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Old 11-10-2013, 11:11 AM   #1
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Parts cleaning

Hey guys, I recently pulled my rear axle and got the diff and axles out of it. I'm finding cleaning it up is a way bigger pita than I expected. Getting the outside ready for paint isn't bad, but the inner oily areas is a pain in my garage. Most parts I do myself, but this one is rather unwieldy.

Has anyone taken a part like the axle housing to a shop to have it cleaned? Where should I start looking and what should I expect something like that to cost? Thanks!
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:14 PM   #2
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Gear oil is a pita. Your problem will be finding someone with a large enough dip tank or parts washer.

Personally I just soak mine in brake cleaner and wipe out whatever I can't get to pour out. Brake cleaner wipes out most messes.
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:32 PM   #3
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you might consider taking the housing to a do it yourself car wash that has an engine degreaser area, and use the pressure wand to clean the internal areas. just remember to let the housing dry as completely as possible before assembling the unit.
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:58 PM   #4
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Use brake cleaner spray the heck out of it repete. If you go the car wash route use WD40 all over the inside to get rid of the water. I would grab a few beers and a couple three cans of brake cleaner and scrap spray wipe it clean.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:49 PM   #5
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you might consider taking the housing to a do it yourself car wash that has an engine degreaser area
Now that is something I do t think of, I'll look around my area for options.

---------- Post added at 10:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:45 PM ----------

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I would grab a few beers
Well, yeah that's gonna happen.

Thanks guys, this actually helps me out a lot. I'm going to look around for a DIY carwash first, then see about maybe a machine shop with a large parts washer second. If all else fails, I'll just keep going to town on it in my garage, and the wife will complain about the smells for a while.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ER12883
Now that is something I do t think of, I'll look around my area for options.

---------- Post added at 10:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:45 PM ----------


Well, yeah that's gonna happen.

Thanks guys, this actually helps me out a lot. I'm going to look around for a DIY carwash first, then see about maybe a machine shop with a large parts washer second. If all else fails, I'll just keep going to town on it in my garage, and the wife will complain about the smells for a while.
Lol. The smell lingers for quite a while.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:20 PM   #7
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Found a coin-op DIY carwash with open booths nearby...now to convince the wife I can transport it in her SUV without crapping up the inside. No way it will fit in my dd.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:55 PM   #8
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Found a coin-op DIY carwash with open booths nearby...now to convince the wife I can transport it in her SUV without crapping up the inside. No way it will fit in my dd.
lay down some garbage bags, big ones, in the load area. combine that with an old blanket to soak up any liquids.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:42 AM   #9
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lay down some garbage bags, big ones, in the load area. combine that with an old blanket to soak up any liquids.
Yeah I was gonna go with an old moving blanket and lots of cardboard. I got the majority of the oil out, so I'm not too concerned with fluids.

On second thought, this whole operation might be best if executed covertly...
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:03 AM   #10
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Yeah I was gonna go with an old moving blanket and lots of cardboard. I got the majority of the oil out, so I'm not too concerned with fluids.

On second thought, this whole operation might be best if executed covertly...
better the operation be executed than you.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:37 PM   #11
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I just use simple green and a wire brush/wheel on a die grinder and a power washer that got my rear end squeaky clean
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:38 PM   #12
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better the operation be executed than you.
Maybe I should give her the beers instead of me...looking at it, I think I light be able to fit it I'm my trunk.

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I just use simple green and a wire brush/wheel on a die grinder and a power washer that got my rear end squeaky clean
Yeah the issue is having space to power wash. I usually clean things up on my utility sink, but this one is tough just because of the size of it.
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:00 AM   #13
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Lacquer Thinner does an excellent job of cleaning oily parts; a Nylon Parts Cleaning Brush helps in those hard to reach areas. Work in a well ventilated area, wear safety goggles, protect your hands and stay away from ignition sources.

Also, see if there is anyone in your area that does high pressure Steam Cleaning. This will clean up just about anything in very short order.

Hand Cleaners like GoJo and Fast Orange do a good job as does hot water with some liquid dish washing detergent. Animals caught in oil slicks are cleaned using liquid dish soap so it works well.

Good luck, I'll be doing the same job a couple of months.
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:18 PM   #14
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Today, I wire brushed the heck out of my rear axle housing, then packed it in my truck and took a trip to the car wash. $1.50 later, I was on my way home. After cleaning the residue off if the surface with lacquer thinner, I'm all prepped and ready to paint. Thanks everyone, I'm going to start a new thread bc I have other rear-related questions.

Thanks!
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