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Post  cstatman Wed Dec 15, 2021 1:32 pm

i finally broke down and bought the Harbor Freight ultrasonic cleaner. (my holiday gift to myself)
yes, i spend the extra $13 for a warranty.  which chaps my hide, but every other forum says to doo it for when the unit breaks in 6 months

used some safety wire to make handles to lift the tray (but will make a basket soon)

the PLAN(tm) is to clean up disassembelled motors, as well as carbs for vintage motorcycles, firearm bits - and anything else I can fit

using water and ZEP degreaser (purple) at the moment,  have not yet tested. Will keep ya'll informed

https://www.harborfreight.com/25-liter-ultrasonic-cleaner-63256.html
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Post  fredvon4 Wed Dec 15, 2021 4:20 pm

Please do NOT submerse an entire engine with all parts complete in your sonic cleaner...especially if they are needle or ball bearing engines

You do want heat if HF sonic cleaner has this mode

Use Only non caustic solutions that do not darken or change aluminum

I am personally a big fan of heat and very very dilute solution of water and Dawn dish soap as the Ph doesnt adversly impact aluminum parts
Others will say Dawn power, Simple Green, or other degrease solutions are fine..and they are....IF you don't leave overnight in the solution


Lazily I have been known to chunk an entire Cox .049~.15 engine in the sonic pre heated for fairly short 15 to 30 min degrease and loosen.... BUT every time I forgot and engine cooked for overn night got ugly discoloration

As much as I like my el cheapo HF sonic cleaner, MY china $129 E-Bay 2.5 liter cleaner with heat and timer control has the HF one gathering dust...that said, the HF cleaner is a good unit....just don't ignorantly destroy bearing races or discolor4 your beloved engines

PS a hand full of nastily greasy tools can NOT be hurt and shiny clean tools is a good thing
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Post  rsv1cox Wed Dec 15, 2021 6:18 pm

Not to down play the attributes of an Ultrasonic cleaner, my wife used one to clean her jewelry but I have recently become an advocate for Berryman's parts cleaner fluid as some here might recall.  Label says "No agitation required."

I have used it for years to clean auto parts, mostly carburetors.  A few months ago I cleaned a rather castor locked Cox Babe Bee with it.  Left it in an hour, came out sparkling clean after a dump in Simple Green, then a warm water rinse.  Naturally, disassembly and lubrication followed.  

Impressed enough, about five other engines followed with soak times reduced to as little as 15 minutes with the same result.  I can find no fault with it after cleaning a couple hundred engines using other methods.  My work/wait times have been reduced from hours to minutes with much less stress on me and the engines.

Nasty engines - Hour soak

Not so nasty engines - 15 minutes
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Post  NEW222 Wed Dec 15, 2021 7:27 pm

fredvon4 wrote:just don't ignorantly destroy bearing races

So, just how does an ultrasonic cleaner destroy bearing races? Not a debate by any means, but am just curious as I have not used one, but have honestly wanted one, but after reading this, I am curious. Most of my engines are bushed and not have any bearings, but a couple that I do want to eventually clean do have bearings. Thank you.
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Post  fredvon4 Wed Dec 15, 2021 8:56 pm

Bearings and races are very hard often brittle metals. Ultra sonic 4to5 kilohertz waves slam these parts together very violently often destroying the ball, roller, or race

Similar to Every bearing mfg on earth telling customers to NEVER SPIN DRY WITH COMPRESSED AIR, ONE-- IT CAN DESTROY THE BEARING AND-- TWO CAN CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY

BIT OF TRIVIA a turbine engine after idle then run up has engineered bearings that at operating temp and pressure flowing oil bath see 100,000 to over 600,000 RPM.

the SAME BEARING SOLVENT CLEANED AND AIR DRIED THEN SPUN BY COMPRESSED AIR will explode violently as low as 50,000 RPM

I was exposed to this in my turbine engine school...demonstrated for every class in side a engine test cell as an object lesson for us
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Post  sosam117 Wed Dec 15, 2021 10:40 pm

Yep, I have learned my lesson too on using my Ultrasonic cleaner on ball bearing engines and anodized parts.
cleaning w ultrasonic Ultaso12

After disassembling my Enya .09 with ball bearing (in the front housing).
I placed everything into my wire basket (mine came with a fine and course screen baskets).
The solution I use is Master Stages CLEAN2020/1G Clean 2020 Washing Compound for Ultrasonic Washers.
cleaning w ultrasonic Clean_10


It is safe for aluminum and rubber parts, but it is a concentrated, so you have to dilute it to no more than 10%.
Mine is at 8% and does a nice job of cleaning dirty engines. it also leaves a fine coating to stop rust/oxidation.
The solution is heated to 120 degrees.
Where I worked (at Caterpillar's fuel system) that is the solution to clean our fuel injector parts.
So, if it's good for those critical parts, it should do well on my model engines?

