you didn't go with the tried and true 5.3 heads and MS3 like a lot of people do?
    Looks like I won't have the only upgraded car at the picnic this year.

    Since my heads were milled, enough people advised that I take the cam down a notch just to be safe. I'm sure I'm not missing out on that much hp, and besides the power range of the Torquer is more to my liking. I started off with a 224R and decided to go more aggressive before I even started the install.

  20. #20
    Senior Member 01ws6er's Avatar
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    Yea, I wasn't planning on doing any more mods except for a rear and some suspension stuff, then I was gonna pay the car off and build a 4xx stroker but I threw a rod so here we are. Unfortunately I dont have the funds for everything else right now. SOunds like you have a pretty stout combo, best of luck with it!

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