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  • I think I want an ultrasonic cleaner?

    I have about five different motorcycle, generator and etc carburetors that need cleaned up. Occurred to me that an ultrasonic cleaner might be a nice thing to have around.

    Curious on actual results and appropriate sizing?

  • #2
    It works very well, but I prefer soda blasting because I generally keep a Simple Green solution in my u/s for cleaning steel parts, but it will discolor aluminum. Mine is a heated Branson ultrasonic that holds a little over a gallon. Use it mostly for old machine parts cleaning, gun cleaning etc.

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    • #3
      Coincidentally I was running a throttle body though my ultrasonic cleaner when I read this thread. They are great tools for cleaning parts with very small passages like carburators. I would recommend one that has a heater, it makes a big difference. Parts need to be pre-cleaned with the ultrasonic cleaner as the final step. Some people think that it's a degreaser or rust remover, it is neither.

      I searched for a used USA built machine but all I ever found were warn out ones that were better served as a parts machine. I ended up getting a Zokop 410ht off of eBay. It has worked flawlessly for 4-5 years.

      Pay attention to the "tank size" dimensions, make sure that it will accommodate what you plan to clean. A "tank capacity", 1L, 3L etc. can come in all sorts of dimensions. As mentioned a heated unit works much better and a basket is needed to keep anything off the tank floor. The ultrasonic senders will be damaged if something is laying on the bottom of the tank. Old fashioned dial controls seem to be more robust than electronic types.

      Here is the throttle body off a Audi Quattro that I just cleaned.

      You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.

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      • #4
        Ultrasonic cleaners will make their own heat with ultrasonic energy only, so hot you will not want to put your hand in there. No need for a tank heater. Taller/longer items can be cleaned by using a cut off soda bottle or or other plastic beaker like vessel as long as it is surrounded by liquid in the tank. You do have to be careful about detergents and materials to be cleaned as some do not play well together.

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        • #5
          I have had both heated and unheated. In my experience, unheated cleaners don't get anywhere near as hot as the heated models And heated do clean better for me. YMMV.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SVS View Post
            I have about five different motorcycle, generator and etc carburetors that need cleaned up. Occurred to me that an ultrasonic cleaner might be a nice thing to have around.

            Curious on actual results and appropriate sizing?
            When you find a good one that will last more than a couple months please let me know. I've been looking at them for quite some time but everything I see looks like ChiCom junk.

            JL............

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            • #7
              I have a small ultrasonic cleaner (from Target) given to me by my dentist when I fixed two of his larger more professional models. I had some badly rusted bolts and nuts that I put in the hopper and added vinegar and water. I gave it two runs for 9 minutes each (max) but then forgot it and left it overnight, to find this:

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              Buffalo wings, anyone?
              http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
              Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
              USA Maryland 21030

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              • #8
                I have an imported one and it has lasted for over two years now. But that is only with occasional use, not all day long.

                Yes, do pay attention to the tank dimensions, not just the volume.

                Paul, I have a tip for you. Put your parts and cleaning solution in a zip lock bag and just plain water to fill the US cleaner. It makes cleanup a lot easier.
                Paul A.
                SE Texas

                And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                You will find that it has discrete steps.

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                • #9
                  What solvent are you all using that won't discolor aluminum but still does a good job cleaning ?? Did a small carb in mine and used Simple Green the carb works great but now is an ugly color.😄😄 I also use a zip loc bag or small container for the solvent saves on a bigger mess.
                  John From Slinger, Wisconsin

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                    When you find a good one that will last more than a couple months please let me know. I've been looking at them for quite some time but everything I see looks like ChiCom junk.

                    JL............
                    Get an L&R. Their target markets are dental and clock/watch repairers. Both would use them constantly and expect them to last decades. Yes to heat, does a better job imo. I've got two now, both are probably at least 20 years old and just keep going. Both bought used for small dollars, package deal purchases. Don't need two, but for the small cost worth it to have a spare. If they ever give it up, no heartbreak.
                    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                    • #11
                      Stupid idea but it may work for you and will be cheap enough that if it doesn't you can just throw it away. Thrift stores often have ultrasonic humidifiers really cheap because they aren't really good for that purpose as they put all the minerals that may be in the water into the air along with the water. You will probably have to make your own reservoir to hold the liquid and the items you want to clean but for $5 to $15 it seems worth thinking about.

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                      • #12
                        RE:PStechPaul’s Buffalo wing bolts-was that just a rusty foam that rinsed off or?? Do you have before&after pictures by chance?

                        I figured to try water with a squirt of dawn soap or maybe straight mineral spirits. Discoloration from simple green wouldn’t bother me in these cases at least.

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                        • #13
                          I bought one of these wuhanium machines about eight years ago and it works pretty well. https://www.ebay.com/itm/16368737618...IAAOSwbG5gMyBW
                          I paid $300 now they are half the price. It has multiple transducers which is good. It's big enough to get an automotive carb body in it so get something bigger than you anticipate needing.

                          Observations:
                          Ultrasonics won't remove soft gummy deposits like varnish buildup.
                          You have to run the bath hot, like 40 or 50C.
                          Your choice of soap by experimentation.
                          Some soaps like Simple green can be corrosive on carbs which are usually aluminum/zinc alloy so watch them and don't leave them in too long or they'll discolor as the solution attacks the zinc.
                          It helps if you flip the parts around during your cycle. 5-10 minutes, flip it around then hit it again.
                          You can put parts in a baggie with some volatile solvent in the bag. (that's how you get the gummy varnish)
                          Some machines have a maximum running time for component health. Find this out! Of course there are no warranties on this Chinese stuff.
                          Don't use flammable solvents in the tank. The sonic action can outgas it becoming an explosive vapour.

                          Testing your machine:
                          Take a sheet of aluminium foil and hold it vertically in the tank while it's running. The action will poke holes through the foil and you can see where the cavitation is strongest. This does vary with the percentage of the tank fill.

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                          • #14
                            IMC:That’s good info, thank you.

                            So-is a few 10 minute cycles typical for a small engine carb?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by I make chips View Post
                              I bought one of these wuhanium machines about eight years ago and it works pretty well. https://www.ebay.com/itm/16368737618...IAAOSwbG5gMyBW
                              I paid $300 now they are half the price. It has multiple transducers which is good. It's big enough to get an automotive carb body in it so get something bigger than you anticipate needing.

                              Observations:
                              Ultrasonics won't remove soft gummy deposits like varnish buildup.
                              You have to run the bath hot, like 40 or 50C.
                              Your choice of soap by experimentation.
                              Some soaps like Simple green can be corrosive on carbs which are usually aluminum/zinc alloy so watch them and don't leave them in too long or they'll discolor as the solution attacks the zinc.
                              It helps if you flip the parts around during your cycle. 5-10 minutes, flip it around then hit it again.
                              You can put parts in a baggie with some volatile solvent in the bag. (that's how you get the gummy varnish)
                              Some machines have a maximum running time for component health. Find this out! Of course there are no warranties on this Chinese stuff.
                              Don't use flammable solvents in the tank. The sonic action can outgas it becoming an explosive vapour.

                              Testing your machine:
                              Take a sheet of aluminium foil and hold it vertically in the tank while it's running. The action will poke holes through the foil and you can see where the cavitation is strongest. This does vary with the percentage of the tank fill.
                              That was the one I was looking at. It looked impressive but the price and country of origin tell a different story. I was leery of it. I guess you lucked out.

                              JL............

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