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What solvent to use to clean suspension parts


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I just had a nasty experience with some new solvent I got to clean components. I wanted to use some water soluble cleaner that doesn't leave a residue so I tried some stuff called Oil Eater. It says it's Non-Toxic, Non-corrosive and biodegradeable. you can see it at www.oileater.com. It sounded very benign. I tore down some spare forks I had and was going to set up some new stacks in it for testing. I cleaned all the outer tubes with the stuff and was impressed at how well it cleaned them. I rinsed with water and blew it dry. I tore down the inner cartridges and threw the inner tubes and rebound rod into the cleaner. I then went to work on the shim stacks. It got late and I decided to finish tonight. I got in bed and remembered I had left the parts in the cleaner. I thought it would be fine the stuff seemed rather safe. Well this morning I got up and found the parts were destroyed. This crap boiled the anodizing off and everything. I about crapped my pants. The piston bands were fine as were the chrome parts. Needless to say they are ruined. What do you guys recommend using for a cleaner.

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I'm a fan of good ole kerosense, it's cheap, dissolves about everything I care to dissolve, doesn't harm rubber things, stores safetly in regular plastic containers, and is easy to dispose of (I throw it in my used oil container). The only downsides are it's smelly and leaves a slight oily residue (which is actually useful is alot of cases). I wouldn't think that slight residue would effect anything inside a fork leg given all the other oil sloshing around in there.

Simple green works ok too, it's more picky about what it works on.

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The only downsides are it's smelly and leaves a slight oily residue (which is actually useful is alot of cases).

A shot of brake cleaner and a blow off with the airgun on anything you don't want the kerosene left on does the trick.

My wife thinks I dab the kero behind my ears as cologne... 👍 not sure if it's a turn on or not but it can't be too bad as she's stuck with me for 13 yrs.

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Mineral spirits (shop solvent). Similar to paint thinner, but a little easier on the hands. Widely available. When it's clean, it dries fairly oil free, although it leaves a slight residue. The residue can be removed either with a good carb cleaner like Berryman's B12, a brake parts cleaner, or fork/shock oil, for that matter.

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Mineral spirits (shop solvent). Similar to paint thinner, but a little easier on the hands. Widely available. When it's clean, it dries fairly oil free, although it leaves a slight residue. The residue can be removed either with a good carb cleaner like Berryman's B12, a brake parts cleaner, or fork/shock oil, for that matter.

that sounds like stoddard solvent. that's what I was using but i know it's hard on o'rings and such. But i think I will go back to it and just basically dunk the parts in quickly and blow it off.

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that sounds like stoddard solvent. that's what I was using but i know it's hard on o'rings and such. But i think I will go back to it and just basically dunk the parts in quickly and blow it off.
You're right, but if the O-rings or seals are not left to soak in it, they're fine with it. In fact if the O-ring is swollen by the solvent, it can often be restored just by letting it dry thoroughly (not always, don't push your luck).

For a gag, we sometimes would leave a larger spark plug boot soak overnight. We'd haul it out and it would be as big as a banana. Two or three days later, you'd have never known it.

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Mineral spirits (shop solvent). Similar to paint thinner, but a little easier on the hands. Widely available. When it's clean, it dries fairly oil free, although it leaves a slight residue. The residue can be removed either with a good carb cleaner like Berryman's B12, a brake parts cleaner, or fork/shock oil, for that matter.

I use a low volitile paint thinner (home Depot) and then a blast of carb cleaner.

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You're right, but if the O-rings or seals are not left to soak in it, they're fine with it. In fact if the O-ring is swollen by the solvent, it can often be restored just by letting it dry thoroughly (not always, don't push your luck).

For a gag, we sometimes would leave a larger spark plug boot soak overnight. We'd haul it out and it would be as big as a banana. Two or three days later, you'd have never known it.

👍

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I use ProHD by simple green. Doesnt harm rubber (as long as it is not left for hours) and is biodegradiable and non flamable.

Home Depot is the only place that carries it. You cant even get it directly from simple green,they tell you that you have to get it from home depot and they are the only ones that carry it.

One gallon of this stuff makes up of 16 gallons. This is the strong mixture for tough grease and grime. It works terrific on carbs and after about two hours of soaking they look brand new. Even takes paint off of metals when soaked overnight.

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