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HOW TO: Boil your carbs in lemon juice
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HOW TO: Boil your carbs in lemon juice - May 9, 2011, 08:04 AM

Lemon Juice is a cheap and very effective way of cleaning out old gummed up carbs. Citric acid does the job and leaves your carbs smelling lemony fresh.

1. pull the carbs



complete disassembly (remove float bowls, floats, jets, needles, etc ).
I left drain screws etc on the assembly.

2. Get yourself some genuine lemon juice. $2.50/qt at the time of writing this.
Some folks advocate a mixture of 6:1 Water:lemon juice. If you buy a bottle like this, don't dilute.



3. Bring to a boil in a container large enough to submerge your parts. Nabbing the best sauce pan in the house may not be the best option here. I suggest you do this outside if you can - lemon juice can get messy at boil. Note that the glassware I used is Pyrex (do not come to me if your nana's old glass dish explodes all over the kitchen...)



finally a use for that little side cooker on the BBQ.... (once a rolling boil was achieved the part was fully submerged)

4. Told you lemon juice gets messy when it boils.. It will foam up violently so be quick to lower the temp once you reach a boil.



5. boil for 30 minutes - grab your part with tongs or pliers and rinse in bucket of cold water.

Any remaining debris will come off easily using a small brush (girlfriend's toothbrush...). Dip rinse.

6. Finish it off by blowing compressed air through the carburetor body and fuel passages.

before:


after:




not bad for $2.50 and a spare hour or so...

My 35yr old carbs were in pretty good shape to start with but this will work equally well on worse cases.


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May 9, 2011, 08:07 AM

What if my carbs don't have scurvy?


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May 9, 2011, 08:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scot View Post
What if my carbs don't have scurvy?
You have to use Scotch and that,my man, is truly a waste....


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May 9, 2011, 08:10 AM

Indeed. Good write up. I've never used lemon juice before. I'll file this away in "stuff to try" when I pick up another older bike.


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May 9, 2011, 08:11 AM

Or you can do the pine sol overnight and avoid the boiling thing. Then just wash it with Dawn to cut any deposits, blow out the passages with compressed air.

Not quite as clean as your boiled version. But also less likely to damage rubber seals in the carbs. Plus less work. And I'm all about less work.

But still a good tip!


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May 9, 2011, 08:12 AM

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May 9, 2011, 08:13 AM

Yup, heard the Pine Sol tip works as well.

Lemon Juice is an old trick that lots of the veterans swear by (Jockey Journal, Cafe etc). I'd never tried it so this was a good opportunity to give it a shot. I'm impressed at the results and saved me a few bucks in the process.


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May 9, 2011, 08:21 AM

If my carbs aren't clean this time...then it's the lemon juice trick. I can buy a cheap pot at wally world so the wife won't care. And if I do it while she's at work...she will never even know.


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May 9, 2011, 08:35 AM

Monday Night project.


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May 9, 2011, 08:57 AM

did you steal this idea from chain cleaning with pickle?


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May 9, 2011, 09:07 AM

never tried to clean carbs before... but from working in restaurant we'd use boiling lemon juice over expensive cleaners for cleaning the flat top metal grills and such. It works wonders


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May 9, 2011, 09:08 AM

they have this stuff called carb cleaner just say'n


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May 9, 2011, 09:38 AM

tags lol


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May 9, 2011, 09:58 AM

Kinda like cleaning a battery terminal with coke.

lol I thought this was going to be some heath/dieting thread about boil (burning) off carbs by driniking lemon juice..lol...

Wonder what other applications you could use lemon juice to clean parts with off bike???


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May 12, 2011, 03:29 PM

Good stuff, Dutch. Neat trick.
A $3 parts washer. Sweet.

You can also use the Pyrex when you're done for cooking up a mean batch of crack.



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