cleaning old FAL parts kit


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BullpupBen
May 14, 2008, 10:04 PM
So I bought a FAL (imbel?) parts kit that has been in storage for probably quite a few decades, everything but the receiver.

Everything but the bayonet is covered with some kind of storage fluid, and I'm not sure how to get it off.

I would just spray it with WD-40 but I've heard it corrodes plastic and dont want to hurt the furniture, any truth to this?

So how can I get this thing cleaned up? Also not really sure how to get the gunk out of the smaller parts in the action, which the spray might not entirely cover.

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Ash
May 14, 2008, 10:25 PM
Pull the handguards and stock and clean the rest as you will. I personally like soaking them in gasoline, because gas is cheap and will take out all the crud. You can soak the plastic in gas, too.

Ash

retgarr
May 14, 2008, 10:31 PM
Wait, where is this cheap gas you speak of?

Ash
May 14, 2008, 10:35 PM
Cheap compared with gun specific solvents out there.

Ash

bignick73
May 14, 2008, 10:37 PM
I like diesel and/or purple power and a water hose.

Ash
May 14, 2008, 10:46 PM
Well, diesel would be safer to use. After decades of working with my dad on cars, with my job usually hunched over a plastic tub filled with gas and cleaning parts with a paint brush, that is my general mindset.

Ash

PTK
May 14, 2008, 11:53 PM
GEEZE! I wouldn't ever clean things with gas or diesel. What next, people cleaning with straight toluene? :what:

BullpupBen
May 15, 2008, 12:33 AM
Is dunking it in gas really gonna work better than WD-40? I dont care about price i should have the necessary solvents in my tool chest anyway.

I think ill use the degreaser to clean it off first, then find out how to take the furniture off (if it comes off the gunk is so thick i wont be able to tell how)
and then use WD-40 to spray it out, sound good?

by the way will WD-40 remove the rust, and if there is any rust should i not even consider re-assembling it and firing it?

Thefabulousfink
May 15, 2008, 01:01 AM
Get yourself a large cardboard box or disposable container and fill the bottom with several layers of old newpapers. Suspend the parts over the box on a makeshift rack (wire hangers, wood dowels, etc). You can hold the parts, but it gets messy. Use a hair dryer or heat gun to heat the parts until the cosmoline melts and drips off the parts. you should be able to get about 90% of the junk off of your gun leaving only a thin residue. Now clean the parts with any gun solvent, WD-40, brake cleaner, or gasoline. Be sure to do clean EVERYWHERE as the cosmoline will have gotten into every nook and crevice. Finally give the metal parts a light coat of oil to prevent rust from setting in.

Make sure that you do this in a garage or outside as the cosmoline will stain just about anything.

P.S. There is also an article on Surplusrifle.com about making and E-Z-Bake oven out of a metal trash can and some 100w light bulbs to remove cosmoline. Turn it on, let the parts sit for a few hours and you are all done; might be worth checking out if you are going to deal with this stuff a lot.

Ash
May 15, 2008, 07:54 AM
"GEEZE! I wouldn't ever clean things with gas or diesel. What next, people cleaning with straight toluene?"

Good grief.

It will be more effective than WD-40, cheaper and will penetrate into more places than WD-40, and is just fine to do. In any case, folks here aren't idiots. The method I described is a time-honored way to clean all sorts of parts in so many ways. Dad, you see, was an engineer. My grandfather oversaw maintenance and repair at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. It works and works well and will have zero effect on the plastic furniture on an FAL.

Ash

AndyC
May 15, 2008, 08:26 AM
I do that sort of job with gasoline, too

akolleth
May 15, 2008, 08:38 AM
I have always used paint thinner to clean off the Cosmoline, cleans it off good and fast

Line Rider
May 15, 2008, 11:44 AM
Boiling hot water and lots of it.

Bwana John
May 15, 2008, 12:08 PM
Boiling hot water and lots of it
+1,

As long as all the parts are REALLY hot you dont have to worry about rust, the water evaporates from the parts because of the heat.

DMK
May 15, 2008, 01:24 PM
I have always used paint thinner to clean off the Cosmoline, cleans it off good and fast+1 While still volatile, mineral spirits doesn't have quite as much flash hazard as gasoline and works just as well.


Is dunking it in gas really gonna work better than WD-40?Yes. WD-40 is a very weak solvent. In fact, it's pretty much useless for anything on a gun.

by the way will WD-40 remove the rust,Best rust remover I found is PB Blaster. It's a penetrating oil (way better than WD-40) that you should be able to find in your local auto parts store, maybe even Walmart.

If you can't find PB Blaster, use BreakFree CLP (which you can get in Walmart) it cuts rust pretty well too.

Use a brass brush with the oil on the rust.

ilbob
May 15, 2008, 01:29 PM
i use kerosene for this kind of thing. gasoline is not the safest thing to be exposed to for multiple reasons.

i have never tried it, but have been told the purple power thing works well for this.

have also heard that running the stuff through the dishwasher works quite well.

BullpupBen
May 15, 2008, 09:13 PM
Boiling hot water and lots of it

Yeah that matches pretty well with this article i found: http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting/cosmoline/pdf/cosmoline.pdf

so it wont hurt to leave the parts soaking in boiling water? I worry about H20 residue creating rust especially in places like the barrel and small parts of action where its trapped in on most sides.

BullpupBen
May 17, 2008, 10:38 PM
So I'm in the process of getting the cosmoline off, I've been letting the parts sit in boiling water and its been working VERY well.

Only concern is I'm about to do the action, how do I make sure water does not stay inside the nooks and crannies I cant get at with cleaning rags?

W.E.G.
May 24, 2008, 12:53 PM
WD-40.

The "WD" stands for "water displacement."

Hose 'er down good.

DMK
May 24, 2008, 08:27 PM
Only concern is I'm about to do the action, how do I make sure water does not stay inside the nooks and crannies I cant get at with cleaning rags? Compressed air is your friend. You can buy a can of it if you don't have a compressor.

I use Break-Free CLP instead of WD40, soak it down good, then blow out the excess with compressed air.

WD40 will work, but I hate using that stuff on my guns (tends to gum up machinery and attract dust. BTW, don't ever use it on a lock! BTDT.).

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