Ultrasonic Carburetor Cleaning........?

Ultrasonic carburetor cleaning is seen fairly often these days...............never hear anything about it here though. I hear pros and cons to it, but don't really know much about it myself. It's the same process (somewhat controlled) that cut away at the stainless impeller of my Jet Ski, and creates holes in the liners of diesel engines. I'm somewhat confused and at the same time interested. Anyone know anything about it.................?

Old School Al

Edited by Old School Al

I hear that it works amazingly well, but haven't personally observed it.

I don't know much about ultrasonic cleaning although I've seen a lot of units on ebay that are big enough for carbs, and some industrial units big enough for engine parts. My dentist uses one for cleaning dentures, and jewelers use them for cleaning jewelery.

The other thing you mentioned is wear and pitting caused by cavitation, and my experience has been with boat propellers and Diesel wet liners. I've owned several inboard boats and when buying or during annual haul out we always examine the props for signs of wear caused by cavitation or electrolysis. The cavitation damage is caused by pressure on one area of the prop becoming low enough for bubbles to form in the water, when the bubbles move to an area of higher pressure they implode and if next to the prop surface the force erodes the metal. Proper propeller design for the application reduces the risk of cavitation. This is not the same as propeller ventilation which is ingestion of enough air that it causes a loss of thrust.

Same thing on Diesels with wet liners but the cause is combustion energy vibrating the liner which causes bubble formation. I've owned a bunch of diesels, some with steel wet liners, some with steel dry liners, and others with cast iron cylinders; and it is interesting that it doesn't occur with iron cylinders, the iron tends to dampen the vibrations. The cavitation can eventually perforate the liner with bad consequences, but very careful attention to coolant chemistry and the use of special additives reduces the risk. Another contributing factor to Diesel liner perforation is the newer engines have such a long life between rebuilds that there is a lot of mileage for the damage to accumulate.

Edited by chuck4788

Save your money and do the cleaning the old fashion way and buy new jets, at least new a pilot jet.

This ultrasonic cleaning is an internet hoax. Great for cleaning Jewelry, worthless for old carbs with years worth of old fuel varnish.

Edited by ohio rusty spokes

Save your money and do the cleaning the old fashion way and buy new jets, at least new a pilot jet.

This ultrasonic cleaning is an internet hoax. Great for cleaning Jewelry, worthless for old carbs with years worth of old fuel varnish.

Where do you get the old fashion carb cleaner that worked...........??? You've tried the ultrasonic cleaning on dirty carbs and it didn't work well I take it......? Can you give any details?

Old School Al

I haven't used ultrasonic for carb cleaning, carb cleaning fluid seems to dissolve all of the problem deposits, and inspection is needed to determine if the jets/passages are clean. The aerosol cleaners make it easy to back flush passages and jets, and they dissolve deposits, so I see no advantage in using an ultrasonic cleaner. Maybe if I ran a shop and wanted to reduce labor cost and had the volume to justify the cost of an ultrasonic cleaner.

I've also found good and not so good aerosol carb cleaners, beware of off brands. Also Brakeclean and Electroclean don't clean carb deposits, and wear eye protection. :banghead:

Edited by chuck4788

If you are asking for opinions I'll offer mine.

I have used an ultrasonic cleaner to clean carburetors and they work. I have a large and a small unit from Harbor Freight and use them for cleaning many things. I have not noticed any ill effects from the ultrasonic cleaning in the ten or so carburetors that I have cleaned.

My preferred method of cleaning a carburetor is with a proven aerosol cleaner, shop air, and maybe a soft copper wire for cleaning stubborn passages. There are big differences in aerosol cleaners, experiment and find one that works.

I have cleaned a carb the old way and thought it was spotless, then put it in the ultrasonic only to find more debris and grit on the bottom of the tank. This might be residual dirt from the exterior carb body or from inside of the metered orifices, I don't know but its there. Ultrasonic does not remove the gelatinous ooze that ethanol and water can create, but most carb cleaners won't dissolve this either. Brass jets will come out shiny and looking new, in 20 years of working on bikes I have yet to find a worn out main or pilot jet. Warm water and dish soap or simple green work great in the machine.

The ultrasonics do take time to work, multiple cycles are necessary as well as a good drying via air compressor. I consider the larger unit a good purchase, it has a heater and was probably less than $50 on sale a few years ago and can be used for other things. There are some other more expensive options out there too.

I will stand by what I said. How many jets can you buy for the cost of an ultrasonic cleaner. And if any passages are varnished shut the ultrasonic cleaner will not clear them.

I will stand by what I said. How many jets can you buy for the cost of an ultrasonic cleaner. And if any passages are varnished shut the ultrasonic cleaner will not clear them.

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But a good carb cleaner will dissolve the varnish. And whether using an ultrasonic or not you still need careful inspection of all passages, ports, and jets.

I have a good quality ultrasonic cleaner for reloading. I tried it on a few motorcycle parts including carbs and it does do a decent job.

I verifythat carb passages are open with compressed air.

I wouldn't buy one just for motorcycle parts.

I have a good quality ultrasonic cleaner for reloading. I tried it on a few motorcycle parts including carbs and it does do a decent job.

