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Best dry-clutch cleaning solvent

Discussion in 'Dozers' started by D5Dan, Aug 1, 2022.

  1. D5Dan

    D5Dan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2021
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Oxford, Maine
    Hopefully in the next couple days I’ll fill my D5 steering clutch areas with a “solvent” to remove the dirt/gunk (luckily, limited oil in compartments).

    Question is: What’s the “best” (aka most effective) solvent(s)?

    My list at the moment:
    1. Kerosene
    2. Gasoline
    3. Diesel
    4. Mineral Spirits
    5. Brake cleaner (will need a bunch of cans)
    Great info (from Old Magnet) here...
    https://www.heavyequipmentforums.com/threads/d5-steering-brake.22024/

    BTW, I’m DEFINITELY taking this suggestion from thread above:
    “you need to do the dry compartment drain plug trick of drilling a 1/4 inch hole in the plugs and install 3/16 in. cotter pin wigglers to keep them drained.” ...well, once I buy replacement plugs to put in the OPEN/mud-packed drain holes!?! ​

    Manual pages below talk about a NONFLAMMABLE solvent (kinda takes the adrenaline hit outta the “party”!?!)...What would the nonflammable options be??
    1. Simple Green (diluted?)
    2. Purple Power cleaner (diluted?)
    3. Dish soap and water?
    4. Cascade
    Just don’t want to pi$$-off the clutches, or create a “slip” from the fluid(s) I add...

    Realize I’m going to need around 10 gallons to do two/three flushes, which gives me a chance/option to mix solutions; or use one solution type on first (heavy) flush, then different solution on second flush (maybe it evaporates better/quicker??)

    Just curious what others have had work for them??

    Thanks guys!!

    Cat D5 service manual section:
    777D8937-8FEB-463A-82EC-5E0CEA0FF00E.jpeg 70692E54-DA6A-47BC-B860-4F60ABF47044.jpeg A7C838D8-DB71-41B6-84DD-6DEFC81E2617.jpeg
     
  2. Fireman122

    Fireman122 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2022
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    North Florida
    I used to use gasoline first then a degreaser in my old d3 with dry clutches years ago. Drilling a hole and installing a cotter pin works quite well by the way.
     
  3. D5Dan

    D5Dan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2021
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Oxford, Maine
    Thanks Fireman122!
    When you say “degreaser”; which product would that be??
    When you did the first flush, would you put the covers back on the compartments to limit the oxygen??

    I’ve already scraped and pulled a BUNCH of dirt out, plus used diesel in a spray bottle to wash some of the easy/obvious stuff out. It’s the bath/soak I’m getting prepped to do.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Fireman122

    Fireman122 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2022
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    North Florida
    Dan it has been over 20 years ago. If I remember right I only used gas if the clutches became oil soaked. I used something like purple power full strength in a 1 gallon pump up garden chemical sprayer and would soak and rinse a few times until satisfied. Do not let the machine set for a long time unused right after . You need to use it build heat and dry clutches and compartment out. Might not hurt to spray a little alcohol to dry things out as well before using, just let it air out good.
     
    D5Dan likes this.
  5. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,223
    Location:
    Grass Valley, Ca
    Non flammable solvent probably refers to some chlorine solvent that is probably not available any more like carbon tetrachloride.
     
  6. OzDozer

    OzDozer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    522
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired ..
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia.
    Are the clutches stuck? It seems that it's rare to get a successful "unstick" of dry steering clutches with just a simple washout. The corrosion makes the fibres in the clutch plates swell, and usually, only disassembly and mechanical cleaning produces a satisfactory result.

    A "non-flammable" solvent is brake parts cleaner, Stoddard solvent or High Flash Kerosene, also called Narrow Cut Kerosene. All these solvents have a high flash point, which means they're regarded as "workshop safe", because their volatile compounds are much less in quantity, than the low flash point petroleum products such as gasoline.
    This doesn't mean they won't catch fire at all, normal precautions regarding reducing or eliminating sparks, heat, and other sources of ignition, still need to be observed.
     
    John C. likes this.
  7. chidog

    chidog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2021
    Messages:
    187
    Location:
    kent, wa
    Back in the day I think non flammable could mean freon, it was a nice degreaser, I think it was nonflammable too.
     
