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  1. #1

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    Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    I have a very nice engine that has some varnish cooked onto the head, and wonder what the best way is to remove it without damaging the fins. A very long time ago, I remember helping a friend clean up one of his engines, and the stuff we used was really foul smelling. Any suggestions? Thanks

  2. #2
    jeffie8696's Avatar
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    A product for cleaning dishes called Dawn Power Dissolver
    Club Saito # 677-Team Boca Bearings-Star Collectibles Muscatine-Glowhead Brotherhood #19

  3. #3
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    I like to use Dawn Power Dissolver to remove the cooked on varnish from the glow engines. The stuff works pretty good. You can scrub it with a old toothbrush too.

    Club Saito #722, Sig Kadet Brotherhood #80, GlowHead Brotherhood #14,
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    +3

    It comes in a blue squeez spray and you may find it with the oven cleaners, or with the dish soap. Not all stores handle it. I think I found mine at the Ace Hardware store.

    Wear rubber gloves, it will raise hell with your skin. It may take a couple applications, but it does a very good job of getting the baked on castor off the engine. Follow the instructions on the bottle.

    Don

  5. #5
    jeffie8696's Avatar
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    If you leave it on too long it tries to melt your engine.
    Club Saito # 677-Team Boca Bearings-Star Collectibles Muscatine-Glowhead Brotherhood #19

  6. #6
    Moderator blw's Avatar
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    Trying it on a spot for a few minutes to check for discoloring is a good idea. I know that I've forgotten about it on a Saito for 45 minutes without problems. It's god stuff.
    The ultimate responsibility of pilots is to fulfill the dreams of the countless millions who can only stare skyward...and wish.

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  7. #7
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    If you're not in a hurry the ol' crock pot and antifreeze might work better over night?

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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    I've found that using a small jewellers  ultra sonic bath works well using warm water
    and a splash of grease remover in the water.

  9. #9
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    I like that baked on bronze colour they take
    Watch out for the ground eh?

  10. #10
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine


    ORIGINAL: Ernie Misner

    If you're not in a hurry the ol' crock pot and antifreeze might work better over night?

    This method does work, BUT, if you leave it in the pot too long, the Ethylene Glycol will turn the metal grey and any polished parts such as the head will loose that shiny look.


    Dawn Power Cleaner will do the same thing if left on too long.

    Frank

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  11. #11
    Moderator w8ye's Avatar
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    I have a beautiful gun metal gray OS 61 four stroke out in the garage. The owner had boiled it in automatic dishwasher soap.
    Attended the CutFinger Institute of DirtNap University for years but never did graduate....
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  12. #12
    Moderator blw's Avatar
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    Those ultra sonic cleaners work great. I got all of the burned castor tar off of a muffler with mine. I used some dishwashing liquid in the water.

    Yeah, I also like that burned look too, OF.

    I once needed to wash my hands after doing something on my truck. Couldn't think of anything good, so I used that gritty, powdered dishwasher soap. My hands were so dried out that I had to use hand lotion every half hour for weeks.
    The ultimate responsibility of pilots is to fulfill the dreams of the countless millions who can only stare skyward...and wish.

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  13. #13

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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    Get yourself a cheap crock pot. Fill it with enough Antifreeze to cover your parts in the bottom.Use the older conventional antifreezeNOT 50/50. You may want to make a strainer because the stuff gets incrediblyhot. Put your parts (not rubber) into the mix and let it stew for a couple of days. You will have brand new looking motor parts when done.I have done entire motor blocks this way. The parts come out looking like they are brand new.

    CB


    ORIGINAL: poorbs

    I have a very nice engine that has some varnish cooked onto the head, and wonder what the best way is to remove it without damaging the fins. A very long time ago, I remember helping a friend clean up one of his engines, and the stuff we used was really foul smelling. Any suggestions? Thanks

  14. #14

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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    Hobby King has a real nice Ultrasonic cleaner for less than $25-it works well -cleans without harsh chemicals and does not dry your skin out -easy to store as well and cleans other items as well besides model engines.
    \"IF YOU HAVE TOO MANY AIRPLANES -FLY BOLDLY AND REDUCE YOUR NUMBER\"

  15. #15
    Moderator blw's Avatar
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    Amazon is a good place to compare and check the reviews.
    The ultimate responsibility of pilots is to fulfill the dreams of the countless millions who can only stare skyward...and wish.

    "It's a new day for Auburn" - Gus Malzahn

  16. #16
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine


    ORIGINAL: countilaw


    ORIGINAL: Ernie Misner

    If you're not in a hurry the ol' crock pot and antifreeze might work better over night?

    This method does work, BUT, if you leave it in the pot too long, the Ethylene Glycol will turn the metal grey and any polished parts such as the head will loose that shiny look.


    Dawn Power Cleaner will do the same thing if left on too long.

    Frank

    I can vouch for that statement.I've found that 4 to 6 hrs works for most varnish. If you have a small brass wire brush you can speed the process to just a couple of hours for most engines.
    KaP2011
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  17. #17
    Moderator w8ye's Avatar
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    You cannot boil the antifreeze and the parts must be completely submerged at all times or you will get graying.
    Attended the CutFinger Institute of DirtNap University for years but never did graduate....
    Recipient, Mangledhand award August 2008
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  18. #18
    countilaw's Avatar
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    Harbor Freight carries a sonic cleaner that is cheap but well made. You can order on line or go pick one up and use it that day. Works good on cleaning old jewelry too.

    Frank
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  19. #19
    Ernie Misner's Avatar
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    How does an ultrasonic cleaner work?

  20. #20

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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine


    ORIGINAL: poorbs

    I have a very nice engine that has some varnish cooked onto the head, and wonder what the best way is to remove it without damaging the fins. A very long time ago, I remember helping a friend clean up one of his engines, and the stuff we used was really foul smelling. Any suggestions? Thanks
    A friend of mine put me onto a product named TAL-STRIP. You can get it in a lot of auto parts stores although it is most used in the aviation industry. It is called a "coating remover". My friend used it to clean up a well used OS91 4-stroke and it looks brand new!
    AMA 16066

  21. #21

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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine


    ORIGINAL: w8ye

    I have a beautiful gun metal gray OS 61 four stroke out in the garage. The owner had boiled it in automatic dishwasher soap.
    +1 or clothing detergent and hot water


  22. #22
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    I did an old os 90 in the antifreeze in the crock pot and it did turn it all gray, it was completely covered and I did not boil it so I think it depends on the engine. I have a little enya from the 70'sI did and it's fine.
    ORIGINAL: w8ye

    You cannot boil the antifreeze and the parts must be completely submerged at all times or you will get graying.
    If what you believed to be true was false would you want to know the truth?

    "You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free".

  23. #23
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    IMO, a slow cook in a crock pot with antifreeze is the best way as mentioned several times before. I also use Dawn Power Disolver but the antifreeze method does a better job. Not sure why some people experience graying of the finish (I don't) but at least you'll have a clean engine to work with. If you want to brighten it up at that point, I've heard a copper cleaner will work.
    No matter how many times I cut it, it's still too short!

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  24. #24
    Moderator BarracudaHockey's Avatar
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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    Anti freeze in a crokpot, on LOW
    Andy - Helicopter Forum Moderator
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  25. #25

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    RE: Removing Cooked on Varnish from an engine

    anitfreeze is not a good idea. Antifreeze contains additives which when allowed to boil off can have serious health effects.
    ethylene glycol (One component of antifreeze) vapours can cause respiratory ailments.


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