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Old 12-27-2010, 07:00 PM   #1
Johnny1290
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Default Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

I've got some oooooold holley carbs I got for free, one is from a '58 Edsel(thanks for helping me decode it!) 750 vacuum secondary that would actually be nice to use if I can rebuild it. Other is a 600 vacuum secondary.

What should I soak these in? Is there any trick to removing these screws? The last time I rebuilt a carb eons ago I broke a float post trying to chisel the needle seat out of it and never got it totally broken down because I couldn't get all the bolts out.

So! Is there a solution besides carb cleaner I can use to soak it in(molasses or something?) to clean it up after it's disassembled, and any suggestion on removing tough bolts? I think last time I also used an impact driver, which I don't recommend.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

ATF and mineral spirits mix..
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

They sell a bucket 3 gal size I think it call carb medic. Has a basket in it for straining parts. I got at my local parts store. The new stuff is not as potent has the stuff 20 years back. but its ok. I have used diesel fuel also. Then I hit them with the soda blaster.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuces View Post
ATF and mineral spirits mix..
X2

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Old 12-27-2010, 07:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Give me your address and I'll send you a Holley booklet for free. It tells you how to rebuild them.You will need to buy a rebuild kit- As you must use New gaskets. It will leak if you don't.
To remove the float bowl screws( four of them,each side,eight all together)) Attach a pair of vice grips to a flat blade screw driver handle and turn it like you mean it! Push in and round. It will give you the added leverage to get the screws out.
Now, for your carb cleaner- Use carb cleaner from Walmart. Comes in a blue can with a red nozzle sprayer. Spray vigourously.
When you re-install the cross-over pipe,be sure to put new o-rings. use a petroleum jelly to make sure they slide all the way back to the stop flange...
I can send you the carb booklet anytime you send me your address.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Don t use molasses with alu , this doesn t always damage it , but sometimes yes . Wanna take a chance ? :P
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

CHEM-DIP by BERRYMAN , & B12
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Cider . Jokes...ive always used chem dip.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

use the atf homemade penetrating oil to get it apart, then boil the parts in a pot of water and Tide on the stove, works like a charm...
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

HA HA, My experience with Holley carbs says about 20 feet of river water. I've heard the ATF from several old timers though.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

I'd use some Kroil or other good penetrating oil to get things loose. Soak them with carb cleaner and then get out the hot water & soap.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

CLR worked very well on mine.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

my buddy uses an old crock pot with soapy water. keep it hot and it comes out clean. or what ever cleaner you want to put in it?
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:21 AM   #14
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

The ATF and mineral spirits both penetrates for dis-assembly and cleans.

DO NOT use molassas or Vinegar (ask me how I know) unless you want the carb ro crumble in your hands.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:45 AM   #15
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

An ultrasonic cleaner with clear water will work better than any of the methods proposed so far. Adding a good biodegradable dish water detergent (I use Dawn) will improve the cleaning. Dunk the entire unit. The ultrasonic really helps to loosen stuck screws as well.

And, there are some better detergents than Dawn for really crusty units, but none work as well without the ultrasonic as the ultrasonic and plain tap water.

Jon.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:57 AM   #16
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

There are 2 types of Berrymans carb cleaner (in the gallon size) that are available. One, (B-12) for the States that have banned the REAL old time carb cleaners, and the other (B-9) which is still available in a few, Texas being one of them...which is where I get mine Shipped from. You might as well soak your carbs in water, as to use the B-12...it's useless. However, the B-9 is the real deal. 12 hours in it, and the carb comes out brand new clean. It will NOT remove corrosion, but it will remove EVERYthing but...
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:08 AM   #17
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

There's another thread running on this same subject....check this link out....
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=560117

Never tried it...
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Old 12-28-2010, 02:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

man I'm tottally guilty of not searching the forum

I was thinking specifically about the latest threads concerning molasses and vinegar and whatnot, thinking maybe one of them may or may not be good

I tell you what, that ultrasonic stuff looks great. If the horrible freight can get me one at least soon, I'll give it a try. I read you don't have to be able to submerge the entire part, you can do it a bit at a time, so just in case the body of the carb won't fit in there

looks to be around $70 or 80 for the size that appears useable.

