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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read in the SOHC4 forum that a head can be soaked in everything from Techron fuel additive, to transmission fluid, to shaving cream. The manual suggest wire brushes, but that seems invasive. I'm seeking some details.

What has worked for you guys?
What chemicals do you use?
How long do you soak it?
Do I need to pull valve guides or seals first?

I don't have access to a sonic cleaner. It would be nice, but I need something I can do on my own in a bucket or sink.

Thanks
 

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Just to offer you a quick starter idea, regular parts cleaner from the auto parts store would remove grime pretty nicely. The kind you put into the parts cleaner tanks. Pick up a cheap plastic bristle brush if you're afraid of damaging anything. It may require longer soaking and more scrubbing, but at least that way you'd get to know your head intimately. Valentines day is coming up you know... :oops:

As far as removing carbon build-up, I find that brushing with SeaFoam does pretty nicely.

GB :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You are quite the romantic aren't you... :roll:

Me and the wife could work on it together, much better than flowers and chocolates in my opinion! Do you think she'd go for it? Best Valentines ever...

Does that stuff harm the rubber seals? I don't want to rip anything off if I don't have to.
 

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I've never had any problems with it harming rubber bits, but just don't leave anything submerged in it for a long time. Nothing overnight, or for a few hours, etc. Just put it in there and scrub around until it's clean. Compressed air helps a LOT when getting the cleaner off of parts afterwards.. The SeaFoam I'd be a little more careful with myself. Seems a little stronger to me? If it removed carbon build-up this well then you be the judge on that.

You and the wife work on it together...? Sure bub...... Try it out, let us know how that goes. :lol: Maybe you could work on it all Ghost (movie) style like the cheesy potting wheel scene that one of my previous girlfriends made me suffer through. :lol: :lol:

Just yankin yer chain!!

GB :mrgreen:
 

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Just to add another to the list of possibilities:

I've used Simple Green as a great degreaser. Doesn't harm anything, and doesn't leave you smelling of parts cleaner for days afterwards. Buy it at Home Depot for a couple bucks a gallon. Use it straight, or dilute it a little with water.

Garden hose to rinse it off. If you leave it overnight, you won't even need a scrub brush, it degreases that well.

Does a great job on carb bodies. Non-toxic, too.

Good luck,

Kirk
 

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Don't leave ANYTHING aluminum soaking in SimpleGreen. There was actually a service bulletin issued by their company on NOT using it on aluminum or aircraft specifically. They do make a formula just for aluminum though.

"It has been brought to the attention of the U.S. Army Aviation Missile Command (AMCOM) Depot Maintenance Engineering Team that numerous units are using the commercial product SIMPLE GREEN as an aircraft wash. STOP! This product has been through Department of Defense (DOD) testing and was determined to be highly corrosive on aircraft aluminum and also a catalyst for Hydrogen Embrittlement in high strength aircraft alloys."

"Hydrogen Embrittlement brought down Chinook 89-00173 on 10 October 1992, near Fort Richardson, Alaska."

"While a highly effective cleaning agent for floors and non-aluminum / non-high strength alloy vehicles this product is not approved for aviation usage. If your unit has been using SIMPLE GREEN on a regular basis, it is recommended that a thorough fresh water wash with the approved cleaners per the appropriate airframe maintenance manuals be accomplished as soon as practicable. This should be followed up with a corrosion inspection / treatment and application of approved Corrosion Prevention Compounds (CPCs)."


http://www.chinook-helicopter.com/maint ... aners.html

GB
 

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Now THAT is an interesting tidbit.

In thinking back, I guess I've never soaked anything other than carbs in it. I've used it a handful of times as a spray on-scrub-rinse off treatment on external surfaces. And I've soaked a half-dozen carbs in it. Never had any trouble whatsoever.

Are carbs aluminum? Or something else?

Hmmm... got me thinking, now...

I guess I'd better retract my previous recommendation. Hmm.....
 

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Yeah Kirk, I only mentioned that because I'd be afraid someone would soak something in it to remove stubborn spots or something. If you ask me, it really could'nt hurt these old bikes as long as you use good sense. It does etch aluminum though. I tested out that theory at work. I took a piece of 6061 T6 aluminum sheet, around 12ga, and sprayed regular ol SimpleGreen on it, waited about 2 minutes before wiping off, and it had etched the surface enough that you could tell where I had sprayed it and where I had'nt. Left on for longer and it etched it deeper and left a black residue or oxidation on the aluminum that was pretty bad. I'd hate to see what it'd do to a nice old aluminum offroad wheel or the like...

Bottom line is with any of these cleaners, one should use caution, and WEAR EYE PROTECTION.

GB :mrgreen:
 

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So, what are carbs made of?? I've soaked half a dozen carbs in Simple Green, and they came out looking better than the high-dollar carb dips in the gallon cans!

It does't do such a good job on the actual hardened varnish buildup on really bad carbs, but it did a GREAT job on the exterior of the bodies. No etching or nothing.

Hmm..., weird.

 

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There are MANY different alloys of aluminum!
Resistance to damage will depend on the specific attributes of that particular alloy.....
 

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Steve's right but I forgot to mention that I not only tested it on 6061, but 7075 as well. BOTH being aircraft grade al. The carbs are of a unknown alloy. Some el cheapo aluminum alloy..

By the way, SimpleGreen has issued their own warning on this, and possibly a list of the affected metals. I've seen it somewhere? The do have an aluminum safe formula.

This is all useless banter anyway, as it's not gonna harm anything on these old bikes, IF you don't soak in it..

GB :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I guess I'll be soaking it in elbow grease then...

I've tried the oven cleaner bit though. It works on carbon and grease, so all I've got to do now is grab the shot gun brushes and clean those fins out. Then its off to the mech for seats and valve cutting.
 

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Got a new tip for you: a product called Aluminum Jelly. Very much like Naval Jelly. I picked up a bottle at my local hardware store for $4 bucks.

Works fantastic on powdery white aluminum corrosion. Got the tip from a Hodaka forum I frequent. I used it this past weekend on the cases of a 250 I'm resurrecting.

Brush it on, leave it sit for 5 minutes, hose / brush it off. Repeat a few times. Wow! what a difference! (don't leave it on much over 5 minutes per application, as it can discolor the aluminum with a black residue).

Pictures to follow...

Kirk
 
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