Anyway, back to the cleaning of the bearings and anodized parts.
DON'T PUT THEM INTO THE SONIC TANK FOR CLEANING!

After 20 minutes in the sonic tank, the bearing in the front housing no longer was able to turn and the red anodized prop washer(driver) was now a very light pink instead of the dark red it originally it was. affraid
But the engine parts were very clean! See the photo below of the gunk that came off the engine, along with the red anodizing from the prop drive washer.
cleaning w ultrasonic Img_0123


So, what I have learned is, "if" I can remove the bearing easily enough, I remove them before sonic cleaning.
If I can't, then the part with the bearings gets a good tooth bush cleaning in hot dawn (with grease cutter) solution then dry the part using air from my heat gun to dry them.

I ordered from Ken Enya the Enya .09 rebuild kit (Enya part #MK094) which has in it eight new screws for the engine, carb gasket, new screws for the carb, front housing gasket, thrust washer (behind the prop washer/driver), new "red" prop driver, prop washer and nut, for a cost of $19.89, plus purchase a new ball bearing as well to replace the messed up one (I did).

By the way, I looked under a microscope that I have at the ball bearing and noticed that the balls looked like they were shot peened, and the balls were no longer nice and smooth but looked like the surface of the moon?
So, the sonic vibration hammered the balls in their race and roughened up the ball surfaces.

Well, here is the finished (rebuilt) Enya .09-III, looking as good as new!
And a lesson learned.
All of the other engines that I have been cleaning this year didn't have bearings in them. No problem.

1st engine with a bearing in it and I should have known about the anodizing.
Had the anodizing disappear on a Cox engine that I cleaned as well. (Should have remembered that mistake?)
cleaning w ultrasonic Img_0124
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Post  davidll1984 Thu Dec 16, 2021 2:48 am

I have a different method but which works well enough for the carburetor and another object a pot with lid on which is to fix an orbital sander for body I never use it for the mini motor, I prefer to do it manually
Itink It is preferable to only use for single pieces more than one risk of damage. I believe that the sonic cleaner is a good tool to clean the parts well, especially if the parts have corner holes nooks and crannies
Some parts must be cleaned by hand Lighting The Tree Santa
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Post  getback Thu Dec 16, 2021 7:27 am

Congratulations on getting you a ultra sonic cleaner ,these are very handy https://www.ebay.com/itm/190645122981?hash=item2c6355b7a5:g:DeoAAOSwXc9cB0Qo  Christmas Tree


Last edited by getback on Thu Dec 16, 2021 7:28 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add on)
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Post  rsv1cox Thu Dec 16, 2021 7:36 am

People.  I don't understand the resistance to using or even trying Berrymans parts cleaner.  $21 at Walmart.  Simple, effective and cheap.  Fifteen minutes to an hour and you move on to the fun part.

If I'm doing something wrong list it here, because I would like to know.
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Post  getback Thu Dec 16, 2021 7:45 am

Hey Hey hey I Vote for the use of it > I don't have any right now < And don't clean as many parts? as I use too , we used this stuff at ALL the mechanics jobs i have had and i love the stuff and was at awl when you posted your results . The plastic thing got me to thinking cause i have a few that need it ! Stored in boxes don't do much for showing off your goodies Lighting The Tree
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Post  cstatman Thu Dec 16, 2021 11:07 am

thank you all for good advice.

the HF has heat option
i'm using Zep degreaser mixed ~50/50 with water - similar to simple green purple
I don't have any ball-bearing motors, but understand the issue
i won't put a fully assembelled motor in, everything gets disassembelled first
no anodized parts - good call - i hadn't thought about that
won't leave in longer than cleaning cycle, and will rinse first with water, then with Ballistol

