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Hi all.
I am in the process of restoring a nice FT 500 Ascot. I am going to disassemble the carb and clean it. After cleaning the gum, etc from its internals, I plan to put its metal parts into my HF ultrasonic cleaner. I would like the finish to be restored to the “bright” aluminum color it would have had when new. Is this possible? If so, how? By using a liquid jewelry cleaner or some other mild acid or base solution?
Thank you all in advance for any advice you can give me.
 

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I use a mix of 50% distilled water and 50% original Krud Kutter.

To get the aluminum super clean, you're going to want to use a soda blaster (basically baking soda). I bought a cheap air gun with a media hopper on it that I can connect up to my air compressor. I buy the 50lb bag of baking soda from harbor freight and blast right in my driveway. The media is water soluble so it won't hurt the carbs.
 

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i used mine today to give some dellortos and jets a clean. ran about 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water, then second one added a couple hundred ml of the wurth fuel system cleaner. cleaned some of the jets up - bike had sat for 6+ years, a couple were still blocked solid after 15 minutes on various stages.

absentmindedly put a zinc plated clamp in - turned lots of stuff blackish and rooted the plating on the clamp.
 

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I never found ultrasonic cleaners to be all that great for cleaning carbs, I just take them completely apart and use this amazing stuff called 'Carburetor cleaner'
... but don't get any over-spray on plastic parts, it dissolves plastic real fast.

Oh ya, almost forgot to mention, I rarely take apart the top half of a CV carb seeing as all of the bad stuff is in the bottom half.
 

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I never found ultrasonic cleaners to be all that great for cleaning carbs, I just take them completely apart and use this amazing stuff called 'Carburetor cleaner'
... but don't get any over-spray on plastic parts, it dissolves plastic real fast.
I was the same way until I had to get clogs out from unknown areas of my CRs. Never going back to the old ways.

Although I will still dip them for a few minutes in a can of berrymans first.
 

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I was the same way until I had to get clogs out from unknown areas of my CRs. Never going back to the old ways.

Although I will still dip them for a few minutes in a can of berrymans first.
CR's are real carburetors, nothing like the CV crap that came on the Ascot ;)
If he wants to make that powdered metal look bright, you gave the best recommendation with using a soda blaster.
 

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I build a lot of dirt bikes. If any of you guys, and I'm sure there are plenty of you, have seen as many ragged out vintage dirt bikes as I have, you know how bad the carbs can be. I promise you that ultrasonic cleaners do an amazing job cleaning carbs, especially with the right cleaners. Like I said before, Pine Sol does an amazing job. You can put stuff like Berryman's in one too. I always run mine with max heat when I use cleaners. Even S100 can be put in one. For non aluminum stuff, particularly rusty stuff, then diluted phosphoric acid works really well. To say they don't work is absolutely false.

I'm digging around for before and after pics and came up with these. I wish I could find the before pic of the TM33. It had so much oxidation the pumper piston was frozen, but I got it totally cleaned up and working like new. The PD carb in the first two pics was the same deal. The pumper was trashed. The bowl was a mixture of yellow and white goo.

carb 1.jpg
carb 2.jpg
carb 3.jpg
 

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I normally don't spend too much time tarting up the outer surfaces on carbs - I tend to spend more time on the insides.

I use a cheap ultrasonic for all the brass bits - 50/50 vinegar and water works well.

Carb cleaner / brake cleaner and decent PSI compressed air is what I use for all the internal orifices. I like the brake cleaner because it leaves no residue.
 

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I build a lot of dirt bikes. If any of you guys, and I'm sure there are plenty of you, have seen as many ragged out vintage dirt bikes as I have, you know how bad the carbs can be. I promise you that ultrasonic cleaners do an amazing job cleaning carbs, especially with the right cleaners. Like I said before, Pine Sol does an amazing job. You can put stuff like Berryman's in one too. I always run mine with max heat when I use cleaners. Even S100 can be put in one. For non aluminum stuff, particularly rusty stuff, then diluted phosphoric acid works really well. To say they don't work is absolutely false.

I'm digging around for before and after pics and came up with these. I wish I could find the before pic of the TM33. It had so much oxidation the pumper piston was frozen, but I got it totally cleaned up and working like new. The PD carb in the first two pics was the same deal. The pumper was trashed. The bowl was a mixture of yellow and white goo.

View attachment 96559
View attachment 96561
View attachment 96563
No green in there? If it was only white/yellow your cabs must have been bone dry, you are only seeing aluminum and sulfur, if it was green and looks more like coral covered in dead jelly fish then that is a sign of copper leaching into old fuel.
;) & If it smells like a tarts handkerchief then it is old ethanol fuel or somebody pissed in your fuel tank.

Those carbs would look like brand new aluminum if you hit them with his soda blaster now :D
and I never said they don't work, I just don't like the job they do, for example I would never put an 80,000$ microscope part into an ultrasonic cleaner just to clean it, because I know what ultrasonics do to a microscopic crack or material fracture :| they make it bigger real fast.
http://www.zenith-ultrasonics.com/ultrasonic_damage.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Many thanks to all who weighed in on this. TrialsRider’s comment about an ultrasonic cleaner having the potential to cause a fracture to grow and lead to failure had never occurred to me.
 

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I use pine sol to clean carbs, jaguar turned me on to it.

NEVER use simple green or purple power on alloy carb bodies, it is reactive and will not only strip all protective coating from the outside but will start the oxidation process.
 

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I never found ultrasonic cleaners to be all that great for cleaning carbs, I just take them completely apart and use this amazing stuff called 'Carburetor cleaner'
... but don't get any over-spray on plastic parts, it dissolves plastic real fast.

Oh ya, almost forgot to mention, I rarely take apart the top half of a CV carb seeing as all of the bad stuff is in the bottom half.
I can think of 2 good reasons for taking the top off when cleaning CV carbs.
Firstly to check the condition of the diapragm, and secondly it's probably not a good idea to soak the said diapragm in carb cleaner.
 

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I can think of 2 good reasons for taking the top off when cleaning CV carbs.
Firstly to check the condition of the diapragm, and secondly it's probably not a good idea to soak the said diapragm in carb cleaner.
I use Clear Simple Green (yeah, there is such a thing) and water in 50/50 solution. I would recommend removing the float valves. The heat/vibration can dislodge that little rubber tip from the valve body.
 
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