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Old 01-06-2009, 01:05 PM   #1
bmwpower
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Default bmwpower's parts washer build

OK. I'm tired of using a small pan full of Brakleen to clean a large part. I want the real deal...or close to it.

I bought a 30"x25"x9" stainless steel basin today off of CL. No drain hole, just a basin. It's heavy! Something like 1/8" stainless. Hoping I can fit a head or maybe even a block in there, if needed.

I have a friend who can get me a 30 gallon lined drum, maybe even larger, for the base. 30 gallon might be kinda whimpy after laying my eyes on the basin.

Seems like the solvent to use is mineral spirits. I thought about using the water based stuff (like Purple Power), but I'm not sold on it.

Now I figure I need:

- solvent pump
- drum
- brush and hose and some way to hook it up
- lid
- hinges?
- some way of securing the basin to the drum
- make it mobile?
- drain filter

Anyone have any insight? Safety issues I can eliminate?
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

i noticed today that HF has their 20gal model on sale for $79.95. i doubt you could purchase a pump for that price let alone the other parts you will need to make one.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by krusty the clown View Post
i noticed today that HF has their 20gal model on sale for $79.95. i doubt you could purchase a pump for that price let alone the other parts you will need to make one.
Don't discourage me, Krusty. Plus I don't think that pump is rated for solvent. Likely, only water based stuff.

Besides, buying one ain't no fun.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

Grainger will have most of the stuff you need. They have the pump, the flex hose that you position and it stays in place, both the metal kind and the plastic articulated one, and even a brush end. They might even have the safety buttons that melt and slam the lid down in even of a fire.

You might be able to get a piece of fall of perforated SS from McNichols.

http://www.mcnichols.com/

Find a sheet metal shop and have them brake it for you or get some SS angle and make a little frame to support the perforated SS.

I wouldn't do the drum, I have a basin type with mineral spirits and I like to be able to soak stuff in the liquid sometimes.

You might be able to purchase a cheap cart or build your own so-as to make it mobile.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

i'm not certain whether the pump is rated for sovent or not but i have been using kerosene in mine with no problems for 8 years.

i'll agree that building one is half the fun as long as youre aware of the cost vs. what you could buy one for!
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

I like Little Giant pumps. I have never used their solvent pumps but have had good luck with the companies wares in the past.
http://www.lgpc.com/Multipurpose/ByS...ductSeriesID=0
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

Is a 30 gallon drum looks wimpy , You can use a 55 gallon. You can cut it down to a better height. Most drum type cleaning types have a 2" metal ring welded on the bottom of the tub, so it gets centered on the drum, than gets bolted to the drum.
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

Drain back to drum is std sink strainer for kitchen sink. Mine is a nice unit ( store bought $180.00 15 years ago) on a 15 gal drum and has solvent pump in bottom of drum. Has light over basin and on/off switch mounted to the side of the basin, none of the external electrical equipment is nema rated for hazardous area (i am surprised). You could find a nice unit and contact the mfg'r and purchase the proper pump reguired.
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

My $60 HF parts washer was solvent rated. Gave it away when i got the rolling dishwasher type unit i have now. Why not try and make a power cabinet washer?
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

Been using my cheapo Harbor Freight $79.95 parts washer for 10 years...original pump is still pumping along w/solvent going through it!
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:05 PM   #11
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

I've also got the 20gal HF model. Got it for $49.95 4 or 5 years ago. Been using Mineral Spirits in it since day one and it's still going strong.
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:14 PM   #12
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by krusty the clown View Post
i'm not certain whether the pump is rated for sovent or not but i have been using kerosene in mine with no problems for 8 years.

i'll agree that building one is half the fun as long as youre aware of the cost vs. what you could buy one for!
Heck, I think I might have even run gas through mine for a while years ago and it was a cheapie HF 20 gallon job!

(No of course I would not do that today!)
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

BMr - best thing about building your own is that you can incorp a filter into it. I think that other guy that built one used an oil filter and block to make change-outs easy. Also, you could build it it so the pump could pump into a seperate drum when its time to change the fluid. good luck - i'll be watchin' for ideas!
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:23 PM   #14
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

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Originally Posted by e-tek View Post
BMr - best thing about building your own is that you can incorp a filter into it. I think that other guy that built one used an oil filter and block to make change-outs easy. Also, you could build it it so the pump could pump into a seperate drum when its time to change the fluid. good luck - i'll be watchin' for ideas!
Oh you just gave me a great idea!