I DO use berrymans, Aero-Kroil and Ballistol for initial cleaning and separation of gunky parts

I like the mini-ball basket idea - looks just like a tea strainer. (mini ball, not to be comfused with minie ball)
https://www.amazon.com/Strainer-Mulling-Stainless-Perfect-ARTIST/dp/B07FZP5YFB/

my main hope for it? cleaning the weee tiny small passageways, between fins, small cracks and crevices...


will see what happens. my latest "box of junk engines" find from flEbay should be here friday....
I NEED .020s, but i keep buying .049s

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Post  rsv1cox Thu Dec 16, 2021 12:50 pm

Thanks Guys, It came to me on my way to Lowes this morning. No one here is as crazy as I am buying these old abused castor locked lumps of engines that require deep cleaning.

Someone here months ago asked about the cylinder index and how many engines people here had. I was the only one to own up with a total then or around 600+. Since then I have added many more the majority needed deep cleaning. I only wish I had discovered parts cleaner first. Would have saved me time and had been far easier on the engines.

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Post  layback209 Thu Dec 16, 2021 1:54 pm

Awesome nice choice! The ultrasonic is nothing short of a life saver in my books.  I use a cheepy jewelry one lol. One day I will upgrade lol Very Happy

I love it for cleaning dirty oily nitro rc car plastic my cleaning solution is powdered dish detergent, just mix in hot water from the kettle and let er chooch. So awesome because you can let it clean and progress other things while it works.

For cleaning off say gear grease, I float a container  with gasoline with a smidge of 2-stroke oil.  That way the ultrasonic stays clean.

For nitro engines I tend to float a jar of old questionable nitro fuel for cleaning.  Then transfer to a jar of 99% rubbing alcohol to finish it off. Works well enough for me.

Happy cleaning.  Works great on dirt bike carbs too.  No more 24hr pinsol baths lol.
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Post  fredvon4 Thu Dec 16, 2021 2:00 pm

I am a fan of B12 Chem tool AND the $0.97c store brand Aerosol carb cleaners

IMO ultra sonic shouldn't be first choice for heavy degreasing or trying to free up castor locked

I am also a big fan of EVAPORUST BUT it should only be used on ferrous metals and not on Anodized Aluminum

I am a big fan of small $9.99 crock pot and full strength Engine coolants for aluminum engine and radiators

I love the smell of SIMPLE GREEN
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Post  KariFS Thu Dec 16, 2021 2:40 pm

I too use an ultrasonic. I soak gummed-up engines in hot bath, about 140-150 deg F. I use the glass jar trick described above, with denatured ethanol as a detergent. Windshield washer fluid, or camping stove fuel. No ultrasonic at this point, just the heat. This usually makes the engines easy to disassemble.

After disassembly I clean the more stubborn residues with a toothpick, Q-tip etc. I usually polish the aluminium parts lightly, and after polish back to hot bath, this time with ultrasonic, changing the fluid and repeating as necessary until all the polishing paste residue is gone. The cylinder and piston go only once, as they are not polished.

A prolonged ultrasonic treatment may cause some light discolouration to the cylinder blueing, and possibly on colour anodizing. Delrin does not fare well in hot ethanol either, so it is best to remove all the plastic parts you are going to re-use. Dishwashing detergent and toothbrush works well with the plastic.

My method is a bit more labor-intensive. I don’t think any of the good old detergents are available any more, at least for consumer use. Carb cleaners, brake cleaners etc seem to have lost their power lately. But this is more like therapy to me anyway, cleaning up one or two engines in an evening is enough for me Very Happy
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Post  cstatman Sat Dec 18, 2021 7:17 pm

well it didn't work worth a darn.
i watched some videos, to discover? my unit was defective, not ultrasonic-ing , just heating

so I took it back and the kind young lady at Harbor Freight said "it happens, its Chinese junk" and let me swap it.
(IF I was 20 years younger? I would totally have asked her out on a date, she was BIG time cute, lovely smile, and good attitude. "do your best work, but remember its just a job" and she dint mind chatting with old farts at harbor frieght)

stopped at Home Despot on the way back, picked up some Simple Green Purple (yes, green purple, whatever)

25/75 purple to water, got the heat going, loaded the basket, let the disassembelled parts soak in the heat for about 5 mins, then gave it 480 seconds of ultrasonic.

removed everything, rinsed with cool clear water, wiped down with shop cloth, let sit in the sun.

it works GREAT on starter springs.
okay on backplates and other areas with wee little nooks and crannies.

