Vapor blasting service

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by Clifton, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. Clifton

    Clifton New Member

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    Here's the short version. Two points:
    • do not use alkaline cleaners on your carbs (or other aluminum parts, for that matter)
    • if you do, or if you need anything cleaned/resurfaced, send your parts to Restocycle (http://www.restocycle.com)

    Here's the long version. I've got the tank, bodywork, and airbox removed from my 85 VF1000R for a quick carb sync when I notice that every time I crack the throttle I get a spray of fuel out of the #4 carb. It's as if there's pressure built up inside the float chamber and opening the butterfly valve would cause the carb to sneeze fuel as the pressure equalizes. I think to myself "ok, I've got a clogged bypass hole or idle circuit or something". So I pull the rack, disassemble the carbs, and prepare to put them in the ultrasonic. I've had some success cleaning carbs before using a solution of Simple Green and water, but I notice that I'm out so I head to Auto Zone to get some more. While there, I see the bottles of Simple Green sitting next to some Super Clean (the purple stuff) and decide to conduct a side-by-side effectiveness test.

    I get home and look at the label on the purple bottle, and see that for auto parts it recommends full strength (no water). Like an idiot, I fill up the ultrasonic with full strength purple demon urine and drop two of my carbs into the cleaner. At that point I noticed that the solution is starting to bubble like a freshly opened coke and I start to read the label with a growing sense of dread.

    Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 7.42.04 PM.jpg

    After some frantic googling, I learn that Super Clean is highly alkaline with a PH of 13 or so, and that it'll eat through aluminum and other soft metals if given half a chance. I realized that I should neutralize the base with something acidic and so I submerge the carbs in a white vinegar solution and then thoroughly rinse them with water. I then put them into the ultrasonic with water and detergent and cleaned them like normal, trying to pretend that nothing had happened. Well, the next day, I found that the aluminum was covered in a dark, chalky aluminum oxide powder and that salt crystals had started to form all over, and that all the ferrous metal pieces were quickly rusting.

    Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 7.52.01 PM.jpg

    At this point I realized how far out of my depth I am and started looking for an expert. I'd seen some posts on another forum for vapor blasting services from Restocycle with some pretty impressive photos of their work, and thought I'd give them a try. I just got an email with some before and after photos and I just had to post them here. The above photo is the before, here's the after:

    Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 7.58.29 PM.jpg

    Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 7.59.18 PM.jpg

    Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 7.59.44 PM.jpg

    If you're in a bind, I'd HIGHLY recommend you send your parts here. The owner (I don't want to use his name on a public forum, but I'm certain that if you send him an email he'll introduce himself) was a pleasure to deal with, has an obvious love for these old Hondas as we do, and really is just a stand-up guy. Plus, the pricing is on the low side of reasonable. I think I'm gonna start sending him whole motorcycles, piece by piece.
     
  2. RobVG

    RobVG Member

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    Good post. What kind of ultra-sonic do you have?

    For carb exteriors I've had good luck with baking soda blasting. It washes off.
     
  3. Clifton

    Clifton New Member

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    At first I had one of these:

    RCBS Ultrasonic

    but it shit the bed after something like a cumulative 6 hours of use. Now I'm using one of these, and I love the thing. I guess you get what you pay for.

    Sharpertek Ultrasonic
     
  4. RobVG

    RobVG Member

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    Probably works a little better than my Harbor Freight.
     
  5. zoom-zoom

    zoom-zoom Member

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    Thanks for the info Clifton. My wife and I picked up a 1981 CB400T a few months ago as a rider and a winter project. I've been thinking about having the engine vapor blasted by a company in Vancouver. How much disassembly did you have to do to the carbs? Was thinking of having the carbs and engine case done.
     
  6. NobleHops

    NobleHops New Member

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    Hello fellas!

    I did that work for Clifton, and man it was FUN seeing those carbs come back to life. Clifton, THANK YOU for the good words, greatly appreciated. Turns out I have an account here from back when I bought a pair of VF700F's a few years back - an aborted project I flipped when I moved to Arizona. ANYWAY... Yes, I do vapor blasting, and a few other restoration related things, forks, brakes, wheel building. And entire bikes :).

