Author Topic: I pimped my parts washer  (Read 4826 times)

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Offline swan

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I pimped my parts washer
« on: January 10, 2013, 09:14:52 am »
I finally broke down and bought a parts washer. I have been tempted by the $79 Harbor Freight 20 gallon parts washer coupon but when I looked at one I thought it was cheap and ugly. When I found the same parts washer on Craigslist for $40, used twice and clean, I could not pass it up. It is black, but is the same girl as the HF model in a different dress. I wanted to run Simple Green and a water heater element  in it, but many other people have tried this only to have the paint strip off and the tub rust out. After researching the forums, I went with an unheated solvent. The major difference between the industrial professional parts washer and these cheap ones is filtration. After some research, I modified my parts washer with stronger legs, castors, more height from the floor, a drying rack, in line filtration and a flow through brush. It works great!

My welder and I bent up some heavy gauge scrap diamond plate and welded expanded steel mesh for a lower shelf. I painted it, added casters, heavier nuts and bolts, a rubber strip along the lid for a seal, new flow through brush and in line filter with a mounting bracket. The original filter was missing from this unit so I safety wired a 3M red scrub pad to keep out the bigger crud from entering the pump. All new fuel lines, grommets, brass hardware and push button ergonomic scrub brush makes this work much better. Here is a good link to a Popular Science article for the basics and a parts list:

For the solvent I chose Tractor Supply Company's Crown PSC 1000 parts cleaner solution (naptha) based on recommendations from Garage Journal forum members. It really is low odor, has a higher flash point than mineral spirits and cost $80 for ten gallons. I also added 1 gallon of water to the tank and placed two bricks beneath the shelf to bring the fluid level to just beneath the shelf.  Many people recommended adding water since the solvent has a lower density and will float on top of the water. Gunk and dirt will stay in lower part of the tank in the water, keeping the solvent cleaner.

I am venting our workshop with a small squirrel fan above the parts washer and though it works well, I may need a larger fan for our space. I will try it for now and see how it goes.

$80 solvent
$27 remote Fram filter kit and filter from O'Reillys UPC: 9100752260 Summit Racing has the remote filter base for $13
$10 fuel line
$30 hardware from Ace
$18 Chemfree parts washer brush (Ebay)
$5 rubber weatherstrip seal
$10 and a six pack to my welder for scrap metal and his time
$28 for casters

$208 total (plus beer)

Now it is finally time to break down and clean a few motorcycle engines, carbs and parts. No more bending over the bucket, wasting solvent or Simple Green or frequent trips to the county hazardous waste center. If I can do it, so can you!

« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 10:37:44 am by swan »
1975 CB400 F cafes, 1974 CB750 K4 Cafe, 1966/1976 Triumph/ Norton Triton Cafe and 1962 DBD34 BSA Gold Star Clubman.

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Offline 70CB750

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Re: I pimped my parts washer
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2013, 03:45:08 pm »
Nice job!


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Re: I pimped my parts washer
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 04:40:55 pm »
Very nice.

Offline FrankenFrankenstuff

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Re: I pimped my parts washer
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2013, 06:55:24 pm »
Made in China - pimped by Swan