AND! I managed to instantly oxidize about 5 crankcases.
black and UUUGLY.

little brushing, little mother's(tm) aluminium mag wheel polish, little elbow grease, they are shiney and pretty. Yes I used q-tips to get the insides


SO - the REST of the crankcases are going into a berrymans dip for ~ 15 mins, then water rinse and elbow greasing.
I'm not adventurous enough to try berrymans in the ultrasonic bath, I see it only as a fire hazard/inhalation hazard, and probably burn the dang garage down around me

hybrid, combine lots of methods, clean it all up.
the ultrasonic did GREAT on some grimy old hand tools.....

we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
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Post  rsv1cox Sat Dec 18, 2021 7:33 pm

Glad that it worked for you Charles. Yes, SG will discolor cases a lesson I learned early.

Harbor Freight does sell some really sorry stuff, but my HF air compressor just keeps on keeping on along with a lot of my other HF items. I once bought a very upscale Lyman digital caliper, lasted months while my el-cheepo HF digital caliper serves me almost every day and has for years.
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Post  sosam117 Sat Dec 18, 2021 7:53 pm

I think I'll stick to my Master STAGES CLEANER 2020

cleaning w ultrasonic Clean_11


This is what it does:

Master STAGES™ CLEAN 2020 is a concentrated, very high-performance cleaner made for washing all metals including brass, copper alloy, and aluminum in ultrasonic or immersion washers. Its cleaning ability is extraordinary, which often leads to shorter cleaning cycles or elimination of cleaning steps. CLEAN 2020's oil rejecting properties mean longer bath life and economical operation.

Excellent cleaning in immersion and ultrasonic tanks
Long life because oils split rapidly to the surface of your cleaner tank where they can be skimmed off
An excellent choice where one product is used for multiple purposes, such as washing mixed batches of ferrous, aluminum, and copper alloy parts
Will provide extended in-process tarnish resistance on copper and copper alloy parts
Safe on aluminum, aluminum alloy, and magnesium
Will remove coolant residues as well as straight oils
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Post  cstatman Sat Dec 18, 2021 11:31 pm

HF - I think its all about which tool, who made it, and what its being used for.
If I need something 2 or 3 times? I will use the HF that is often 1/10th the price of name brand
If I need it daily, for my job? I will consider very carefully.

I have had some really great luck with HF vernier calipers, ratchets, mallets, and manual tools. I also have one of their electric pole saws that I've used reliably for the past 6 years. sometimes ya get a lemon (like ultra #1) sometimes, ya can just LOOK and tell, "that ain't the right tool for the application I need" --- but $$$? If I can buy 3 or 4 HF wrenches and bust them up over 5 years? and its STILL cheaper by 1/10th than a name brand? yeah, I will take that gamble


Sosam - hmmm - i like it, I will have to look at the product.


Ya'll have a great rest of the weekend
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Post  944_Jim Sat Dec 18, 2021 11:35 pm

Charles, you mentioned motorcycle carbs and the HF Ultrasonic cleaner (USC). I have one just for that. A quick and cheap degreaser is Fantastic 409. The beauty of it is it doesn't attack plastic and rubber like Berryman's does. In fact, I've tossed completely assembled bike carbs into USC just to get them clean enough to begin disassembly...complete with float jet needles, diaphragms, and orings!

Ensure you use the unit completely full of solvent/parts. If you are doing very small batches, then use glass jars to hold your solvent and part, and full the rest of the tub with straight water. The "buzz" gets through the glass, and the.jar keeps you from using more cleaner than needed. Short-tanking the tub is a guaranteed way to kill the USC.

I also took mine apart, and sealed the tank to the upper body with RTV glue. This is to prevent fluids from seeping between the seam of tank/body and protects the electrical parts.

