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View Full Version : Carb cleaning...off the wall idea



Lionheart
03-09-2007, 06:28 PM
I got a pair of Webers that I picked up on Ebay fairly cheap. They are DIRTY! Not greasy or oily...dirty like they've been kept safe underground er somethin.

I'm thinking of taking out the jets and whatnots and putting the housing parts in the dishwasher...is that the craziest idea? Will someone stop me before I attempt this madness?

BTW, I haven't discussed this with the little lady yet...I'll ask her while you guys are thinking about it. (She's British, so she usually sides with the Spitfire...pretty good gig, huh?)

Len

Brosky
03-09-2007, 06:41 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:] Will someone stop me before I attempt this madness?[/QUOTE]

Want to stay happily married? Keep this little thought between us girls out here in cyberland.

Not such a good idea. I've seen this done in the past and soap and other things will get in where you do not want it to be.

There is no substitute for an assembly manual as a guide and a complete disassembly and cleaning with a good degreasing and varnish cutting solution.

03-09-2007, 06:50 PM
I think you should do it....and then tell us what happens.

Lionheart
03-09-2007, 06:53 PM
I wasn't thinking of putting Cascade in with it. I was thinking more like Krud Kutter/Simple Green or something like that. I would also run the dishwasher through empty afterward to clear out any ko-rap left by the Krud Kutter.

I can see the possibility, however, of krud being dislodged into tiny passages.

OK, let's say I don't do that...I don't have a parts washer (obviously). What would be the best thing I can bathe them in? Mineral spirits? Laquer thinner? (Haven't had a good laquer thinner buzz since I removed the window tint glue from my LR Discovery.)

03-09-2007, 06:56 PM
Without being too SA, Cascade works very well. It is a heat-activated detergent that leaves no residue.

Brosky
03-09-2007, 07:00 PM
OOPS. I posted thinking that you HAD a parts cleaner and had to delete contents. Sorry about that. Try a local auto parts store for their recommendation. Simple Green might not be bad or a strong version of Krud Kutter (maybe the Graffiti Remover version).

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]I think you should do it....and then tell us what happens. [/QUOTE]

And don't listen to that advice. Nice guy, but bad advice in that post!

Lionheart
03-09-2007, 07:18 PM
Bit confused now...dishwasher or no dishwasher?

03-09-2007, 07:18 PM
And don't listen to that advice. Nice guy, but bad advice in that post!

Paul, I have put parts in the dishwasher with Cascade and indeed it does a heck-of-job of cleaning aluminum. That said, I have not put a carb in there but can't imagine why a completely stripped aluminum carb wouldn't come clean. There is no residue and it doesn't attack the metal.

Oh, and thanks for the compliment. Nice.

AweMan
03-09-2007, 07:25 PM
I`v used some carb cleaner called "GUNK" in the past, it looks nasty, smells nasty, and don`t even get it on your hands! But the results are supreme. You can buy it from local auto parts suppliers {I don`t know if autozone or pep boys carry it} I got it from Napa, it comes in several different quanities 1 gallon, 5 gallons ETC. It is reuseable and will last a very long time. Carb bodies and parts come out looking brand new. It WILL destroy any rubber parts so don`t emerse them in it! Once you remove the parts from the gunk you can simply wash the residue off with water. Wear heavy rubber gloves and work in a well ventalated area.
If the E.P.A. tree huggers still allow it to be sold I can`t say but if you can find and purchase it, it`s money well spent.


P.S. My wife would SKIN you alive for even thinking about bringing auto parts in the house let alone running them through a cycle in her dishwasher.

Brosky
03-09-2007, 07:31 PM
Bill, I was more concerned about the affect on his marriage than on the carbs. Ask me how I know about that and washing car cleaning / waxing towels in a brand new washing machine.

And again, I thought that without a proper solvent to remove and actually dissolve hardened grease and varnish built up from gasoline that a residue might get into the insides the carb causing problems later. I still think that a solvent cleaning for these is the best, but I've been wrong before.

But not wrong about the compliment. You are a nice guy, even though you really did try to "nudge" Len into just doing this deed.

DNK
03-09-2007, 07:38 PM
I say go for it. * years after cleaning my house air cleaner filters the machine is still not clean!

Brosky
03-09-2007, 07:40 PM
Wow. GUNK ... I didn't think that stuff was on the market anymore. We used to have that stuff at the dealership in the 60's through the 70's for cleaning carbs and automatic transmission parts.

We had 55 gallon drum tank about 3/4 full with a hood over it, vented outside. You would put the parts in a wire mesh basket and lower it into the tank. In the case of a transmission case, just hang it on a hook and lower it in.

There was an air valve going into the side of the tank and you would turn on the air pressure and the vent fan and get away. About 20 minutes later, sparkling parts. But if you got it on your hands they would wrinkle up and turn pure white and burn like crazy. As soon as the parts were lifted out, a quick hot water bath in another tank and you were ready to reassemble.

