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Now that the heads are finally off (yes ... it takes me some time), I'm going to take them into a shop to have them cleaned up/inspected/etc. While I'm waiting on them, what is the best way to clean up the block (where the heads mount) so they're ready for the gaskets? I guess I'm paranoid about using something too harsh and ruining the piston seals or something.

Not too cruddy at all - just mostly some discoloration I guess. Gaskets were tin. I am getting - from checking around this forum - that I should replace them with tin as well. She has a 3.5 (no cylinder liners - yeah!). And if I'm reading right, I can re-use the bolts as well (14- bolt head).

thanks for your ideas.
 

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Last time I cleaned up an aluminum head (my Saab has an iron block), I used those green plastic scrubbing pads. What are they called... ScotchBrite or something like that. I used the generic equivalent ones for half the price, but they work just fine. I also use brake cleaner to dissolve the oily stuff that just doesn't seem to wipe up otherwise, but I also spray the piston tops and bores with gun oil to keep them from corroding. The green scratchy pads work well to clean carbon off of piston tops and valves too.

I'm curious what other guys use.

Scott
 

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If heads are cleaned in dip tank seals will need replaced. You can use cup wire brush on an angle grinder if carbon is heavily built up, or any other method with solvent based or organic degreasers. Make sure you leave oil pan plug out and flush as you go. Also I had rad hoses off and made sure water journels were flushed really well , these little particles from cleaning can later clog radiator.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Scotchbrite pads and elbow grease :thumb:
 
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