Between the soaps and use, it didn't take long for the plastic mat to melt/ruin. I replace the mat with anything I don't care about. A side of plastic milk jug will work, but I use a rubber mat. Just don't let your items wait on the bare tank floor...another way to kill one of these tools!
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Post  sosam117 Sun Dec 19, 2021 1:20 am

cstatman wrote:HF - I think its all about which tool, who made it, and what its being used for.
If I need something 2 or 3 times?  I will use the HF that is often 1/10th the price of name brand
If I need it daily, for my job? I will consider very carefully.

I have had some really great luck with HF vernier calipers, ratchets, mallets, and manual tools.  I also have one of their electric pole saws that I've used reliably for the past 6 years.    sometimes ya get a lemon (like ultra #1)  sometimes, ya can just LOOK and tell,   "that ain't the right tool for the application I need" ---   but $$$?   If I can buy 3 or 4 HF wrenches and bust them up over 5 years?    and its STILL cheaper by 1/10th than a name brand?   yeah, I will take that gamble


Sosam - hmmm - i like it, I will have to look at the product.


Ya'll have a great rest of the weekend

Working for Caterpillar in their Fuel Systems Division, I learned a lot about cleanliness.
We have sophisticated wash tanks that does a primary wash (remove the heavy crud) with some light agitation.
Next was the high-power spray wash (it has spray nozzles like what your home power washer uses).
Next was the Ultra Sonic wash to remove the small fine particles.
After that it was a high-power blower to remove most of the water. (like a blower at your local car wash)
Last was the high heat drier to remove any moisture that was left on the parts.
And then the parts exit the washer on a conveyor system.

My job (when I was working for Cat -- I'm retired now) was to take parts that came out of the "parts" washer and do cleanliness checks. The quantity of parts selected was by the surface volume of the parts. Big parts less parts. Small parts more pieces.

Anyway, I would sonic clean the parts while the parts were in a glass beaker. After 10 minutes I would take the parts out of the beaker after 10 minutes of the parts resting in the beaker. Then take the solution that was in the beaker and go over to my cleanliness station and check for dirty/particles on a patch that the solution had to strain through (like an extra super fine filter.)
The filters felt like what a wing of a moth feels like (if you ever felt a moth's wing).

So, under a microscope I would look for metal particles and they could not exceed 5 microns in size and count the quantity of metal particles that could not exceed 14 parts.
After that I would have to weigh the patch to see how much "dirt" was not washed away from the washer operation.
The patch could not weight over certain amount. The weight was on a chart in the cleanliness station. Each weight was different for different part numbers.

And last part of my job was to check the solution of the washing agents in each tank. I used a something like a sight glass that would give me the solution concentration.
I would open up the section where I would smear the tank solution on look thru the other end and it should tell me what % I currently had in that specific tank. If it was low, I would pour more of the Masters Stages Cleaner 2020 into that tank. If it was high, I would add D.I. (deionized water) water to the wash tank.

I had to check the tanks at the start of the shift, right after lunch, then near the end of my shift.
And record the PH, tank solution %, temperatures of each tank (each one was heated to around 140°)

The five washers I took care of (each the size of two semi-trailers long) washed 1/2 the plants critical fuel system components.
Part that went thru it was everything from rubber and tygon O-rings, plastic parts (injected parts) epoxy molded parts to aluminum (cast and injected molded), steel, cast iron, nut and bolts of every kind (chrome plated too), brass and copper parts.

So, I figured if Cat used it for years (while I worked there - 37 yrs.) with no adverse effects on the fuel system parts, it should be ok for my little engine parts.

Over the time working there I started at the washers. This was the lowest inspection job at the time when I had it and it was called Quality Control Manufacturing's Final Inspector. from there all the critical washed parts that went through those washers went into the Assembly "Clean" room to be assembled into Cat's fuel system's injectors.

From the washers, I moved up through inspection from a final inspector to line inspector, to gaging inspector, to Quality Assurance processor (purchasing, repairing, setting up gages) to Quality Technician (got my degree in engineering at Illinois State) and as Q.T. I was team leader of the gaging inspectors, and I was able to travel to Japan, Germany, England, Sweden, and Norway to access new gaging equipment to see if they were capable of Cat requirements for gaging. If it was, I made a recommendation to either pass on it or purchase it. I liked where I got to at the end. Trips to other countries on Cat dime. If I was there over the weekend, The weekend was my own time (for site seeing). Japan was great. I went through the building where Enya engines were at. England, I went through many different castles (on castle tours). Germany, I saw and took a photo of check point Charlie.
Still have the old company card. Though it has expired two years ago now. Lots of different stamp marks in my passport book.
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Post  rsv1cox Sun Dec 19, 2021 7:58 am

Did you mean Formular 409 Jim? Great stuff. I use it almost exclusively on tires, does a great job.