After a few years, most of the transmission guys had no fingerprints left. Even after washing the parts down, there was still a slight residue that just ate away at their skin. UGGH!!

PeterK
03-09-2007, 07:49 PM
I bought a gallon can (looks like a paint can) of Gunk that comes with a basket inside for putting the carb in for soaking. Costs about $15 and is much stronger than any of the spray stuff. Excellent for your specific use but don't get it on your hands or your fingernails will curl up - very strong. Afterwards, soak the bodies in Dawn detergent and brush clean with an old toothbush. Wear goggles to protect from spatter.

Note: The Gunk will dissolve the toothbrush so do this step in Dawn rinse only.

Liquid Cascade is also great for cleaning aluminum but it is a strong base that will attack aluminum so don't leave it on for long without rinsing completely.

Lionheart
03-09-2007, 07:49 PM
OK, wife's on board (with no encouragement at all, I might add...she thought it was a splendid idea.)

Apparently, according to TR6Bill, Cascade has no issues with aluminum, so I think I'm gonna try it!

I'll let you know how it turns out.

Incidentally, I don't really like to play with harsh chemicals, so I try to think of alternatives whenever possible.
In the 80's, when I enlisted in the USAF, I used to spray Trichlorotrifluoroethane on my hand to watch it vanish...not a good idea...I'm older now, and my liver will probably explode soon...not really keen on accelerating the process.

kc_doyle
03-09-2007, 07:50 PM
I worked in a small engine shop part time for years, in my first life. /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif GUNK is the way to go. At least it was at the time. I've also had motorcycles and gunk was the go to cleaner. As I remember, parts houses sold small buckets of gunk that had a basket in them. Put the Carb and parts in the basket and lowere it. After a while pull it out and flush. I did a great job.

Harry_Ward
03-09-2007, 09:14 PM
Chiming in late but I don't think the simple geeen is a good idea in the dishwasher. Stick with the cascade. Some one, not me of course, /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif put regular dish soap in the dishwasher and some one else wound up spending a couple hours wiping soap bubbles off the kitchen floor for hours.
/bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/rolleyes.gif

I use a toothbrush, WD-40, and baking soda on the aluminum parts. Yes, Gunk is still available although I don't know why it's still legal to use especially with all the environmental concerns about. I think part of the active ingredient is kerosene and then they tell you to hose it off with water? /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/shocked.gif

Interesting concept the dishwasher though. Lets see... I get home from work about an hour before the wife. Let me know if there's any lingering odor of gasoline and then I'll make up my mind.

Lionheart
03-09-2007, 09:51 PM
Yeah, someone I uhh...knew once...used regular dishwashing liquid in the dishwasher and it was a sud factory. (He) will never do that again.

Seriously, I don't recall simple green being foamy...never used it in a dishwasher, though.

Debating on whether to just run them in the dw without any soap at all...just to loosen up everything.

DNK
03-09-2007, 09:53 PM
SG works in a washing machine. Should in a dishwasher. Might make it smell like it though

CaptDon01
03-09-2007, 11:59 PM
I've done the dishwasher thing,(when the wife wasn't home), works GREAT!! But recently I've rebuilt the carb on my Spitfire and used the gallon can of Gunk like someone mentioned. I followed up with a good scrubbing in the sink with a brush and regular old dish soap. I took the air hose to it after and blew it dry. The dishwasher might leave it spotted if you let it go through the dry cycle. Dishwasher soap is VERY strong. Works great on dirty suspension parks!

HEAR ME NOW, AND BELIEVE ME LATER....NEVER PUT ANY FOAMING SOAP IN THE DISWASHER!

Don

RonMacPherson
03-10-2007, 12:51 AM
You should be able to buy the dip-it size carb cleaner from a professional parts store. They may have to order it from the warehouse. Last one I got for appx 35 was about three years ago. Comes with the parts dip basket. Make sure you have the Weber manual(s, more the better, in my mind) to make sure you get the carb all the way down, including the throttle shafts, plates and bearings. New seals when putting them together. I found it helpful when I was doing my DCOE's and SK's to mark an id on the throttle plates. I used a scribe to mark the upward manifold side of the plate. If you've got any sign of aluminum oxidation on ANY screwed parts, jets, venturi retainer screws, etc. go over them with a wire brush then use penetrating oil to overcome the chemical bonding that occurs between the aluminum and steel/brass. etc, before soaking them. Blow them out with air after they've soaked at least two hours. I put one in the can, as I was tearing another apart and putting one together. Doesn't hurt to use a little lubricating oil on the fasteners(non aluminum and not on the jet holders) when reassembling.

John_Mc
03-10-2007, 01:51 AM
Yeah, someone I uhh...knew once...used regular dishwashing liquid in the dishwasher and it was a sud factory. (He) will never do that again.

But it gets your kitchen floor sparkly clean!

MadMarx
03-10-2007, 04:35 AM
Be careful with the roller bearings of the throttles.
They don't like water and detergent.....

