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soda blasting uses ordinary baking soda. What makes this the best way for engine cases is that it disolves with water (or gasoline) and you don't have to worry about an errant bead or grain of sand causing you to strip a thread in your cases.

It does take a really long time and if you are going to try it with your home blaster you will need at least two water seperators on your compressor to make sure there is no moisture in the air at all.

The only down sides I have heard form frequent soda blasters I have talked to are 1) The soda leaves such a smooth finish on metal surfaces that it usually has to be scuffed up with 300 grit sandpaper to be painted, and 2) that on aluminum it will not always remove the old coating the factories put on the cases (but it will polish the shit out of them so you won't notice).
 

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quote:
Interested in getting a dedicated set-up? Ace makes a cheap small blaster:

http://www.ace-sandblasting.com/soda-blasting.html

If soda blasting is a process where virtually any surface or substrate may be cleaned or depainted, I would assume it will be able to remove the clear finish on yer engine.
That is a big assumption as I know there are some primers that if properly applied soda blasting will not go through (or take so long to go through it isn't worth it - epoxy primers come to mind). I imagine that if the clearcoat on engine cases has yellowed it has oxidized and is lifting off the aluminum and therefore will probably be pretty easy to remove, but if it is like new that stuff is pretty hard to strip no matter what.

Oven cleaner was always the cheapie way to do it back in the day but you had to work fast as oven cleaner corrodes and erodes aluminum quickly.
 
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