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Pros and cons? Any experiences about cleaning GL carbs with this acid? If yes, which concentration to use? I was considering trying this method so would like some opinions first....thanks!
 

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have you tried soaking them for a couple of days in pinesol? much less caustic than acid and does a good cleaning job without harming the rubber parts.
 

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Another option (You did not say if the carbs were goo'ed with fuel junk or if they were corroded) would be a gallon of parts soaking cleaner (like what's used in a parts washer). It is not expensive and designed for the job.
 

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Just from my bench ... I've not ever used formic acids on aluminums, unless I wanted to intentionally etch the material. Formic acid (along with some orgainc acids) will typically contain chlorine and are quite corrosive to aluminums, especially these types of castings. Generally nothin this intense would be necessary -- you dont have iron oxide (rust) deposits in yur carbs, do ya ? (if so, a 3% solution of Citric acid at about 150*F would work and do far less damage).

Generally, as above (+1), you're looking at petrochem deposits and triethyl lead (if it's been laid-up for a while), so the solvens above may be happier for your setup. Personally, a crock-pot of cheap antifreeze is usually enough for me.
 

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Pros and cons? Any experiences about cleaning GL carbs with this acid? If yes, which concentration to use? I was considering trying this method so would like some opinions first....thanks!
Here in the US, and I don't remember on the forum it has not been mentioned. I did Google it and uses sounds that it is used in Europe as a cleaning agent, but will it harm the Carb bodies and parts is the question. Some just boil in distilled water if that is available there in your country as I don't think you have pinesol available there.
 

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Generally, as above (+1), you're looking at petrochem deposits and triethyl lead (if it's been laid-up for a while), so the solvens above may be happier for your setup. Personally, a crock-pot of cheap antifreeze is usually enough for me.
Stan, you've got my curiosity going now. I've heard of boiling the carbs in distilled water many times on this forum. Regarding cleaning aluminium carbs you mentioned using antifreeze is one I've not heard of that one before. What strength/concentration do you use? Full consentrate strength or diluted with water and if diluted, what dilution rate? Next, what temperature? Cold or hot? and finally the time of the soaking? I would assume that would be dependant on the amount of "crust/debris" in the carbs.
 

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I remember seeing some posts on this before. As I recall it was full strength antifreeze and was left heated for about an hour. I haven't tried that but it sounds good to me. I know antifreeze will find a hole to leak out of where plain water won't. Seems it would be good to clean those tiny passages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just can't get used to this new forum style....where the heck is the fast reply window??

Anyway, thanks chaps for all the info on this thing. I had some bad luck with carbs since I own this bike, I did rebuild them and cleaned them with a lot of aerosol (spray) cleaner (can't find the liquid form of it ower here), sprayed gasoline, compressed air and similar methods but it always happens that something plugs up a jet after few weeks or months and kills a cylinder and you know how easy it is to get a jet out of these carbs, so I got tired of removing the hole carbs assembly out of the bike every now and then. Obviously some deep dirt was disturbed during the cleaning and not removed completely so the residues are making problems. Yes, I do have new fuel lines and filter, clean fuel pump etc.

So I wanted to get some really good way to get 100% of the dirt out of them this time but after reading your comments I think I will not use acids but something safer like detergents or this antifreeze bath which sounds interesting. Boiling in a distilled water will be done anyway at the end to confirm the job.

P.S.
I've just noticed the quick reply at the bottom....pretty sure it wasn't there five minutes ago :)
 

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There's an interesting experiment at classicgoldwings.com where Dan is soaking a set in a combination of auto transm fluid, diesel fuel. For me boiling in water loosened everything up, but required brushing, scrubbing and cleaning.
 

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...solvents, detergents, lubricants, acids, ph modifyers, etc., etc.. So many options.

Ultrasonic cleaning with heated solutions work best for me, lessening the elbow grease required.
 

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Partial thread hijack:

Stan, you've got my curiosity going now. I've heard of boiling the carbs in distilled water many times on this forum. Regarding cleaning aluminium carbs you mentioned using antifreeze is one I've not heard of that one before. What strength/concentration do you use? Full consentrate strength or diluted with water and if diluted, what dilution rate? Next, what temperature? Cold or hot? and finally the time of the soaking? I would assume that would be dependant on the amount of "crust/debris" in the carbs.
I prefer to use ethylene glycol, silicate free (common automotive grade) at full strength. I use a "crock pot" style slow cooker from the local thrift-shop and will allow it to run hot (near the boil point) for a few hours. Most often, this is left overnight on the floor of the garage (~ 6-10 hours?) - 2hours is prolly long enough. I've had no ill effect from leaving things longer; the ethylene glycol doesn not boil (nothing near 200*C). A bit of old toothbrush and other parts-brush work will leave the bits clean and clear of old sludge/varnish. I don't bother to rinse the parts inless I they are to be sealed with adhesive, choosing instead to leave the anticorrosives from the antifreeze on the part surfaces.

In all, about the same as distilled water boil, with higher expense, some haz-mat disposal, and a little sense of "magic" coming from the antifreeze (I reuse the antifreeze until it stops working or there's another sale!). Ioriginally saw the "hot vat" thing at a diesel shop (as a first step before some agressive organic solvent). Most of the stuff outta the first tank was useable/repariable without going to the more agressive step.
 
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