What If I get 2 - 30 gallon drums, side-by-side. That would give me the support I need for the basin, plus I could transfer the fluid back and forth as needed for cleaning. Maybe put some ballast in the empty tank to help it from tipping over.

I would want some sort of filter, sure, just not quite sure how to do it. Would an oil filter work ok with solvent? I dunno.
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

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Originally Posted by bmwpower View Post
Oh you just gave me a great idea!

What If I get 2 - 30 gallon drums, side-by-side. That would give me the support I need for the basin, plus I could transfer the fluid back and forth as needed for cleaning. Maybe put some ballast in the empty tank to help it from tipping over.

I would want some sort of filter, sure, just not quite sure how to do it. Would an oil filter work ok with solvent? I dunno.
how about the kind of filters they use on diesel fuel pumps........like farm tanks.
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:08 PM   #16
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

I am using simply green and find that my HF has rust inside and parts that aren't cleaned off enough more easily rust. I would go with petroleum based next time. I thought I was doing it right by trying to be biodegradeable. And I was very carefull about how much water I added per labeling.
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: Parts Washer Build

I used a similar parts washer set up at a previous employer. It was a Safety Kleen unit, with a large "sink" basin and sink type strainer with a bag filter on the bottom of the strainer, hanging into the barrel (30 gal) and then the barrel with pump hanging down in it. It used a flex metal tube and nozzle up into the sink, and had a flat lid with fire fuse.

Charles
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:43 AM   #18
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Default Build has begun!

Ok, got a friend who works at a container company so I asked for 30 gallon lined steel drum (18"d x 28"h). One showed up at my doorstep on Friday.

Looks like it's going to work well underneath the basin. No need for an extra drum or a 55 gallon drum for support.

Plans are to make a mobile base with casters to move it around. I had some old stainless counter tops I was going to strip and use for the lid but they are not the right size.

Gonna call around to some fab places and see if they can make the necessary changes to the basin (weld hinged lid, cut holes for drain and solvent pump, etc)...unless someone local with skills wants to take a stab at it for some extra $?

Any ideas for how to connect the drum to the basin? L brackets of some sort? I'm guessing I will need some sort of gasket to go around the rim to seal it up well.

Still working on the fusible link...

Going to go with one of the Little Giants, just not sure which on quite yet.
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:32 PM   #19
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

That's a great project BMW -- looking forward to you final design. Good luck!!
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Old 01-25-2009, 01:02 PM   #20
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

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That's a great project BMW -- looking forward to you final design. Good luck!!
Yea, it should be good. Nothing fancy, just a design built off of what's already out there but hopefully with some nicer touches.

Gonna sorta follow this plumbing diagram for the pump except the output of the pump will go thru the bottom of the basin and the power for the pump will go out the top side of the drum. Gotta find those sealed conduit connectors. I know I've seen them before, just never had a need for them.
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Old 01-25-2009, 01:42 PM   #21
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

Marine supply should have them.
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Old 01-25-2009, 01:58 PM   #22
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Yea, it should be good. Nothing fancy, just a design built off of what's already out there but hopefully with some nicer touches.

Gonna sorta follow this plumbing diagram for the pump except the output of the pump will go thru the bottom of the basin and the power for the pump will go out the top side of the drum. Gotta find those sealed conduit connectors. I know I've seen them before, just never had a need for them.
I pipe with rigid(or IMC) for gasoline installs all the time I don't see many liquid tite conduit connectors. Can't tell from that pic what they reccommend. IMC or Rigid couplings will not be liquid tite. I'd probably use something from a plumbing supply house
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Old 01-25-2009, 04:53 PM   #23
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

To mate the sink to the drum, just get at least four or five or six tabs (or a full circle ring) welded to the bottom, that just fit inside the drum. Don't worry about a seal, it won't leak, you are only going to put about 15 gals in that drum anyhow. Make the lid fairly light, possibly a piece of diamond tread aluminum, flat side down, or some thin stainless sheet with beading to make it stiffer.

