I have some aluminum cylinder heads from both an Acura and a Subaru engine that need to be cleaned (cylinder blocks too if I can get a big enough tub). I was planning on soaking them in a tub of the Chem-Dip Carb and Parts cleaner (#0996), but based on what I’ve been reading this doesn’t sound like it would be a good idea. If I keep the soak times to around 45 minutes, would it still affect the finely polished gasket surfaces and the valve seats – not to mention the camshaft bearing surfaces? Would I be better off using a different product like the #0901/0905? If I need to use the #0905, what is the average cost (with full understanding that it may cost more or less depending where I end up buying it from)?
For your aluminum cylinder head and block cleaning, soaking in Berryman Chem-Dip Carburetor & Parts Cleaner (part #0996) for 45 minutes should not be problematic; we’ve never seen such a short dwell time adversely affect aluminum or its alloys. That said, if you need an extended soak time, then Berryman Professional Chem-Dip Carburetor & Parts Cleaner (part #0905) is your safest option from a compatibility standpoint.
With sensitive applications based on aluminum and its alloys, it all comes down to just how much cleaning you need to do. If it’s only a modest amount, then 0996 should work well for you. However, if it’s particular dirty with varnish and carbon build-up, then you will probably be better off using 0905.
As to the cost of this product, as you said it can definitely depend on where you buy it, but to get a general idea, your best bet might be to check online at http://www.oreillyauto.com. You can get a price quote for you local store this way, so it’s a good place to start!