Risk of oil contamination from scotchbrite pads

Nov 20, 2021
First off, I want to thank anybody in advance for their input. A few days ago I noticed an oil leak coming from the clutch cover of my 2007 Honda CBR1000RR. This cover is sealed with liquid gasket, so I took the cover off and removed the liquid gasket. What I used to remove the gasket material has me concerned though. I used some grey ultra fine scotchbrite to clean the gasket surfaces on the case and cover. Now apparently if you even say scotchbrite in front of your engine it will throw a rod within 10k miles. Seriously though, I thought I was pretty careful. On the case side I followed closely behind the scotchbrite pad with a microfiber towel in my other hand (I held the rag in one hand and scotchbrite in the other so that the rag was covering the area directly below the mating surface I was cleaning). On the cover I just sprayed it out with brake clean and wiped it well with a rag when I was done. After I put everything back together, I tipped the bike over so that oil sloshed into the cover side and hopefully took any particles with it (there is a big opening directly from the oil pan to the clutch cover area I was working in). I then drained that oil and used fresh oil and a filter. The way this engine is designed, any abrasive particles would need to drain into the oil pan, go through the pickup, and through the oil filter before they go to literally anywhere else in the engine. I know that scotchbrite should never be used near an engine, and if I could go back in time I wouldn’t use it. But now I’m just trying to mitigate the risk of engine damage. Does it sound like I did a good job of risk mitigation so far? Should I do anything else? Should I stop being so paranoid? See a psychologist? Open to suggestions lol 😂

I think you will be okay. Rolocs are worse as it spins the dust it everywhere. I have used a scotch pad on valve cover gasket surfaces. But my trick is to oil the pad completely so there is little dust. Then wipe down with a cloth with oil or wd-40. Change oil after.

I try now, not to use them at all. but if you must, oil the pad down with oil or wd-40, MMO etc.
Based on your attention to detail, I believe that you will be fine. Us OCD Diy'ers do things entirely different than the pros that do wham-bam-thank you ma'am repairs. Heck, I can probably eat off my brake parts after I am done cleaning them up.

Anyway, you cannot do anything to change the past. Chock it up to experience and move on. I sometimes scratch my head in anxiety/wonder when I discover that something I have been doing successfully for decades is "wrong". Just had this happen last week with a greenhouse inflation fan replacement where the old one had the squirrel cage mounted backwards, yet it performed fine for 18 years, lol!

@ nomas - you are SO right!
In that same situation, I would use brake cleaner on a rag to remove the liquid gasket material. I would *try*.. Maybe it wouldn't work. I'd then use a flat edge scraper (pref plastic) to scrape as much as I could off, maybe even use both combined. I am anal also, so I would have avoided any abrasive material that leaves a residue. If I had to use abrasives, I would have blocked off any cylinder or port with shop towels, and vacuumed the entire area before removing the towels, and vacuumed again also. Ran for 3 mins till warm, dump oil and filter, fill fresh.
Put bike on stand, with left hand on your head walk around the bike counterclockwise three times. Fire that baby up and ride in good health.
Shiny side UP
Thank you everybody for your input. Sorry it took me a while to respond back. I’ve been really busy with work and school. I’m not going to lie, after what I’ve read online, I’m still a little paranoid. But I did drain the oil that was in the engine when I did the repair, put in fresh oil and a filter, ran it to temp, and then changed the oil and filter again. Idk why I even messed around with that scotchbrite. A brass brush is usually all I need to remove RTV. Ohh well, you live and you learn I guess.