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Cleaning gummed up Castor oil residues from engines

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Paul james 823/12/2017 08:26:27
174 forum posts
48 photos

I renovate a quite few old engines and have been trawling the net to find the best way of getting the baked on Castor oil deposits off. Used to be "Dawn power cleaner" but that can't be had now apparently.

I've heard people are using ultra sonic tanks and wondered how well they work.

Any info would be much appreciated, it is a fine balance between getting a nice clean finish and one that is marred by corrosive cleaning agents!

Happy Christmas All!!

Denis Watkins23/12/2017 08:49:15
4419 forum posts
111 photos

1st port of call Paul is simmering in antifreeze fluid

Select an old pan, not aluminium if possible and take great care handling antifreeze as it is poisonous

Store your pan away from food use

The antifreeze is formulated not to attack aluminium motors and removes castor

trebor23/12/2017 08:57:12
1930 forum posts
216 photos

I've used brake fluid with some success but it's not strong enough for baked on exhaust pipes. You can leave it for a few days with the odd brush down the fluid will go black as it eats the gum crud. I've tried glow fuel but it evaporates too quick. Finish the exhaust off with a green scrubbing pad.

trebor23/12/2017 08:59:06
1930 forum posts
216 photos
Posted by Denis Watkins on 23/12/2017 08:49:15:

1st port of call Paul is simmering in antifreeze fluid

I'll try that next time yes

simon barr23/12/2017 09:00:39
1051 forum posts
16 photos

Fairy Power Spray used to work quite well, if you can still get it.

Or if the adverts are to be believed, Cillit Bang?

Edited By simon barr on 23/12/2017 09:02:00

Paul C.23/12/2017 09:03:43
646 forum posts
159 photos

I have heard of folks in the USA using antifreeze in an old crock pot or similar slow cooker on low setting, not the wife's best or it will not be a happy christmas. Remember usual poison warning with antifreeze use well ventilated place, if you have a blue coloured os la engine it may not be blue when it comes out of the pot. Best of luck let us know how you get on


Engine Doctor23/12/2017 10:44:20
2506 forum posts
39 photos

Better ware carbon remover ,it used to be called BW oven cleaner is excellent if you have a better ware rep in your area. It won't mark or discolour Ali like some cleaners. It is apparently available on the net . excellent stuff for removing  really baked on carbon/ castor .

Edited By Engine Doctor on 23/12/2017 10:45:23

Ace23/12/2017 11:11:42
321 forum posts
22 photos

Used boiling antifreeze a number of times and :-

A - Works really well

B - Toxic (outdoors only)

C - Stinks

D - now have very clean "silver" Irvine 53's

Paul james 823/12/2017 16:01:57
174 forum posts
48 photos

I've tried antifreeze in a crock pot outside the garage and it did loosen the gum without attacking the aluminium but still didn't clean the bearings. I usually change them anyway when doing a strip down. Ethylene Glycol is available from chemical suppliers so I wonder if that would be better? I didn't have it on the highest temperature setting so maybe will trey putting the pot on at the highest setting and leave it on for a few hours.

Will have a look for the Betterware stuff as anything that can help is going to be very handy, at the current rate it is taking best part of a day to clean one up!

Engine Doctor23/12/2017 16:22:12
2506 forum posts
39 photos

Ps to earlier post . The Betterware cleaner WILL remove painted finished like those on the LA and Irvines .

TartanMac23/12/2017 16:23:57
250 forum posts
157 photos

I cleaned a few engines with just Daz soap powder and BOILING water in my Ultrasonic cleaner. I left the engine in old fuel over night did nothing would not come off with a nylon brush so used the prior mentioned method leave it till I can just start to touch the water then replace the soap powder and boiling water 30-40 mins and it took off the burnt on oil off the exhaust side of the engine. Around 85-90% of the crud was removed just keep the water boiling hot to keep the metal expanded to open the porous holes that it is held in don't let it cool. I used around 2 table spoons of soap powder.

onetenor23/12/2017 17:17:15
1901 forum posts

Ethylene Glycol is neat anti-freeze. It can take the shine off Ali. I posted the method re unseizing an engine . It is the same as for this.

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