Friday, April 20, 2012

Vinegar Boil Off


Since my lemon-juiced carburetor came out of the pot looking like a new part, I opted to boil off the Fuel pump in the same manner, this time giving the "boil it in vinegar" approach. The big attraction to vinegar is the fact that it costs about 25 cents a litre, making it 1/8th the price of lemon juice. it's 5% acetic acid content means it will have some eating power on older parts, but due to it's lower concentration it needs longer in the pot to work on the part you put in.

I wasn't in the mood to totally strip the fuel pump, so the main diaphragm stayed put, and i just brought the vinegar up to it so i wouldn't damage it. Vinegar strangely seems difficult to bring to a boil, unlike lemon juice which froths up on heat 3 of 8 on the stove. Vinegar on the other hand needed a constant 7-8 to keep it approaching a rolling boil. since I was using a new el-cheapo pot.. that might be the culprit.

Parts were left in the bath for a good 20 minutes of boiling time, and the vinegar works excellent on built up dirt and fuel stains. it seems to take issue with oil deposits though, and didn't touch them at all (unlike Lemon Juice, which slams oil back into the ground with an iron fist). I think for oily parts in the future I will boil for longer, over a fire, in a bigger pot, and add maybe 1 part lemon juice to 3 parts white vinegar.

All in all for this experiment, I was pretty pleased with the results. for about 30 cents, I cleaned the guts of the fuel pump very well, so I am happy about that and will modify my recipe for future boiling. As for now the pump is back together and ready to be re-installed.

Update: as of about 5:30pm on April 19th, with the tall stack carb back on and the bowl loaded with fresh fuel, the straight-six drew breath and fired for the first time in several years. It ran for about 25 seconds before draining the bowl dry, but proved to me that things seem to be in order. I do need to rig up a fuel delivery system under the hood so I can move it around my driveway, and probably give the points a good cleaning while mating them to some new spark plugs. All things considered it sounds pretty healthy for its age and wasnt coughing up blood and guts on my driveway.

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