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ultrasonic cleaner 01 Nov 2020 10:07 #838083

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At this point Im trying to justify Buying an ultrasonic cleaner for carbs and small parts cleaner. Ive looked for yamalube carburetor dip and to no avail and the last thing I want is dis colored carburetors Has anyone any input on this?
76 kz 900 1075 76 kz 900 a4 78 kz 1000 ltd

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ultrasonic cleaner 01 Nov 2020 10:15 #838084

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I have one but prefer Berryman's carb dip for removing varnish from carbs. I use the ultrasonic if the carbs are basically clean already or as a second step after carb dip.

Contrary to popular belief it erodes soft metals like aluminum, and can remove zinc plating from hardware and so forth.
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ultrasonic cleaner 08 Nov 2020 06:09 #838236

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I remember finding the Yam carb dip for sale at ebay and Amazon a while back.Edit..... (Never mind sold out and discontinued.......Been thinking of doing this to a set of Smooth bores and have had the same worry on the finish of the alum after words.
1978 KZ650 b-2
700cc Wiseco kit 10 to 1.
1980 KZ750 cam, ape springs, stock clutch/ Barnett springs.
Vance and Hines Header w/ comp baffle and Ape pods, Dyna S and green coils, copper wires.
29MM smooth bores W/ 17.5 pilots, 0-6s and 117.5 main
16/42 gearing X ring chain and alum rear JT sprocket.

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ultrasonic cleaner 18 Nov 2020 20:53 #838622

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It's important to remember how an ultrasonic cleaner works. They use sound waves to create cavitation in the fluid, which creates a lot of force in the gaps between materials, like for example where contamination has stuck to a surface. It's like a scrubbing effect that's very powerful in cracks and crevices.

The problem is that if the contamination has no edges - like if the contamination sticks right to the very edge, it's no different than scrubbing a flat surface by hand. So for things like varnish or paints or anything adhesive, chemical removal tends to work better. Putting that chemical in an ultrasonic cleaner will speed up the processes, but that again will further increase the scrubbing in cracks and crevices. If those cracks and crevices are on a surface, like old galvanisation or zinc plating, it will make very short work of it.

Aluminium is also a special case. Aluminium is actually very highly reactive, we just usually don't see it in its reactive form, since it reacts so quickly to oxygen to form a coating of aluminium oxide, which is very stable.

When you run an ultrasonic cleaner, it will 'degas' the water (some cleaners also have a degas function), which will remove the oxygen, and make the cleaning more effective.

Putting the two together, if you put aluminium in an ultrasonic cleaner with an acidic dip, the acid will eat away the aluminium oxide surface with the help of the cavitation. If it were regular cleaning, the oxygen in the water would replace it and make another layer of aluminium oxide, but since the ultrasonic cleaner removes oxygen from the fluid, it doesn't react and remains with a reactive surface which will react even more to the acid.

So don't use an ultrasonic cleaner with solvents to clean aluminum. It's still very effective for clearing grime and corrosion from passageways with water and detergent, but the combination of aluminium + acid + ultrasonic is one to avoid.
1981 KZ750 LTD
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ultrasonic cleaner 24 Nov 2020 11:33 #838864

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Irish Yobbo wrote: the combination of aluminium + acid + ultrasonic is one to avoid.


So acid is a bad idea, but what about basic solutions? Aren't soaps and detergents typically basic? It seems like folks pretty frequently use degreasers in ultrasonic cleaners. The SDS for simple green and extreme simple green both say they are basic. I don't recall enough chemistry to guess.

And you used the word "solvent". I don't think that word implies an acid. Water is a pretty good solvent for some things. But it seems like more commonly people think of things like alcohol or acetone as a solvent, and it looks like most of those chemicals are roughly neutral.
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ultrasonic cleaner 24 Nov 2020 12:49 #838876

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I use Simple Green Pro, which is non corrosive to aluminum (unlike standard Simple Green.) From what I've read the best solution is specific to ultrasonic use. I'm not sure why though. Based on personal experience the solution is black and grimmy after some usage so it's obviously doing something positive. Just remember, you have to take the carbs apart before dunking. some people dunk complete carbs in the sauce which strikes me as insanity.

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ultrasonic cleaner 24 Nov 2020 13:33 #838879

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I wrote this before, but it got lost in the host transfer. I have a small ultrasonic that just fits a single body. I use Aircraft ("Extreme") Simple Green which is advertised as aluminum safe.

As Nessism said, I found that it did a nice job as a final finish clean, but I don't think it would take off the grease and grime that had built up on them.

I cleaned the carb bodies with carb cleaner and a plastic brush to get all of the grime off. At that point they looked clean, but after 5 minutes in the ultrasonic the water was pretty murky, so there was still plenty of dirt to remove. The "Extreme Simple Green" did not discolor the aluminum. I used the ultrasonic on the bodies, bowls, tops, brackets, and jets. It all looks good.

I used a 20:1 mixture of DI water and Extreme SG, heated to 35C. I put the parts in for 5-10 minutes, and when they were done they were rinsed thoroughly with tap water. For the bodies, after rinsing I used compressed air to dry all of the water out of every passage and hole.
'78 Z1-R in blue, '78 Z1-R in black, '78 Z1-R in pieces
'95 GPZ1100 (sold) , '00 ZRX1100

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ultrasonic cleaner 25 Nov 2020 19:25 #838948

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DOHC wrote: So acid is a bad idea, but what about basic solutions?

And you used the word "solvent". I don't think that word implies an acid. Water is a pretty good solvent for some things. But it seems like more commonly people think of things like alcohol or acetone as a solvent, and it looks like most of those chemicals are roughly neutral.


You're right, 'solvent' isn't the right word. I intended to mean anything that's more than lightly acidic or alkaline.

If I recall correctly from my engineering days, both acid and alkaline solutions will quickly eat away at aluminium, and less so aluminium oxide. Alkaline solutions don't tend to damage aluminium oxide as quickly as acids, but this can be a problem, especially in an ultrasonic cleaner. Because the oxide surface is more resistant, once the surface has been dissolved the aluminium underneath dissolves much quicker and can cause pitting.
1981 KZ750 LTD

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