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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Shop Engine/Parts Cleaner Recommendation Needed


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7 replies to this topic

#1 gijoe985

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 02:16 PM

I am just starting out teaching high school auto shop at a new school. We've got tons of industry style equipment. We hope to start doing some engine building soon, but I don't have a really good unit for cleaning blocks/parts. What do you all think I should get? I know there are the rotating stand up units that spray the blocks with a hot foamy solution. What about those larger ultrasonic cleaning tanks?

I'd love to hear some suggestions. And I'm sure I'll need more in the future.

#2 Scoobywagon

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 02:24 PM

I'm not sure what the model is, but the transmission shop up the street from my shop has the single most awesome parts washer I think I've ever seen. Its a vertical rotisserie system and it works like a charm.

#3 gijoe985

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 02:38 PM

I'm not sure what the model is, but the transmission shop up the street from my shop has the single most awesome parts washer I think I've ever seen. Its a vertical rotisserie system and it works like a charm.


That's probably like the one I am thinking of...

#4 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 01:16 PM

My sugestion is based on working in an industrial setting - rebuilding machines of all types. I would not just get one setup. There are times when you want chemical and times when you want a hot detergent type wash.....

For an actual parts washer, I would get one of these:

http://www.roto-jetoa.com/

We had one where I worked and for a lot of cleaning jobs it worked great.

Now that said, it's not going to clean places that it can't "see". Line of sight is important with parts washers and so things that have large cavities in them or blind passages, etc are difficult to clean. For that you need a chemical dip. An alkali hot-tank for non-aluminium parts and another seperate tank for aluminium are what I would reccomend. You can't get aluminium clean enough with the roto-jet to really sparkle and in any case the detergent discolors it. If I could have nothing else, I would have just the chemical hot tanks. They are the most versatile by far and the cheapest to get into (it's a metal dumpster full of chems). Cleaning them out and dealing with the waste isn't fun but they do things that no parts washer could ever do.

Of course a steam cleaner (pressure washer with a heater) and a blast cabinet or two are also neccesities IMO. So much so that I have both in my garage - I upgraded my house with an on-demand hot-water system that makes endless 140 degree water. I installed a hose bib for it so I could run the hot water to my pressure washer :grin:. Works amazingly well on engine bay's, etc. Plus my shower never runs out of hot water either :lol:

Here at home I get by without a parts washer - just a solvent tank (with Zep Dyna 170), blast cabinet, and steam cleaner. I may rig up an old dish-washer to clean parts after they have been washed in my solvent tank. Future upgrade :).

Why not make the parts washer a project for the class? I guess it's not automotive though.....

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder, 05 September 2010 - 01:21 PM.


#5 gijoe985

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 05:58 PM

I love it all!!!


Thanks! In fact, if you could maybe give me a few links to some examples of what you were talking about, that'd be great. I'd love to know which chemicals for dip tanks and whatnot you were thinking of. Right now I am looking at the rotating hot detergent spraying setups. I am also looking into some setups for rust, like a big evaoprust tank or something.

Links would be awesome if possible. I'm running around so much right now just trying to get sockets organized, I have no time for research.

#6 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 09:47 PM

The non-aluminium tank (which you can build or buy) is a heated tank of Sodium Hydroxide (often refered to as "Caustic") and water. It's basically Lye. It eats the hell out of paint, grease, oil, fat and other protiens. It also etches Aluminium - if you put aluminium into the tank it will foam up - it damages the Caustic solution and dissolves the Aluminium so you can't use it for that.

Anything that comes out of this tank must be immediately pressure washed and dried or it will rust something fierce - I have had wet stuff out of the caustic tank start rusting on me in minutes - it strips all the oil's off. It will not really do much to rust. Being basically a hot salt bath it's pretty safe - gloves and safety glasses - doesn't burn or anything if you get some on you but the tank is heated so gloves are warranted for the temperature (well below boiling).

Aluminium is much more rediculous in it's cleaning requirements. Typically dipping tanks for it require nasty acid based cleaners and produce copius amounts of noxious fumes. I beleive the stuff we used was a Zep product and it was basically paint stripper in dip form. Ugly stuff - burns the skin, etc. You might consider just sending your aluminium out to be dipped since you are dealing with high school age kids and this process is nasty. They may not even allow it on the property because of zoneing.

I don't really have any links for you - Zep is just a matter of calling and getting the name and number of your local feild rep. Lye you can get about anywhere I would imagine - any chem supply in your area. As for buying the tank - I have no idea. Ours was probably 50 years old and I think someone at the shop built it. :rolleyes:

GD

#7 gijoe985

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 08:12 PM

So, this is the unit we have kinda settled on, pending further investigating. I have had troubles getting reviews from any actual owners, but it looks nice.

http://www.wescotool...sh-cabinet.aspx

I have also been thinking about a dip tank, but I've found that since this is a school, there can be issues with the various chemicals used.

#8 ShawnW

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 03:58 PM

I got one this week on craigslist that was broken for $200! I already have it fixed and working in my home shop and DAMN it works as well as the huge units I had used at my 2 previous employers.

I can't seem to find a vendor or factory info line on the darn thing though as its a little older unit. "Water Works Cleaning Systems" on the front with a seahorse in its logo. No serial number, nothing on it. :(

Oh well, I am still quite thrilled to own it.




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