cleaning carbs with antifreeze?


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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chief771
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cleaning carbs with antifreeze?

Postby chief771 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:02 pm



I just purchased a 1978 Goldwing with 13,000 miles on it. bad part is it has not been running since 1997. I was told it was started about 5 years ago. Anyway, I know the carbs will need cleaning. I saw an article here about cleaning carbs in antifreeze but I cant find it now. I was wondering if anybody cold tell me where to find this article. Thank you!


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Re: cleaning carbs with antifreeze?

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:15 pm

chief771 wrote:I just purchased a 1978 Goldwing with 13,000 miles on it. bad part is it has not been running since 1997. I was told it was started about 5 years ago. Anyway, I know the carbs will need cleaning. I saw an article here about cleaning carbs in antifreeze but I cant find it now. I was wondering if anybody cold tell me where to find this article. Thank you!


I don't remember seeing that here, although my memory fades at times! I suppose that could work, ethylene glycol is a solvent, although there are better/more powerful solvents. You'd want to use non-premix - the stuff you're supposed to mix 50/50 with water, but use it full strength, without diluting it first.

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Re: cleaning carbs with antifreeze?

Postby Placerville » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:52 am

I'm sure if you do this you'll want to do it right. Right? You said you wanted to clean your carbs, but you didn't say if you were going to remove them in order to do this. So, I'm hoping that's what you're going to do because it's the only way to do it correctly. I strongly suggest that you go to Randakk's site and purchase a DVD and rebuild kit for your carbs. This will get you started in the right direction and, when done, they'll be done properly. And, in case you haven't gotten that far, I suggest you take a good look inside your fuel tank for rust and rebuild your brakes.

Regarding the use of anit-freeze as an appropriate internal carb cleaner, you will find the answer to that, and more, in his video.
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Re: cleaning carbs with antifreeze?

Postby chief771 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:38 am

Thank you for the replys! I appreciate it. I took the carbs off yesterday and pulled the bowls out. Wow what a mess! Three of the floats were stuck and all of the crap in there was amazing. Anyway I will take your suggestion and go to radakks site. Looks like lots of soaking time with wd 40. The tank is out and that is rusty too. I will use either a tank full of vinegar or the electrolysis method. Any suggestions? Thanks again!
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Re: cleaning carbs with antifreeze?

Postby Placerville » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:47 pm

Yes.... Electrolysis and vinegar are both good ways to go. But, both of them are slow and, most importantly, leave behind a lot of residue that adds yet another obstacle to the cleaning process. In your reply, you said the magic words, which were, "the tank is out." If that's the case, I'm strongly suggesting that you use Muriatic acid to clean your tank. It can also be done with the tank 'in place' but, it's easier with the tank out. Here's the process:

First, Muriatic acid can cause injuries. Don't get it in your eyes or breath the fumes. Be mindful and cautious when using it and you'll be fine. Use full strength Muriatic acid (the type that's purchased at a pool supply store), not the 'safe' type that's available at department stores. That type is too weak for your purpose.

Remove your fuel sending unit and set it aside (more later). Plug the sending unit hole with a stopper of some sort. A rubber expanding plumping plug or some other item that won't dissolve, leak and can be removed/replaced. Turn your petcock to the 'off' position. Stabilize the tank in an outdoor location. Set up a fan so that it will blow the fumes away from your work area. Fill the tank with acid until it reaches approx. the bottom of the filler neck. It will start working immediately. Depending on the amount of rust in your tank, you can leave it in for an hour or for 20 minutes. (My tank had light rust and was done in 20 minutes.) Insert a wooden dowel or other such 'non metal' tool into the filler neck and stir the acid. This keeps it moving and helps the process. After approx. 20 minutes (or your best guess depending on your amount of rust) dump the acid into a clean 5 gallon plastic bucket. Fill the tank with water and drain it into a second plastic bucket. Pull the plug and inspect the interior. If you need additional cleaning, repeat the above process until it's spotless. Note: Muriatic acid goes inert when it comes in contact with soil. If you live in a (rural) setting where it can be dumped away from plant life you can pour it into the ground. If not, pour it back into the original containers and take it to a disposal site. Your 'rinse' water can be poured on the ground or down the drain as the amount of acid in the water is negligible. Rinse your tank several times to ensure that all of the acid has been removed. You do not need to use baking soda or any other product as a neutralizer, simple aggressive rinsing will do the job. Remove the petcock and run a flexible wire up into the main and reserve tubes to ensure they are clean. Be judicious with this. By the way, don't worry about the little interior wire cages over the fuel line openings. They're unnecessary.

After your tank is clean, DO NOT dry it with a hair dryer or heat of any kind as this will cause 'flash rust' to occur. (Flash rust is very fine and will pass right through a fuel filter and ruin your carbs.) Instead, spray the inside of your tank liberally with WD-40. This will displace any small amount of water remaining and cause it to puddle. Vacuum it out with a small hose attached to the end of your shop vac. Now, pour some Marvel Mystery oil (MMO) inside your tank, put the plug and fuel cap back on and roll the tank around until the interior surface is well coated. Drain the excess, put your plug and cap back on and set the tank aside.

Regarding your sending unit.... Pour a 50/50 mix of water and Muriatic acid into a glass bowl. Open the body of the sending unit by bending back as few of the small tabs as necessary to access the interior. Bend them only enough to open the cover. Using a small bush, paint on the water/acid solution over the entire body and interior of the sending unit. The acid won't hurt any of the parts and it will clean all the rust off within a few minutes. Note: Be very careful of the small wires that come from the winding. Do not break them. When it's clean, rinse it well with water and spray it liberally with WD-40. Reassemble with a new sending unit gasket from Honda and rebuild your petcock. Do not use any gasket sealer on either of them. Tip: Lubing the 'locking ring' of the sending unit will help it seat easier. Always keep your tank full of fuel when not in use and use Sta-Bil Marine with every fill-up.
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Re: cleaning carbs with antifreeze?

Postby chief771 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:53 pm

Thank you very much for the help! That sounds liike a great way to go. I will post my progress. Thanks again!


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