Acid Dipping

RLC ‘Acid Dipping’ Treatment
RLC’s famous ‘Acid Dipped’ engine finish has to be THE top way of getting your engine casings gleaming. We’ve been treating casings with this method for the last 10 years and even the ones treated way back then, are still stunning today. Here’s a quick ‘Q&A’ session to give you an idea into what is involved...

What does ‘Acid Dipping’ involve?
This process involves the engine being fully submersed for a set time in a chemical substance that removes all traces of muck and impurities from the immediate surface of the aluminium. Once treated, the engine parts are left gleaming. This is the maximum level of shiny-ness that you can achieve from the aluminium without actually physically polishing the surface with buffing mops etc.

Does ‘Acid Dipping’ harm the casings in any way?
No. The acid used does not harm the casings in any way whatsoever. It can very lightly mark steel however (although only on the surface) so the lower gearbox cluster bush is removed by us prior to the treatment. Things such as the rear suspension mounting pin can happily be left in place.

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 Does the ‘Acid Dipping’ process clean the engine casings?

No. It is used ONLY to enhance the aluminium finish, to make the casings gleam. All muck, oil, grease and general gunge must be removed before the casings can be treated. We all know that it’s a right royal pain in the backside to clean a scooter engine but it is of utmost importance that all parts are spotless. The chaps who do the treatment will not entertain any dirty parts (they simply will not dip dirty casings in their tanks). If we are sent dirty casings which require cleaning then the customer will be advised that he/she will be charged an hourly labour charge to get them clean. Note : please do NOT try to clean your casings in a dish washer prior to sending them to us. The heat generated by this affects the aluminium - making it dull – and this ‘dullness’ severely lessens the effect of any subsequent ‘Acid Dipping’ process.

How do I get my engine casings ‘Acid Dipped’?
Just send your parts to us at RLC and we’ll do the rest. We’ll email you upon receipt of your parts and again upon completion.

What parts can be ‘Acid Dipped’?
Any non - ferrous parts can be given the ‘Acid Dipping’ treatment. On a scooter, that basically means the actual engine casing, sidecasing, flywheel flange and cylinder head for a Lambretta and the engine casing halves, clutch cover and cylinder head for a Vespa.

How long does the treatment last?
As stated above, here at RLC we have scooters fitted with engines that have been ‘Acid Dipped’ a decade ago and they’re still superb. Obviously aluminium does dull over time but a quick buff up with polish can bring them back to the mark. Even an engine treated years ago looks a thousand times better than a non - treated engine. Nothing comes close. The only thing that can harm / dullen acid dipped casings once they are done is boiling hot ‘jet’ washes…

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 Why ‘Acid Dip’ an engine?
The main difference is the appearance. What looks better than casings that have been ‘Acid Dipped’? Simple - nothing. Whether the casings are destined to be used for a restoration, a custom scooter or a race engine, the appearance is right for the job. Another big difference that we have noted with parts that have been ‘Acid Dipped’ is that they are less prone to corrosion. Also, ‘Acid Dipped’ parts become REALLY easy to clean. Muck, oil and dirt just don’t stick any more. Another nice advantage is that once casings have been treated, any problems (such as hairline cracks, pin-holes etc.) become easily noticeable and evident. And finally, from a purely mechanics point of view, working on an ‘Acid Dipped’ engine is a real pleasure!

‘Turnaround’ times?
From receipt of your parts, to being ‘Acid Dipped’ and then repacked and ready to ship back to you, approx. 2 weeks.

How much?
To ‘Acid Dip’ a Lambretta engine casing, a sidecasing, a flywheel flange costs GBP £ 150 / Euro 170. To Acid Dip’ two Vespa engine casing halves, a clutch cover and a cylinder head for a Vespa costs GBP £ 120 / Euro 150. If you require us to further mirror polish any of the treated parts (i.e a Lambretta engine sidecasing) that can also be done and prices supplied upon request (example : Lambretta sidecasing cover GBP £ 40 / Euro 50).
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