Engine Cleaning with Muratic Acid
I am curently rebuilding an engine (1970 Ford 390) and wish to find an acid that will eat the grease and rust off but will not etch the metal. Can a specific strength of Muriatic Acid [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] accomplish this and how soon does it need to be rinsed of and painted? Do I need to dip the engine parts or brush them?
Many Thanks,Mark Byrd
Byrd's Residential Services - Colfax, Washington
What animal will eat both the carrion and the clover to clean up the fields? Rust and grease are very different and you are better off not asking for a single chemical to handle both problems. Grease is removed with solvents or caustics and rust is removed with acid. Get all the grease off first, and if you then see a problem with rust, look for a rust remover. A commercial phosphoric acid based one will be safer for you and your parts than messing with muriatic acid.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
To be brief, short and succinct, D O N T !
Any acid will cause problems. HCl, ie. muriatic will attack chrome very nicely let alone ss fastener clamps etcetera. Go and see 6a # 12044 for more advice on using HCl ...
Consider using a proprietary cleaner. Such materials will dissolve oils and are water miscible. Any automotive store should have one! Pour some into an old plastic spray bottle so that you can access hard to reach spots. OK?
Re rust removal, I'm not sure. I really don't know. Personally I would never, ever have contemplated using an acid to remove any engine rust. Maybe HCl or sulphuric with immediate wash-off, drying and then painting. Better still use steel wool [linked by editor to product info at Rockler].
White Rock, British Columbia, Canada
(It is our sad duty to
advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).
I rebuilt the engine out of my '62 International Scout, it had a bad rust problem on the outside of the crank case, I used a wire cup and a drill to get it all clean, followed that with a nice sandblasting to smooth out the casting marks, finally polished the block to a mild shine, primed with ceramic based primers and painted with ceramic paint. that was 4 years ago and it still looks like factory new.
Just my 2 cents.John Gardner
- Galt, California, USA
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