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Technical Old carb cleaner from yrs ago ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by blazedogs, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. blazedogs
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 506


    I use our websight for tech / learning only .Usually my tech questions get moved to another category ??
    well here goes
    Question ! Yes I know much of this can no longer can be sold...
    I,m sure you old timers remember the old carb cleaner that were in a gal. can & was provided with a basket . You put your carb disassembled in the basket and put the whole thing in the cleaner. in a couple days you came back & pulled the carb out & it ( sparkled.) It was extremely clean including all the internal orvises & crevices
    Yes, I know there are a lot of carb sprays out there but is there anything similar today or a product that is as good as what we had years ago ? gene in Mn
    VANDENPLAS and dana barlow like this.
  2. Wrench97
    Joined: Jan 29, 2020
    Posts: 614


    I've used the Napa 6204(?) it's ok but not the same as the stuff from the 70's.
    VANDENPLAS and dana barlow like this.
  3. Sadly, nothing is the same as the stuff from the 70's.:(
  4. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,433


    I've used Berryman's recently, has a basket as well. After 2 days soaking, blew out all the passages, was like new. Put all the used stuff back on the can. About 5 or 6 months later soaked the tops of pistons and ring lands with it, all carbon just wiped off.

    Also, I bought the Berryman's because the store didn't have lacquer thinner, which I used to use.

  5. BuckeyeBuicks
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 2,571

    from ohio

    The old style Gunk was really good stuff, for what you can buy these days I think Berryman's is the way to go.
  6. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,547

    from Oregon

    That old carb cleaner was hot, and worked fantastic! Nowadays I've gone to brake cleaner to wash carbs, as it seems to do better than any of the crap carb cleaners. I buy it in gallon jugs for a bit over $20, and the aerosol cans by the case. I soak, or sometimes spray with the nozzles to pressure clean orifices.
    Dyce, egads and VANDENPLAS like this.
  7. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 11,428

    from Missouri

    I use the Berryman chem-dip in a 5 gal bucket. 20 to 25 minutes agitate a time or two, flip the parts then another 20 to 25 minutes with the agitate then rinse it off with water and blow out passages.
    Truckdoctor Andy and 302GMC like this.
  8. For what it's worth, I've heard soaking for a few days in simple green does a pretty good job. I know I know it's hard to believe - has anyone on here tried it??

    Sent from my SM-G981U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    MAD MIKE likes this.
  9. AngleDrive
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 1,061

    from Florida

    I went to an Ultrasonic cleaner using a cleaner product from a diesel injector company.
  10. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 5,324

    from Ioway

  11. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,933

    from NKy

    Crock Pot for me with toilet bowl cleaner . It really gets the shit out ! Carbon Tet was the best , I laid a good Buddy to rest from playing with that stuff for many many years . All good things have to come to an end , same as your cleaners we all knew from the past .
    Truckdoctor Andy and Dyce like this.
  12. J_J2
    Joined: Jan 15, 2020
    Posts: 184


    My dad had a gal. can of McKays carb cleaner for years. I swear that was the best stuff I’ve ever used.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  13. J_J2
    Joined: Jan 15, 2020
    Posts: 184


  14. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 20,852


    Ultrasonic cleaner here. I have on big enough to take a whole assembled carburetor.
  15. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 11,757

    jimmy six

    I left a set of GMC 6 rocker arms and stands in McKay over the winter once in the 70’s and all the bearing material was gone.
  16. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 3,000


    That old stuff sure worked good, but I must say, there are several reasons why you can't buy it anymore. It cleaned the carbs great, but it didn't treat your body so good. A clean carb is not worth poisoning yourself over. Gene
  17. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,400

    Mike Colemire

    Chem Dip works pretty good. At least it's the best I found.
  18. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,400

    Mike Colemire

    I used it and then I put the parts in a bucket of water with Dawn, I dropped my water heater in the bucket and a air hose regulated to just to just a few psi. In about an hour they were nice and clean.
  19. I've done 2 carbs in an old crock pot. First time with Dawn dish soap and water, second with antifreeze. After soaking on high for two days, they both came out very clean. Maybe the antifreeze worked better, hard to say. I've used it with Simple Green to clean steel/ metal parts with great results. $7 pot from the thrift store saved the day. Mitch
    j-jock likes this.
  20. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,911

    dirty old man
    Member Emeritus

    I've read here on HAMB that Pine-Sol household cleaner used full strength will do the job if you give it about 24 hrs.
    jimmy six and lothiandon1940 like this.
  21. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 20,852


    Yeah, lost my Grandfather to that.

