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Old 12-29-2012, 12:43 PM   #1
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Post did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

Im in need to clean my SOHC V head d16z6 the valve train and the whole head. theres alot of sludge and old dirty hard crap oil on it.
My friend said i could use oven cleaner to clean the whole valvetrain valves springs everything on the cylinder head.

so i sprayed the oven cleaner spray on the cylinder head, valvetrain area all aorund. it foamed up great like regular degreaser. i waited a while and read the instructions,
the instructions says Percautions "Use only on porcelain enamel, iron, stainless steel. ceramic and glass surfaces. Do not use on Exterior oven surface, aluminum, chrome, baked enamel."
when i read it i sprayed water quickly off it sat about a minute or so till i rinsed the cylinder head off.



the part that says "aluminum" gets me. idk why i didn't read the label first place. F***K did i mess up the valve train looks hella clean but i mean did the oven cleaner damaged to the aluminum cylinder head valve train components etc?

can i still use the cylinder head?
damm i already spent a whole lot on the bottom half and want to just get this head ready.is this head useable???
is this cylinder head F***ked anyone used the safeway oven cleaner heavy duty brand? or any kind like this.

im worried..
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

Pics. It's possible you messed it up.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

I'm with marc...


Why you would even try this is beyond me.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:05 PM   #4
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Post Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

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Pics. It's possible you messed it up.
how much percentage chance do you think the cylinder head is messed up? i will post pics up after i finish charging my camera.

i need to get this motor running also and really worried if i can use this head again. just needed to put new valve seals and i was about to be done..

im hoping its still usable.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:26 PM   #5
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Post Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

uploaded the pics.

in the pics it looks clean but seems to have these white powder things on it. i wipe it off and it comes off. also the valve train etc i wash it with water again and it comes it has some powder stuff on it.
why i used the oven cleaner F*** idk why my cowoker told me that it was good cleaning this kind of things. but i made a mistake.



can this be still used in my engine???? please help me i need to get this running asap.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

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uploaded the pics. used my brothers camera.

in the pics it looks clean but seems to have these white powder things on it. i wipe it off and it comes off. also the valve train etc i wash it with water again and it comes it has some powder stuff on it.



can this be still used in my engine???? please help me i need to get this running asap.
No pics. How bad is the pitting? I'm assuming that's what happened to it when the oven cleaner did it's thing.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

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No pics. How bad is the pitting? I'm assuming that's what happened to it when the oven cleaner did it's thing.
sorry pics up took awhile to get uploaded i had to change the jepg settings it was too bit.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

Not as bad as I would've thought. I'd run it by a machine shop just to be on the safe side.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:53 PM   #9
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Post Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

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Not as bad as I would've thought. I'd run it by a machine shop just to be on the safe side.
okay ill get it inspected at a machine shop, but what are those white things, can i spray wd40 to preserve and its like white dust or something on the valve train etc. can i reuse the valve springs what is pitted mean how do i inspect the pitted?
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

Pitting is caused when eroding substances eat into a metal, and that's exactly what it looks like. Tiny, pinhole sized pits that have eaten into the surface of the metal. From those pics I don't see significant pitting but you should probably go over every inch of it with a sharp eye. Take it to a machine shop, have them hot tank it or put it in a parafin bath, and it will look brand new inside and out.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

Have a machine shop hot tank it.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

Since there are seals in the head Id tear it down now and rebuild it.
Oven cleaner is never a good idea.. Its too corrosive.
Smack your friend for me please.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:12 PM   #13
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

A hot tank job won't fix pitted metal. You actually sprayed it INSIDE the head?

You're lucky if your cams, valves, and valve seals aren't fucked to hell and back. There are oven cleaners that are made for aluminum - our restaurant uses them all the time, and I've borrowed a can to degrease my engine before. It works wonders, but it's MADE to work on aluminum.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

Hmm..
1 can of oven cleaner 3.89
2 cans of brake clean - 4.00

Damage to head - ?

Time to stop listening to dumb people. its costing you more then your realize
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

Where is this pitting?

IMO, the head should definitely be stripped.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:57 PM   #16
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Post Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

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A hot tank job won't fix pitted metal. You actually sprayed it INSIDE the head?

