Cleaning the head after intake is out

Hey everyone :wave:t3:

I plan on replacing my intake manifold on my ‘06 Grand Marquis this upcoming Monday, and had a question regarding what cleaner I should look at using to clean the head off with once the manifold is out. . Is brake cleaner the way to go? Or is there a specific chemical fluid that one uses when cleaning a head ? Also should paper towels be done when wiping it down? Or can a flat razor blade be used to scrape the old crud off ?

Thanks in advance!.

A good gasket scraper should take care of scraping off the gasket and if you have a compressor Roloc discs on a power buffer will get that off quickly. I suggest that you soak rags in transmission fluid and stuff them into each port and cover the cylinder heads if the covers are off. The chips and crud can cause a lot of problems if allowed into the engine.

Paper towels No . Razor blade , not sturdy enough and sounds like a good way to cut yourself.

I’ve always used razor blades along with a combination sometimes of aerosol gasket remover.

I’m used to working with aluminum and a gasket scraper can easily dig gouges or scratches in to the sealing surfaces. That’s my reasoning for it anyway.

A word or two of caution about the use of aerosol gasket remover.Spray it carefully and try to avoid any wind.
If the vapors of that stuff gets onto your bare skin you will soon be clawing and scratching while headed for the wash basin.


But you are a master mechanic , not someone asking for advice on a forum.

Here’s a razor blade gasket scraper that works pretty good.

Then you want to spray a paper towel with brake cleaner to remove any contaminates.

And then follow up with a Scotch Brite pad.



Remember that a steel razor blade can make marks in the aluminum head surface. It will do the job, but be very careful to not gouge the mating surface on the head. Being a clumsy oaf, I try to do that type of scraping with an old credit card myself. I’ll use a file or grinder to sharpen the edge of the cc a little first.

1 Like

I have never had a problem using a scraper like the one I linked even on aluminum. If it is sharp and set at the correct angle it will get under the gasket and lift it off. I avoid such scraping on narrow mating surfaces such as carburetor housings but otherwise they have quickly cleaned up the gasket without a problem. And like the Roloc disc the Scotch Brite pads Tester mentioned should get the adhesive off but with a little elbow grease. and possibly a small wooden block.

And about those razor scrapers, I have a couple and have used them but I get aggravated at the blades breaking and so prefer the solid scraper. I only pull out the razors when cleaning glass and chrome plated body parts.

1 Like

Thanks for all the informative responses! I’ll make sure to get the razor blade gasket scraper, scotch pad that @Tester mentioned. I’ll be sure to take my time with it :smiley:. Hopefully all goes well

@VOLVO_V70 well I do shave with a DE Blade every day… no cuts so far. :wink: