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Old 03-15-2012, 11:00 AM
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Lacquer thinner in your gas tank?

Anybody ever heard of or used lacquer thinner mixed in your gas tank as a way to clean out your converter? I've got a parts guy that swears that it works as well as commercial converter cleaner. What do you think?
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:04 PM
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I think I would ask how he knows it works "well". "Well", as in the vehicle didn't blow up or cause any immediate, obvious damage? Or "well" in the sense that objective test measurments before and after indicated that all was, well, "well"?
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick895
I think I would ask how he knows it works "well". "Well", as in the vehicle didn't blow up or cause any immediate, obvious damage? Or "well" in the sense that objective test measurments before and after indicated that all was, well, "well"?
Well that's certainly a deep subject. I'll take the time to explain as well as I can my query. Well lets get started. What I was asking (although perhaps not well put) has anyone had any experience using lacquer thinner as a catalytic converter cleaning agent. Did it work well? As well as expected? Were there any adverse problems? Well I hope this clarifies my question. I've done as well as I could. Well I'll leave it up to you and I wish you all well.
And Stick895 as for your question, all I can say is, Well done!
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:40 PM
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theres a product called cataclean that works 50 % of the tyime when dealing with a 420 code if theres no driveability issues. the laquer thinnner thing not only doesent work its not real good for o`rings etc. in the fuel system.
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:01 PM
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For cheap insurance I would install a new catalaytic convert. I really wouldnt dump laquer thinner into the tank just sounds like a bad idea on my part. Kinda sounds like hes looking to do a motor job on your car/truck.
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:23 PM
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most thinner is recycled solvents often containing acid. not what you want in your tank. your getting some old wives tale somewhere.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:27 PM
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The only thing I ever used that "worked" (notice that's in quotes because its spotty at best) was fuel line anti-freeze... basically alcohol... and you don't put it in your tank.

That has only worked for a very short time, and it only works on cats that have failed due to carbon plugging/coating. The honeycomb structure in your cat is coated with platinum compounds (hence why they cost so much). If the surface of that honeycomb gets coated with a significant amount of carbon, the alcohol may remove enough of it to squeeze you past one more inspection. If you have a converter with spent catalyst (meaning the platinum compounds have worn out) there is no helping it. It has to be replaced. If your converter is plugged, it has to be replaced.

The way you introduce the alcohol is by pulling a vacuum line and sticking it down in the bottle. Make sure you go slowly or you could suck in enough to hydrolock the engine and the only solution to that is pretty much just getting a new engine. Have someone in the car revving it up/keeping it running. Expect the potential for several codes; lean banks, MAP sensor, O2 sensors, etc from having an unplugged vacuum line.

So, I guess what I'm saying is; it has about a 20% chance of working, and even then it will only work for a month or so, and you run the risk of doing catastrophic damage to the engine.

Replace the catalyst.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:55 PM
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Sort of funny

back in the 1950's a buddy and me who worked in a Body Shop wanted to got out that night and we had no gas. We had a 1951 Mercury and we put in 5 gallons of Panther piss that's what we called it then, it was lacquer thinner. . We went out that night and it was History he had the car for another year or so and sold it to another kid who ran the hell out of it.
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