Preparation for painting

Discussion in 'Hints & Tips' started by FDEO, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. FDEO

    FDEO New Member

    Has anyone out there got useful tips regarding de-greasing and cleaning, oil sodden cast iron engine blocks, prior to priming and painting? I suspect being a somewhat porous material soaked with decades of oil, it is a pretty hopeless task, yet people seem to manage. How do they do it?

    Not too drastic please. It has wet liners that I dare not move.


  2. JohnM

    JohnM Member

    Being porous has advantages and disadvantages. It can absorb oil but it will do the same to paint if the surface layers are clean.
    I normally start with a pressure washer to get the worst off, then clean the engine with a solvent like diesel followed by a rinse with lots of hot detergent. Try to get into every crook and nanny but paint will bridge minor oversights. A dishwasher works well for the final clean but if you get caught, don't blame me.
    Of course, if you can get hold of a steam cleaner......

  3. lambe

    lambe Member

    Depending on size and your acsess to industrial equipment cook it at around 150 degs C for a couple of hours fetchs most of the oils out or bakes it in, be sure there aren't O rings on the liners
  4. FDEO

    FDEO New Member

    Many thanks for the comments. I was rather hoping to be pointed to a killer solvent that would do the job with little or no effort on my part. It was too much to expect.
    I have now tried all the suggestions and am having a little more success.
    My lack of success earlier with sequential washing, may have been affected by the low temperature and very high humidity in the workshop. Now its warming up a bit, results are better. The oven trick seems very good for small lumps of metal. The steam cleaner is disappointing on the scale of engine block, probably because it's only a small one and doesn't heat it up much.
    Again, thanks for taking the trouble

  5. daveh

    daveh New Member

    hi have you tried white spirt i have had good results with it and a cold pressure washer also try some soap the byproduct of biodiesel i am told it is good. :D
  6. binxs

    binxs New Member

    Hi, If you go to and look at a product called lydian it may help you. I use it a lot and as long as you give it time it works well
  7. goodchip

    goodchip Member

    Don't paint,leave the nice old oily cast iron! John
  8. FDEO

    FDEO New Member

    Thanks for keeping suggestions coming. I did eventually find Lidian, and it's excellent. Good for cleaning hands too. Half an hours soaking and pressure washing pretty much does the trick.
    Not so sure about "nice old oily cast iron". I didn't mention the intended Marine environment! This engine is going to work for a living. I think the manafacturers were probably on the right lines when painting them before sale.


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