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What is the Best Ultrasonic Cleaner Solution to Keep Your Car's Carburetor in Shape

What is the Best Ultrasonic Cleaner Solution to Keep Your Car's Carburetor in Shape

The automobile carburetor is, or is fast becoming, a vanishing species on new models, replaced by fuel injection systems. Restorers and owners of a carburetor-equipped car and desirous of maintaining the integrity of the vehicle can help keep the car's carburetor in shape with an ultrasonic cleaner and the best ultrasonic cleaner solution for carburetors.

We'll take a look at

  • A car's carburetor vs. a fuel injector
  • How ultrasonic cleaners clean carburetors
  • Two excellent reasons for using an ultrasonic cleaner for carburetors
  • How to select your ultrasonic carburetor cleaner
  • Setting up your ultrasonic cleaner
  • How to remove, clean and reinstall your car's carburetor

Cleaning a Car's Carburetor - Not as Scary as you may Think

When you look under the hood of a carburetor-equipped car you see a distinctive piece of equipment that, in most instances (there are always exceptions) can be removed with a few simple tools such as wrenches and screwdrivers.

When you look under the hood of fuel-injection equipped motor cars the picture is quite different. Keeping fuel injector-equipped engines smoothly running usually requires computers to help diagnose required maintenance steps.

The following sections take the carburetor cleaning subject in order. If you are familiar with a section feel free to skip ahead.

How Ultrasonic Cleaners Clean Carburetors

elma tec A4 cleaner

Ultrasonic cleaners and ultrasonic cleaning solutions are used in a wide range of applications to remove virtually any soil or contamination by using the power of cavitation action.

In addition to plain old "dirt" they remove varnish, gums and other contaminants that deposit on a carburetor's exterior and interior parts over time.

Cavitation is the term used to describe the implosion of billions of minute vacuum bubbles when they contact parts immersed in an ultrasonic cleaning solution. The bubbles are created by generator-powered ultrasonic transducers bonded to an ultrasonic cleaning tank.

When these bubbles contact parts immersed in the solution they implode to blast loose and carry away contaminants on parts being cleaned.

Depending on models, cleaners typically operate at an ultrasonic frequency of 37 to 42 kHz (37,000 to 42,000 cycles per second). Cleaners are available operating at other frequencies as well as multiple frequencies.

Two Excellent Reasons for an Ultrasonic Cleaner for Carburetors

  1. Ultrasonic Carb Cleaners are Thorough
    When the bubbles implode contaminants are quickly and safely blasted away from wetted surfaces without damaging delicate carburetor parts.

    These bubbles are so small that they are able penetrate minute cracks, crevices and blind holes impossible to reach by hand scrubbing using conventional parts washers or aerosol sprays.

  3. Ultrasonic Carb Cleaners are Fast
    Once parts are placed in the cleaner basket and cleaning initiated they can complete the job in 25 to 40 minutes (depending on condition).

    A big benefit here is that you are free to attend to other tasks. And, compared to solvent-based parts washers and aerosols, cleaning is completed in an environmentally friendly manner.

    This is because the best ultrasonic cleaner solution for carburetor cleaning is a biodegradable concentrate that minimizes disposal problems.

How to Select the Best Ultrasonic Cleaner Solution for Carburetors

Ultrasonic carburetor cleaners come in a variety of sizes from bench top to floor-mounted industrial ultrasonic cleaning units. You can select any size you need.

A popular model for carburetor cleaning by backyard mechanics or clubs is the heater and timer-equipped 1.6-gallon capacity SGB-160 kit that we especially promote for this application. The kit is supplied with a recommended cleaning solution concentrate plus a handy user guide on how to clean carburetors.

Units with larger cleaning solution capacities are available, such as the 10-gallon SGB 1000 kit . It is recommended that whatever you select, the cleaner should have a heater to bring the cleaning solution to the recommended temperature and a timer to "set and forget" the cleaning cycle while attending to other matters.

2 Steps to Setting Up Your Carburetor Cleaning Cycle

Whatever the model and size ultrasonic carb cleaner you use there are steps to take before cleaning begins.

  1. Add water to fill the tank half way and add the recommended amount of cleaning solution concentrate for a full tank. Continue adding water to the fill line.

  3. Activate the ultrasound, set the heater to approximately 70°C, and operate the unit for 10-15 minutes. This mixes the solution and drives off cavitation inhibiting entrained air. Repeat this operation when preparing fresh cleaning solution.

How to Remove, Clean and Reinstall your Car's Carburetor

Forgive us for generalizations, but here's a suggested procedure that you will modify depending on your car's engine, your tools and other equipment.

Step 1: Removing the Carburetor


With a ratchet or socket, remove the nut holding the air filter. Once the cover has been removed, remove the filter. Then disconnect the fuel line using small wrenches or pliers. Tip: replace a cracked gas line or a dirty air filter right away.

Remove the screws holding the carburetor to the intake manifold. Make sure that you have disconnected the linkage and any other springs that may get in the way. Remember where all the parts go since you will also put them back later.

Once the carburetor is completely disconnected, you should now be able to simply lift it off the intake manifold.

Check the condition of gaskets; these most likely should be replaced.

Step 2: Cleaning the Carburetor

Although you can clean your carburetor without any disassembly you will achieve the most thorough cleaning with partial disassembly to allow the solution into the float chamber.

Remember that only surfaces that are wetted by the cleaning solution will be cleaned. Fine mesh baskets can be used to hold very small parts.

Set the thermostat to 70°C. While the solution is heating, place your carburetor parts in the basket taking care that they do not touch each other.

When the operating temperature is reached lower the basket into the cleaning solution and set the timer for 25 minutes. As noted above, cleaning time depends on the condition of the carburetor and may have to be adjusted.

At the end of the cycle remove the components from the bath. If they are not clean replace them in the bath until the cleaning is complete. Then rinse them in fresh water to remove all traces of the cleaning solution and allow them to dry.

DO NOT reach into an operating ultrasonic bath. Instead remove the basket if you want to inspect or rearrange the parts.

Step 3: Reinstalling the Carburetor

Reassemble carburetor internal components.

Connect all other linkages and springs that you have unplugged. Return the carburetor to its original location. Reattach the screws holding the carb to the intake manifold. Ensure that it stays secure.

Once the carburetor is in place use your tools to re-connect the fuel line. Replace the air filter and housing.

Tips to Maintain Ultrasonic Cleaner Solution for Carburetors

Oils that rise to the surface of the bath should be skimmed off and disposed of properly. When the solution becomes discolored or cleaning time takes longer it is time to replace it.

Drain the tank and dispose of the spent solution according to local regulations. Take the time to remove sludge that settled to the bottom of the tank. Clean the tank using a cleaning process recommended by the manufacturer.

Questions? Contact our cleaning experts.

Disclaimer: This advice is not provided by a licensed mechanic. Follow at your own risk. We assume no liability for any damages caused by following the advice in this article .


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