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Degrease that manifold and soak it for a couple hours in a strong solution of CLR or some other rust & scale removing concentrate sold at department stores. You may even have some under the sink with the rest of the nasty cleaners. Longer overnight soaks are possible, but start early with a brushing and rinsing at a couple hours to judge progress and minimize excess soak. Metal brighteners are just acid, and that's also what those cleaners are.

Petroleum acts as a masking agent for the acid to dissolve the deposits, that's why you have to degrease it first.

Products like etching wheel cleaner are a combo of degreaser and acid and would work very well, but it's hard to soak the cooling passage in wheel cleaner.

Once you've got that dissolved out, then you'll know how useable it really is. It's not really scaring me thus far, when you hold a gasket up the sealing surfaces aren't really buried in corrosion. And for water ports, a quick silicone wipe on the intake before installation is totally acceptable.

good luck!
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