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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all Transmission experts - this is a cleaning question, not a Alfetta Transaxle question, so thought it best to post it here.

My Alfetta transaxle was DIRTY when I bought the car! I powerwashed and brushed and Simple-Green'ed the thing, but only got the surface dirt/grease off. It was still unacceptably filthy!

I knew I had to take it all apart because the synchro's were trashed. So, I started disassembly, cleaning a bit but getting my hands/gloves very messy. Now I have the transaxle in the three main pieces that these come apart into - clutch assembly, mainshaft/gear/synchro assembly, and final drive assembly.

My question is this... now that I have three separate assemblies, can I dunk each of them (housing, gears and all) into my Simple Green solution, or do I really need to take everything apart and just soak the housings?

I know I'm taking the center section apart - the one with the gears and synchros... but was hoping not to take the other two assemblies apart. The Clutch is new and the final drive seems to be fine. But I'll do it if that is the only way to get these housings clean.

Help me "clean up" this issue! Thanks!
 

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Stoddard solvent and a brass toothbrush is about the best you can do short of media blasting. It seems to me that the exterior of the transaxle housings were rather porous, trapping grime. Also there seems to be at least 2 different alloys used. One ages to a dark grey, almost black.
 

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Richard Jemison
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Simple Green is as effective as Ivory soap!
Get a gallon of ZEP Industrial Cleaner and long rubber gloves. Use un-diluted. It will remove anything organic including skin. You will need a metal brush and a screwdriver to remove the caked on deposits in the crevices, and transaxles have many..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks all. My real question is whether I need to disassemble the gears from the housings first, or can I dunk the whole thing in whatever solution I decide on. Keep the responses coming, please!
 

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I have followed this procedure in the past:

Pressure wash the whole assembly at the car wash (it makes quite a mess)
Take it home and simple green / scrub brush / hose until I can't stand it any more. (I am looking forward to trying Zep, as my wife loves their carpet cleaners)
Then disassemble the transaxle. Most of the guts are easy to pull (diff, clutch) and get the housings free. Difficult areas are the carrier plate for the main and lay shafts, but you are planning to take that apart, and the stub axle flanges - I have only pulled these apart because of leaky seals once (don't recommend it).
Clean the housings again w/ simple green. Maybe use a little silver spray paint to blend out the severely discolored areas.

I end up with something presentable, though all my cars are drivers.

Next one I do I am going to Vapor Hone the cases. Found a motorcycle shop in town that does this. Impressive results.I don't think you would need to pull the bearing races or worry about excess blast media with this method.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Thank so much! I guess I’m back into disassemble mode.

re: vapor blasting... I customized my blast cabinet to be able to vapor blast as well. Very impressive results with aluminum, although not so much with harder metals. If you use anything with the water (a “ slurry”) you must make sure to finish with pure water. Because the slurry contents get everywhere, and you don’t want anything foreign in your internals! Good luck!
 

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just my 2cents, you should see the vapor blasted engine Velocedoc put together, WOW was all I could say!
my vote is on vapor blasting if at all possible
 

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just my 2cents, you should see the vapor blasted engine Velocedoc put together, WOW was all I could say!
my vote is on vapor blasting if at all possible
I saw all that stuff over at Bob's. Incredible!!
 

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I know it as Aqua blasting. It brings things back to new. You can then seal it with a low gloss clear lacquer paint specific for purpose. It will require complete disassembly.

soda blast 01.JPG
 

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What Greg is speaking of is aqua blasting. Uses high pressure, water, and a glass media made up of ground up old windshields. The metal stays cool, The finish is outstanding.

A guy here in town has the machine. I can't remember the actual name of it.
I'll get the info. The shop name is Checkered Flag Restorations here in Prescott, Az.
 
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Pete has the line!
I've seen "soda blasted metals" and the difference is astounding.
Really, you need to compare the two.
 

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From the flag logo on your avatar signature, I think we can all accept the different terminologies used here on the board;)
Yes it is indeed Aqua blasting. Sorry about that I just used the wrong term thinking they where the same thing.
Brings things back to a fantastic finish as can be seen in the photo I posted
[/QUOTE]
 
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The cabinet we have manufactured by VHT is called “vapor honing” - but I don’t know why. There’s nothing “vapor” about it. It’s uses a slurry of media, water, & air. But it does do a nice job of restoring parts to new, or maybe even better than new. We typically use a fine mesh glass bead. We tried to buy a Vixen, which is a much better device than the VHT, but the rep here in the States is a moving target.
 
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