Machine Shop Dip Block In Cleaning Tank

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What exactly does the machine shop use when they clean the cylinder block in some tank. My buddy said they do some process that I can't do at home, so I should just pay them. Is this true, or is it just a fancy tank with engine degreaser in it.
 
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Usually caustic alkaline/detergent, very hot caustic/detergent solution. Some shops use a jetspray enclosure which uses a milder solution. Hot tanks are strong enough to eat any non ferrous materials. Jetsprays are OK to use on aluminum parts.
 

1993_VG30E_GXE

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Is it worth paying for it Punisher? Or if I just remove all the freeze plugs, can I access those hard to clean areas. Plus, will it just get dirty a within a week after driving anyways.
 
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 Originally Posted By: 1993_VG30E_GXE
Is it worth paying for it Punisher? Or if I just remove all the freeze plugs, can I access those hard to clean areas. Plus, will it just get dirty a within a week after driving anyways.
I think it's well worth it. A plugged oil passage could ruin your overhaul. Not only that, but a machine shop will install the cam bearings for a small cost. Have you priced a decent cam bearing installer lately?
 
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Depends on your block type. A proper machine shop will pressure wash first to get the garbage off the engine, remove all bearings and oil gallery plugs, tank it, clean galleys with rifle brushes, and install gallery/freeze plugs and bearings (non split like cam bearings). You cannot clean an engine properly without pulling the oil gallery/freeze plugs and pressed bearings as this is where the garbage accumulates. If you do that yourself, and get a proper brush set, you can clean it yourself but it is a dirty PITA to do it right.
 
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The hot tank is mainly used to get the deposits out of the cooling system & oil galleries-I don't know any other way to get cast iron TOTALLY clean without using it. I've also seen machine shops use pressure washers & steam cleaners-don't use those guys!
 
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I believe in dip tanks but you should still pull the gallery plugs and clean all oil passages yourself after it's been in a dip tank. Dip tanks are notoriously filthy and full of crud.
 
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gotta dip it, or you just ain't clean. If your shop doesn't run a clean operation, try another. The shop I go to is clean like a freaking hospital.
 
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None of the shops in the Boston area use a hot tank. They all have thermal ovens that bake the oil and crud build up off. It really works great.
 
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I have not seen a hot tank in Ca in 20 years. I "think" they have been outlawed or maybe the cost of disposal here is too much. When I went through my 392 a few months ago I pulled all the oil galley plugs and cleaned the galleys with carb cleaner and a long brush then I sent it off to be put in a spray booth. I rebrushed the galleys when I got it back. Had to open up the holes in the cam bearings because they didn't get those perfectly lined up.
 

1993_VG30E_GXE

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Thanks All. To answer some specific questions: Kruse: I think i'll go for dip stick, dip sitck!!!!!! Not sure what cam bearings are...the VG30E motor is SOHC, I know i'll be buying rod bearings and main bearings. But those I can't size until I do the inspections. I want to try do the bare minimum out-sourcing to the machine shop as possible. I need to conserve my money, as my next job is to rebuild the RE4F02A Automatic Trans. I bought a second backup transmission to overhaul. Punisher: I'm new to this stuff, what are the pressed bearings you speak of. Are you refering to the rod bearings and main bearings? Can I just do alot of the cleaning myself with guidance from you guys. I'll buy all the brushes and tools. I can even take photos once I start dismantling stuff. I was going to buy a book on overhauling, but I've been using the Service manual from Nissan, it goes through every detail...I hope it's enough and it doesn't leave too much out. I may not bother with the book. Tell me what specific brushes I need. Osborne stuff? I was going to replace those freeze plugs with the brass ones anyways so I need to get them out. I'll pay for the dip as the final step. Can you guys recommend me some good Canadian or US online vendors for me to source my overhaul parts from? So far I found a place called RPM Machine, but not sure if their pricing is sort of high. It seems a bit.
 
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When I do an engine, I pull all the freeze plugs and gallery plugs, then spray it with degreaser and hit it with a pressure washer gun, taking time to shoot high pressure water down every nook and cranny, getting everthing as clean as possible, AND THEN take it to the machine shop and have them tank it. I find that the machine shop is more enthusastic about working with me when I bring them clean parts instead of nasty slimy stuff. Right before I start to reassemble, I put the parts through a thorough soap and HOT water cleaning, and then blown dry with compressed air. You can't possibly be too clean.
 
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 Originally Posted By: My442
None of the shops in the Boston area use a hot tank. They all have thermal ovens that bake the oil and crud build up off. It really works great.
Maybe it's a regional thing. A couple of months ago, I took in some Ford HiPo 289 bare heads from the mid 60s to my machine shop. I just needed them cleaned up to check for cracks. The machinist went ga-ga over the heads, said he hadn't seen any of these for a couple of decades and told me all of his racing stories when he used to do the quarter mile many years ago. I guess I really made his day because he hot tanked them for free. I am guessing that in some states, the cost to haul off and replace the solution would be prohibitive.
 
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 Originally Posted By: My442
None of the shops in the Boston area use a hot tank. They all have thermal ovens that bake the oil and crud build up off. It really works great.
I've avoided rebuilding car engines for 25 years, so that was a new one for me. Here's a YouTube video of the thermal oven process for other old farts that haven't kept up to date. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paUTGRdctpE
 

Kestas

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Cleaning blocks, heads and cranks is something I do not do myself. I find it's worth paying the shop to do it properly.
 

1993_VG30E_GXE

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Is there some tell tale way I can tell by looking if the shop (before I pay them) actually has the real caustic old school hot tank device? My friend said alot of machine shops in Toronto will just tell you they have the hot tank, but in fact they don't want to deal with the disposal fees, so they use some detergent of some sort, not the old school chemical way. Can I tell by looking?
 
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