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How to clean grease off/out of differential and housing

How to clean grease off/out of differential and housing

Old 04-21-2013, 11:44 AM
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Default How to clean grease off/out of differential and housing

I'm a noob trying to clean and rebuild/oil my RTR 1/8 Nitro Losi 810 buggy differentials. I opened up the front diff housing and there is a ton of nasty thick grease. I tried soap and water to get the grease off the plastic housing and no luck...I tried carb cleaner on the metal and it works ok but not great. I tried denatured alcohol on both but that doesn't work...

What is the proper/best way to clean this thick grease off. I'm thinking about getting some white spirits/mineral spirits and soaking in there and then brushing off with a toothbrush? Can I soak the plastic housing cases in mineral spirits? or will that damage the plastic?

I wish these came stock with silicone oil...

Thanks,

HW
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:04 PM
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I have used 5w motor oil...but simple green or castrol super clean is the magic clean.. I would not use Mineral spirits on plastic.. unless u like melting parts ..also many many tool stores have parts cleaning solution that is SAFE for Plastic parts just look..
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:30 PM
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Tried Simple Green and it just couldn't cut the really thick, caked on grease.

Got some "safer" Klean-Strip Green Paint Thinner (milky-white kind) and that did the trick no problem. I tried to avoid plastic parts at first but ended up just soaking everything in it and scrubbing with a toothbrush. It melted my latex gloves but the composite diff housing was very resistant to this solvent and I don't notice any damage after using it (not to say the resin isn't compromised somehow though???).

After switching to Nitrile gloves I cleaned up the rest of the diff and it looks like new. The silicone/rubber O-rings were briefly exposed to the paint thinner but I washed em off quick with water and they seem fine...might order replacement O-rings just to be safe...

I would recommend this type of paint thinner for anyone who wants to do this but be aware that it will melt certain plastics but seems to do less damage to other hardier plastics...?

Maybe someone can comment on what is going on here with the plastics and paint thinner.
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:28 PM
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For mine (when I had to do the same with the SCTE) I took them apart, used paper towels to just wipe most of it out, then let it sit overnight in dishwashing detergent/water. The next day I wiped the rest out pretty easily.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:16 PM
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I also have used the dishwashing soap and soaking. Get out as much as you can first before soaking. I think it seemed to work better after soaking overnight I soaked in hot (not to hot) water and more soap.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by justpoet
For mine (when I had to do the same with the SCTE) I took them apart, used paper towels to just wipe most of it out, then let it sit overnight in dishwashing detergent/water. The next day I wiped the rest out pretty easily.


I have 5 more grease filled diffs to do and I will try this method. Thanks for the tip...who knew paper towls and time could be so effective? nice
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:43 PM
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electric motor cleaner, brake cleaner, a degreaser in a can, a hose, on metal and an iron brush!. on plastic use simple green and compress air. im lucky to have access to a parts cleaner at my school, i throw everything in that thing lol

the motor spray and degreasers are really bad for you, but i mean its just as bad as nitro!
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:29 AM
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do not use paint stripper as a cleaner...

its grease, so lok for a pretroleum distilate. GooGone works well. use it sparingly, do not soak plastic parts. get an old toothbrush or q-tips thats what I use to clean diff cups.
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:15 PM
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I use carb cleaner, it will clean super fast, and it does not harm plastic, at least the plastic on my cars
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:23 PM
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I have found naphtha to work very well. I put some in a shallow container and drop the parts in. You can buy it in gallon cans at Lowe's or Home Depot.
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:31 PM
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brake cleaner
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:36 PM
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Q-tips are your friend when it comes to cleaning the grease out of the diff housings!! Like people have said, brake clean or any kind of cleaner that is safe for plastic and the Q-tips to get down in there and scrub it out!!
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:08 AM
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Slick 50
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:18 AM
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Contact/carb/brake cleaner followed by a simple green bath works for me. Chunks out the thick grease and the pressure from the little red straws gets in the hard to clean corners.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:34 AM
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Use any generic carb cleaner...cheap plus comes in huge aerosol cans! It's a great degreaser and safe on plastics differential housings. Electrical spray/cleaner is actually hit/miss yes it will degrease but it may also eat into your plastic and lexan plus lexan paints with the last generic brand I picked up from Harbor Freight.

Or use Tuff Stuff aersol from Walmart or something comes in a big yellow can. Spray liberally cover your entire rig. Then blow off with air compressor. Finish with light WD-40 if you want...it will look brand new! This is how I clean my Baja 5B and 5T after a full day's worth of running on a muddy track!!

Just make sure your electronic boxes are sealed! Tuff stuff is also great on removing
stains from your car carpet/seats/etc!

For making wheels/tires look brand new take a firm nylon brush and use a 50/50 Simple Green mix. Pour half it out into another bottle for next time and fill the original bottle with just regular water. Scrub with nylon brush after letting the chemical soak the wheels and tires for even one minute. Won't damage anything and look brand new once you're done!
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