How to dissolve polymerized SVO?

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How to dissolve polymerized SVO?

Postby 300TODD » Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:15 pm

Does anyone know what chemical will dissolve polymerized SVO?
I believe my inline Benz 603 IP is gunked up with it after I was unable to purge. 4 out of 6 delivery valves are not squirting. I tried circulating lacquer thinner through the IP, and cranking the engine to get the thinner into the plungers and valves, but they still don't all squirt. I put some polymerized SVO in cups of lacquer thinner, alcohol and carb cleaner. The lacquer thinner seems to dissolve the gelatinous oil somewhat but not completely. The alcohol did nothing and the carb cleaner turned it into a hard black paste that is really nasty.
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Re: How to dissolve polymerized SVO?

Postby John Galt » Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:22 pm

A strong caustic solution of NaOH. That's the active ingredient in all the ready-made products like 'purple power' etc.
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Re: How to dissolve polymerized SVO?

Postby SunWizard » Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:36 am

Be careful since those strong caustics can dissolve or corrode aluminum and steel. Its not likely for poly to form inside the IP since it requires air and a long time. I would look at other likely causes like a clogged screen or filter before the IP. What is your fuel pressure just before the IP? If you don't have a pressure guage, get one since its a cheap and simple troubleshooting tool.

The most common cause of not starting (and IP not squirting) is air anywhere in the lines. The best way to get the air out is a working lift pump putting out enough pressure, I think that model needs about 15 psi.
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Re: How to dissolve polymerized SVO?

Postby John Galt » Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:52 pm

Caustic does not dissolve steel. Caustic is what's used in hot tanks for degreasing and cleaning engine parts, radiators, etc...
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Re: How to dissolve polymerized SVO?

Postby 300TODD » Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:17 pm

SunWizard wrote:Be careful since those strong caustics can dissolve or corrode aluminum and steel. Its not likely for poly to form inside the IP since it requires air and a long time. I would look at other likely causes like a clogged screen or filter before the IP. What is your fuel pressure just before the IP? If you don't have a pressure guage, get one since its a cheap and simple troubleshooting tool.

The most common cause of not starting (and IP not squirting) is air anywhere in the lines. The best way to get the air out is a working lift pump putting out enough pressure, I think that model needs about 15 psi.


Thanks Sunwizard for the advise but I isolated the IP from the rest of the fuel system and pumped lacquer thinner and diesel through the IP directly for a long time via a separate electric pump and pinched the return to make sure I had lots of pressure and no air. I'm pretty sure something is gunking up the plungers and/or delivery valves. If I can't dissolve it with lye or something else I am ready to remove the valves and clean them. If that doesn't work it's probably in the plungers and I believe I cannot remove them without wrecking the factory fuel delivery adjustment. So I am really trying to see if I can dissolve whatever is in there blocking the fuel.
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Re: How to dissolve polymerized SVO?

Postby 300TODD » Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:24 pm

John Galt wrote:Caustic does not dissolve steel. Caustic is what's used in hot tanks for degreasing and cleaning engine parts, radiators, etc...

Thanks for the advise John. That makes sense since, as you must know, lye is used to break down the SVO in making biodiesel. Any idea what concentration? I've been Googling that with no luck yet.
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Re: How to dissolve polymerized SVO?

Postby John Galt » Thu Nov 27, 2014 7:37 pm

I'm not sure what concentration. To break-down polymerized VO I've used generic oven cleaner, which is a caustic solution as indicated on the label,
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Re: How to dissolve polymerized SVO?

Postby 300TODD » Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:52 am

300TODD wrote:
John Galt wrote:Caustic does not dissolve steel. Caustic is what's used in hot tanks for degreasing and cleaning engine parts, radiators, etc...

Thanks for the advise John. That makes sense since, as you must know, lye is used to break down the SVO in making biodiesel. Any idea what concentration? I've been Googling that with no luck yet.

I Googled "NaOH reaction AL" and found that, with water, Lye will react strongly with aluminum. So will KOH. Dang, back to the drawing board!
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