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Vapor or Soda blasting complete engine?

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Vapor or Soda blasting complete engine?

PostAuthor: briandk » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:42 am

I need old paint cleaned off my engine and have the option to have it vapor or soda blasted.
I'd prefer vapor blasting as it seems to generate a much nicer end result, but also involves glass media.

Does anyone have experience blasting an engine without taking it apart? Soda blasting seems to be rather harmless, so it shouldn't be a problem with that and the local vapor blasting company says they can do a whole engine (and have done so before), but prefer it in parts to guarantee the result and avoid any blasting media inside the engine, I have to plug intake/exhaust etc. myself though and they take no responsibility if media gets in.

I'd really rather avoid taking the engine apart, so would like to know if anyone else has tried it.

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Re: Vapor or Soda blasting complete engine?

PostAuthor: mark75 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:08 am

I have used soda blasting on small parts; doing an entire engine in one piece is pretty bold, but since soda is water soluble, maybe it's better suited for that project.

not sure what "vapor blasting" is, but sounds like abrasive blasting - which should be approached with caution in delicate / machined areas.
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Re: Vapor or Soda blasting complete engine?

PostAuthor: briandk » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:12 pm

mark75 wrote:I have used soda blasting on small parts; doing an entire engine in one piece is pretty bold, but since soda is water soluble, maybe it's better suited for that project.

not sure what "vapor blasting" is, but sounds like abrasive blasting - which should be approached with caution in delicate / machined areas.


Thanks for the input. Vapor blasting ( at least what I have available here ) is glass media mixed with water. The end result is really stunning, but I'm just wondering if you can really seal the engine up enough for glass media not to enter it.

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Re: Vapor or Soda blasting complete engine?

PostAuthor: mark75 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:10 pm

a nearly total seal could 'theoretically' be done, but the tech would have to be very careful and meticulous - both with the sealing and the spraying & clean-up.

yeah OK, that's called "bead blasting" where I am - leaves a very nice finish, but it is abrasive.
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so Laissez les bon temps roulez ... just roll safely

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Re: Vapor or Soda blasting complete engine?

PostAuthor: Hobbit » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:02 am

Hiya,
Having looked into the various cleaning methods for the very same reasons, it is all about the seal. Blanking plates for the ports (silicon'ed if it makes you feel better) and a set of duff plugs. Oh and rubber bungs for the vents.

BTW, on this side of the pond Bead Blasting is air propelled lead (or soft) shot and therefore dry and is actually more of a final polishing technique, although it can be used for cleaning it's not the best, vapour blasting uses assorted media types and water not air as the carrier which greatly reduces the dust and keeps the work-piece cooler.
Soda blasting is a much gentler process and may not get things quite as clean as you'd like or will get from a harder abrasive. Walnut shell is another soft, polishing media as an alternative to soda.

Hope this has helped, and let us know how it goes.
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