    OzDozer likes this.
  8. D5Dan

    D5Dan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2021
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Oxford, Maine
    OzDozer, you may have explained what I’m seeing when looking in the back access panels…the left-side clutch-pack might be “swollen”…the plates look to be much further out of the drum…plus I noticed the previous owner had the steering clutch adjustment MAXED OUT (aka- all the way in)…so I suspect that adjustment is/was holding the clutch from moving back in??
    …then add a BUNCH(!) of dirt/trash
    NOT COOL
    I’m doubtful now; but was hoping I could back the steering clutch adjustment WAYYYY off, soak the compartment- and pray the clutch pack springs would remember where they should be!!!

    Also feel this is the cause (or contributing to) the steering acting numb. But, I question if my hydraulic assist steering has air in system??…or maybe it’s going right into “bypass mode” since it’s at end of stroke??

    check this junk out:

    52D96123-1B1C-490D-8A72-4B8AFD715473.jpeg 41FCA11D-15AA-489C-893C-DDC1DAE1F28D.jpeg EB2711FD-4503-4DC4-83DE-EF5EC9842FBE.jpeg 3AD7938C-B259-435B-BBEB-220E9CBBEDF2.jpeg
     
  9. OzDozer

    OzDozer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    522
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired ..
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia.
    Dan, your clutch compartments aren't as corroded as some I've seen - but there certainly is a difference in clutch expansion between left and right clutches. The clutch adjustment maxxed out is your biggest clue.
    If air somehow got in the clutch hydraulics, it wouldn't stay there, they self bleed pretty well, unlike say, some cooling systems. There's no "bypass" mode for the clutch hydraulics, they usually only start to give trouble when there's debris in the oil, and it starts to block spool valve orifices.
    I'd try some solvent first to see if it makes any difference, but I think you may be up for a clutch removal job.
     
    John C. and D5Dan like this.
  10. D5Dan

    D5Dan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2021
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Oxford, Maine
    With each of the 1” drain plugs missing, the steering clutch compartments took on some dirt/muck…and in the process, messed up the threads (atleast on left-side, still need to get to right-side)…

    After some work, I was able to recover enough threads on the left-hand compartment to thread a (temporary) plug in…then with on-road diesel (I’ve had the red dye in off-road diesel stain too much)…the first flush I kept the diesel level low…got ATLEAST a pound of sand/dirt/crap out. I then let it settle in the drain pan, then poured off the top “good” used diesel. I recovered about 1.5 gallons out of 2 gallons.

    I did that trick again, this time reaching in thru the back access area, and I was really able to scrape/dig the stuck rocks, clay, crap out of the corners…then dropped the plug again…the rushing 2 gallons really pulls the gunk with it.

    Then this morning, I fired the machine up, filled the left-side steering clutch compartment with enough diesel to make sure the clutches rolled around in it. At the same time I also had the steering adjustment backed way off…thinking that might be holding the clutches “out” of the drum…yet, no surprise- no more steering/clutching on the left-side.

    I’m now wondering if when the steering clutch hydro booster was reinstalled, could the left-side be indexed wrong, but not so bad that it can’t be adjusted to work??? More to investigate there…

    I’m AMAZED at how much junk came out in the third go around…not the big chunks like first flush, but more residue- clutch material?, brake material?, silt? clay?, other??… I then used a can of brake clean to spray the drum/clutch area down.

    I should add; I had to pump about 30 pumps of my grease gun to start to see the grease appear on the steering clutch release bearing…I gave it another 6-10 pumps to make sure to push out/down any old junk.

    Parts in this steering compartment look replaced; like 20-25 years ago…so not new, but stuff looks good

    Rain rolled in, so gave me time to skim the “good” used diesel and dispose of the dirt/bottom crap.

    Next up will be the right side steering compartment and pull the inspection cover on the steering hydro booster. I have tracked down the linkage measurement(s), so I’ll verify those aren’t outta whack.

    75EB3C8E-74FC-4774-8D56-7AD1BE4631C5.jpeg 47B2A2A7-96BE-49CC-922A-5FA466A167F5.jpeg 5EDADF12-9D2B-4BE0-9C6B-1850A05C85E9.jpeg 51E0D300-CB77-41D5-B212-97E53A991D83.jpeg