Heck I'll use it to clean other stuff like alternator cases and whatnot if it works like it appears, and chemicals are so expensive and weak anyway.

I'll look for varsol at the hardware store, I used that in the oill field back in the day and it cleaned crud off tools like nothing. I'd be surprised they sell it, but who knows

Thanks for the pine sol thread, I'm going to check it out in a minute
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Old 12-28-2010, 04:43 PM   #19
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Boil it in water. All the way in, everything! I have used it for every carb that was in the shop, car or motorcycle.
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:31 PM   #20
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo26T View Post
There's another thread running on this same subject....check this link out....

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=560117

Never tried it...Stan


I have some old carbs....gotta try the Pine Sol.

.
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:34 PM   #21
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Well I bought this sonic cleaner from harbor freight for $55. I'll get back and let you know if it works!
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:30 PM   #22
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Any chem dip sold in Calif now days WON'T clean anything
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:13 PM   #23
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

yup...it's the B-12 crap...
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:06 PM   #24
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Just a few days ago , I ve clean one using soda blasting like on the aircooled Vw website .
I works great .
The iron base had rust , and the soda doesn t remove it .
So I used sugar ...
I don t like the idea of sand in a carb
Of course , it still need to be dipped to clean the internal .

Expensive tools :


Before :


After :
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:17 PM   #25
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

B-12 has never worked for me, on motorcycle or car carbs. I use either Gumout or CRC's cleaner. I had a 5 gallon pail of Industrial carb dip, but stanky ass diesel has always worked. I use aluminum oxide on the less complex carbs as far as cleaning via media. I have small tools used to clean all passages of media.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:30 PM   #26
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

X2 on the soda blasting. Cleans it up like new and does not hurt the aluminum. I used a small gun like the pic above on a Edelbrock and it came out looking new.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:42 AM   #27
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Well I disassembled that sucker and I've been using the ultrasonic cleaner..so far nothing too amazing, but I haven't given it enough time I don't think. I'll try again tomorrow when I won't bother anybody with noise
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:24 AM   #28
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Quote:
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Well I bought this sonic cleaner from harbor freight for $55. I'll get back and let you know if it works!
I wonder if one of those rock/parts polishers would work. Attach a container with cleaner and carburetor to the lid, or down inside, and turn it on. Those things get to vibrating pretty well. Might try it for the fun of it.
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:26 PM   #29
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

OK so I fooled with the ultrasonic deal today. Tried different soap, different amounts of parts in there, spacing them differently. For the noise, cost, hassle, small size, that I have to keep turning it back on every 8 minutes, I wasn't impressed.

I bought a 6 gallon crockpot for $25 from wal mart. I have everything but the float bowls in there, they're already pretty clean plus I couldn't fit them so here goes nothign.

Good will wanted $22 for an ancient used one so I was like forget it, I'll get it from wally world. A used crockpot should be like 6 bucks. Jeez.

I've seen guys bungee cording an electric orbital sander to the side of a bucket to agitate. It's not ultrasonic, because that's a certain megahertz or something like that, and unfortunately I didn't see a follow up post.

I was informed by mom there's a difference between a pressure cooker and a crock pot. Well, here goes nothin!! heh I'll keep you posted!

edit: Not that anyone asked, but I gotta say this holley has been much easier to disasssemble etc than the q jets I rebuilt 20 years ago . It seems real simple to understand and now I get it wwhy they say its' for tinkerers, there's a *lot* of things to fool with.

I don't have a clue how to tune it, but I have some books, what could go wrong?!? ;-)
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:31 PM   #30
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Yuh know, for about $30 you could have a gallon of the real thing carb cleaner delivered to your door...
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:35 PM   #31
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Try some Naptha (paint dept at the hardware store). Many carb cleaners contain a bunch of this stuff. Cheap too. You can also add some xylene and Acetone, this gets it close to B12 (without the Benzene). But this is highly toxic and flamable.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:06 PM   #32
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1290 View Post
OK so I fooled with the ultrasonic deal today. Tried different soap, different amounts of parts in there, spacing them differently. For the noise, cost, hassle, small size, that I have to keep turning it back on every 8 minutes, I wasn't impressed.

