Where can I get a good carb cleaner? I have tried local Parts houses and am not satisfied with the results.
If you are talking about a spray can, I use the Tech stuff form Walmart in the blue and black can. Be careful not to get it on any paint. Works very well in my opinion and is about 70% of the cost of the name brands.
Second the WalMart stuff. Works for me.
It won't do much on old carbs. That stuff is designed to take the carbon and deposits off new carbs that got dirty with new fuels, not old varnish and shellacs formed from old fuels.
An ultrasonic cleaner with commercial carb goop heated pretty hot will take most of it out. Do it outside, it's going to really stink.
The EPA has put a halt on the good stuff we used to get 30 years ago, berryman's was the last brand I bought around here that was fair but not great. KGB
I was helping a fellow get an old hit and miss engine running. He didn't have any carb cleaner around, but he did have a jar with some....how shall we say......not so legally distilled adult beverage in it. I poured a little in a smaller jar and soaked the brass parts for a few minutes and they were as shiny as new. 2-3 other guys were hanging around that day and knew what I had done. When the manufacturer of said beverage showed up later in the day, he somehow didn't see the humor in the fact that all the guys were calling his product "Carburetor Cleaner". Unfortunately for him, the name stuck.
The new carb dips don't work well with our old stuff, Martin Vowell knows what it's missing and just adds it to stuff. Works very well, like the old recipe. Martins' a bit of an alchemist. lol
Berrymans Chem Tool used to work for me. On a Model T carburetor, just take it apart and clean it with gas, paint thinner, acetone or all three and blow it out with an air hose.
It all depends on what level of clean you want, doesn't it??
Thanks for your help.
Stan, your work makes me want to purchase one of your carbs to put into my lighter collection shadow boxes. I would leave them apart. To me they are Art.
Thanks, here's another one that's pretty when it's all cleaned up. This was a Chickasha find, it was spray painted red with dirt and grime for accent colors. It's a Breeze from a pre-1910 Hupmobile.
OK, one more since you like to see the parts. This was a Rayfield from Chickasha, it had been sandblasted -- not beads, sand -- and was really nasty to clean up. Came out OK, tho.
Here it is all together
They really are works of art. I enjoy cleaning up the old ones and getting them to run. I have to make a lot of weenie little parts but that's pretty interesting, too. I have no interest in later carbs and turn down work on them almost every day. Brass is where it's at.
In answer to a question, the RF is a Stromberg that replaced the OF. It is an aluminum body and has a modern float system rather than the weighted arms and loose float that the earlier ones had. They are good carbs but over the years the idle jet tends to weld itself to the aluminum body and is impossible to get out. I just drill them out and make a new one if it won't come out. I can made a new one in 15 minutes on the lathe rather than spending time trying to get the original loose.
The dark gray color is not original to the RF, originally it would have been a dark "Mallard" green. This is the color I keep in my powder coat gun for OF parts and other things I need to powder coat, I just do the RF's in that color, they look nice, I think. The inside of the bowl is always pretty badly stained, that's not overspray.
How do you test your rebuilds?
I have a test engine - which is actually a Ford 600 tractor. I have an adapter off the back of the carburetor so I can mount any carb, updraft, side draft, etc. and a tank for gas. I used to use a T engine but when I got started doing other carbs I needed to be able to run updrafts and this is much handier. I usually can just crank them up without using the tractor carb but if I need to I can use the tractor carb to get the engine running and fool with the carb adjustments to get the basic settings instead of cranking away on the starter. I just did a Stewart 25 that came in in pieces, the guy took it apart and couldn't figure out how to put it back together. He had several weenie little pieces left over when he got it together so he put it in a box and sent it to me. It took me half an hour to figure it out since I had never seen one before. After I got it figured out I cleaned it and made some bushings and a throttle shaft, put it together and fired up the tractor engine, gradually got the adjustments made on the Stewart and shut the tractor carb off. It took five minutes instead of an hour fooling with it. I test run almost every carb except NH's and other really simple ones. There is no need to, they are fool proof. Unless it's one for a Mt 500 car, then I run them.
I can also take the tractor out for a drive. The neighbors see me going up the street bending over and making adjustments once in awhile. I think they all think I'm nuts. Probably am. A lot of things that will run on a test stand won't run under load although I haven't had a problem with most things, usually if I do that it's something somebody else can't make run that got sent to me and I do a test drive before I take it apart and one after to make sure whatever is wrong is fixed.
I've had a few that got more than one test run before I got it figured out.
It's a handy deal, gets the carb out where I can get to the adjustments, see any leaks, etc. Looks kind of stupid but it works.
Stan, your rebuilt carburetors look just fantastic. After you bead blast the castings, what do you do to keep them looking so nice, apply some sort of clear coat?
No, I let whoever they belong to do whatever they want when they get them. There are two or three more steps to getting them looking that nice after I bead blast them, but no coating.