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what chemical to use to clean old carberators


Dodge1934
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I have a number of marvel and stromberg carbs. I would like to restore a few of them. There may already be a thread on this topic but... what is the general procedure to restore a carb. I assume you have to seperate the different types of metal before dipping them in cleaners and what do you put on them after to retain the new look?

thanks for any help

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I have read this thread at least a dozen times trying to decide whether to post an answer or not. Finally decided on an answer that may not be exactly what you were asking for, but won't get you in trouble!

First, it is vitally important for you to define what the word "restore" means to you. If you use the dictionary definition of "return to original condition" then STOP!!! The fact that you asked the question means you should not attempt this work yourself, send it to a professional. Why? Trying to use the cleaning agent one might use successfully on a 1935 Buick Marvel on a 1929 Buick Marvel and accidentally inhaling the fumes could send you to the hospital or worse! Early zinc alloy ("pot metal") in contact with hot caustic lye will emit toxic fumes!!!!!

Now, if you are talking about a functional BUT NOT COSMETIC rebuild, an ultrasonic cleaner with ordinary dishwater soap will do a reasonable job. The name brand "Dawn" is available locally, and works well. Run the heaters at about 165~175 degrees F.

And please understand, this is not an advertisement. My shop no longer restores carburetors due to the pressure of trying to keep others in rebuilding kits. So don't send the carbs to us, as we will just send them back.

If you do not have access to an ultrasonic cleaner (yes, I know they are expensive), then use the dishwater soap in hot water.

And just for the record, when we were still restoring carbs, we would do an initial cleaning in the ultrasonic, then glass bead the surfaces and send the castings to various metal laundry companies to apply the original finish (and there are dozens of different original finishes). I saw what some of the chemicals did to enthusiasts that should have left them alone, and did not want that result to me! Better to spend a little extra and live to work on something else!

Jon.

Edited by carbking (see edit history)
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I agree with Jon's comments above.

I have glass bead blasted them and then coated them with 2 pack clear spraying enamel in the past with very good results however if you want to see how they did it in the old days I have included a Ford service bulletin from 1940 for your information.

It should be noted that they used Sulfuric and Nitic acid in some of the process which is very nasty stuff. Not for the home handy man.

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post-58798-143141923216_thumb.jpg

Edited by DavidAU (see edit history)
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Carburetor cleaner "dip" bucket. Here is one brand, your local auto parts stores should have it.

Berryman® Chem-Dip® 0996 - Carburetor and Parts Cleaner | O'Reilly Auto Parts

That's what I used. Make sure you follow the directions EXACTLY and wear protective equipment! And DO NOT leave it in there longer than needed. You can buy this stuff at wal-mart now too. It's a bit cheaper than the auto parts stores. As far as coating them afterwards, Eastwood sells a line of carburetor coatings. Keep in mind, this is the "do-it-yourself" way to do this and will not yield professional results. If you're looking for the carbs to be perfect and last another 50 or 60 years, have them professionally restored.

Edited by shadetree77 (see edit history)
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I have a number of marvel and stromberg carbs. I would like to restore a few of them. There may already be a thread on this topic but... what is the general procedure to restore a carb. I assume you have to seperate the different types of metal before dipping them in cleaners and what do you put on them after to retain the new look?

thanks for any help

Thanks for all the replies guys they are a lot of help. I started watching for these types of carbs because I have cars that use both types and now I have about 20 or so strombergs from the 30`s and marvels from the late teens and felt I should do something with them other than leave them in a box.

The article on identifying these will be useful as well

Thanks again.

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