If you attach a vertical piece to the back of the sink basin that rises a foot or so above the sink, it will act as a stop for the lid, so it won't go over backwards, and you could make a fuse like the one I described on the Safety Kleen parts washers, a cable or rod attached loosely, so it can swivel about, to the vertical riser and it passes thru a keyhole in the lid, so the lead solder slug is on the end of the rod or cable, exposed in the washer sink area.

The flex metal tubes you see in parts washers are EXPENSIVE, I bought mine from Greymills as I wanted the right part for their washer. They changed extensively from my old one, including the size of the pipe thread, had to use an adapter to fit it.

This is the solvent I recommend. Grainger has about the best price I found (which is kinda unusual) I bought six 5 gal pails of it for my parts washer, I used four and held two in reserve.

Graymills has some good parts washer accessories, one is a drum liner. Solvent resistant plastic bags that keep the solvent from direct contact with the drum. Even if you are using a lined or coated drum, there is chance that it will rust from the acids and crud you get from cleaning parts. The bags go in the drum like a trash bag, then you fill with solvent and install the sink. Safety Kleen used these on the unit I used at a previous job in the '80's.

http://www.graymills.com/_PartsClean...CATEGORYID=128

Here are filter bags that fit in the sink drain to catch the crud, such as globs of grease and grit and dirt, and make the solvent last longer. This is good to filter the solvent as it returns to the drum. You could also do this by simply putting some sort of cloth bag on the bottom of the sink drain basket and letting it hang down. Just make sure it is strong and secure.

Look in this PDF for info on parts washers, especially pay attention to the drum mount one, It may give you some good ideas. Scroll down to page 29 of 32 to see the accessories such as the drum liners and various filters.

http://www.graymills.com/OMIs/PartsWashersComplete.pdf

I have the Clean-O-Matic 500A described further down from the drum mount.

Charles

Last edited by Charles (in GA); 01-25-2009 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 01-25-2009, 04:56 PM   #24
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

Cutting parts washer solvent with diesel is a good way to stretch your solvent and is considerable cheaper.
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Old 01-25-2009, 05:07 PM   #25
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

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Cutting parts washer solvent with diesel is a good way to stretch your solvent and is considerable cheaper.

i recently serviced mine. i considered solvent and mineral spirits. in the end i went with kerosene with a gallon of xylene added. all in all it works well and the cost for 15 gallons of kero and the xylene was just under $60. the solvent would have cost $180 and the mineral spirits $120.
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:29 PM   #26
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

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To mate the sink to the drum, a full circle ring welded to the bottom, that just fit inside the drum. Charles
that's what I was gonna suggest too.
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:22 PM   #27
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

http://www.elsiemfg.com/Custom.htm



This looks easy, bore a hole in the lid that the chain will just fit thru, but the 3/4 fuse plug will not. Hook the chain to a hook on a vertical pole or upright behind the lid, allowing the lid to lean forward slightly (or install a compression spring so the lid will be forced closed when the fuse lets go). This puts the fuse plug on the side toward you, which is the side that will have the fire. Kinda a hassle to reach behind and hook, but not that difficult. Otherwise you are in for alot of fabbing to make something like I have and use one of the A or B type Elsie links. I would buy the link, you want it to work when you need it to.

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Old 01-25-2009, 08:12 PM   #28
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

I built one out a truck toolbox the kind that fits inside the bed mounted on a set of legs with casters.

I drilled a hole in one end and welded in a 2 1/2" pipe nipple connected a tee to that then a foot of pipe capped with a reducer down to 3/4" with a ball valve on the end. Kind of like a drip leg.

Out the side of the tee I reduced down to 3/8" then a hose barb/hose to a fuel oil filter out the filter to a pump similar to this one.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Small-Magnetic-D...3A1%7C294%3A50

From there I ran a hose to a 1/2" pipe nipple welded high on the side entering the box and hooked a hose on the inside.

There are a few advantages to doing it this way.

1. You only need a little solvent. I was using acetone in mine to clean latex goo off of lab equipment. Nasty and expensive. I only kept four gallons in it.

