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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys I have a question. What is the safest way to soak an aluminum carburetor without risking any damage to the carburetor parts itself such as the metering blocks and the fuel bowls that contain such old gasoline vanish that even carb cleaner and a rough brush can't get rid off it and clean it off? I have some Carb Dip but have read its not good on aluminum and can damage it and even discolor it and I have used the Pinesol method with great success but that was with zinc castings and the silver one and not the gold chromate ones as I know the Pinesol will take the chromate off as I learned that before doing it.

I bought some lacquer thinner as I read you can use that but I want to know is it really safe for aluminum and stuff. I need to get something on the base plate as well as it has a lot of crud on it and need to get the old gasket scrapped off and the carb cleaner is not working to get this old junk off of it that is caked on big time. It was one that sat with fuel in it for years. Even the jets are coated in the gunk. I tried some engine degreaser and let it soak but it did not do anything. Any tips would be appreciated.
Thanks
Eric
 

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Eric try some Oven Cleaner, its supposed too work well with auto front A arms having caked on grease. Don't know using it on Alum.
 

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Negative on the oven cleaner. I have read folks who used it on aluminum and it will actually eat it away and its pretty strong stuff and not to many use it on aluminum. I read the same about using vinegar and water mixed with baking soda but it eats up aluminum. I have that it will also end up causing corrosion on aluminum as well and some guy ruined a Edelbrock carburetor with oven cleaner but I don't know how long they used it though. I can't risk that on the parts I got. I am looking at maybe simple green for just a short dip and nothing over night or four many hours.

I don't know though as I just don't want to ruin the stuff. I am still trying to find out in google searches but am not coming up with to much.
 

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50/50 Simple green and water. I have thrown tons of aluminum oil pans and valve covers letting them soak for a few days then wiping them down, draining refilling and throwing them in again. Once everything is where your happy you just wipe everything down with light acetone then water and put some aluminum polish on the exterior before installing. A majority of the stuff I paint black. But the insides are shiny.
Side note;
If you have caked on oil inside oil pans/covers/etc I found using a bit of gasoline really frees up the oil in those hard to reach areas(like LS valve covers). Once the hard oil is loosened the rest will come out with the simple green/water mix after a few times leaving you with a clean surface.
 

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Yeah a big negatory on the oven cleaner it will dissolve aluminum. Simple green will discolor it.

I gave up and broke down an bought a cheap 10 quart, heated ultrasonic cleaner directly from China a bunch of years back. I fill it up with two gallons of Gunk carb dip cleaner and turn on the heater, when it gets up around a hundred degrees I put in my parts and turn on the bubble machine. Sometimes it takes a couple full term passes but the parts come out clean.

The Gunk is flammable but nothing like lacquer thinner or gasoline. So you do want to exercise caution and keep a good size dry charge fire extinguisher around but every shop should have a couple anyway.

I had a neighbor about 50 years ago when I lived in California who one chilly winters night was cleaning parts with gasoline. Back then hot water tanks often were in the garage and essentially at slab level. Well the fumes built up and the hot water tank set them off. Surprisingly except for his hearing loss the explosion that blew the garage door into the driveway, the kitchen door into the kitchen, the back door from garage to patio onto the patio, and spread chards of the garage window all through the neighborhood. That explosion didn’t hurt him all that badly. Set of hearing aids and some clean clothes and he was ready to go, talk about having the grace of the Lord surrounding you.

Bogie
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow sorry to hear about the gentlemen that had that happen to him. I am thinking to try some of my carb dip that I already have but I just will soak it for a short time just enough to get the varnish sticky old fuel off and that is it. I will maybe get me a jug of simple green but I also have used pinesol with excellent results but that was with zinc bodies though and I do know it takes the chromate off the ones that are coated with it but it does clean up stuff good but I have not used it on aluminum and don't know if the pinesol would damage it or eat it up.

I don't know if holley puts a protective coating on the non anodized aluminum carbs or not. From what I can tell it does not look like it as they do corrode over time just like regular aluminum does like my cylinder heads. I just don't want to damage anything. My, wife has an old crockpot that I can use to set the parts in and put in what ever mix I have and can use it if I need but I want to use the safest method of soaking between the three above. Pinesol with distilled water 50/50, or simple green 50/50 mix with distilled water or just use the carb dip. The carb dip though says on aluminum for no longer then 3 to 4 hours at the most or something like that. I know that it helps if you use boiling hot water then mix it with the solution your going to use if not using carb dip. I don't have the funds for a big sized a ultrasonic cleaner at the moment and for me that will rarely ever need to use one I can't see investing in something to use maybe a couple of times here and there. It would be nice if the crockpot option can work at least better then just soaking.

