Surface Conditioning Disc Caution - Engine Builder Magazine
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Surface Conditioning Disc Caution


When cleaning engine gasket sealing surfaces, and/or cleaning engine components which are to be reused; surface conditioning discs (typically constructed of woven fiber or molded bristles) which contain abrasives, such as a high amount of Aluminum Oxide, are NOT recommended.

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The use of such surface condtioning disks dislodges Aluminum Oxide (from the disc) and metal particles, which can lead to premature engine bearing failure.

The presence of Aluminum Oxide in engine oil has been shown to cause premature engine bearing failure. In some cases, this failure occurs in as little as 1,000 miles or less after the repair has been made.

Surface conditioning discs may grind the component material and imbed it into the disc. This can result when more aggressive grinding of the gasket surface takes place.

Do ot use abrasive pad/bristle devices to clean the gasket surfaces fo engine components. Abrasive pads should not be used for the following reasons according to a manufacturer tech bulletin:


Abrasive pads will produce fine grit the the oil filter will not be able to remove from the oil. This grit is abrasive and has been known to cause internal engine damage. Abrasive pads can easily remove enough material to round cylinder head surfaces. This has been known to affect the sealing ability of the gasket, especially in the narrow seal areas between the combustion chambers and coolant jackets.

Abrasive pads can also remove enough metal to affect cylinder head, block, oil pan rail and intake manifold runner flatness, which can cause coolant and oil leaks. It takes about 15 seconds to remove .008? of metal with an abrasive pad.


Some or all of this information was provided by the Automotive
Parts Remanufacturers Association (APRA). For more information on
technical bulletins available through APRA call 703-968-2772 or visit


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