I verify that carb passages are open with compressed air.

I wouldn't buy one just for motorcycle parts.

Does your cleaner have a heater or frequency control, and can it use flammable cleaners? What are you using for cleaner on the carbs?

Old School Al

Save your money and do the cleaning the old fashion way and buy new jets, at least new a pilot jet.

This ultrasonic cleaning is an internet hoax. Great for cleaning Jewelry, worthless for old carbs with years worth of old fuel varnish.

Obviously, you never tried it. I speak from experience if you can find a shop with Ultrasonic cleaning system its well worth it they come out almost brand new and its not just jets that get a cleaning, those are easy, its all those tiny passages in the carb that you may miss if you clean it by hand. I don't recommend buying one they are e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e for the size you need to clean a rack of carbs.

Here is my take. First we are working on an out of production dirt bike, not a vintage trailer queen. No offense to restorers. Your old XR will not care if the carb looks as new. What matters is how well the motor runs. Spend your money on things that make the riding experience better. Take the money you save and invest it.

Save your money and do the cleaning the old fashion way and buy new jets, at least new a pilot jet.

This ultrasonic cleaning is an internet hoax. Great for cleaning Jewelry, worthless for old carbs with years worth of old fuel varnish.

I will stand by what I said. How many jets can you buy for the cost of an ultrasonic cleaner. And if any passages are varnished shut the ultrasonic cleaner will not clear them.

Here is my take. First we are working on an out of production dirt bike, not a vintage trailer queen. No offense to restorers. Your old XR will not care if the carb looks as new. What matters is how well the motor runs. Spend your money on things that make the riding experience better. Take the money you save and invest it.

:thinking: Some things here I'm trying to grasp with your comments...........

How is one going to clean carbs the "old fashioned way"............. when one can "no longer get" the "old fashioned cleaners".......?

If one can't even clean the jets that you can "remove and have full access to", and have to resort to buying new ones...............how is one going to expect to clean the rest of the carb...??? (Once in a very great while a pilot jet, but I don't think I've ever replaced a main because I couldn't clean it.)

If the passage is blocked bad enough, "no type of cleaner" can enter....................?

Trailer queen or not, if ones cleaning solution can't even clean the outside of the carb properly........................how in the heck can it clean the inside (the hard to clean part) properly............??? What a cleaner does on the outside is a pretty darn good indication of what it doing to the inside! ;)

Old School Al

Yes; and my first indication of a good or bad cleaner is what it does to the varnish and sludge that collects in the bottom of the float bowl drain plug, if that stuff doesn't dissolve there is no need to go further without better cleaner.

Ultrasonic is tempting, but there is the entry price and then storage of the unit between cleanings, but if I have another year like last year of frequent carb cleaning I may reconsider. Frustrating because I use fuel filters on all of my bikes. :banghead:

I live in Ohio. I use Gumout Carb + Choke Cleaner, it's sold at most auto parts stores. Seafoam is a brand I've not tried but heard many have good to say of it. Maybe you folks on the west coast are more "green" than we are in Ohio. NAPA sells a Carb dip here too. So far all the carbs that needed cleaning, I have been able to get back to right.

Carb cleaner and compressed air done both ways thru both jets and passages has done the trick for me countless times. Yes some carbs need several applications. Just don't use cleaner on any rubber parts.

Edited by ohio rusty spokes

http://www.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-Load-Magnum-Sonic-Cleaner-110-Volt/

I use a Hornady ultra sonic cleaner. I'm happy with it for reloading but for cleaning motorcycle parts I think I need to experiment more

with different cleaning solutions.

I think with the right solution it could be the hot set up.

Squirting toxic carb cleaners all over my garage is something I don't want to do anymore.

Took carb off my xr250 yesterday after spending 30 minutes kicking and swearing at it 2 months ago,and it never even popped. Gas was from last fall,was very yellow colored when it dripped out of carb onto white formica bench top. Pulled air screw and bowl off an put it in my harbor freight ultrasonic cleaner. Have 3 parts pinesol,1 part water in the unit,original green pinesol. Turned on unit,set temp about 160 degrees,and turned it on. It shut off after about 3 minutes,so I looked in and was surprised to see clouds of sediment coming from carb.Rinsed in water after 10 more minures in cleaner. Found pilot was still blocked,so cleaned that out with gas welder tip cleaner,and blew carb out,looked much cleaner and shinier. Plan on installing and going for a ride this afternoon,after draining olg gas and refilling tank. Will post results tonight,wish me goog luck! Ethanol sucks!

I'll have to try the Pinesol.

There is a God,and he makes my xr start [long as I remember to turn new key switch on]

Finished installing clean carb and filled tank with fresh gas. 1/2 choke and a few pre kicks with compression release pulled,and she started right up!

Rode for 4 hours,stopped and started bike at least 6 times,started right up as long as key was on! Put a Tusk lighting kit on last fall,lights etc still work great, battery still charged.Thanks Thumpertalk for thread on installing lighting kit and charging circuit for battery! Havent had a completely legal dirt bike on road since my 74 dt250,but that was definitely faster than my xr,or maybe just felt faster as they handled so badly in the woods!

Edited by firstplacephoto

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