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Old crusty carburetors: what should I soak them in?!?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Johnny1290, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834


    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!
  2. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 18,730

    from Michigan

    ATF and mineral spirits mix..
  3. troylee
    Joined: Jul 10, 2007
    Posts: 683


    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.
  4. bobbyd08
    Joined: Sep 30, 2008
    Posts: 202

    from md



  5. 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.
  6. nali
    Joined: Sep 15, 2009
    Posts: 828


    Don t use molasses with alu , this doesn t always damage it , but sometimes yes . Wanna take a chance ? :p
  7. pecker head
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 3,769

    pecker head

    CHEM-DIP by BERRYMAN , & B12
  8. Sanderson37
    Joined: Nov 12, 2005
    Posts: 90


    Cider :D. Jokes...ive always used chem dip.
  9. dawg
    Joined: Mar 18, 2008
    Posts: 346


    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...
  10. neonloverrob
    Joined: Jan 25, 2009
    Posts: 560

    from newton, ks

    HA HA, My experience with Holley carbs says about 20 feet of river water.:D I've heard the ATF from several old timers though.
  11. Butch11443
    Joined: Mar 26, 2003
    Posts: 353


    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.
  12. Roscoe7
    Joined: Jul 2, 2009
    Posts: 29


    CLR worked very well on mine.
  13. big creep
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,945

    big creep

    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?
  14. dabirdguy
    Joined: Jun 23, 2005
    Posts: 2,404

    Member Emeritus

    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.
  15. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 2,871


    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.

  16. 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'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...
  17. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834


    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 :)
  18. toolman1967
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 441


    Boil it in water. All the way in, everything! I have used it for every carb that was in the shop, car or motorcycle.
  19. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,400


  20. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834


    Well I bought this sonic cleaner from harbor freight for $55. I'll get back and let you know if it works!
  21. K-88 ghost
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 214

    K-88 ghost
    from Nevada

    Any chem dip sold in Calif now days WON'T clean anything:cool:
  22.'s the B-12 crap...
  23. nali
    Joined: Sep 15, 2009
    Posts: 828


    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 :
  24. 64cheb
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 74


    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.
  25. dgc15
    Joined: Aug 23, 2007
    Posts: 140


    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.
  26. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834


    Well I disassembled that sucker and I've been using the ultrasonic 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 :)
  27. 1952henry
    Joined: Jan 8, 2006
    Posts: 734


    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.
  28. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834


    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?!? ;-)
  29. Yuh know, for about $30 you could have a gallon of the real thing carb cleaner delivered to your door...

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