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Here is a question that I have been thinking about lately. I'm new to this whole restoration process but I have seen some people with mystery liquids and tumblers (also with mystery liquids) to clean parts. I have seen various cleaners out there on the market from the likes of Eastwood.

What I'm interested in knowing is what you use to clean your parts. Like internal engine and undercarriage parts and various other parts that have built up with grease and grim along the years.

Also, ...Do the nut and bolt tumblers work as well as they seem to be advertised to work?

Thank you.
 

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I bought a medium sized eastwood vibrating parts cleaner with the green pyramids, and a seperate hopper with crushed walnut shells. Best thing ever for cleaning small parts, I wish I would've got the large one. It removes dirt grease and rust. Just put your parts in, add a little water and let it run all night while you sleep. Then put the parts in the walnut shells for a few hours, and they look brand new. It also cleans plastic and rubber.
Get a can of chemdip to pre-clean the really greasy stuff before they go in the hopper.
 

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There's at least as many different ways to do this are there are cars that need restoring. :D Some work better than others, have different costs/time needed, level of results, etc.

I'm one of those who tends for 'forget' about cleaning up a bolt until I need to use it, and then I don't want to wait - so I usually just clamp it in a pair of vise grips and whiz it on the wire brush wheel that's on one end of my bench grinder. For stuff that's too big for that, or that I'm going to paint anyway, I usually clean it off in my blasting cabinet then hit it with epoxy primer followed by Eastwood 2k ceramic chassis paint - either gloss black or satin black as I think it needs. Soimetimes I use a wire brush wheel chucked into a drill.

Still other stuff I use something like 409 and a brush to scrub it clean.

Bear
 

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Ditto on the wire wheel and blasting cabinet. I prefer old, original high quality fasteners to new stuff, even if I have to rehab them a bit. The important issue is to get rid of the rust.
 

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:agree with Bear and Jeff.....I have a friend blast bigger stuff, and I know a guy with a machine shop that uses a Vibratory tumbler frequently....SO, as long as it gets clean, and you don't launch it across your shop and get hurt (Bear,Instrg8r...:cheers)..or blow your garage up, I guess "whatever works" is a good answer. Just never mix Clorox with amonia!!!!!!:party: Eric
 

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A while back, I read somewhere that mixing brake fluid and bleach caused a huge smoke cloud. My first, immediate thought was to run out into the garage and try it..... Then I got smart and checked into it, etc, and found out it was a put-on. Gotta be careful mixing chemicals, that's for sure. Done the ammonia/bleach thing. NOT fun at all. Safety glasses, gloves, and respirators, guys! A favorite scene from, I think "The Naked Gun" has Leslie Neilsen undercover working in a locksmith shop....he's grinding keys, but the grinder is spinning in reverse, causing the sparks (I know, steel keys?) to set his shirt on fire.....the key finally gets grabbed by the wheel and thrown clear, coming to rest imbedded in the ceiling with about 400 other keys. An angry customer leaves, slams the front door, and all the keys fall on Leslie, who's shirt is smoking, like a brass rain.....
 

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blasting dirty parts first before cleaning, drives the dirt into the metal pores and will not clean out later, so paint will not always stick in all the areas, or be too thick in the dirty areas.
 

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I bought the $80 parts washer from Harbor tool, only to find the cleaner is $60 or so for 5 gallons, and you need 7 or so!! Not cheap for a cleaner. I put purple power in it and it worked for a while, but is really hard on aluminum. Now, I have a parts washer that won't clean a thing. My buddy uses old gas in his, dangerous. Others use deisel, stinks.
I use my wire wheel most of the time. Or have a buddy blast it in his cabinet.
 

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In the parts washer Mineral Spirits or Safety Kleen.

Xylene cleans well, but I wouldn't put it in a parts washer.


The water base stuff can rust out the parts washer.
 

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Look for a safty kleen supplier. They will not deliever to a home, but a few 5 gallon gas cans and a trip to them at $2.00 a gallon, isn't bad.
 

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One of the best things I ever bought for the shop was the bead blasting cabinet. You can make a small bucket with expanded steel screen on the bottom to blast bolts and other small pieces. Also I use a lid from a plastic coffee can to hold small stuff that could fall through the grating inside.

I dont use too many liquids, havent found many that work for what I do. Blasting seems to work best for me.
 
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