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Technical Homemade carb cleaner

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by volvobrynk, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,587

    from Denmark


    I have an old set of carbs, that dosen't. look good. But they work just fine.

    They are a temp fix, I've don't have the funds to fix my Dell'orto's, so these are gonna stay on for some time now. But I want to clean them of on the outside.
    They are dirty and has that white/dusty look of coroded carbs.

    In Denmark we don't have carb cleaner, and I dont want to buy a sonic cleaner. Same lack of funds the won't allow me to rebuild my Dell'orto's.
  2. Gee...I'm not sure. I think maybe I'd try a mild acid. May be brush on a diluted phosphoric acid solution to get rid of the white "dusty" stuff. Then, rinse them with baking soda and finally go over them with a soft brass wire wheel. I'm not sure because I've never done this, just thinking.
  3. Toilet bowl cleaner
  4. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,852

    from Missouri

    You may want to try vinegar.

  5. That might work. If you use vinegar make sure you do not let the carbs soak in it (at least not for very long) it will dissolve the pot metal.
  6. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    don't use vinegar to soak carbs in...produces a hazardous gas
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  7. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,852

    from Missouri

    I didn't know that. I have used it in carb float bowls to clean them up.
    Another thought would be to soda blast them if you were planning on taking them apart.
  8. Try some of the 'eco-friendly' cleaners like simple green, and scrub them with a small brush (like a toothbrush). If they're badly corroded, this won't fix that but should remove the 'loose' stuff. Make sure you thoroughly rinse with clean water and don't let the cleaner dry on the metal. These will be gentler compared to vinegar.

    Some of the aluminum wheel cleaners should work also, same cautions....
  9. Mag wheel cleaner, but like any acid rinse with baking soda then clear water.

    3wLarry, that hazardous gas is hydrogen, not all that hazardous unless you are washing your carbs inside a space capsule. (or some other very small confined space) Simple high school chemistry!
  10. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,852

    from Missouri

    Now I know why I missed that one I got to sit next to the hot chick in that class.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2014
  11. summersshow
    Joined: Mar 3, 2013
    Posts: 899

    from NC

    It is Hazardous if your around an open fire or smoking... Hydrogen is very flammable... IE the hindenburg...
  12. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    the acetic acid will also melt all the zinc parts
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  13. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,912

    dirty old man

    Never tried it myself, but I read a thread somewhere about using Pine-Sol liquid household cleaner.
  14. davidvillajr
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,011


    I've used a 1:1 (I think) pine sol and water mixture to clean my motorcycle carbs in the past, it gets the exterior crud looser and dissolves some of the gummy stuff inside. Make sure you rinse them really we'll to get the "soap" out.

    Wear gloves, it's not too caustic, but it dried out my skin fairly well...
  15. Big Mac
    Joined: Sep 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,567

    Big Mac
    1. Utah HAMBers

    No carb cleaner in Denmark? Weird. You can't be the only guy in Denmark needing to clean a couple carbs. What do the repair shops use? Maybe you and I can create a black market for carb cleaner over there... I'll ship in bulk. ha ha ha...
  16. I haven't tried "pine-sol"
    Do they have that in Denmark?

    But I have had great success with boiling carbs in lemon juice and water. About 25% water and usually 30 mins to an hour makes them look damn near new. But it first takes a good dose of carb cleaner to get the crud off and bust up the internal deposits. I've also had this bite me in the ass when I got distracted and just shut the hot plate off but didn't pull the carb out. Left it in there for about 30 hours and it ate a hole thru a quadrajet.
  17. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    I reacnetly did the Pine Sol deal on a fairly crusty AFB with a bit of corrosion, and it worked very well. I did do just a bit of vinegar for a short period of time in the float bowls and brushed with a tooth brush to loosen any white stuff on the out side. But, like 3WLarry said, be aware of your surroundings and don't let it soak in the vinegar bath.
  18. seabeecmc
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,055


    Your black market sales may apply elsewhere. Here we're forced into low VOC crap that is like white tinted water. If you can provide early formula Gumout put me on the list. Ron
  19. OrneryDuck
    Joined: Oct 19, 2012
    Posts: 26


    I've done the lemon juice and water fix for a motorbike before, worked well.

    -Do this outside, it will make your home smell horrible!
    -Thoroughly hand-clean the carb first, using any cleaners available to you (degreaser, carb or brake if available).
    -Remove all removable parts and boil only the body.
    -If you have a mesh/basket for the small parts, you may boil them as well, but not wise to do these loose as they can get lost.
    -Bring water/lemon juice mix to a boil before inserting parts; the heat, mild acid and mechanical motion of the boiling fluid all work together to clean.
    -Do not boil for more than 30 minutes, I'd try 15 minute intervals to limit exposure.
    -Run parts through another 15 minute boil in a separate pan with ONLY water. This removes any lemon juice deposits.
    -Don't think it needs to be said, but DO NOT boil seals, floats or other non-metallic components.

    I think it took 30 minutes of total boiling and the carb was as good as new. My problem was clogged jets, which were easily rectified by this process.

    I didn't take any before pictures, but it was rough from sitting a long time.

  20. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,251


    Why not Coca Cola, pretty acidic, won't cost much to try it.
  21. Pinesol works decently too, but you do need to soak them and using heat helps a lot.
  22. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,094


    Carburetors are constructed of different materials (aluminum, brass, cast iron, steel, zinc). A chemical that may work well on one may be deadly (to you or to the carburetor) on another.

    I would suggest taking the piece(s) that need cleaning to a local college chemistry professor, and asking his/her opinion on what would be safe and effective on the item in question.

  23. tig master
    Joined: Apr 9, 2009
    Posts: 416

    tig master
    from up north

    Google soda blasting carbs.

  24. 6-71
    Joined: Sep 15, 2005
    Posts: 542


    I soda blasted a pair of Honda Carbs that had been in storage for 30 years.They came out looking brand new.There are many youtube videos on this subject.I made my soda blaster from a blow gun and some plastic tubing.I bought the soda at the local feed store(farm store).I also blasted an edelbrock that was really crusty,it also came out looking good.
  25. Stretchmobile
    Joined: Oct 29, 2013
    Posts: 108

    from So Cal

  26. BrandonB
    Joined: Feb 24, 2006
    Posts: 3,228

    from nor cal

    I made one of these and soda blasted an old aluminum boat steering wheel and it worked just fine. Just go to the link and it will hook you up with all you need. You can't beat it. Of all the info on this thread I think this would be the best way to go.
  27. sasquatch12
    Joined: Nov 6, 2013
    Posts: 38


    One thing that worked for me, just cleaning a carb exterior, was some hot water, a toothbrush, and hand cleaner. Worked great.
  28. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,587

    from Denmark

    You learn something new every day. I'm gonna give some of these things a go.

    FYI any car driving in Denmark, first reg. After feb. 1992, are banned from using carbs. Cars from after June 1984 are on a CO restictions of 3%. before 1984 there is more free rules, like stick with the "stock" type engine block, crank and head. And then there is US cars that is such a Grey area there is no clear pass for anything.

    So nobody knows much about cleaning carbs anymore. Most people uses aerosol brakecleaner for everything!

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