Use an Ultrasonic Cleaner to Restore Carburetors

Choosing and Using an Ultrasonic Cleaner for Carburetors

Fuel injection systems have replaced the carburetor but a Gili’s Automotive post states “While carburetors may not have a life in new vehicles today, chances are good that they’ll still be used for many years to come.”  That’s because “Carburetors, unlike fuel injection systems, are relatively straightforward when it comes to repairing them. Fuel injection requires sophisticated computers, but carburetors require only a screwdriver and a willingness to get one’s hands dirty.” Keeping carburetors clean is easy with an ultrasonic cleaner.

This post explains to shade tree and professional mechanics why ultrasonic cleaners for carburetors keep these vital assemblies (which were invented by Karl Benz in 1885) functioning. 

Why an Ultrasonic Cleaner Carburetor is Essential

Internal combustion engine carburetors lose efficiency as varnish, road dirt and other deposits accumulate over time.  Cleaning carburetors with solvent wash tanks, brushes and aerosol sprays is messy, time consuming and not environmentally friendly.   Here you will learn

  • The downside of manually cleaning carburetors
  • The upside an ultrasonic cleaner carburetor offers for restoration
  • How ultrasonic action delivers quick results when cleaning carburetors
  • Suggested biodegradable ultrasonic cleaning solutions for carburetors
  • A typical ultrasonic carb cleaning cycle

The Downside of Manually Cleaning Carburetors

Dirty Carburetor

As mechanics, whether backyard, barnyard, or in an auto service department know, cleaning carburetors can be a real pain and a time-consuming operation when using solvent wash tanks, brushes and aerosol sprays.  Or, heaven forbid, sloshing parts around in a can filled with gasoline!!

To be done properly these manual methods call for mechanics to completely disassemble the carburetor prior to cleaning.  Then take more time to reassemble the carburetor and hope all performance-inhibiting dirt and other contaminants are removed.

As an added downside, manual carburetor cleaning methods cannot access the nooks, crannies and blind holes in complex carburetor assemblies.  Manual cleaning carburetors can also introduce associated environmental  issues concerning solvent and spray use and disposal.

The Upside of an Ultrasonic Cleaner for Carburetors

Two key words:  fast and thorough carburetor cleaning

Ultrasonic cleaners are fast.  Cleaning can be accomplished in as little as 20 minutes.  On top of that, thorough cleaning is accomplished with minimal disassembly. 

How this is achieved is described later in the post.  But these two key benefits explain why labor costs are substantially reduced and suggest that an ultrasonic cleaner for carburetors will soon pay for itself by increasing your productivity.

How Ultrasonic Action Delivers Quick Results when Cleaning Carburetors

Benchtop ultrasonic cleaners such as the 3.5-gallon Elma EP120H available from Tovatech substitute the thorough cleaning of ultrasonic power in a biodegradable ultrasonic cleaning solution for the hit-or-miss results when using brushes and solvents.   

Equipment consists of a tank to hold the cleaning solution and a generator that drives ultrasonic transducers affixed to the bottom of the tank. 

In the case of the EP120H the transducers vibrate at an ultrasonic frequency of 37,000 cycles per second (37 kHz).  This causes the bottom of the cleaning tank to vibrate as a membrane in turn producing millions of minute vacuum bubbles in the solution.  These bubbles implode with tremendous force when they contact any wetted surface to quickly and safely blast and carry away any and all contaminants. 

The process is called cavitation.  Because the bubbles are so tiny they reach all carburetor parts immersed in the cleaning solution – including cracks, crevices and blind holes inaccessible with sprays, solvents, brushes and wash tanks. 

We have a full line of the best ultrasonic cleaners in different sizes and with different capabilities to meet your needs. Learn more about how to select the best ultrasonic cleaner.

Biodegradable Ultrasonic Cleaner Carburetor Solutions

Use an ultrasonic cleaning solution concentrate formulated for carburetor cleaning. 

We have two recommendations, depending on the nature of contaminants.

1.  To remove dirt, grease and light carbon from carburetor components

We suggest biodegradable elma tec clean A4, a mildly alkaline concentrate that you dilute to 1 to 5% with water and available in 2.5, 10 and 25 liter containers.   

Partially fill the ultrasonic cleaner tank with water, add A4 in the required amount for a full tank then continue adding water to the fill line.

Turn on the unit and allow it to operate for about 10 minutes to mix and degas the solution.  This removes cavitation inhibiting trapped air and it must be done each time you prepare fresh cleaning solution.

Elma tec clean A4 causes contaminants to dislodge from surfaces being cleaned, then float to the top of the solution where they can be skimmed off for disposal.  You can use this ultrasonic cleaner carburetor formulation over multiple carburetor cleaning cycles, making it an extremely economical choice. 

Water based, elma tec clean A4 is biodegradable, but observe local regulations regarding proper disposal of spent solutions.

Removing heavy carbon and shellac from carburetor components

We recommend Shellac-Buster CLN-SH RS75 Cleaner in one gallon containers.  This is used full strength but, as with elma tec clean A4 must be degassed prior to starting. You may find another solution will work best for you. Here are 5 tips on selecting an ultrasonic cleaning solution.

The Best Ultrasonic Cleaner for Carburetor Cycle

When you’re ready to do the job, we suggest partial disassembly of carburetors so the cleaning solution reaches into the float chamber. 

Cleaning is enhanced when the solution is heated, so again set the unit’s thermostat to 70˚C.  The EP120H heater control is equipped with an LED that turns off when the temperature is reached.  Set the timer and push the start key to initiate cleaning.

These units are also equipped with a Sweep frequency to assure uniform cleaning action. The user activated Pulse mode adds bursts of 20% additional power to remove stubborn contaminants from carburetor parts and to quickly degas fresh cleaning solutions.

Place carburetors into the mesh basket (ordered separately) and lower them into the cleaning solution.  Set the timer for 20 minutes.  The EP120H will turn off at the end of the cleaning cycle.  With experience you will soon learn optimum cleaning times based on the condition of the carburetors. 

When the ultrasonic cleaner for carburetor cycle is completed remove traces of cleaning solution with a fresh water rinse.  Parts should be dried before reinstallation.

Chat or call the Tovatech ultrasonic experts for answers to your questions and free quote.  We are ready to help you select the best ultrasonic cleaner for carburetors that is sized right for your shop, and to provide guidance on its use.

About Rachel Kohn

So how did an MIT Ph.D. end up selling refrigerators? When I figured out that a lot more scientists buy lab refrigerators than innovative leading-edge instruments. I hope that my many years of lab experience will help you find the right equipment for your work. Before co-founding Tovatech I worked in business development and project management at Smiths Detection, Photon-X, Cardinal Health, and Hoechst Celanese. And before that I spent 12 years as an R&D chemist at Hoechst Celanese and Aventis working on advanced drug delivery systems, polymer films and membranes, optical disks, and polysaccharides. Some day, eventually, I’ll make enough money to develop an innovative technology that will change the world. Read More