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Author Topic: Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice  (Read 15002 times)

Offline anarki650

  • Posts: 461
Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice
« on: May 03, 2009, 12:02:14 »
Just thought I'd throw up a couple of pics of my carbs after boiling them in lemon juice.  My pilot jets were partially clogged due to a winter of sitting without properly winterizing (I normally get a chance to start it every couple of weeks for a good garage warm up but this year proved to get the better of me...will be winterizing from now on!!!)



The process is really easy.  I pulled the top covers off and removed the slides.  Also removed the float bowl and all internals from there (pilot jets, main jet/main jet holder, floats seats and needles, air screws and pilot screws (plus springs).  Boiled the carbs in lemon juice for about 15 minutes.  After boiling rinse thoroughly with tap water and blow dry with compressed air (helps ensure all passages are clear as well).  They'll get really chalky looking as they dry.  I took some PB Blaster and rubbed them down with that and they took on a much more normal, albeit dull, look.  I was assured by my buddy who's done about 2 dozen racks of carbs this way that they may look dull but will perform like new.  That's all there is to it.  No toxic chemicals blasting you in the eye because of partially clogged (or fully clogged) jet passages.  No toothbrushing to remove crud build up, really no work to it at all.
One word of warning however, DO NOT DO THIS ON YOUR WIFE/GIRLFRIEND/MOM'S STOVE!  It makes a rather unique smell that those not predisposed to wrenching will likely find offensive and I'd hate to see you sleeping on the couch!!  Still smells better than carb cleaner though!
Bike runs like a million bucks after the cleaning too.
Wish I would have taken before pics as they were pretty grimy on the outsides before the lemon bath. 
"Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube.  That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…"  Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. 

'09 Kawisaki ER6-n daily rider
'74 Honda CB360 new project

Offline jay_kent

  • Posts: 1297
  • 1979 cb650
    • Cafe build blog
Re: Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2009, 12:48:08 »
Cool trick. I've got 4 banks of carbs in need so I'll give it a try and see how it works

Jay
DTT build thread - here
More pics at my Cafe build blog - Here

"And yeah David...you're pretty much bugshit nuts just like the rest of us." ~Swagger

Offline boomshakalaka

  • Posts: 1604
Re: Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2009, 16:07:30 »
I did this as well.  I did do it on my moms stove, and luckily she was pretty cool about it.  Had to open all the windows though as there was a pretty nice smell of oil gas and lemon juice floating around the house..

Offline Terry

  • Posts: 236
Re: Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2009, 22:50:25 »
Tried this last weekend on a set of Bings from a R75/5, just be sure to remove all brass parts or they will discolor.  I hit them with a small brass brush and all was cool, but it kind of freaked me out at first,  instant patina green.

Terry
J'ville, Fl

Offline goodfornothing

  • Posts: 843
  • Spicey!
Re: Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2009, 02:42:44 »
Can you boil the jets as well? Or will it ruin them?
TABASCO! *Sold*
1974 Honda cb450: Clicky

Fighter Project *Sold*
1989 cbr600 Hurricane:
Clicky

Offline boomshakalaka

  • Posts: 1604
Re: Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2009, 02:45:17 »
Can you boil the jets as well? Or will it ruin them?

I dont see why it would ruin them.  Like someone else said, the brass will tarnish, but this shouldnt affect performance.  I had to boil the old jets that were in there cuz they wouldnt come out otherwise!  Once I boiled them though, they slid right out.

Offline goodfornothing

  • Posts: 843
  • Spicey!
Re: Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2009, 03:42:52 »
I just read where one of the guys said they brushed it with a brass brush.

Thanks guys! Hopefully this will save me from buying new jets.
TABASCO! *Sold*
1974 Honda cb450: Clicky

Fighter Project *Sold*
1989 cbr600 Hurricane:
Clicky

Offline boomshakalaka

  • Posts: 1604
Re: Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2009, 11:07:14 »
errr.. I would avoid brushing the jets with any sort of metal.  If they get reshaped the airflow can get messed up.

Offline Skyeye

  • Posts: 189
  • Life 1/4 mile at at time!
Re: Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2009, 11:21:49 »
Guys,

I've done two sets of CB 750 carbs this way and highly recommend it.  I tried carb and choke cleaner, paint thinner and the Gunk can of toxic waste they call carb cleaner and still no luck......lemon juice was the way to go.  1 part lemon juice and 6 parts water, boil for two hours and wash with dishwashing soap using a toothbrush.  I took everything apart and threw it all in except the plastic bushings, o-rings and gaskets.

I still recommend getting a rebuild kit and replacing the jets, o-rings, and gaskets.  The CB750 set, four carbs was $67 bucks from an eBay store and well worth it.

Scott

Offline sub-Atomic Punk

  • Posts: 56
Re: Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2009, 12:12:17 »
This worked great for me as well. I didn't really even boil them because I didn't have a cheapo pot. So I just boiled the lemon juice solution and poured it over my 350 carbs. I put each body in an empty plastic coffee can, added the juice, put the lid on and let them sit over night. They came out clean and the lid helped with that distinctive odor. Just another great idea I found on this forum. Thanks!

Offline andrew embassy

  • Posts: 385
    • Réunion web & graphic design
Re: Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2009, 16:43:18 »
anybody got any ideas for how to get the carbs looking less chalky after the process?

Offline Skyeye

  • Posts: 189
  • Life 1/4 mile at at time!
Re: Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2009, 16:49:20 »
Andrew,

After you boil them, then using a toothbrush, scrub them with dishwashing liquid.  After they are dry spray them with WD-40 and a light scrubbing with the toothbrush.

Scott

Offline andrew embassy

  • Posts: 385
    • Réunion web & graphic design
Re: Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2009, 21:39:00 »
Andrew,

After you boil them, then using a toothbrush, scrub them with dishwashing liquid.  After they are dry spray them with WD-40 and a light scrubbing with the toothbrush.

Scott

Awesome, thanks Scott - Rat400F and I are going to have a carb cleaning party on Friday - I'll post pics.

Offline boomshakalaka

  • Posts: 1604
Re: Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2009, 01:44:43 »
oddly enough, I kinda like the chalky matte look.  Go figure..

Offline msimm43

  • Posts: 261
Re: Cleaning carbs on the rack by boiling in lemon juice
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2009, 02:43:25 »
I did this last week, and as everyone says, it works great.

I was hoping it would fill my apartment with a warm lemony "joy" smell. As originally stated, that was not the smell I got.

Here are some before and after pics to show how the carb bodies turn gray. (I think I am going to leave as is. I like it more then I like the idea of sanding all those little nooks and crannies.)

Before


After