Soda Blaster For
Carb Cleaning & Rebuilding
and rebuilding your carbs can be difficult these days. The really good
cleaners of yester-year are no longer available now that they have been deemed
"bad for the environment" and outlawed. The cleaners we could
always count on are now effectively rendered almost useless. Awe yes, I remember
being able to buy a gallon can of carb-dip at the local parts store and it would
strip decades of grime away over night with one 12 hour soaking. Now the
same brand barely loosens varnish let alone cleans it away with days of soak
time. . . You still need to get carbs clean, but chemicals today just
can't do it alone and you don't want to spend an afternoon scrubbing all the nooks
and crannies of your carb housings. What's
a guy (or gal) to do??
Blast them!! "But wait", you say, "Blasting my carbs will
fill them with grit that I'll never get out and my expensive carbs will be
ruined." The solution is to use baking soda as the media. Yes,
common, household baking soda!! "But don't I have to own a blasting
cabinet or pressure blaster in order to blast my carbs??" The answer
is NO. Below is a list of the items you need in addition to an air source
like an air compressor (and you don't need a large compressor either):
-1 - air gun
1 - two foot
length of 7/16" clear vinyl hose
1 - one foot piece
of wood dowel, metal rod or thick wire
1 - box of baking
1 - small roll of
tape (masking or duct)
1 - sharp knife
(or razor blade)
You start by cutting your length of vinyl hose approximately 2-2.5 feet
long. Vinyl hose is available at home stores like Home Depot, Lowes, etc.
for around $2.00 for a 10 foot roll. Then measure from one end in about 2" and mark it with a
Take your knife or razor blade and make a small cut across the hose ONLY through
one side. The cut needs to be just large enough so that the tip of the air
wand attachment will stick into the hose. Stick the tip of the air wand
into the hose and let it stick in about 1/4" - 1/2".
Positioning your wand tip like this will create a venturi effect in the hose
causing the soda to be pulled up from the box by low pressure and mixed with the high pressure
air from the wand. Use one length of tape to wrap around the end of the
air wand and hose. This will keep the hose in the proper position on the
wand tip during blasting.
cut the other end of the vinyl hose at a 45 degree angle to allow better flow of
the soda into the hose. Then I tape the piece of dowel, metal rod or wire
to the other end of the hose. This will help keep it from curling up in
the box of soda and help you keep good flow into the hose.
Now you have your ultra low-tech & cheap soda blaster ready for blasting!!
Blasting should ONLY be done outside in a well ventilated area such as a patio
or concrete driveway. Of course proper eye protection and a face mask
should always be worn. Baking soda is not poisonous but it feels like your
breathing a soft drink if you inhale it and it's irritating, so protect those
soda will get all over you and the surrounding area, but don't worry, it won't
harm anything. Just wear some cloths you don't need to wear for a hot date
later because they will be coated white when you're done. Adjust your air
pressure to about 80 - 90 psi on your compressor. You only need to hold
the blaster tip about 6" or so from your carb parts and begin the
Soda is a soft media and will not harm the factory finish of your carbs.
It removes all organic matter from the carb bodies as well as heavy corrosion
scale in aluminum. It will not remove rust or corrosion from steel
hardware; it only removes the scale build-up. You can freely blast into passages
and the carb bowls since soda dissolves with water!!
Once you are finished blasting, simply place all your parts into a pot of warm
tap water. The soda will dissolve into the water and leave NO RESIDUE
behind. Then blow out the passages with air just as you normally would and
your carbs are ready for re-assembly.
The mess on the concrete cleans up just as easy. Simply spray it
down with the garden hose to dissolve the soda. NO caustic chemicals to
seep into the ground water for future generations to deal with; this is a real
"green" solution to carb cleaning and it's inexpensive
Below are a few before and after photos of some rare Porsche 356 carbs that I
cleaned with this exact low-tech blaster. The results speak for
themselves. Total cost for this blaster is about $5 including the box of
soda!! So the next time you need your carbs cleaned, give this AircooledTech;
Tools-on-the-cheap soda blaster a try and see what you think. I'll
bet you never go back to chemical carb cleaners again!!
Do you have a cheap but effective tool solution for a VW problem?? Send
me your tricks, tips and cool, low-buck solutions and who knows, you may
have it featured here in the future.
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