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I'm trying to find a good over all cleaner that can work on cleaning just really old caked on dirt and maybe work a little on rust. I have bought something that is specifically for rust but still looking for something that will do the other work. The bike is a 76 and it looks like it has not been washed once since it came off the production line.
I'm also looking for a very good degreaser to clean all the moving parts and alos the crankcase (the thing is really dirty) I wish I had a parts cleaner but I don't, do you all think if i just got some parts cleaner solvent and used it without a parts cleaner it would still work fine?
Also interested in hearing what you all did on your projects. Thanks
 

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diesel or kerosene does a very good job, and it is cheap.

Not particularly as flammable gasolene.

Driveway cleaner soap is another alternative that is cheap, sold in gallon jugs at any automotive store. Autozone, Checkers, NAPA, etc...

Not to be overlooked is ordinary Dawn kitchen dishwashing detergent. That stuff really moves grease.

409 is another old one that can do a reasonable job.
 

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WD40 works as an excellent degreaser and won't hurt either the metal(aluminum) or it's finish(paint). Use it with a stiff parts cleaning brush for the caked on stubborn parts
 

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And, I was going to add WD40 but I see that has already been taken care of :D
 

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I use brake cleaner - that stuff takes the grease off of ANYTHING. I haven't found much that it won't clean. After my daughter "accidentally" got permanent marker on our white kitchen countertops, and every other cleaner I tried wouldn't take it off, I tried good old brake cleaner - and it came right up. :)
 

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for a prts cleaner. Walmart sell lots of those rubbermaid tubs. Buy 2 use one as a wash been and strain the liquid when dumping into the other tub.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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hmm thats an idea, you think any kind of parts cleaner would work. even those that are meant for actual part cleaners. and with the idea of the WD40, brake fluid, diesel, ect are there certain parts I should keep away from that stuff?
Also when cleaning the engine is it ok to spray it with any of those and then just hose it down with a hose, or what do you all recomend is the best method. I plan to get it clean enough to be able to put a nice new coat of aluminum silver paint over it. thanks again
 

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I use automotive hand cleaner. that white stuff that smells like orange.
 

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I use Easy Off Oven cleaner a lot. It is basically a industrial degreaser. It will hurt paint if left on too long.
 

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A pressure washer should be your first step. It will remove water soluable material as well as a lot of oil slime. Mineral spirits and a brush will remove oil or petroleum based crud. Brake or carburetor cleaner spray will dissolve most anything else including paint. Keep all of the above out of your eyes.
 

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I use simple green and a cheap scrub brush. Better for the enviroment too!
 
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