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Angle Die Grinder Help

Old 05-05-2019, 02:51 PM
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Default Angle Die Grinder Help

What kinds of abrasive pads are best to clean off old gaskets?

I am a few years old into learning to work on my jeep and I recently decided getting a pnuematic impact and socket was the way to go. I added an 1/4" angle die grinder today

I took a heavier grit sand paper to some aluminum and its clearly eating the metal. The lighter stuff did the same but not as much. I remember a buddy years ago using an angle die grinder to take gasket off my rear diff (was just starting to learn to work on my jeep) and I know thats not aluminum but I was unclear of the abrasive pad.


Do you guys have any suggestions on what I should check out?
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Old 05-05-2019, 03:43 PM
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There are abrasive pads and discs. The discs are like the grinder discs and will take metal away like a grinder disc. The scotchbrite pads come in a screw on and stick on version. Get the screw on. They come in three colors. Blue for aluminum, red medium and green coarse. I use the blue and red ones for removing old gaskets
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Old 05-05-2019, 03:55 PM
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Also a wire wheel works great for what you are wanting to do and lasts much longer.
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mikebravo View Post
Also a wire wheel works great for what you are wanting to do and lasts much longer.
Don't use a wire wheel on a die grinder, unless it's rated for high RPMs though, unless you like picking bristles out of your skin and eyes...I personally prefer a wire wheel for gasket removal, use a cordless drill, takes what you want off, doesn't damage the mating surface.
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Old 05-05-2019, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by roninofako View Post
Don't use a wire wheel on a die grinder, unless it's rated for high RPMs though, unless you like picking bristles out of your skin and eyes...I personally prefer a wire wheel for gasket removal, use a cordless drill, takes what you want off, doesn't damage the mating surface.
Actually they make wire wheels specialty made for 4-1/2Ē angle grinders that are rated to 10-12k rpm. Not saying they donít lose some wire but with proper PPE they are perfectly safe All the big box stores sell them.
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:49 PM
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Personally I try to use a razor blade and carb cleaner to take off old gasket material. This can be slow and tedious but unless you are doing it for a living it should matter little. Using anything else has risks:

* Aggressive use of wire wheel and abrasive discs can damage the surface. Especially if you are not skilled in doing this it is easy to deeply scratch the surface, which makes sealing it back up much more difficult. Even if you think you are being careful look at the surface with a magnifying glass afterward. You will be surprised.

* Using any abrasive material releases abrasive particles that can get where they should not be. This can lead to damage when the particles get into sliding surfaces, bearings, gears, etc. The particles used in abrasive discs, wheels and the like are extremely hard and sharp. And do you know where that all the broken bits of wire went?

As already mentioned use equipment as it is intended (note speed rating of discs compared to equipment it is being used with) and wear eye protection.

Last edited by third coast; 05-06-2019 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by roninofako View Post
unless it's rated for high RPMs though
Originally Posted by mikebravo View Post
Actually they make wire wheels specialty made for 4-1/2Ē angle grinders that are rated to 10-12k rpm. Not saying they donít lose some wire but with proper PPE they are perfectly safe All the big box stores sell them.
Never said it wasn't safe, and to use rated for high speed...I prefer lower speeds to minimize damage to mating surfaces.
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Old 05-06-2019, 11:04 PM
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Note that die grinders can achieve very high RPM. They are designed to primarily use grinding stones and burrs to remove material. As others indicated some cutoff discs and other attachments you might be tempted to use in a die grinder are not suitable for high speed operation. Please – understand the proper use of equipment and attachments as intended by the manufacture and never use a die grinder with a cutoff disc without a guard/shield in place. I am aware of a case where an individual was using a die grinder with a cutoff wheel without a guard helping a friend with modifications to a vehicle. The disc broke, a chunk struck him in the face and he permanently lost sight in one eye. He was wearing reading glasses, not safety glasses. He sued the manufacture of the equipment. The initial case and appeals went on for years but he failed to achieve compensation for the loss of sight in one eye. Hardly worth the risk of using equipment improperly and without adequate safety equipment. Stop and consider what can go wrong.
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by third coast View Post
Personally I try to use a razor blade and carb cleaner to take off old gasket material. This can be slow and tedious but unless you are doing it for a living it should matter little. Using anything else has risks:

* Aggressive use of wire wheel and abrasive discs can damage the surface. Especially if you are not skilled in doing this it is easy to deeply scratch the surface, which makes sealing it back up much more difficult. Even if you think you are being careful look at the surface with a magnifying glass afterward. You will be surprised.

* Using any abrasive material releases abrasive particles that can get where they should not be. This can lead to damage when the particles get into sliding surfaces, bearings, gears, etc. The particles used in abrasive discs, wheels and the like are extremely hard and sharp. And do you know where that all the broken bits of wire went?

As already mentioned use equipment as it is intended (note speed rating of discs compared to equipment it is being used with) and wear eye protection.
This is how I do it aswell.

Razor blades, carb cleaner, putty knife. I tuck paper towels and rags in the places debris shouldnt go. Then I shop vac everything out if its engine parts like intake manifold and such.
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