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Improved solvent parts washer

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2 months ago I needed to top off my old 20 gal. solvent parts washer, but since the local Ace Hardware had closed wasn't able to special order mineral spirits in 5 gal cans anymore. Looked for mineral spirits at all the big box stores but none to be found here in Commiefornia. Bought some 1 gal cans of "paint thinner" - which what we used to call mineral spirits - at a Home Depot only to find out it strips in interior paint of my parts washer, melts nylon parts brushes & more. No warning about this on the cans either! :angry:


Decide to convert the old one to a water based washer & buy a new one strictly for solvent.post-30768-0-86748300-1499025585_thumb.jpg More about the old washer later.



Unfortunately, these have pumps in them that won't tolerate solvent so I found a Little Giant pump to fit the purpose: model # PE-2YApost-30768-0-66710900-1499025068_thumb.jpg


Miniature strainer for pump are available at McMaster-Carr website. A 60 mesh, 3/4 pipe female thread was chosen for this pump.


Took about 8 days for solvent to arrive at TSC for local pick up. Much cheaper than store branded mineral spirits, but it is mineral spirits.


Notice TSC sells that same parts washer...........convenient.


Replaced the cheezy China pump, plumbed with 3/8 pipe & 3/8 fuel hose & barbed fittings. Ball valve added to stop syphoning while changing filter. Filter is standard PH8A Ford screw-on filter with remote filter base available for $15-20.post-30768-0-28102500-1499025122_thumb.jpg Tapped drain plug boss for 1/4 NPT. Secured 1/4 street elbow & close nipple to boss with JB Weld. Added 1/4 NPT ball valve & plumbing for easy draining.post-30768-0-93521400-1499025091_thumb.jpg Fabbed a simple retainer for pump of 1 inch wide sheet metal to hold pump in place, a rectangle of rubber pad underneath to quiet pump noise. 3/4 NPT strainer on inlet of pump is to keep the big chunks out. Used old flex line from original parts washer & a bell reducer to 3/8 pipe plumbing. Flex line is 1/4 NPT male thread on those older import parts washers.


This Little Giant pump works really well - plenty of pressure through the filter. post-30768-0-32023700-1499025144_thumb.jpgParts washer instructions say 6 gal capacity but its more like 7 gal with the filter setup. So 2 5 gal cans of the Crown solvent are good to start with.

This will be my final assembly cleaning washer for engine & transmission stuff - no grungy parts allowed. This parts washer comes with, 4 caster wheels, a drain shelf, catch tray for solvent & bottom shelf.

2 hooks on left side for hanging parts brushes too.


Plans for old parts washer are to convert it to a heated water based washer for really dirty stuff. Graymills Aquilene 330 is good for this. Will post on that one later when done.

Edited by czny
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Here's pics of the cheezy China pump. Flex line has metric straight threads on connecting end so........post-30768-0-72284700-1499026737_thumb.jpg

Edited by czny

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I have a Smart washer.   Its not cheap but it WORKS.   And it won't kill you, isn't flammable, and usually doesn't hurt the parts.   Works great on aluminum engines, decent against carbon (honestly nothing takes carbon off pistons easily imo)


Used with my hot washer I hardly have to scrub things anymore.   


Heres one in CL Colorado so you get an idea but I paid $200 for the last one and had to buy a pad and fluid to get going I am at about 300 invested and the fluid has to be topped off when the red light comes on occasionally but otherwise its fine.






Be patient they do come up cheap sometimes!   And they're not hard to fix or troubleshoot. 

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