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Old 01-16-2020, 07:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Ultrasonic cleaners again

I know it's been done before, but I have specific questions. I'm looking at the 100 dollar amazon one.

Will it screw this up, not work, or be fine? Also suggestions welcome. Suggestions about the ultrasonic cleaner are welcome, not your usual suggestions.

I have a friend who has a collection of HO locomotives that belonged to his father in law. Unfortunately, they were in his FIL's basement when it flooded. I restored one of the easy ones to see how it would go. It took about 7 hrs. Not worth it for a $55 loco, but whatever. it was his FIL's. The next one will be much more tedious unless this ultrasonic cleaner is magic.

The first pics are of the one I did and the conditions I'm dealing with. The last one is an internet picture of the loco I need to do next. Unfortunately, It is in the same condition at the first.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would worry about the windings on the motors and the degradation of the insulation of the copper.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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For $100 buy it, try it, and throw the train away if it doesnt work.

You will use the shit outtah the cleaner for other things.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What's the biggest cheapo ultrasonic cleaner that any of you guys have bought? Did it work worth a damn? I see reviews all over the place on them. Some people claim the only bigger ones that are worth a damn cost a ridiculous amount. I'm looking at the sub $500 ones and thinking if it would do small stuff like carbs and also be big enough to throw a head in that would be nice...
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_81067 View Post
What's the biggest cheapo ultrasonic cleaner that any of you guys have bought? Did it work worth a damn? I see reviews all over the place on them. Some people claim the only bigger ones that are worth a damn cost a ridiculous amount. I'm looking at the sub $500 ones and thinking if it would do small stuff like carbs and also be big enough to throw a head in that would be nice...
I just bought a 15l off ebay for $200 and will be using it 'soon' to clean some carbs. Ive used industrial ultrasonic cleaners and what I can say for sure is the cheap ones take 3 times longer to do the job, and generally last a year of regular use (jewelry store etc) based on reviews.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I would worry about the windings on the motors and the degradation of the insulation of the copper.
It'll be completely disassembled first.

1: I just don't want to do everything with a toothbrush and tiny wirebrush
2: I don't want to destroy the paint, just remove the dirt, etc.

Edit: I don't know if they are intended to be used when they are done, or just to be displayed. I read that to properly dry out an electric motor is to bake it at 250* for 20 hours. I don't know if that's true. car starters work after being submerged. Why not train motors?

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Old 01-16-2020, 08:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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For $100 buy it, try it, and throw the train away if it doesnt work.
The point is to save, not destroy, the train. The one pictured is a $500 locomotive and I'm sure it's not the most expensive one in the collection.

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Old 01-16-2020, 08:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I bought the 10L and there are plenty of times I wish I went bigger. I wouild get the biggest one you can justify spending the extra on. As stated above, you're gonna use it on all sorts of other shit once you have it
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have used water to break in brushed motors on RC stuff and slot cars never had an issue. I just oil the bearings afterward.

https://youtu.be/8nMGfxv3034

I think that BN train was the same train I got for Christmas when I was about 7. I think it is still in a box in the garage.

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Old 01-16-2020, 08:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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what solution do to you plan to use in the ultrasonic cleaner?

what are you trying to remove from the train? just rust? if so, i'd try evaporust since it only removes rust and the ultrasonic action will remove the crud.

something i did with my ultrasonic cleaner:
i had a solution of Krud Kutter in the ultrasonic cleaner and wanted to quickly remove rust from some fittings. I floated a shallow flat bottom plastic bowl in the ultrasonic, filled it partially with evaporust, and turned on the machine. the plastic bowl dampened the ultrasonic action some, but it still worked and the parts came out great. If i were to try this again, i would try putting the parts in a quart freezer bag with evaporust and squish all the air out instead of the plastic bowl.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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what solution do to you plan to use in the ultrasonic cleaner?
Beats me. Water?

What do you use for plastic?

Painted stainless steel?

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what are you trying to remove from the train? just rust? if so, i'd try evaporust since it only removes rust and the ultrasonic action will remove the crud.
.
Mostly hoping it would remove the dried on silt from all the nooks and crannies without disturbing the plastic.

Also hoping to throw all of the painted stainless wheels and bits in there and have them come out clean without fading or removing the paint.

who knows what's inside that I haven't seen yet? <<<<Rhetorical

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Old 01-16-2020, 09:56 AM   #12 (permalink)
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It may eat the paint off the plastic, depends on how well it is applied. I use one for cleaning all of my fishing reels. I tear them down completely and run through. I use a 50/50 mix of water and simple green. I recently got a huge box of older taps, many rusty, and put them in the US just for giggles knowing the really rusty ones were worthless anyway. It cleaned off a lot of the rust deposits, I was quite impressed.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:14 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I have this one and use it mostly for cleaning rifle brass, gets 'em clean in and out. I have also used it to clean a suppressor and it took some of the anodizing off so I'd be careful about things like the paint, or electrical insulation.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-6L-Ultr....c100290.m3507
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I agree that I'm not sure how the paint would hold up.

I have done some OEM painted body bolts in mine and it didn't remove the paint but if it's able to remove rust I would think paint could also come off.

I bit the bullet and got a Elma unit.
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I use a sharper tek 4L I bought about 10 years ago, paid around $500 for it. Its been worth every penny. The heating elements are gone now, but the US still works great. I use it for everything. Anyone ever replace elements on one?
Looking at the amazon ones, they look just like the Sharper Tek at 1/3 of the price. I'm interested how they compare. BTW, buy the biggest one you can justify, it will always be too small
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by billybob_81067 View Post
What's the biggest cheapo ultrasonic cleaner that any of you guys have bought? Did it work worth a damn? I see reviews all over the place on them. Some people claim the only bigger ones that are worth a damn cost a ridiculous amount. I'm looking at the sub $500 ones and thinking if it would do small stuff like carbs and also be big enough to throw a head in that would be nice...
This is the el cheapo I have been using for quite some time.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Stainless-S...r/132406394071
I wish I could've have budgeted for a larger one when I bought mine, but I can do carbs and all kinds of things in it.

I used a solution of Simple green for just about everything.
Get the faucet running hot before filling, these things will take all night and the next day to heat up if you put cold water in them. Also set the temp much higher than you actually want to keep it warm.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:00 PM   #17 (permalink)
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While it doesn't really pertain to you, somebody may find this info useful.

The Lyman brand of ultrasonic brass cleaner sold at basspro and other reloading supply stores($120) is the exact same unit sold for next to nothing at harbor freight under the Pittsburg name. So if you want to buy Chinese junk there's a cheaper option than basspro with the same extended warranty plan offered.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO4lFxl6oE4

evaporust wont touch the paint, only the rust

Simple Green can be harmful to aluminum. I've used Krud Kutter original diluted with water with great results. I've also used Berrymans Carb Dip for carbs, but you cant leave them in long as it seems to start eating the soft metals
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