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Ultrasonic Carburetor Cleaner (F.A.Q.)

How To Clean Carburetors Without Pulling a Sweat

We asked Brian Sims, chief mechanic over at Manx Motors, Auburn Hills Michigan, to share his expertise about cleaning carburetors with SharperTek’s SH720-7.5G ultrasonic cleaning system. Brian’s been wrenching on classic British cars and motorcycles for a few decades now, so if anybody knows how to get a dirty carburetor clean, easily, its Brian.

“I’ve used a few methods for cleaning carburetors in my day: elbow grease, parts washers, and from time to time even a quick hit with a media blast.” Says Brain. “But the SharperTek system pretty much is my exclusive carburetor cleaning solution these days.” He added.

Brian’s system is SharperTek’s SH720-7.5G; a 720 watt ultrasonic cleaning system with a 8 Gallon tank running SharperTek’s new 1852 ultrasonic cleaning solution for general cleaning, and for carburetors with tough varnished build up on the internals, Brian runs the specially formulated SharperTek Shellac Buster or SharperTek’s1220 ultrasonic carburetor cleaning solution to clear the varnish build-up.

The SH720-7.5G system accommodates most parts that Brian runs into in the shop, and the system has become a real labor savor to Brain.

How Brain spends his time is important at Manx; since opening the Manx shop, word’s gotten out about Brian’s stellar service. Walking around Manx’s floor with Brian, we noticed space was a premium as it was packed with classic Brit cycles and cars waiting for his expert touch. Since he’s gotten himself his new SharperTek Ultrasonic cleaning system, he has more time to focus this expertise: working on those classic Brit machines rather than spending so much time cleaning parts.

“The system just works.” Says Brian. “And the fact that it’s non toxic makes the whole thing even better!” While we were speaking, Brian reached into the SH720-7.5G ultrasonic tank with his hands and picked out a carburetor he was cleaning to show us how well the system works. Something he would never do with a caustic, toxic solution.

Brian walked us around the Manx facility and showed us the many uses he has found for his SH720-7.5G. Fork tubes, aluminum engine casings, cylinder heads, and just about anything he’d busted a sweat to clean before, sparkled under the shop’s lights after being cleaned with SharperTek’s ultrasonic cleaning process.

We asked Brain for some specific tips on using SharperTek’s SH720-7.5G ultrasonic cleaning system for cleaning carburetors, here’s what he had to say:

Tips For Cleaning Carburetors

  • After you’ve pulled the carburetor, make sure it’s free of gas. Twist it around, blow it off and give it a quick once over. You don’t want any gasoline contaminating the process.
  • Brush off any loose dirt and grime, and give the carburetor a quick blast with canned carburetor cleaner. This isn’t so much to clean the carburetor, it helps, but it’s really to keep the ultrasonic cleaning fluid free of crud.
  • Take off all the gaskets, seals and any rubber. You’ll probably be replacing all these things anyway, so why bother to clean them? Even if you don’t replace them, take them off so the carburetor gets max exposure to the ultrasonic’s.
  • Remove the float bowls. You want as much of the carburetor’s internal guts exposed to the ultrasonic cleaning fluid as possible. Removing the floats help the cavitations get at all the nooks and crannies inside the carburetor.
  • Put the carburetor in the system for about two minutes, and then pull it out and check it. You want to make sure that the parts are all aluminum alloys. Sometimes, if a carburetor has other alloys like nickel, the ultrasonic can blacken and pit the metal. You just want to be sure you know what you’re working with.
  • Don’t overload the system. Just because you have a big tank doesn’t mean you should jam it full of parts! Make sure there is good space around each part you put in the tank. If you lay them one on top of the other the system doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.
  • Choose the right fluid. It’s not only the cleaning action of the fluid, but the fact that you can get non toxics. Brian has been using an optional step  - SharperTek’s 1852 solution - for the past few months to clean the oxidation off of carburetor bodies and general parts cleaning. “It’s a new formulation that SharperTek has just come up with; it seems to work the best all around.” Says Brian. If Brian finds a carb that has varnished up orifices and internals, he’ll use SharperTek’s Shellac Buster formula or SharperTek’s specially formulated 1220 carburetor cleaning solution to tackle those tough buildups.

Brian says that experience teaches best when it comes to knowing when a carburetor is clean. In most cases, Brian says, the whole cleaning process takes about 20 minutes. Sometimes “You may have to disassemble a particular part and leave it go a little longer in the system if it’s dirty while the rest of the carburetor is clean enough.” Says Brain. “Just pay attention to it, and it should be okay.” Brian added.

Manx Motors is in the business of restoring the British motor classics to their rightful place and stature in the motoring world. It’s a lot of work, and for Brian it’s a labor of love. His new SharperTek ultrasonic cleaning system helps him concentrate on the true focus of his work; making these old Brits look and run at the top of their game. SharperTek has become an important part of that process, and for Brain, he gets cleaner parts without breaking the sweat he used to.