    He went out hard.

    Some things are best left to history.
    Truckdoctor Andy and Dyce like this.
  22. X2 on the Berryman's with the basket. Have two gallons and sometimes for the big carbs I put both of them in another container. The stuff from back then was hard on your hands if you splashed some on them !
  23. MAD MIKE
    Joined: Aug 1, 2009
    Posts: 704

    from 94577

    I've used the commercial grade SG on heavy junk. It's a darker green than the normal SG from the store.
    Works really well on removing gunk from delicate stuff.
    I'm not a fan of Super Clean/Purple power or purple cleaners. They are caustic on lighter metals, and don't leave it too long on pot metals, it will find the weaker metals and will begin to attack the weaker metals leaving you with pot holes.

    Berrymans basketed containers are pretty good. Definitely need the larger 5 Gallon can if you want to clean a spread bore though, paint can is only good for bits of 4V Holleys or maybe 4Jets.
  24. Garpo
    Joined: Jul 16, 2016
    Posts: 267


    Definitely a fan for Simple green. Soak. Scrub with tooth brush. Blow jets out with brake cleaner.
    Dirt gone.
  25. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,542


    I picked up a fresh gallon can with the basket the last time I did a carb as my old can had dried out. I found a plastic container at Dollar tree next door to O'Reilly's that the body of a QJet would just fit in and be covered up with cleaner. Soak one big piece at a time and pour the cleaner back in the can when done.
    When a buddy of mine had his shop I would just take my carb apart and take it down to him and stick the parts in the basket for his 5 gallon carb cleaner bucket and he would pull it out and rinse it off and I usually paid him about 5 bucks for the privilege.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  26. G-son
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,045

    from Sweden

    While there may be some very effective chemicals out there, most are more or less hazardous, some hard or impossible to get hold of today. An ultrasonic cleaner is on my wish list instead.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  27. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,384


    One issue not often mentioned when speaking of the "old" carburetor cleaners, is that not only did they remove the dirt, grease, carbon, etc.; but on zinc alloy carburetor bodies, they also removed the chromate protection layer. This allowed water contamination (ethanol fuel, various alcohol-based fuel-drying compounds, etc.) to have a serious effect on the bottom of the carburetor bowls, eventually resulting in destroyed bowls. They also were not overly friendly to those using them.

    While I no longer have time to rebuilt carbs (kit business is booming), one of the best investments we ever made in the shop was an ultrasonic cleaner for cleaning carbs. Like Gimpy, I purchased one large enough to clean an entire 4150, AFB, or TQ, or Q-Jet before disassembly.

    The ultra-exotic cleaner I used................Dawn dishwater soap!

    Ultrasonic cleaners are MUCH less expensive than they were when I bought ours, but for the folks only doing one or two carbs, a "poor man's" cleaner may be made by using an empty Folger's 3 pound coffee can. One has to disassemble the carburetor first, because the entire carb won't fit. Place the parts to be cleaned in the can with water and soap, and boil. The roiling action of the boil will flake off the dirt, grease, and looser pieces of carbon. Not as good as the ultrasonic (but WAY cheaper). It may be necessary to use automatic choke cleaner on the carbon, then repeat the boil.

    This process will NOT hurt the carburetor finish, period.

  28. I remember that stuff, my dad used it in a larger parts cleaner when I was little. made my hands tingle to my elbows. Good stuff but probably caused me to have dain bramage. o_O

    What I have started using is a 40/60 mix (more or less) of a some stuff called Sea Foam and no led gas. It will clean a carb to the max.
    VANDENPLAS and Tman like this.
  29. 4ty
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 265


    Back around 1962 I had a can of it with the basket, went in the service, came home a couple of years later and the cellar stunk to high hell. Hole developed in the container and the fluid had leaked out. Mom not happy. Powerful stuff back then.
    Paul in CT
  30. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 797


    Similar experience here, had a gallon on the shelf that was rarely used. Grabbed onto the bail one day, picked it up and the bottom fell out! What a mess!

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