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 Cleaning chassis or some components

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Join date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Cleaning chassis or some components   December 2nd 2018, 10:17 pm

Many years ago I was told by a Motorola 2 way tech their method of cleaning really cruddy chassis.
 He took them home and put them in the dishwasher. (I suspect his wife was less than excited about that pale ).

First all the tubes, speaker, dynamotors, electrolytic caps, coils, IFT's, transformers and pots were removed. They would be replaced with new parts, or cleaned and reinstalled .

He said the key was to be sure the chassis was TOTALLY and COMPLETELY dry. He noted that he could "bake" them in the oven for a few hours at 200 deg. F. to be sure they were totally dry.

Variable caps were then lubricated with a drop of oil (ATF works fine as does electronic organ oil) on the bearings, then transformers, IFT's, etc were reinstalled, but all 'lytics were replaced, resistors checked for value and fixed capacitors were replaced as needed.
 Radios were then re-aligned, tested for operation, and sent back to the customer.

I have used the dishwasher method to clean variable caps, ceramic & bakelite coil forms, etc. with good success. Just do not forget to re-lube the capacitor bearings, and shaft bushings, as they can seize or rust up. Embarassed

If you have mica padders and trimmers, you might want to remove the mica sheets to be safe. Again, don't forget to place a miniscule drop of oil on the adjusting screw. I use a cotton swab with a tiny amount on it, and just gently wipe the threads. If you can see it puddle in the threads, you used way too much.

 It creeps, and WD= Water Displacement. It's NOT a suitable lubricant. Your radio is not a car.
 Never spray it where it will get on rubber belts or drive wheels. (I have worked on more than one car cassette deck or VCR where it was "squeaking", and the owner decided that WD40 or 3 in 1 oil spray would cure that. It is almost impossible to clean up a tape deck or VCR that this has been done to. They are "dumpster meat". BTW- The "squeaking was caused in all cases by defective tapes).
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Rod Clay
Member 25+ posts
Member 25+ posts

Join date : 2018-08-01

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning chassis or some components   December 7th 2018, 2:44 pm

Very good Frank. I have done similar chassis washing by hand and then setting the chassis out in the hot summer sun to dry out. It works pretty well. Also I recently followed up on a post by Cliff for a link to a fellow's radio repair book aimed at people with some prior radio repair experience. While mostly good stuff the writer recommended using WD-40 for cleaning switches, controls and such and I was rather dubious of using that product for such purposes. I do admit to using what I call the poor man's contact cleaner in the form of spray can silicone lubricant. It smells strong like a petroleum distillate and is oily but can do a good job on switches, tube sockets and to a lesser extent helps on controls at very low cost. You do have to work the switch or tube socket contacts vigorously to get it to clean them. On band switches I have followed up the treatment with a (supposedly) no residue contact cleaner such as CRC that you can get for a few dollars where they sell automotive supplies.
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Join date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning chassis or some components   December 8th 2018, 10:50 pm

 Here in Washington State we don't get sun in winter. Rain, rain, and more rain.
We don't even tan in the summer, we still keep rusting.  Smile

Yes, sun is great for drying chassis, if you have it.
 It does take much longer in the sun to get the moisture out of any coils and transformers too.

I have left electric motors outside overnight here, even in the summer, plugged them in and all the smoke went out of them.

Note: Some XYL's take a very dim view of your baking a chassis in the oven too.
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Cliff Jones
Site Administrator
Site Administrator

Join date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning chassis or some components   December 9th 2018, 3:30 pm

One problem with dishwashers is they might remove color codes and printing on old parts.
I would first dust with air or vacuum and also to remove loose crud.
Then use a paint brush (I tend to use Acid and watercolor brushes)
And if needed use Isopropyl alcohol with a brush to clean sticky and 409 for crud.
I have used a fan for a week to dry things.

You could use a constructed box with glass or plastic and put the chassis inside.
Even on cloudy days you would still build up Heat.
I did an experiment by painting one of two milk jugs black on one side, filled with water, and set them outside. Measured the temperature of both for comparison and of course the black one had a significant difference in reading. So the box could be painted on the inside and should make a difference even on a cloudy day.

I'm a Science Thinker, Radio Tinkerer, and all around good guy. Just ask Me!
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