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I am in the process of changing the intake manifold on the bird, got a dorman one for now but that is not important my problem is around the coolant ports there is crud around there, and the acetone and rag are not doing anything to clean it off, around the intake ports it has come pretty decent but would like to see it a bit better before putting it all together again, I do not want any leaks.

Any suggestions or experiences, I am at wits end, tried the plastic scrappers too, didn't help much, didn't want to use anything abrasive that would leave scratches and the gaskets not being able to seal right, so I am out of ideas.
 

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I used a scotch brite pad and a razor blade scraper when I was cleaning MLS gasket junk and crud off the block. Neither did any damage to the deck surface, but then again, I was very careful when I was using the razor and it was steel. For the intake ports on the heads, I would think a scotch-brite pad would be fine.
 

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I'm doing a PI swap now and removed the crusty mess surrounding my coolant ports (milder around intake ports) with a single-edged razor in a small handle (the red one seen here).

Of course, you don't have to use a handle at all, but I found it gave me better control. A smaller handle allows better maneuvering around the harness that inevitably gets in the way, even if you try to hold it up with one hand, and most especially at the rear near the firewall where there's little room for hands.

If you're careful and keep the blade flush, you shouldn't end up with scratches or nicks. It does tend to occasionally snag the edges of the heads and some of the bolts holes, though, so be prepared for that aggravation.
I worked from the valley outward for the most part and kept my towels in the ports as much as possible to minimize debris incursion.

If you've got severe pitting, you'll obviously need to clean that out with something else besides a blade prior to filling it with gasket compound.
 

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Another vote for scotch brite pad. Just stuff the intake ports with paper towels tightly so no junk gets in there, and use a shop-vac as you're removing the paper towels when you're done. Blow out the spark plug wells with compressed air (before you open up the intake ports). Just make sure you don't scrub in only one direction. The scratches are tiny, but at the same time aluminum is soft. Use a circular motion while moving around a lot. This way you end up with a nice clean, opaque, finish with no scratch grains in any one direction and everything will be nice and smooth.
 

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Another vote for Scotch-Brite pads.

It was getting dark out as I finished up with the razor job and I didn't have a good light source to continue -- plus the skeeters started eating me up. When I went out and looked the next day, there was residue remaining.

I finished 'er off with the pads, cutting them into smaller pieces with angled sides for better maneuvering in tight spots. They come apart quickly, so frequent scissor use is necessary. I went through a pad per head. Yes, it took that long and the coolant ports were that bad; but I wanted really pretty coolant ports, so...
 
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