How to clean RTV from polished aluminum surfaces?

Joined
Jul 5, 2020
Messages
128
Location
Sioux City
This just refers to to GM bulletin with a some added commentary. When I searched for the use of abrasive discs causing engine damage, the only thing I found was the GM bulletin and articles that referred to and just add more commentary. I could not find real world evidence of engine damage.

I’d be very curious to see a real world example of engine damage caused if someone has it. Because I can’t find it.

I’m not sure how much material you could physically remove on purpose when using a White/fine grade bristle disc on aluminum machined surfaces. It would also depend on the metallurgy of the part. However if it’s an engine part made that handles high heat, it’s likely not a soft material. The amount of abrasive dust when used properly is so minimal that I don’t know if it’s able to be feasibly measured.
 

D60

Joined
Nov 6, 2017
Messages
892
Location
Colo
This is moderately amusing to me:

"Abrasive pads, Abrasive rubber fingers wheels & wire wheels with high speeds grinders produce air bourn debris that can travel throughout the shop contaminating other work being performed outside of the immediate work area."

I do understand their point but a little common sense in the shop goes a long way.

If you carry this logic too far you better never drive any vehicle within [pick your distance] of a weld shop or anywhere abrasives are being used because seeing that they're so happy to point out your oil filter won't catch the particulates, neither will the air filter!

The other obvious solution is a small plexi guard several feet off the ground and about head height -- I mean we've learned a tiny piece of plexi stops anything airborne (or air bourn as the Holman link says), right????
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2011
Messages
11,883
Location
North Carolina
This is moderately amusing to me:

"Abrasive pads, Abrasive rubber fingers wheels & wire wheels with high speeds grinders produce air bourn debris that can travel throughout the shop contaminating other work being performed outside of the immediate work area."

I do understand their point but a little common sense in the shop goes a long way.

If you carry this logic too far you better never drive any vehicle within [pick your distance] of a weld shop or anywhere abrasives are being used because seeing that they're so happy to point out your oil filter won't catch the particulates, neither will the air filter!

The other obvious solution is a small plexi guard several feet off the ground and about head height -- I mean we've learned a tiny piece of plexi stops anything airborne (or air bourn as the Holman link says), right????
I think you're a little too zealous in defense of your poor habits.
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2020
Messages
128
Location
Sioux City
Seriously guys, you're blowing this out of proportion. If you use a tool for it's intended purpose, use it the way it is supposed to be used, use the grade of Bristle Disc appropriate for the material, plug your holes and clean up when you are done there will be zero problems!! If there were, then I would have seen hundreds of cars come back with blown engines or water pump failures. I do not condone the scotch-brite pads, those are horrible for engine use!

Again, has anyone found real world examples of this happening??

How many people get their torque wrenches recalibrated annually or exercise their torque wrench properly before use?

How many people use Subaru's Cooling System Conditioner when flushing the cooling system on a Subaru? Most on this forum say to avoid any cooling system additives. Yet Subaru has a bulletin (09-42-05) that states it MUST be used when coolant is changed.

What I am getting at is any tool can be used improperly. Like a screwdriver is not a pry tool, even for interior panels. It's up to the user to use a tool properly and asses the risk at hand.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
28,403
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
This just refers to to GM bulletin with a some added commentary.
I guess you didn't read it.

Sample Warning from Ford:
WARNING
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE ANY ALUMINUM GASKET SURFACES TO BE CLEANED
USING RAZOR BLADES, ROTARY ABRASIVE DEVICES INCLUDING ROLOC AND 3M
BRANDED SCOTCHBRITE PRODUCTS, ROTARY WIRE BRUSHES, SINGLE HANDLED WIRE
BRUSHES, HAND ABRASIVE SUCH AS SANDPAPER OR EMERY CLOTH, OR ANY CARBON
STEEL BLADE.
THESE TOOLS ARE PROVEN TO CUT AND DAMAGE ALUMINUM AND WILL DISRUPT THE
POLISHED FINISH. ABRASIVE PARTICLES ARE ALSO SUSCEPTIBLE TO ENTERING THE
ENGINE CAVITIES AND MAY CAUSE INTERNAL ENGINE DAMAGE.
THE ONLY TOOLS ACCEPTABLE ARE PLASTIC AND WOOD SCRAPERS COMBINED
WITH USE OF MOTORCRAFT METAL SURFACE CLEANER, F4AZ-19A536-RA, OR
EQUIVALENT SOLVENT.
AERA Technical Bulletin - The Use of “Surface Conditioning Disks”
The AERA Technical Committee offers the following information concerning the use of
“Surface Conditioning Disks”. When cleaning engine gasket sealing surfaces, and/or cleaning
parts from an engine which are to be reused, DO NOT use surface conditioning disks (typically
constructed of woven fiber or molded bristles) which contain abrasives, such as a high
amount of Aluminum Oxide. Those disks are NOT recommended for cleaning internal
engine components!
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
28,403
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
This is moderately amusing to me:

