5 winter fixes that make for happy springtime motoring


Frigid weather and untold tons of road salt trap many classics in the garage this time of year, meaning it's time to wrap up some winter projects so the first cruise of spring is enjoyable. Spaying paint, using sealants and detailing might not be possible, but colder weather is preferable to work in than sweating buckets in summer. We put together five projects perfect for the winter months that also put your ride in better shape come driving season.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/01/25/5-winter-fixes


Mike, please tell more about the “inexpensive ultrasonic technology” for carburetor cleaning and the “warm ultrasonic bath in a mild 1:10 solution of Krud Kutter parts cleaner and vinegar/water mixture” Did I miss an earlier article?


+1 on dennis.mcgillis’ query! I just disassembled a pair of SU HS6 carbs yesterday, and am in the middle of the stinky, health-challenging process of trying to get them clean with brake cleaner spray and lots of brushing.


What’s winter?
I live in Los Angeles :slight_smile:


The winter fix for me would be heat in the garage. It’s pretty frigid here in New Hampshire.


I finally managed to decipher the label in the picture. This is the unit - buying one tomorrow! https://www.harborfreight.com/25-liter-ultrasonic-cleaner-63256.html


@dennis.mcgillis - Appears that @emery.dewitt figured it out above. An $80 Harbor Freight piece ought to do the trick.

Also, Check out Hagerty’s engine guru Davin’s advice on a solution for easy rust and paint removal now that you have a nice ultrasonic cleaner.


I’ve always thought of my old car as a fickle female. Definitely need a line on that “spaying paint” so I don’t end up with kittens this spring from some roaming Hellcat having a one night stand in my garage. :wink:

Seriously though… good tips. Hadn’t thought of ultrasound cleaning either. :thinking:


@Jim-R - Now that is a fun typo. We are getting it corrected now.

I haven’t made the leap to ultrasonic yet either. I think I am only one more carb away from that leap though.


Hey @emery.dewitt. Looks like you got it sorted! I cleaned the heavy gunk off first and then ran the parts through the bath. Tried a few different detergents, vinegar, lemon juice, and so on. Less is more on the detergent to water ratio. A capful or tablespoon of Krud Kutter, Simple Green (or similar) per gallon of water is a good starting point. Too much detergent turned aluminum dark gray or worse. I also ran a bead of silicone between the steel tank and plastic body of that cleaner before I fired it up to keep moisture out of its electronic guts.


Kyle, thanks for the clarification. I looked at the HF Central Machinery $80 cleaner and read through the 246 customer comments. Most liked it but many found defects or failures. Amazon has several units for less than $100. I think I need one. Modern carb cleaner is not like the good stuff we could buy in the 1960s.


@dennis.mcgillis - You are right, they don’t make carb clean like they used to. The chlorinated stuff is usually really good, but is more expensive. There is also the factor that the ultrasonic cleaner is significantly less messy and toxic, which is appealing to me lately.


@dennis.mcgillis, @StickyValves - I’m fortunate that I have a Harbor Freight store not five miles from my house. The 20% coupon works on these, I was out the door for about $65. I used a sparing dose of Simple Green mixed with distilled water and a little vinegar, and used the heater to pre-heat the water. The results were short of miraculous, but waaayyy more convenient than standing there with a vapor respirator mask on, spraying cans of brake cleaner while scrubbing. The small amount of gunk left yielded easily to the brake cleaner. Here’s a before-and-after. That was three passes at 480 seconds.


Very nice. What is the interesting casting?


It’s the float bowl for an SU HS6 carb from a Volvo B18 engine, installed in a 1952 MG TD. That was a popular period conversion when the MG engine went kablooie.