Would it even really help with the crock pot method with hot water or would I be just better off just soaking things in my buckets I have? Thanks guys for your help this is most helpful and will get me in the right direction on what to do. I just want to get this stuff cleaned up and put away for when I need it and then write this stuff down and put it with my carburetor notes library I have stored over the years.
 

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Negative on the oven cleaner. I have read folks who used it on aluminum and it will actually eat it away and its pretty strong stuff and not to many use it on aluminum. I read the same about using vinegar and water mixed with baking soda but it eats up aluminum. I have that it will also end up causing corrosion on aluminum as well and some guy ruined a Edelbrock carburetor with oven cleaner but I don't know how long they used it though. I can't risk that on the parts I got. I am looking at maybe simple green for just a short dip and nothing over night or four many hours.

I don't know though as I just don't want to ruin the stuff. I am still trying to find out in google searches but am not coming up with to much.
That's good to know Eric. I guess I should have taken that Chemistry Class back in the 8th grade, LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah the oven cleaner, which I have never used on an oven before is some pretty harsh stuff and contains a chemical called lye and it literally eats away at stuff. I read where one guy used it and he left something that was aluminum sit for a while and when he came back to it the stuff actually ate a hole through it as he left it sit to long. Also some edelbrock folks have used some dipping stuff and after they did and let it sit for so long that afterwards there edelbrock carbs was as white as a ghost as the stuff ate into the aluminum and after washing with water etc it corroded and got white corrosion all over it and made them pretty much junk.

Pros and cons on the older zinc vs aluminum carbs. To some degree I like the older zinc holley carbs compared to the newer aluminum ones for durability wise. To me the zinc carbs seem to hold up longer vs the aluminum ones for not getting threads stripped or wearing out.
 

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The Old Man on YouTube is using antifreeze in a crockpot. I'm going to try it as soon as I find a cheap crockpot.
 

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I never heard of using antifreeze to soak a carburetor in and I have been wanting to tru the crockpot method but I don't know if it gets hot enough or not. I asked my wife since she uses them a lot and she said they don't get up to boiling point so I don't know how good it would do with something really old and crusted up bad. Do you have a link to that video where the guy is using antifreeze? Thanks for that tip. That is a new one.
 

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I never heard of using antifreeze to soak a carburetor in and I have been wanting to tru the crockpot method but I don't know if it gets hot enough or not. I asked my wife since she uses them a lot and she said they don't get up to boiling point so I don't know how good it would do with something really old and crusted up bad. Do you have a link to that video where the guy is using antifreeze? Thanks for that tip. That is a new one.

About half way through video
It's new to me as well. Seems to be big in the RC community.
Our crockpots will boil or simmer at least even on low
 

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I would think if your working with gasoline you would do it in a ventilated area. But thats a fail on my part for not noting the safety concerns misuse could cause.

Right up there with not having a lighter in your pocket when using a torch, grinder, or welding.

I never noticed simple green discolor aluminum before. Maybe the aluminum polish removed enough of it before it became a issue. But I will take that into account when using it from now on.

I am also curious about the antifreeze.
 

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The Old Man on YouTube is using antifreeze in a crockpot. I'm going to try it as soon as I find a cheap crockpot.
Yeah, I spotted that too, been following his and his sons channels for months now....that S-10 is killer fast on 28 x 10.5"s! Love the in-cab GoPro track shots, sweet sounding engine!

Using the crock pot and antifreeze, but he was cleaning E-85 and/or methanol residue, I have no clue how it might work on gasoline varnish.
My favorite is his third race in this vid...


Both races against the silver Nova in this vid are killer too, especially the look acroos view to the other lane with the Go Pro cam after the first race with the Nova...
His re-cap atarts at 8:00, a lot of inside info on set-up and strategy... That Billy Goat Nova is bad-to-the-bone.
(126) I WAS PI$$ED! Dig or Die Recap. - YouTube
 
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