2. When you shut it off you can just sort of sweep everything into the hole add a little water stir it up some more then when it settles crack the bottom valve into a glass. When that settles pour the good stuff up top back in. All the crud tends to find its way to the low spot.

3. Want to change solvents? Stick the hose in a gas can pump it out, drain the leg and your ready for simple green easy off or whatever. An expansion plug in the hole will let you soak stuff without having to fill the lines.


I dont have this one anymore but I have all the makings as soon as I find a container big and sturdy enough I will post up some pix. One thing I will do differently is to weld a crossbar with a threaded hole inside the drain so I can screw down a screen instead of stuffing a brillo pad in the hole. A stainless steel bolt goes in there and you've got some dismantling to do.

I am also thinking about trying to rig up a revolving sprinkler system inside. Just fire it up latch the lid down and walk away.

I have piles of stuff to dig through so this is basically free or very cheap for me. But if you use what you got it shouldn't get too expensive.
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:06 AM   #29
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

hey dude did you see the thread where I finished mine?
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=28460

thought it might help ya a lil bit
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:56 AM   #30
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

I have a bench top Safety Kleen unit that I have had for 20 years. The idea was that when the solvent was too dirty, you would remove the base unit that was basically a plastic gerry can and exchange it for a fresh one. I don't subscribe to the service and clean my own and add fresh solvent. I'm supprised they still offer the exchange service. It has a internal filter that works well and I have changed it more often that the solvent.

My point of bringing it up is maybe someone would like to try their output filters. It is a plastic envelope with a filter membrane in the middle and two 1/4" tubes fused on either side of the envelope.

http://www.safety-kleen.com/Customer...px?ItemID=6518
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:05 AM   #31
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

A few sugestions/ideas: (I have not read the entire thread...)

Get plastic drum liners to make clean-up a lot easier.

If you are using petroleum based solvent, put an inch or two of water in the tank to act as a sediment trap. The solvent will float on the water. Adding a piece of coarse, open cell foam will hold the crap in place on the bottom.

Float plastic balls on top of solvent to reduce evaporation of the solvent.

Use a thin plastic chain as a fusable link for your lid.

Scott
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:19 AM   #32
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

If you go wwith Simple Green or some other water base solvent, you will not need the fuseable link.

I like the idea of some water under the sovlent for the crud to fall into.
I never heard of that idea before.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:01 PM   #33
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

Are you welding a drain plug to the bottom for changing the fluid?
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:33 PM   #34
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

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Are you welding a drain plug to the bottom for changing the fluid?
Thought about that...for a minute...and then changed my mind because the last thing I need is to dump 20 gallons of solvent in my shop due to a failed valve.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:40 PM   #35
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

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To mate the sink to the drum, just get at least four or five or six tabs (or a full circle ring) welded to the bottom, that just fit inside the drum. ...........Charles
So weld the tabs (I assume they will be L shaped) to the drum and bolt it to the sink? Worried about leaks in the sink due to holes being drilled.

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hey dude did you see the thread where I finished mine?
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=28460

thought it might help ya a lil bit
Yep I saw yours. I'd love to add a filter somehow, just not sure how quite yet since the design is a little different.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:26 PM   #36
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

No, weld the tabs to the bottom of the sink, you want it to just drop into the drum.

Use the oil filter adapter for a car that bolts on the frame and has lines that hook to it, or get a filter designed for a parts washer.

Whatever you do, the light and flex nozzle cannot interfere with the lid closing automatically. This parts washer is not a huge fire concern like mine. Your fluid will all be down below in the drum, topped by the sink, very little exposed fluid. In mine, its all exposed.

Be sure and look at the Graymills links I posted further up, for ideas.

Charles
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:04 PM   #37
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Default

Talk about hiatus. Alas, I'm looking to get this project back on track. What better way to revive an old project than to need a parts washer in the middle of another project?

Does anyone know how to size a pump to a parts washer?

I want this thing mobile, so I was going to put this thing on a drum dolly. Unfortunately I cannot find a dolly with lockable wheels. Am I asking for trouble with non lockable wheels?

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Originally Posted by krusty the clown View Post
how about the kind of filters they use on diesel fuel pumps........like farm tanks.
Well, half the people in this thread aren't around any more, so this goes out to anyone...

