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  • Yes some people clean their engine, some don't. You know who you are. :)
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Yes some people clean their engine, some don't. You know who you are. :)

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 #390170  by LUNAT1C
Recently while going through totes in my basement to clean it up and organize it, I found the 160a Police alternator that I've had stashed away for about 8 years. It tested OK at Advance way back when and I'll have it tested again just to be sure, but assuming it still tests OK I want to get it on the car. Before doing so, it needs to be cleaned up to remove years of dirt and grime, restore the rusty pulley and clean up the casing.

Curious if anyone has tips for doing this safely and effectively. I've watched a few YouTube videos where folks used some degreaser with a soft bristle brushing to generally clean the casing and windings, and a wire brush drill attachment to polish the casing (not looking for a mirror polish, just clean it up to look fresh and new).

One thing these videos did not address was the appropriate cleaner to use that won't harm the protective coating on the windings, and whether attacking it with a wire wheel will damage it by dropping tiny metal shavings inside the alternator.

Any thoughts? I did go into the KB and read through Craigs write-up for dismantling a Nippondenso alternator, but I'd like to avoid doing that if I can, outside of removing the pulley to clean up and restore it.

Current thought is to find a good biodegradable degreaser to gently brush the windings clean from the outside, zip off the pulley to wire brush and repaint it, and wire wheel the casing the best I can (after removing the rear cover to avoid damaging it).

I plan to clean it up in my basement in a makeshift parts cleaner, then come Spring repeat the wire wheeling on my valve covers, timing housing, thorough cleaning in the valley while the plenum is off, clean up and repaint timing covers, and reassemble with newly painted plenum, to get the engine looking as new and spiffy as possible. Tired of it looking old and dirty.
EasyRider300M liked this
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 #390173  by FIREM
Ok so I thought about this prior to responding.
I would discourage disassembly, I tried one and it didn't go well.
I would NOT use an engine degreaser/oven cleaner.
The visible windings are covered in an insolating lacquer, so that rules out petrol chemicals.
Windings I would judiciously spray with bleche white or Dawn/water mix and immediately blow out with air.
Maybe some Electrical Contact cleaner as a final rinse.
Exterior : Mag or Chrome wheel cleaner with a scotch brite pad not real drippy and wet.
Wire brush/wheel at moderate speed blowing any fragments out should be ok.
Final with some Nevr-Dull.
AFTER we did all that to one for Keith I masked it up and "fogged" it with "Aluminum" paint. Fogged not actually pro finish paint job so it would blend with the rest of the engine.
If I recall Clarence did something but I'm not sure. Think he just bought a new alternator.
LUNAT1C liked this
 #390182  by StealthM
Your right bob I did buy a new one but I did give it a polish with a dremel and a stainless wheel. Once all the casting is clean I used scotch Brite disks red, green,Grey to smooth out the little casting roughness. sand the flates with wet/dry sandpaper starting with 400 grit. I ended with 1200. then polish... now depending on how much time you want to spend and the kind of shine you want determines the end result.. This is good for an OEM look. Invest in a small angle sander. your fingers will thank you.
LUNAT1C liked this