    I don't want to spam your board, other than to say, zoom-zoom, your carbs and anything else should really come all the way apart to do this. I rinse these many times and blast every passage with water and compressed air and and and, and even so, there is a little pile of media at the bottom of the ultrasonic when I dunk them afterwards. You'll get a better result too. There is more info on my website, an FAQ and some photo galleries, and you can find me on Facebook too. Ping me anytime if you have any questions.

    Best,

    Nils Menten
    restocycle.com
     
  7. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    You should be on the NH patio, Nils.....Happy hour pre party, getting set for Thursday night music.....I believe I met you and your wife(?) and have one of your business cards laying somewhere in my office.....I saw the CBX listed and figured it might be the same person?
     
  8. VFRVogt

    VFRVogt New Member

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    Atlanta Motorcycle Works, in Woodstock GA, has a new vapor blaster too. I got to try it on a few parts with the guys there. Holly crap, stuff comes out looking new! Just fantastic, like magic man! Look 'em up online. I won't let anyone but those guys, Jason, Allen, and Lane work on my bike, no one.
     
  9. NobleHops

    NobleHops New Member

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    HahHA!

    NH = NobleHops in Oro Valley where I (we?) live, right? Yeah man, that (this) is me. Did I meet you and a pal one night, I was wearing a CBX t-shirt and you flagged me down? You have a sharp eye! Come visit me in my shop!

    No patio action for this guy tonight. Nope, it's all hookers and blow and wiring-wheeling all of these fasteners tonight so I can get them dropped off at the platers tomorrow. The life of a moto-entrepreneur is NUTS!! It's like Spring Break ALL THE TIME!!! :)

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    N.
     
  10. NobleHops

    NobleHops New Member

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    Something like this?

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    :)
     
  11. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Yep, that was us. I thought it might be the same cat! I'm currently out of town working, but as soon as I get back, I'll get in touch with you. I like what you have going on and I appreciate the offer to come by and check out your shop. I'd like to see it in person. Recently moved back to Tucson and I'm still trying to figure out who are the best local folks for bike related things, been away from the area for 10 years and a lot of things have changed. Keep up the good work, those cases look pretty nice!!!!!
     
  12. NobleHops

    NobleHops New Member

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    I look forward to connecting!
     
  13. VFRVogt

    VFRVogt New Member

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    I could sit there all day doing that kind of work. Love the results. Take that dirt and grime!
     
  14. NobleHops

    NobleHops New Member

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    Hehe. For sure, if you've got a little streak of OCD (who, me???) this is indeed fun and satisfying to do. More fun then cleaning and wire-wheeling a couple thousand fasteners last night was, that's for sure.


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    New tagline: RestoCycle: Powered by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder since 1961!
     
  15. RobVG

    RobVG Member

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    When I was restoring my RD (still not done) the crazy Brits on Aircooedrdclub.com sanded and polished the numbers off the bolt heads to make them look like OEM. I did it too. Part of the reason why I'm not done yet.
     
  16. NobleHops

    NobleHops New Member

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    Hope you had a belt/disk sander!
     
  17. NobleHops

    NobleHops New Member

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    Somebody was inquiring about engine cases - I just did blast a complete Z1 engine, including the cylinders, heads, valve cover, sump cover, side covers and pistons. The machinist was frankly delighted, said it makes his work a pleasure. Pretty fun before and afters as usual.

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    Pretty fun, eh? :)
     
  18. VFRVogt

    VFRVogt New Member

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    i'm tweaking over that shiny metal man. Nothing old can't be made to look new, no doubt. Niiiice.
     
  19. NobleHops

    NobleHops New Member

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    Haha! Best part for me is that I feel the same, and I get to do it. It's just like painting though, it's all in the prep (and the quality of the metal). The vapor blasting itself is just the final step. It is so fun to see the transformation in the photos, before and after.

    I'll post again when the Z1 engine it back together, that should look pretty amazing.
     
  20. Scubalong

    Scubalong Official Greeter?

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    Impressive ......:thumbsup: NobleHops
     
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