Haven't tried it on model engines.

cleaning w ultrasonic P1012342
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Post  944_Jim Sun Dec 19, 2021 10:27 am

RSV Bob,
Yup!

I learned of this "cheat" a couple of years back. The thread was started by a guy that was as frugal as I am. He actually used boiling water and 409 in a 5 gallon pail. I tried it on several bike carbs and found it is a great way to get the grime off.

My big fail with this was on downdraft Webers. I chucked two in the bucket (it IS bigger than my HF USC, after all). As they came out cleaner, I stripped them down and checked them back in. Then, grabbing the handle and lifting the bucket, I "agitated" the whole mess. On close inspection, I discovered I had busted off one of the float bosses at it's base. That screw-up cost me $100 to have fixed by a "micro-welder" outside of Atlanta, GA. I have used him for delicate aluminum welding several times since with much success and satisfaction.

Carb jets have awfully small holes and passageways. The same "system" is used for brake/clutch hydraulics. I still pre-soak in the same 5 gallon pail, and still use the USC for bulk parts cleaning before hand cleaning/inspection. However, I will never "agitate" multiple items (with delicate structures sticking out) at once...like stripped carbs sets.

I do want to try the stuff mentioned up a few threads. 409 just happens to be stocked at my local Lowe's...and that convenience is hard to beat.
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Post  Marleysky Sun Dec 19, 2021 2:05 pm

rsv1cox wrote:People.  I don't understand the resistance to using or even trying Berrymans parts cleaner.  $21 at Walmart.  Simple, effective and cheap.  Fifteen minutes to an hour and you move on to the fun part.

If I'm doing something wrong list it here, because I would like to know.

No, you're not doing anything wrong. I just received my shipment of Berrymans from WalMart ( fulfilled by Auto Zone) delivered to my front door for $27 and change. Just finished reading ( Scanned thru) the SDS and Berrymans "can you handle it" guide for safe usage and clean-up.
Going to dump in a handfull of cruddy engines just to see how much fun it'll  be.  

There is some interesting notes on handling and using the stuff. It's a "two Part" liquid, the top layer keeps the bottom layer from evaporation.

https://www.berrymanproducts.com/assets/CD-A-Int-0996-0996C-SDS-R02-W.pdf

https://www.berrymanproducts.com/chem-dip/

https://www.berrymanproducts.com/question/ok-to-use-chem-dip-in-an-ultrasonic-cleaner/


Last edited by Marleysky on Sun Dec 19, 2021 2:12 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added ultra sonic notes)
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Post  layback209 Sun Dec 19, 2021 2:29 pm

cstatman wrote:

it works GREAT on starter springs.
okay on backplates and other areas with wee little nooks and crannies.

AND!  I managed to instantly oxidize about 5 crankcases.
black and UUUGLY.

little brushing, little mother's(tm) aluminium mag wheel polish, little elbow grease, they are shiney and pretty.    Yes I used q-tips to get the insides


SO - the REST of the crankcases are going into a berrymans dip for ~ 15 mins,  then water rinse and elbow greasing.
I'm not adventurous enough to try berrymans in the ultrasonic bath,   I see it only as a fire hazard/inhalation hazard, and probably burn the dang garage down around me

hybrid, combine lots of methods, clean it all up.
the ultrasonic did GREAT on some grimy old hand tools.....

we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

I learnt this aluminum part lesson as well. If your using a water blended/base cleaning solution it seems to oxidize pretty good. You can reduce thd amount it oxidizes by reducing the ultrasonic cleaning time. At 480 it will cause it I found 180 and below was ok on that end. I tent to fill a jar with a non water base cleaner (such as glow fuel), drop the aluminum parts in and float it in the ultrasonic water bath. Doest seem to oxidize with that approach.

Good job polishing it up. Happy cleaning lots of good advice on this thread. Cheers.
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