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Old 12-04-2017, 11:11 AM   #1
Ignoramus Bigotus
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Default Ultrasonic cleaning car parts

So I understand lots of folks use ultrasonic cleaners to clean engine parts such as injectors, but has anyone tried really dirty throttle bodies, or more specifically, idle speed motors? Obviously most parts would have to be fairly small unless you have a big cleaner.

I've been thinking about picking one up and experimenting with removing screen/cleaning injector/installing new screen type of thing. See if I can get these things to idle a little better.

I'm almost sure I'd ruin an idle speed motor if I dropped it in an ultrasonic cleaner with a nice volatile solvent cocktail. Anyone ever tried it?

What parts do you clean in the ultrasonic thing?
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Old 12-04-2017, 11:56 AM   #2
Ronald Culberbone III
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They're the shiznit. No need for caustic solutions, water and simple green (or any other soap) work great.
Cleaned out a red block breather box in one. It was gross how much crud was sitting in there.
I also clean fasteners and small parts. I've had some fasteners get a powdery finish from a reaction with the coating and soaps (industrial simple green was the worst for that).
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:20 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Columbus, O.

It looks like people who use them for injector cleaning only submerge the tips. I wouldn't put an idle air control valve in one - sure, it'll get cleaned out, but the motor probably wouldn't fare very well since they aren't designed to be submerged in anything. Maybe it would be OK if you only submerged the section with the shutter/valve, but my gut says you'd be better off not risking it. I've never had one that was so gunked up that a shot of carb/brake cleaner couldn't fix it.

As for other uses, they're great for turbo parts.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:22 PM   #4
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Location: S NJ, a suburb of Phila.

The white material after the unit was finished is corrosion on the metal. The ultrasonic cleaners use a solvent that will corrode metal if left in there too long or it's too strong. Just have to clean the part afterward if that happens. The worst I've seen this is with aluminum. Usually no damage unless it's been in there overnight or the solvent isn't cleaned off the part.

I wouldn't submerge an enclosed motor in there and then not take it apart. The process will clean out any lube in an electric motor and you'll have to take it apart and clean well inside to remove the solvent then grease the motor again. Don't want any corrosion starting inside the motor. Now if you are taking it apart anyway and are going to clean and lube the electric motor you should be fine since you can clean all the solvent left.

They are great for cleaning stuff.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:21 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2017

So which solvent is preferred/reccomended? Will simple green be sufficient or should one use a stoddard solvent of some type?

I picked up a small ultrasonic cleaner at an estate sale last week and I'm looking for an excuse to try it out.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:16 PM   #6
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The solvent we used to use at work was green and a water soluble solvent. Acted just like simple green so I'm sure that would work well for you.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:21 AM   #7
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Well, the Simple Green works nicely. I tried it last night after work with a bicycle chain. Took a while, but easier than scrubbing!
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