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Cleaning engine parts

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by YAM277, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Just wanted to share some cleaning experiences, along the way of my rebuild. Here are some before and after pics of the pistons. I found a vapor blasting service, in New Mexico, that I would highly recommend. His name is Dan Vitaletti of Vapor Blast Solutions. He is on top of his game, with quick email responses(or phone if you prefer) and I am real happy with his prices and one week turn around time! I figured I'd give anyone a heads up, because you always see guys on the forum asking "how did you clean that"? If you can handle the shipping carefully, it is well worth the price, as you can see the results. V.P.S. 3900 Paseo Del Sol Suite A204, Sante Fe, New Mexico 87507
    vaporblastsolutions@gmail.com 505-946-7097

    Here is the album of pics: http://www.xs650.com/media/albums/2690/

    Attached Files:

  2. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  3. Thanks for the link on Dan's services, I didn't know of his vast expertise on riding and restoring all the other types of bikes! Great article. . . . kudos, Too Many.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
  4. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    I'm still catching up on the new tricks, and this "vapor blasting" has really piqued my interest.
    Apparently not many offerings for this service, and there's some threads out there by folks wanting to cook up their own blast rig. The benefits list is very promising, worth following this.

    Care to share your "pricing" experience?
  5. Sure, the price for blasting 2 brake calipers, 2 caliper brackets, the jugs, the head and the top end and 2 pistons was $100.00 , plus shipping which was about $50 each way, with insurance from USPS.

    I did my cases, which took a looooooong time and cost on chem dip,cleaners, varnish removers(aircraft paint remover), dremel brushes, hand brass brushes and I bet there is over $100 in accessories. Yeah they came out clean, but geeeeeeze! Next time I'll remove the studs, send 'em out and vapor blast 'em.

    I'll post the cases soon, I'm putting them back together.

    Even the guys, who are choosing black accents on their jugs and heads, you can't beat how clean they come back, after vapor blasting!
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
  6. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi YAM277,
    yeah, vapor blasting not only leaves parts squeaky clean but the slight "tooth" really helps the paint to stick.
    Mind you, that very "tooth" also helps oil spills & road crud to stick onto exposed surfaces.
    Not that vapor blasted surfaces don't look great but it takes a deal of extra cleaning to keep them so.
  7. Higgy

    Higgy XS650 Addict

    I've been building an ultrasonic cleaner to compliment my vibratory tumbler. I'll be able to put a couple carbs in it at least. I used to work in a place that had a dry ice blaster, but it was locked up tighter than a chastity belt. Would've loved to have that.

    I also been having fun with my new HF soda blaster. Pain in the ass to prevent it from getting everywhere, and a serious pita to clean up, but worth it. Great results.
  8. wherearewe

    wherearewe Rub on Ya Titties

    Ive been told / read that vapour blasting is a 2 step process. In doing it, it sort of peens the aluminium, closing the pores to an extent and this helps resist oxidation and surface wear. Ive seen photos of a head that was done 10 years ago, been left sitting on a shelf and it still looks like it was done that day. There is pretty good endorsement of it in Sid Young's "Classic Japanese Motorcycles".

    Im currently looking at getting it done on a stripped motor.

    This is taken from the OP's vapour blasting guys website:

    "Conventional blasting methods can embed abrasives into the metal and can create porosity on the surface, this condition attracts and holds dirt and grease, making it nearly impossible to clean once soiled.
    Aggressive, dry blasting may damage or erode the base metal.
    Vapor Blasting eliminates media impingment, providing a peening effect to the surface so parts surfaces stay cleaner longer."
  9. The key to vapor blasting is that the finish is produced through flow of water borne abrasive, giving a finer finish due to the flushing action of the water. No media is impregnated into the component, nor is there any dust created by the break-up of media, unlike dry blasting where the finish is produced by sheer force of media impact.

    A specially designed glandless polyurethane pump agitates water and media into a slurry, which is contained within the cabinet sump. Delivery of the slurry to the manual blast nozzle is via a glandless polyurethane pump and associated hoses located inside the machine. The slurry is pumped at approximately 2 bar to the nozzle, and compressed air is introduced at the blast nozzle to accelerate the slurry and provide the cleaning effect on impact, albeit cushioned.

