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Discussion Starter #1
So...what chemicals and methods does everyone use to clean up the crank, sludge trap and cases before reassembly? Solvent based stuff or water based stuff or diesel fuel etc?

I have one of those little plastic parts washers from harbor freight but it might be more trouble than its worth.
 

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I buy a rubber maid pan about big enough to fit in a regular sink and 5 gallons of paint thinner (mineral spirits) from a paint supply store. I use some small parts brushes and some old tooth brushes and pipe cleaners to do most of the cleaning. I just pour enough solvent in the pan to do the current job. If the solvent doesn't get too dirty, I save it in a large plastic laundry bottle for intial cleaning of really dirty parts. If it gets dirty, it goes into a different bottle to be taken to the recyclers. I bought a harbor freight parts washer but have never used it. the instructions I read after I got it home said not to use flamable solvents in it and the water based ones I've tried didn't work very well or left a residue that discolored metal or foamed up when agitated. I haven't tried a lot of the water based because some are quite expensive. It would take $200.00 worth of the Harbor freight recommended type to fill my washer and no telling how long it would last.
 

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I use some small parts brushes and some old tooth brushes and pipe cleaners to do most of the cleaning. I just pour enough solvent in the pan to do the current job.....
Jimmy is a man after my own heart, a little brush for every purpose!

I use kerosene, diesel or petrol, whatever is on hand. Comressed air is a real benefit also. I also use my high pressure sprayer when it suits me. Out in the back yard of course. RR
 

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Yes, diesel is good as, it has a lot of detergent in it but there's no substitute for a collection of pot and tooth brushes for cranks.
use a screwdriver to get the worst out of the sludge trap hole first.
Use air to blow out after cleaning.

If you have plenty of money, crank grinding shops have hot wash systems these days.
 

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One of the benefits of being a machinist is the parts cleaner. Flowing solvents(Safety Clean), brush, and compressed air. Sadly we are disappearing this side of the Atlantic, but buddy up to machinists, most will be glad to help you out! Join a local club, chances are you'll meet someone that can help you out and visa-versa!
 

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Keep in mind that mineral spirit, even the odorless version emit fumes. If you do this in your basement, and you have a gas stove or gas dryer you will suffer the effects of using min spirits indoors. Your dryer and clothes in it will smell like fuel oil when it runs and when you cook the house will start to smell like fuel oil, starting in the kitchen. I've been down this road, complete with the call to the local gas company and a visit to my house by them. I would never have guessed it in a million years.

My suggestion is go to Home Depot and get a big plastic mortar tub. It will have a myriad of uses around the house and in your vehicle for transporting or cleaning large messy things. I've put it on bike stand with my bike over it and cleaned areas of the frame with solvents and never made a mess. It's really good for cleaning wheels.

Anyway, it gives you some room to work set your various brushes without making a mess, allows you to be a little sloppy too and catches any spills and such. I have two sizes of them, one from Home Depot and one from Harbor Freight and I could not live without them.

Last suggestion is go to Home Depot and get a tile cleaning brush. They look like a giant tooth brush with a slight curve to it. They have plastic bristles, but are stiffer than any other brush I've seen. They work great on really bad crud. I've already worn one out and I need to get another. They do last quite a while. I was really hard on this last one.
regard,
Rob
 

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Jimmy is a man after my own heart, a little brush for every purpose!

I use kerosene, diesel or petrol, whatever is on hand. Comressed air is a real benefit also. I also use my high pressure sprayer when it suits me. Out in the back yard of course. RR
Me too! (or whatever I can get from work!)
One system that works well is to get a couple of cheap paint brushes and then cut the bristles down to about 1" in length, shorter if you want a stiffer brush, gets most stuff off. I just use a pair of side cutters (wire cutters) to trim the bristles.

Webby
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Snake Oil what do you use mineral spirits? Diesel? Yeah definatey dont do it in the house. I figure I will just clean up everything and then reassemble in the garage with a kerosene heater to keep my hands moving
 

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I'm guessing is your question is why do I use mineral spirits? I use it because it does not stink and make you smell like a fuel delivery guy when you come in from the shop and because I find it cuts the grease quicker than kerosene. It also dries with no oily residue.

I started to use kerosene when I was diassembling another old bike with 52 years of ancient dried grease, clay, tar, crud, etc all over it. I found that the min spirits did the best job of cutting that stuff.

Kero works pretty well, just stinks. If I remember right, my nitrile surgical gloves seems to last almost indefinitely in the min spirits. Kero, if I'm not mistake ate them up pretty quickly.

I run the old min spirits thru coffee filters from time to time to clean it out and then use that old stuff for dirty jobs. When I have the parts clean, I run them thru a fresh bath of spirits to make sure I've gotten everything nice and clean.
regards,
Rob
 

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mineral spirits , diesel STINKS !!!!

for cleaning out the crank sludge cavity just use your 12 ga shotgun brushes :) 16 or 20 ga would probably work too but whatevers at hand .

something i've been using to shine up the rough castings like the block is etching mag wheel cleaner . WARNING! it will dull the shiney stuff but works wonders on the rough cast AND when you spray it on it will start to foam . IMMEDIATELY wipe it off and wash with water . works great :)


cheers Woody
 
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