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Best /safest Way To Clean Exterior Dcoe Sludge/gunk?


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Was wondering what was best/safest to use for cleaning up exterior body's of dcoe's?...........gunk/oily residue/gas,  etc etc.....


I figure rather than buy a few products first, Id ask here for those that have been down that road...Ive seen some clean/tidy dcoe set ups here over the years......








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When i bought a new car back in 2005, I googled 'How to wash a car'. I felt stupid doing that but opened up a new world of car detailing I never knew.


1. Wash car with Dawn dishwashing soap. (use Dawn only once a twice a year when you plan to clay/polish. Use a good car wash the rest of the time)


2. Clay bar the car


3. Polish the car, Get a good Random Orbital polisher and good pads of varying cuts. aggresive to finishing.


3. Seal the car. 

72 Tii

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I use Oil Eater on just about everything in the engine compartment, it is one of the few degreasers that doesn't discolor aluminum, Simple Green also works pretty well but I have heard that long contact times with Simple Green on hardened metals can be bad so make sure you rinse it all off.  I usually run the engine afterward to heat it up and dry everything off.


I learned about the Simple Green fracturing hardened metals through bicycle forums where people had soaked their chains in undiluted Simple Green for 24 hours or more so it may not really apply here.

74 Golf

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I just finished cleaning up a set of Solexes for my car and asked the same questions before I started. I tried several different methods before getting happy with any of them.


This was all done with the carbs off the car.


Kerosene works well to soften old grunge and won't harm plastic or the seals/diaphragms. I placed the entire carb in a bucket and poured it all over.  You could let it set overnight, but remember, it is FLAMMABLE and will fume up your garage, so keep that in mind. Be Careful.


Use a stiff nylon brush and scrub the old residue off.  You can use a copper-wired brush for stubborn areas.  A stainless brush will scratch the aluminum, so be careful about getting too aggressive.


If you are a shooter/hunter, I found that Hoppes #9 really worked well for removing the carbon build up under the butterflies and in the tiniest crevices.  It smells a lot better than kerosene, too!  I used a 1/2 a box of Q Tips before I was done.


After all that, I wasn't satisfied with the look, so I brought out the Dremel with some soft finishing pads (similar to a Scotch Pad) This really brightened things up.  I followed hat with a soft wire wheel attachment which made things very shiny, but not really "mirror polished" It still has enough gray aluminum look about it.


At this point, the aluminum was bare.  It needed protection, or it would soon return to the dark gray oxidized color. Some folks recommended using a clear coat, but I heard it will yellow with the heat of the engine bay.  I've used Penetrol and it gives good protection and doesn't yellow.  I've found it will darken some steels, but had no issues with these carbs.  Apply it with a small brush, let it sit for about 10 minutes and wipe it down with a clean rag.  If you don't wipe it down it will get very tacky and never really dry satisfactorily.


Since I had the carbs off the engine, I treated all the small aluminum engine bits to the same treatment... fuel pump, water neck, etc...


Just waiting on a long fuel pump push rod and it will be ready to start synchronizing and tuning!


Here's a few pics.


This is not a quick thing, but the results were worth it to me.







'69 Granada... long, long ago  

'71 Manila..such a great car

'67 Granada 2000CS...way cool

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I just finished cleaning up a set of Solexes for my car and asked the same questions before I started. I tried several different methods before getting happy with any of them.


This is not a quick thing, but the results were worth it to me.


Very nice results on the carbs, and the clean engine is not too shabby either!


Regards, Maurice.

Edited by schoir
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Thanks, Maurice.  It's not quite show quality, but good for Cars and Coffee...


Forgot to mention the Penetrol and Kerosene are found at Lowes in the paint section.  Penetrol is also used as a paint additive/thinner.


Get yourself a box of nitrile gloves while you're at it...

'69 Granada... long, long ago  

'71 Manila..such a great car

'67 Granada 2000CS...way cool

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If you're not gonna remove the carbs from the engine and just want to brighten up the exterior, get a spray can of carb cleaner, lots of paper towels and an old toothbrush (or brass-bristled "toothbrush").  Spray the carb cleaner on, let it sit for a minute or two and then wipe the crud off with a paper towel.  Get into the crevices with the toothbrush.  Be sure and protect painted surfaces with newspapers, rags etc as some carb cleaners will attack paint.


If you're gonna do an overhaul and dismantle the carbs, buy a can of carb cleaner--they're gallon paint cans with a basket inside--and are available at most auto parts stores.  Immerse the carb pieces in the can overnight and they'll come out nice and clean.  The cleaner is not flammable and can be used over and over again.




'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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Bike guys like Original Pine-Sol and a crock pot.  Google it..

I did a double-take when reading this.   Thought you were talking about certain smoking devices  :lol: .


Wife comes home from work:  Honey, what's cooking, it smells pretty unusual?   You - ohh, just cooking up some carbs.

Jim Gerock

Ruby Red 73tii built 5/30/73 "Celeste"

Riviera 69 2002 built 5/30/69 "Oscar"

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There's a distinction here that some have missed-

carbs can have oil and grease on them, and that takes

a different cleaner than what usually works on

the lacquers and other fine fuel by- products that build

up in and on carbs.


My version is to degrease first- oil eater works, Stupid Green really

doesn't so well, in my experience.  And it's nasty.  Wax and Grease remover

from the autobody supply shop does.  It's nasty, too

Then I use the Berryman's dunk cleaner.

It's the definition of nasty.  It also works really well at getting into passageways to

break up that nasty, gritty fuel residue.

Usually I'll let 'em sit an hour or 2- more if they need it.


Wear thick nitrile gloves AND GLASSES when working with it.


Because it's nasty.


Penetrol's a good idea- I'll have to try that sometime.




Edited by TobyB

"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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