    After contact with the component the slurry then drains back into the sump creating a re-circulating system. Fine broken down media and other contaminants are fed via an overflow to a sedimentation filter located at the rear of the cabinet.

    The aggressiveness of dry grit and bead blasting are shown in the first two illustrations which demonstrate the severe 90° ricochet that occurs when using these methods.

    The third illustration shows the gentler, but just as effective, vapor blasting method. The ricochet of media is reduced due to the cushioning from the water; the angle of the media is changed producing a lapping effect travelling across the surface, giving an even satin/polished finish.

    Advantages of Vapor Blasting

    Dust free process
    Cleans by flow of water not by impact
    Simultaneously degrease & blast clean
    Water acts as a lubricant between media & component
    Promotes longer media life
    Produces a 'softer' finish
    Avoids media impregnation on soft materials

    Typical Applications

    Degreasing / surface finishing of components in the automotive, reconditioning & maintenance industries
    Cleaning of dies & moulds
    Removal of paint, rust, scale, carbon & similar deposits in engineering industries
    Surface preparation prior to bonding, re-painting or re-coating
    Satin finishing of stainless steels & other special materials
    Cleaning of PCB's & electrical connectors
    Removal of small burrs from manufactured components

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
  10. The post above, shows and explains the benefits of vapor (vapour) blasting. I tried the sand blast method first and wasn't impressed at the dull grey finish. Once the vapor blast was done, it provided a satin (smooth) finish.
    It is a refined process, comparatively. Realizing the process isn't as inexpensive as sand or walnut shells, it does cost more, if you really like the smoother finish.
    I have heard of the ice blast, however, the cost of dry ice and availability, plus the heavy cost of machinery, you would have to be great friends, with a local, mobile business, to make it worth the expense. It would be interesting, seeing the 3 different finishes, side by side, if someone has the ice blast pic, to compare?
  11. abyssmaltailgate

    abyssmaltailgate Greenhorn Mechanic

    Did you send Dan your parts as is, or did you completely disassemble every individual component before shipping it to New Mexico? I'm mostly curious about the carbs. Thanks!
  12. I sent Dan the whole carb set, uncleaned. He disassembles the set and will change your supplied new gaskets and no additional charge. Drop him an email, great service!
  13. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    Try using your soda blaster in HF's blast cabinet to contain the mess, and a shopvac to reduce the dust. It's like a time machine, taking your parts back to before they were all crapped up!...
  14. One man's ceiling. . . is another man's floor.
  15. Higgy

    Higgy XS650 Addict

    Right on, Tebo! I am actually considering this. With my arm in a cast, everything I've lined up to do this winter for projects has been stalled for the next two months, so all I have been doing is studying and refining my knowledge-base.

    I'm definitely going to get another blast cab, and set up one of my cabs with soda. There are lots of posts in other forums, and videos on Youtube for HF blast cabinet upgrades, and they all look so nice. FWIW, my current cab is a Grizzly, and it's about a 98% match to the HF. Works pretty darn good, imho. I got it hooked up to an 18-gallon Shop-vac with drywall bag - no dust.

    I'll do a writeup when I get the new cab.
  16. Stoop22kid

    Stoop22kid XS650 Addict

    Looking into vapor blasting my xs engine....what all internals would need to be removed? Obviously the crank, can, tranny, and all major parts would be removed....but would EVERY piece need to be removed?
  17. Higgy

    Higgy XS650 Addict

    I personally would want every surface to be lean, clean, and pristine on my rebuild, so my answer would be yes.
  18. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi kid,
    as I understand vapor-blasting it uses water and an abrasive.
    And that shit gets everywhere.
    So yes, tear down to the bare casting and pressure wash it afterwards, too.
  19. Working with Dan Vitaletti at Vapor Blast Solutions, he post cleans the items he blasts for you. . .
    "We post-vapor blasting wash and dry parts several times to remove any residual media particles.

    If you decide to give them an additional wash before assembly, used only clean water and dry with compressed air "
    You can find his FAQ's here:

    So. . . no worries, if you have no previous experience or knowledge with Vapor Blasting.:yikes:

    Attached Files:

  20. Stoop22kid

    Stoop22kid XS650 Addict

    That stuff looks awesome!

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