You're lucky if your cams, valves, and valve seals aren't fucked to hell and back. There are oven cleaners that are made for aluminum - our restaurant uses them all the time, and I've borrowed a can to degrease my engine before. It works wonders, but it's MADE to work on aluminum.
so do u think my cams and stuff back there are messed up? the oven cleaner brand is from safeway oven cleaner heavy duty it says on the can... i hope to bri9ng it to a machine shop and ask them if anything is messed up but at the moment im still wondering if its really messed up inside. i hope not
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

theres no pitting
ive used oven cleaner on mine few times it works good but so does engine degreaser.
it oxydized not pitted.

you pretty much wasted your time because now you have to take everything apart and clean it individually either with steelwool or some other LIGHT abrasive to remove the surface oxydation...

i used some steelwool and carb cleaner. but you have to wash very thoroughly after using steel wool

btw purple power does same thing when left to dry
when i washed it away with water right after cleaning the oven cleaner washed away with no residue.

your head is not damaged if you clean everything like ASAP

your seals are most likely affected by the chemical but not the alluminum
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:33 PM   #18
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

use a dremel with a soft wirebrush(yellow color) to clean intake and exhaust ports and use a drill wire brush to clean the deposits on valves.

or pay a shop to clean and reassemble the head with new valves

and you HAVE TO get it resurfaced, single cam will leak 99% of the time when put back together without resurfacing
trust me i tried 4 times and headgasket leaked every time
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:14 PM   #19
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

Oxidized for sure, possibly pitted. Hard to tell exactly how much or how deep the cleaner penetrated. There are some types of oven cleaner that can be used. However, the ones that state "not for use on Aluminum" should not be used at any time for any reason on aluminum.

Problem with most oven cleaners is they are usually at the very end of the pH scale, on the alkaline side (12-14pH). This does not work well for aluminum. the longer it sits the deeper the oxidation/pitting will get.

I would tear down the head and inspect all the cam journals. There may or may not still be some residual oven cleaner in those areas. It would be best to tear it down and clean it again ASAP. Your rockers, valves, valve springs and seats will all be fine, they are steel. It is the camshaft journal surfaces that you should be concerned about. I would hazard a guess that keeping it together may have saved the journals from even being touched by the cleaner though. fingers crossed that there was still enough oil to keep out the water/cleaner!

Last edited by GhostAccord; 12-29-2012 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:46 PM   #20
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

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Have a machine shop hot tank it.
The solvent used in hot tanks is corrosive to aluminum. It would do just as much, if not more damage to the head as soaking the head in the oven cleaner for an extended period would. If an aluminum cylinder head was left in a hot tank to bake over night, the only thing(s) left would be the steel parts that were in the head.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:12 PM   #21
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

so how do they clean aluminum heads and blocks then?
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:50 PM   #22
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Post Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

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Oxidized for sure, possibly pitted. Hard to tell exactly how much or how deep the cleaner penetrated. There are some types of oven cleaner that can be used. However, the ones that state "not for use on Aluminum" should not be used at any time for any reason on aluminum.

Problem with most oven cleaners is they are usually at the very end of the pH scale, on the alkaline side (12-14pH). This does not work well for aluminum. the longer it sits the deeper the oxidation/pitting will get.

I would tear down the head and inspect all the cam journals. There may or may not still be some residual oven cleaner in those areas. It would be best to tear it down and clean it again ASAP. Your rockers, valves, valve springs and seats will all be fine, they are steel. It is the camshaft journal surfaces that you should be concerned about. I would hazard a guess that keeping it together may have saved the journals from even being touched by the cleaner though. fingers crossed that there was still enough oil to keep out the water/cleaner!
i soaked it w/the oven cleaner for like about a good one about two minutes. then after i found out by reading the lable i hosed it off amediatly with water. i assume its still good i hope i havent checked it all cam journals and cam etc. if i take it apart how will i tell if the camshaft journal surfaces camshafts anything is damaged by just looking at it??? the camshaft looks dull color. what else do i have to look at like the cylinder etc. i still feel hopfull that its still usable.


i sprayed it with simple green re washed it again twice and soaked it with water rinsed it off for a while. then i let it dry and sprayed wd40.

i will check it tomorrow hopefully. what damage can it cause like if i would bolt it up after reasembling it w/new seals etc. to the complete block and lubed up and started up and running.

will the cylinder head parts fall apart if i re install and put back to the engine what kind of damage is done if i start it???
what damage it will cause engine noise???

im just hoping my engine will still run.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:07 PM   #23
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

you have to take it apart completely to see

valve seals
cam seal etc
you might have some leftover water cleaner stuck in there it will break down oil once it gets in it.

take it apart and clean each part individually and see
or take it to a shop

YOU NEED TO RESURFACE IT ANYWAY MANG
headgasket will blow if you put it back on like that trust me i made that mistake 3 times. every time hoping that it will work but it didnt.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:26 PM   #24
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

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The solvent used in hot tanks is corrosive to aluminum. It would do just as much, if not more damage to the head as soaking the head in the oven cleaner for an extended period would. If an aluminum cylinder head was left in a hot tank to bake over night, the only thing(s) left would be the steel parts that were in the head.
Eh, I've seen tons of aluminum parts hot tanks without any issues what so ever.
All the parts came out looking new.

Depends on the chemicals that are used. There are aluminum friendly chemicals.

If you're worried, I suppose you could media blast it.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:47 PM   #25
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Default Re: did the oven cleaner hurt my aluminum cylinder head????

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so how do they clean aluminum heads and blocks then?
Typically they are jet cleaned.
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