I bought a 6 gallon crockpot for $25 from wal mart. I have everything but the float bowls in there, they're already pretty clean plus I couldn't fit them so here goes nothign.

Good will wanted $22 for an ancient used one so I was like forget it, I'll get it from wally world. A used crockpot should be like 6 bucks. Jeez.

I've seen guys bungee cording an electric orbital sander to the side of a bucket to agitate. It's not ultrasonic, because that's a certain megahertz or something like that, and unfortunately I didn't see a follow up post.

I was informed by mom there's a difference between a pressure cooker and a crock pot. Well, here goes nothin!! heh I'll keep you posted!

edit: Not that anyone asked, but I gotta say this holley has been much easier to disasssemble etc than the q jets I rebuilt 20 years ago . It seems real simple to understand and now I get it wwhy they say its' for tinkerers, there's a *lot* of things to fool with.

I don't have a clue how to tune it, but I have some books, what could go wrong?!? ;-)
Hey Johnny. Don't sweat the small stuff kiddo! We'll be glad to help you out with the re-build.. Just let us know when you run into any snags!!
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:38 AM   #33
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Thank you, Deuces!

Final verdict: boiling that sucker sure seems to have helped. It doesn't *look* like a new carb or anything, but its' definitely a cleaner one. I've got this white stuff all over it that I think is from not using distilled water. Maybe its from the soap but I don't think so.

It could still use a going over with some carb cleaner and a brush to get some more of the remaining dirt on the outer surfaces

in the oil field we doused tools in varsol and used hot, high pressure water on them and the caked on dirt came off real easy. I suspect a good dousing with a cleaner and a trip to the self serve car wash wouldn't hurt anything, and may even save some time that wwould have been spent scrubbing with a brush.

That's more for looks than anything else, I have no doubt this thing has clear internal passages and whatnot.

The funny thing is I thought this was a 750 cfm , I went in to Jegs tonight to get a kit for it and one of the old heads there knew right off it was a 525 cfm in 1958 for a 361 edsel engine. Showed me in the holley catalog, too.

I've learned more about holleys in the last few days than I would have guessed!

Thanks to all who had suggestions, I'm moving on to a 600 cfm now and I'll let you know the results
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Old 12-31-2010, 01:08 AM   #34
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Been brought up in different threads, but here it is again...http://www.aircooledtech.com/tools-o.../soda_blaster/

I made one for an aluminum 4V base. I didn't want to use my bead blaster, though with the pressure down there wouldn't be any harm ie the bead blasted look. I just wanted to try it. It really turned out nice.

I'm going to use it for the metering blocks and the main body as well.
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Old 12-31-2010, 01:52 AM   #35
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

That baking soda blaster seems to work ridiculously well.

Now can you use one of those $20 harbor freight guns instead though? I'm wondering if one of them would make it easier to regulate or if you specifically need to make this setup to use the baking soda.

I feel a lot better about how my carb looks now after seeing that video. It's just not going to look great without some blasting of some type.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:02 AM   #36
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

I don't get the HF catalog (please, don't send me one) so have absolutely NO idea what they can be selling for $55. that they are calling an ultrasonic cleaner.

After several friends convinced me we should have an ultrasonic cleaner, I shopped around for some of the good ones, and was somewhat shocked (no pun intended) by the prices. We ended up buying one of the cheap, Asian-made units off of ebay for $500. Figured it wouldn't be the cat's meow, but worth a try. Well, it worked great, for about 3 weeks, and then it died. Of course there was no warrenty, so it just ended up a loss, but it did demonstrate how well the ultrasonic worked.

We then shopped around some more, and found a USA company that makes, sells, and guarantees their product. One large enough to submerge a complete Holley 4-barrel cost about $3500. but entirely worth it; and the company customer service department contacts me about every 6 weeks to ask how things are going, anything we need, etc. They also supply a number of different products (we normally use Dawn dishwater detergent, at their suggestion) but we have acquired some other detergents from them for specialty cleaning.