Does anyone know the kind of thing Krusty is talking about here?
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:48 PM   #38
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

for a filter--something like this is what im envisioning...



we have them at work on gas buggys but with clear lenses on the filter.

as for the pump--what type of fluid are you using?

water based, i would think a bilge pump would suffice and push enough gallons per minute with force to knock dirt off parts.

if petroleum based, i would think an intank efi fuel pump would suffice. I use it to pump mineral based tranny fluids without issue. dont see why it wouldn't push kerosene/mineral oil. i actually clean out the efi pump i use for filling trannys in the safety clean chemicals after use so im not storing it w/ tranny fluid in it.

one day i wanna make a parts washer out of a old coke chest

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Old 08-15-2011, 12:20 AM   #39
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

I was thinking petroleum based stuff, maybe the Agitene or mineral spirits.
As for the pump, I was going to get a Little Giant, 300gpm, but was sure if that was too much. I want to plumb a filtering system, so there will be pressure drop, how much I'm not sure.

And, yes, I was going to use a filter similar to that. Also thinking of using a remote filter adapter plus a regular oil filter.

Pinged Craig from Graymills. Maybe he can direct me in the proper location.

That Coke chest would be cool. I'd feel bad tearing it apart, though.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:07 PM   #40
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

Nada?
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:19 PM   #41
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

try snap on parts directory on their website for basic parts like filter screens, tubes and brushes and things like that.

its something to refer to and get your thoughts rolling.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:47 PM   #42
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

I have a home built unit and I use an air nozzle with air to wash the parts.

For a fusible link I use fishing line and a hook from a tarp strap. I used light line with a bunch of wraps so it only needs to melt one strand and the lid falls.

I built something similar to what you are building as an oil catch and getting the oil out was a PITA so it dawned on me one day to use an actual oil pump. I built a bracket to mount it to the lid but extended down in the oil with a hose attached. It will suck oil out of other containers or pump oil out of the barrel. I drive it with my cordless drill and it works awesome.

I can get pics if you want.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:15 PM   #43
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

Where are you located? Would you be interested in an old parts washer? Ôr are you set on finishing this one? I don't want to bust this one up just for the pump.PM me if you might be interested.
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:31 PM   #44
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

Thanks to Tink, the project has been diverted.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:18 AM   #45
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

Just a thought if you have the room. When you finish your washer,you could use one with solvent and one with a detergent.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:19 PM   #46
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

I don't really have that much room. And when I filled up the blue drum, the bung started to leak. I didn't feel comfortable trying to mess with it so I used my white drum instead. Turned out good. Very patriotic.

I ended up resealing the liquid tight conduit. I also slit a piece of tubing and placed it on the rim of the drum to help seal it to the basin. Filled it with 17 gallons of TSC parts washer fluid and started cleaning things.

Thanks again!

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Old 08-20-2011, 10:09 PM   #47
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

Did you replace the plug ?or rewire it? It looks better with the white drum.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:28 AM   #48
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

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Did you replace the plug ?or rewire it? It looks better with the white drum.
I put a new plug on the wire. I didn't replace the wire. Yea new drum does look better.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:24 AM   #49
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Default Re: bmwpower's parts washer build

I built my parts washer over 25 years ago, and (Re)used an old TP oil filter like they commonly used in the 50's and 60's as an "Ad on" filter, These have restrictors, which I drilled out.

I haven't used it in ages, as a number of years ago I switched to using straight Simple Green. It works as good as solvents ever did and costs about the same.

Another thing I've scrounged up is an older Maytag Jet Clean dishwasher. Not the older (First Gen?) Jet clean model with the side to side latch, the next generation after that. These things get super hot, and use a VERY powerful pump, as I discovered when I picked up a free one to replace our dying older dishwasher (I was out of work so...). bast damn dishwasher I've ever used.

I was so impressed that I kept an eye out for one and got one as a freebie this past spring, and put it into a portable dishwasher cabinet. I hook it to the extra hot water tap for a clothes washer when I need it, and dump the drain hose into a 5 gallon bucket.

Now I just want to figure out the right amount of Simple Green for it...
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