"Abrasive pads, Abrasive rubber fingers wheels & wire wheels with high speeds grinders produce air bourn debris that can travel throughout the shop contaminating other work being performed outside of the immediate work area."

I do understand their point but a little common sense in the shop goes a long way.

If you carry this logic too far you better never drive any vehicle within [pick your distance] of a weld shop or anywhere abrasives are being used because seeing that they're so happy to point out your oil filter won't catch the particulates, neither will the air filter!

The other obvious solution is a small plexi guard several feet off the ground and about head height -- I mean we've learned a tiny piece of plexi stops anything airborne (or air bourn as the Holman link says), right????
You can be amused all you want, using these disc on an engine is a hack move by hacks who are more interested in a quick job. GM, Ford and others does not take this position for fun, they take it very serious.
Your asking for examples is a typical straw man argument, out of the many rod and main bearing failures that have been seen over the years how would anyone know what the exact cause was if it was not obvious like low oil or overheating. The manufacturer has obviously investigated this with specialized equipment and found the cause of the ones they are on the warranty hook for.

Important: Dealers who use improper gasket cleaning
methods resulting in engine failures will be debited the
cost of the replacement and repair, and possibly
considered for restriction with future engine
replacements.
Why don't you contact GM, Ford and others and explain to them why they should retract their TSB and explain why it amuses you. I am sure they will retract it. NOT
 

Job

Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
3,028
Location
USA
Abrasive pads, wheels etc destroy surface flatness and the abrasives will imbed into soft metals. The silicone remover was a good tip. I read silicone is attacked by gear oil, never tried it to clean with.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2013
Messages
6,702
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
This just refers to to GM bulletin with a some added commentary. When I searched for the use of abrasive discs causing engine damage, the only thing I found was the GM bulletin and articles that referred to and just add more commentary. I could not find real world evidence of engine damage.

I’d be very curious to see a real world example of engine damage caused if someone has it. Because I can’t find it.

I’m not sure how much material you could physically remove on purpose when using a White/fine grade bristle disc on aluminum machined surfaces. It would also depend on the metallurgy of the part. However if it’s an engine part made that handles high heat, it’s likely not a soft material. The amount of abrasive dust when used properly is so minimal that I don’t know if it’s able to be feasibly measured.

Bristle Disc's themselves contain Aluminum Oxide, This is directly from the 3M website.... "For increased performance, Scotch-Brite™ Bristle Discs feature aluminum oxide blended with ceramic abrasive grain"

I don't use abrasive disc's when doing internal work on engines, transmissions, transfer cases, or differentials mostly because GM training from years ago.....I remember a lot of the "old heads" in the shop having the same stance as you. GM went to the extreme of back charging for engine replacements if abrasive disc debris was deemed the cause during an audit of the core.

Don't even allow the use of abrasive/cut off wheels in my shop if a Engine/Transmission is being built or open for repair.

While this isn't exactly an exception to the rule.....In extreme cases, I will use an abrasive disc on a removed engine component.
Let's take a Rear Main Adaptor used on one piece Gen I & II small block Chevies for example, The composite paper gasket turns to Stone after awhile.....I use Red Scotchbrite Pads to remove the gasket from the adaptor, But I do it out back behind my shop, Then blow it clean best I can, Wash it in solvent, Then blow it with clean/virgin solvent, Then blow it dry.
 
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