TR6oldtimer
03-10-2007, 11:09 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]I used to spray Trichlorotrifluoroethane on my hand to watch it vanish... [/QUOTE]

Yeah, nasty stuff. I passed out while using it in the Navy as I cleaned nuclear instrumentation on the USS Bainbridge. Liver? Probably gone, at the time I would rather be one then have one.

Sparkie
03-10-2007, 11:48 AM
I wouldn't use the dish washer. Recently I cleaned my Delortos. I'll catch flack for this, but I used gasoline. This must only be done outside - I put a couple of inches in a 1 foot dia. plastic tub (oil drain tub) and went to work with a small fine brass brush. Also using a similar stainless brush where necessary, though it affects the finish more. Take every jet out and use lots of air to blast every passage. Get a good Weber book and a rebuild kit. Scrub, scrub, blow...Oh yes, a pair of latex gloves are good for the hands - get several pair. A can of brake cleaner or carb cleaner, with the small red tubes for the nozzle, can be used for blowing the passages if you don't have 80PSI air.

The carb dunk tank with the basket also works well for lacquer build up - a mini hot tank. Now that's some nasty stuff!! DO NOT GET ON YOUR HANDS. It removes skin very quickly. It sounds like you have some corrosion - I'd stick with the brass brush scrubbing. Perhaps try some oven cleaner, may work well on aluminum.

Good luck!

Brosky
03-10-2007, 02:56 PM
Someone mentioned oven cleaner on here a long time ago. I completely forgot about it, but have never tried it either, so I can't attest it.

tr6_easyrider
03-10-2007, 03:08 PM
Will the body of a Weber fit into a gallon can?
Joe

Steve
03-10-2007, 04:32 PM
Small-engine repair shops actually soak gunged-up carbs in fresh gasoline for a while, usually overnight. Leaves a small problem as to safe disposal of same when you're done, of course but let them sit in the gas for a while, then use small brushes, even a new toothbrush is fine, to loosen and move the crud. Don't forget the nitrile rubber gloves!

TR6oldtimer
03-10-2007, 04:57 PM
Oven cleaner and aluminum do not like each other, especially if the cleaner has lye in it.

RonMacPherson
03-10-2007, 10:14 PM
The 45 DCOE's fit in the can of dip it carb cleaner that you can get from the parts store. Wider top than normal paint can. Don't have the can here(at my storage warehouse). But believe it's about gallon size.

Lionheart
03-10-2007, 11:12 PM
OK, I tried it...

Gotta tell you I wouldn't bother with it again. The carbs are clean-er than they were, but soot and varnish are still firmly in place. I sprayed them down with Seafoam deep-creep...they are on the road to recovery.

trfourtune
03-12-2007, 02:56 PM
I've heard of this done before with not bad results. good starting point anyways.I've been planning to do this with my old SU's. Waiting for the wife to go away for the weekend though. I've been looking for the good old fashoined carb cleaner dip bucket (5 gallon pail) industrial stuff without success. can't find it (used it 25 years ago). It must be too nasty environmentally. Sure works better than anything else though if you can find it. Gunk is ok. cold parts cleaner is ok. ultrasonics is the ticket these days though. I'd disassemble completely, then put small parts in a metal screen bag and take to a carb shop for cleaning. They should come back spotless if ultrasonic'd. (check the shop if they have ultrasonic cleaning available)
They should be clean enough to lick! YES, with your tonge (or however it's spelt).
Rob

GB1
03-12-2007, 03:19 PM
OK, I tried it...

Gotta tell you I wouldn't bother with it again. The carbs are clean-er than they were, but soot and varnish are still firmly in place. I sprayed them down with Seafoam deep-creep...they are on the road to recovery.


Two observations
1. wifey seems amazing does she have an available sister /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
2. Please never invite me to eat over /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

Sorry, it didn't work out that well for you, but at least the rest of us know. /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/thumbsup.gif

Patrick

tdskip
03-12-2007, 03:59 PM
HEAR ME NOW, AND BELIEVE ME LATER....NEVER PUT ANY FOAMING SOAP IN THE DISWASHER!



Too funny. I got kicked out of a ski house for doing that once, a long time ago, and I had been drinking.

Scott_Hower
03-12-2007, 04:40 PM
I wasn't thinking of putting Cascade in with it. I was thinking more like Krud Kutter/Simple Green or something like that. I would also run the dishwasher through empty afterward to clear out any ko-rap left by the Krud Kutter.


Oh man, don't do it...

My brother-in-law, who was 19 at the time, degreasd a BMW 2002 engine block in the dishwasher. He figured he'd be clever and use Gunk and hot water. He dumped a quart into the dishwasher and ran it through a couple of times. His buddies laughed. The block came out reasonably clean. They were impressed.

He ran the dishwasher non stop for HOURS. The kitchen/house stank like diesel fuel for WEEKS. The dishwasher was trash. My (now) in-laws were away for a long weekend and he thought he'd get away with it. Wrong. We laugh about it now, but I'd imagine he funded a new dishwasher.

You really DONT want to do this, even with detergent. Same goes for powdercoat in the oven. Garage use only.