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Washing Ali Lumps in a Dishwasher

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The V8 rebuild is about to lurch forwards as I have now aquired a complete SERP V8 :D

but the ali is oil / cr*p saoked solid etc,

I have me own "In Garage" Hot Mini Dishwasher, so far I have shoved Steel bits in and

they have come out lemon fresh smelly (+ tad ep90) and clean :), but I have been warned NOT

to put Ali casings / brackets etc in as they will get dmaged ?

Why ?

Is there stuff (cleaner) that must not be used, or is my Standard Bargain Bucket of Fairy Lemon Fresh

Dishwasher tablets OK :rofl: ?


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Just use some really hot water and caustic soda in a bucket, it will clean it off in no time, really really makes a huge difference to oil stained engine parts. Don't leave in there for too long to soak, 20 minutes is more than enough, just agitate with a brush/green scourer and it will come up like new. Rinse off well afterwards and job done :)

I wouldn't trust a dishwasher (well, the tablets really TBH) as you can't so easily check on the progress to see if something has melted :rolleyes: You could try it without the detergent and see what difference it makes....?

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Last ali thing I put in a dishwasher came out white & fluffy, not sure exactly what causes it but since then I've stuck to the parts washer instead. Sure there's a way of doing it in the dishwasher with the correct detergents, do we have any chemists on the forum?

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Dishwasher are useless without any detergent.

I tried an engine block and all it did was not clean the block at all, but still managed to get the rest of the dishwasher covered in oil.

Then the dishwasher stopped working, according to the repair man "some black gunk had got in and jammed the motor causing it to melt"...."oh really, wonder what thats from?" I replied :rolleyes: Luckily it was rented student house and the landlord had to replace it, haha

Perhaps there are some old ally parts you (or close by forum people) have lying around and could try different detergents on.

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Do not use Caustic Soda (Sodium hydroxide) to clean Aluminium. Well, you can do, if you're trying to lighten things. OK, it's not going to dissolve it away overnight, but if you do not rinse it all off properly and it sits festering, you'll find your aluminium turning in to white salts.

Non-caustic traffic film remover (sodium metasilicate)is less corrosive to aluminium, but care should be taken to rinse it thoroughly or it will corrode also. The engine on my Yamaha WR250 can testify to that.

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I've (Don't tell Sarah! :ph34r:) used our dishwasher for loads of stuff including Ali carbs and manifolds.

I've used the hottest wash but only half a tablet. As soon as it finishes, take out item and dry with an air blower.

The tablets contain a strong alkali to dissolve grease (actually, it turns it in to soap). The strong Alkali also attacks the surface of the Aluminium - which frees up dirt even better.

If you leave the Ali to dry naturally, the surface goes furry as the bare aluminium reacts with the water. In dry air, it forms it's normal protective oxide layer.

In practice, an average spin in a dishwasher will only remove a few microns of surface. So, unless it's a gas turbine or something it will probably not make too much difference so long as you do not run it repeatedly.

I was worried about putting an SU Carb through it - but it was so black and covered in varnish & gook that I figured it could not make it worse. I stripped it down to bare components. The smaller ones went in to the washer in a sock to stop them getting lost - and the whole thing came out like new! It even runs like new now reassembled!

If you run it without tablets, the grease melts, drops off and then re-solidifies somewhere else in the washer - which is often a clue to it's real owner! After a parts-wash-cycle, run it again empty with a tablet and that hides the EP90 smell!

"It was like that when I opened the door! Honest!"


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When cleaning the heads for my 3.5 and the rocker covers I did the following:

Spray with Fairy Power spray and work in with a stiff brush.

Leave it to sit a little bit (we are talking 5-10 minutes here, too long and I think it attacks the aluminium)

Wash off with low pressure water

Do any stubborn bits again


Pressure wash

Blow off with compressed air to dry

WD40 any bits you don't want to rust :D

I have also put rocker covers in the dishwasher with no problems (apart from forgetting how hot they would be :ph34r: ), just rinsing off afterward.

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The V8 rebuild is about to lurch forwards as I have now aquired a complete SERP V8 :D

but the ali is oil / cr*p saoked solid etc,


Confused, why do you need another one?

Just because you can?

Because you are addicted to them and get withdrawal?

Because you like to make them all shiny and sparkly?

Because it annoys 'er in doors?

When is the next instalment as I am getting withdrawal symptoms?


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