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 Post subject: Carb cleaner
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:33 am 
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EFI Slant 6

Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 5:13 pm
Posts: 252
Some guy on ebay is trying to sell a 'home brew' for cleaning carbs using a simple household cleaner any guess what that might be? Im thinking its pine sol just guessing :D
PS I understand there is a anti-corrosive coating you can apply to a rebuilt carb? Is it readily available?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:07 am 
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There's carb cleaner and then there's carb cleaner. Denatured alcohol ("methylated spirit" and "methyl hydrate" are other names for this product) is an effective, relatively safe and inexpensive carburetor cleaner that can be had from any hardware or paint store.

The anticorrosion coating isn't a do-it-yourself type of deal, it's akin to an electroplating operation.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2003 2:37 pm
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Location: Fairbanks, AK
Nothing gets a carb clean like MEK (aka 'carb dip')...if you can get it in your area (forget it in california :roll: ). My local parts stores still sell it though. :D

Dan, does MEK remove the anti-corrosive coating? I assume it does, it's pretty nasty stuff, but takes everything off an old gummed up carburetor. :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:55 am 
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MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) is indeed a highly active solvent. It is also extremely toxic in about half a dozen very serious ways. They are not futzing around when they tell you to use it only in a well-ventilated area and not to get it on your skin!

Lacquer thinner generally is a mix of MEK and denatured alcohol. Works well as a carburetor cleaner.

None of these chemicals (MEK, denatured alcohol, blend of the two) will remove the anticorrosion coating from potmetal carburetor castings as long as you don't leave the carb in the bath for longer than necessary.

The commercial dip-type carburetor cleaners (e.g. TYME, Berryman's B9 ChemDip, etc.) are considerably more aggressive, toxic and hazardous than MEK/denatured alcohol. They contain methylene chloride or a variant form of it, which will take the anticorrosion coating off carburetor castings in a fairly big hurry (30 minutes to 2 hours or so, depending on strength/freshness and temperature of the cleaner).

It will also dissolve your hands, eyes, sinuses, etc. At risk of sounding like I'm preaching, if you use this stuff, be about 3x as careful as you think you should be. I'm talking extremely good ventilation, completely shielded skin and eyes, etc. Methylene chloride by itself is hideously damaging to humans. It is seriously toxic, causes cancer, and is readily absorbed through skin (liquid) and via mucus membranes and lungs (vapour). Add in the other strong chemicals found in these dip-type cleaners (MEK, toluene, acetone...) and you really do have a toxic waste dump in a 3-gallon can. These products, when used safely and carefully and disposed of properly (that can be a real trick!) can be useful for seriously filthy parts, but lacquer thinner or even just plain denatured alcohol and some patience will handle most carb cleanup jobs with much less danger, hassle and toxicity.

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 Post subject: Yep...
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 9:08 am 
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Location: Salem, OR
The berrymans is really good at getting anything off the carb, I used to have a 5 gallon can of it, and it will remove all the dirt, grease, and any gaskets that you thought wouldn't scrape off there too...Like Dan said once you put your hand into it, it stings, and eventually you'll look like that bad guy out of Robocop...

Currently I use the grey can I get at the Auto Parts store in my parts cleaner it's just labelled "Solvent" and is toluene. For first time rebuilders Laquer Thinner and a metal bucket is a good start and easy to do with limited space and money.

I used to used MEK for prepping flashing as a sheetmetal worker...it's great for killing your liver cells, so much so most shops now won't carry the stuff in the cabinet or risk a Hazmat fine for not storing or handling it correctly.

-D.Idiot


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:11 pm 
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EFI Slant 6

Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 5:13 pm
Posts: 252
Thanks for your advise guys, I have a holley 1920 which will need a good dunk for sure. I used to be in the silkscreening industry, and yeah, acetone, laquer thinner, Varsol, leaded inks not nice having that stuff on your hands and breathing that in day in, day out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:24 pm 
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Location: Dalton, GA
Dan is right about methylene chloride. The chemical company i work for use this to clean polyurethane off the metal of the big machine. It is clasified as a posion. It is nasty stuff. Special protection is used when this product is being used. The EPA regulations require a company to report any quanity of this product if it is on site . Thanks Ron Parker









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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:06 pm 
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SS Data Sheet and Tech data: FYI


Health Hazard Data


Methylene Chloride can affect the body if it is inhaled or if the liquid comes in contact with the eyes or skin. It can also affect the body if it is swallowed.


Effects of overexposure:


Short-term Exposure:

MC is an anesthetic. Inhaling the vapor may cause mental confusion, light-headedness, nausea, vomiting, and headache. Continued exposure may cause increased light-headedness, staggering, unconsciousness, and even death. High vapor concentrations may also cause irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract. Exposure to MC may make the symptoms of angina (chest pains) worse. Skin exposure to liquid MC may cause irritation. If liquid MC remains on the skin, it may cause skin burns. Splashes of the liquid into the eyes may cause irritation.


Long-term (chronic) exposure:

The best evidence that MC causes cancer is from laboratory studies in which rats, mice and hamsters inhaled MC 6 hours per day, 5 days per week for 2 years. MC exposure produced lung and liver tumors in mice and mammary tumors in rats. No carcinogenic effects of MC were found in hamsters.

There are also some human epidemiological studies which show an association between occupational exposure to MC and increases in biliary (bile duct) cancer and a type of brain cancer. Other epidemiological studies have not observed a relationship between MC exposure and cancer. OSHA interprets these results to mean that there is suggestive (but not absolute) evidence that MC is a human carcinogen.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:52 pm 
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Pesonally, I swear by just soaking the carb in straight Simple Green or Purple Power.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:56 pm 
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Isn't Purple Power caustic? If so, it will turn the carb body a very dark grey if you leave it in long enough.

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'68 V100, 225-2, 904 - ???
'68 V200, 225-1, 904 - 18.19@74
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'79 Aspen, 225-2, 904-???
'82 D150, 225, 833OD
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 12:02 am 
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EFI Slant 6

Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 5:13 pm
Posts: 252
Slant Cecil wrote:
Isn't Purple Power caustic? If so, it will turn the carb body a very dark grey if you leave it in long enough.

Thats true, I used that on a badly corroded thermostat housing and it turned it grey but boy, it did a great job cleaning it up though, besides its a nice tone of grey ha ha :P I find simple green has its ups and downs sometimes it works great, sometimes it doesnt depending what your using it on and how bad it is but purple is more consistant in melting off grease and then some (sometimes too much)


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