For us, this thing easily paid for itself in the first 6 months. And while cleaning is the primary use; we have found a secondary use in loosening stuck carbs. You wouldn't believe the junk some send to us for restoration. Now, a carb with stuck shafts goes into the ultrasonic before we even try to free it. Generally, a couple of hours in the ultrasonic, and it comes right apart; no twisted shafts, no damage. We used to use an acetylene torch (and occasionally, we still have to) but most of the time the ultrasonic does the trick.

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Old 12-31-2010, 08:27 AM   #37
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Quote:
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That baking soda blaster seems to work ridiculously well.

Now can you use one of those $20 harbor freight guns instead though? I'm wondering if one of them would make it easier to regulate or if you specifically need to make this setup to use the baking soda.

I feel a lot better about how my carb looks now after seeing that video. It's just not going to look great without some blasting of some type.
No before, but an after shot.

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Old 12-31-2010, 09:41 AM   #38
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

I tip that I heard from a bunch of R/C Modellers with seized engines is to soak them in hot 100% green antifreeze in a crock pot for 6 - 8 hours.

Carbs are made of aluminum like model engines, shoud work OK.

YMMV

Dave......
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:25 AM   #39
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

ty-d-BOL the ultimate carb cleaner?? any one ever tryed it??
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:04 AM   #40
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

ultra sonic sounds good if it is available to you ,boiling in water and detergent is available to just about anybody. personally if you have the time i like a 5 gal pail of desiel and a couple of weeks soak time. ray
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:05 AM   #41
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

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I tip that I heard from a bunch of R/C Modellers with seized engines is to soak them in hot 100% green antifreeze in a crock pot for 6 - 8 hours.

Carbs are made of aluminum like model engines, shoud work OK.

YMMV

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Some yes, some are made of pot metal-zinc alloy.
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:37 AM   #42
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

True - The pot metal should be OK in antifreeze too.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:53 PM   #43
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

So!

I threw out the harbor freight sucker, got the crock pot and with just soap and water, the carbs come out cleaner.

Sparkling new looking? No. But definitely less dirt and crud on them, but still lots of black soot or carbon or whatever on them.

SO thanks to the private suggest of Old Gold I got an 8 dollar gallon of antifreeze from wal mart and let the carbs boil over night in the crock pot.

They're not as pretty as sandblasting, but definitely cleaner than just water. From what I can recall 20 years ago I still had to do some scrubbing on the venturi? to get the black to come off after soaking. Well that's how this has come out. The carb is significantly cleaner than just soap and water, all that dark grimey stuff is pretty well off, and in fact on the choke horn, you can see a water line on it where it stuck out of the antifreeze. Clean below, dark and sooty above.

I think it'll work even better at a real boil in a pot on the stove. The crock pot got it damn hot but never to a real low boil like it did with water in it.

I stuck half the carb back in there to sit, figure it can't hurt.

I like what another poster said about letting them soak for a week in diesel. I suspect if I just let this thing sit in the antifreeze for days it'll have an effect.

But maybe boiling is the quick way to best results? who knows?!? I'll return with a verdict!
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:56 PM   #44
RDP
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

I ran one through the dish washer and it was as clean as the day I bought it.
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:06 PM   #45
Atwater Mike
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nali View Post
Just a few days ago , I ve clean one using soda blasting like on the aircooled Vw website .
I works great .
The iron base had rust , and the soda doesn t remove it .
So I used sugar ...
I don t like the idea of sand in a carb
Of course , it still need to be dipped to clean the internal .

Expensive tools :


Before :


After :
Sugar???? Suh-weet!
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:15 PM   #46
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

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Originally Posted by toolman1967 View Post
Boil it in water. All the way in, everything! I have used it for every carb that was in the shop, car or motorcycle.
Assuming one puts an entire, assembled carburetor in water & brings it to a boil, will the float(s) risk any damage?
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Old 01-06-2011, 03:23 PM   #47
31ACoupe
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RDP View Post
I ran one through the dish washer and it was as clean as the day I bought it.

I bet your wife is real proud of you. Maybe I will try this too, she probably won't ever figure out I put a load of strombergs in it; or not.
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:34 PM   #48
Johnny1290
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Default Re: Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

I boiled one carb with metal float bowls in it. Didn't seem to hurt anything. Another one had plastic floats and I removed them. YMMV
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