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Re: Read this if you use spray brake cleaner !
Trulyvintage #1171905 Thu Jun 30 2016 05:57 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 240
Shop Shark

Not to rob the thread, but I do think it's topical:

What is a safe chemical to clean the metal prior to welding? I've heard acetone (which isn't Carbontetrachloride, but just to make certain it's safe).

Thank you for passing along the warning. Prior to this post, brake cleaner was my go-to for parts clean up.


1947 3100 Advanced Design

Never, never, never, never give up. - Churchill
Re: Read this if you use spray brake cleaner !
Trulyvintage #1171911 Thu Jun 30 2016 06:20 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 30,296
ace skiver
Acetone is bad to breathe and it can be absorbed through the skin.;espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=acetone%20dangers

Use a "metal prep" and an appropriate mask and appropriate gloves.

Tim []
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. []
Re: Read this if you use spray brake cleaner !
joker #1171946 Fri Jul 01 2016 01:59 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 9,390
Master Gabster
Originally Posted by joker
Carl, yrs ago my older brother and his best friend
were working on a tractor tire, guys out there use propane
to air up their tires, any way they were just about finish
and my brother was walking back to his truck to get something and heard the blast, his friend had put the torch one more time to a spot on the wheel and it exploded, he was 34, had 3 kids.. took a long time for my brother to get over the accident. the guy lived a couple of days after getting to hosp..

I told my brother that I thought it was strange to air up a tire with propane, he said it was pretty common with the farmers where he lived.. a little off topic... just be careful around propane also..

There has been more than one welder killed or maimed by welding too close to a tractor tire with nothing but air in the tire. I know of one who was welding on a backhoe close to the tire. The only good thing was that he didn't feel a thing. I don't care about being off topic as long as we are talking about thinking before doing.

Re: Read this if you use spray brake cleaner !
Trulyvintage #1171951 Fri Jul 01 2016 02:09 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 208
Shop Shark
AS a former refrigeration mechanic, I have had too many experiences with phosgene. The old CFC refrigerants will form phosgene when exposed to flame, especially in the presence of copper. We were warned about this in trade school. Fortunately, my exposures were much smaller than the guy in the article however, I have heard that there is a lifetime exposure limit. I don't know how much of my limit I have used, but it is plenty. The smell i will never forget, nor the gag reflex of it in my throat.
My point here is that you can create phosgene from a leaky A/C unit in your truck without even buying hazardous solvents. I don't want to scare anyone, but if the A/C system has a leak, either get it fixed or emptied ASAP.

Re: Read this if you use spray brake cleaner !
52Carl #1171958 Fri Jul 01 2016 02:23 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 8,386
Extreme Gabster
Originally Posted by 52Carl
I don't care about being off topic as long as we are talking about thinking before doing.

As long as we're talking about safe working practices, we are on topic.

"It's just a phase. He'll grow out of it." Mama, 1964

1956 Chevy 1/2-ton 3100
1953 Chevy 6100 "The Yard dog"
1954 GMC Suburban Now with a new proud owner.
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Re: Read this if you use spray brake cleaner !
Trulyvintage #1172055 Fri Jul 01 2016 08:27 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 14
Shop Shark
After I posted this on another forum - this guy shared his experience when he was working on a vehicle that had been bondoed ....

" Brakleen and other volatile solvents of the type will release Phosgene gas when heated or burned. R-12 and other refidgerants as well as PVC plastic pipe will do the same. phosgene gas tirns into hydrochloric acid in your lungs! IT WILL kill you if you are exposed to enough of it. If you are exposed to massive amounts of it, death can come in minutes. severe exposure can lead to lethality in days. Even minor contact can be very harmful, leading to permanent damage to your lungs! Old auto AC leak detectors were called Halide detecters. A small leak of R-12 refridgerant waould cause a propane flame to turn purple, and give off a nasty smell (phosgene gas). HOWEVER - if a large leak was encountered, a large plume of heavy white gas would occur - nearly pure Phosgene gas! in a confined space like a car interior, or a small work bay, the mechanic was in dire straights. halide torches are now illegal for that reason.

When I worked for an auto shop, I decided to braze a new floor into my 66 chevy Biscayne trunk. I did not realize that the old one was heavily sealed with Bondo plastic body repair. The heat turned the plastic into phosgene gas and I was exposed, not realizing that I was being poisoned. 1/2 hour later, I suddenly couldn't breath and developed tunnel vision, while driving. I stopped in the middle of an intersection, and tried to exit my car, and then collapsed. At first a cop thought I was drunk, but an alert nurse who happened on the bscene noted that my fingernails and lips were blue, indicating a lack of oxygen. I spent 2 weeks in an oxygen tent in the hospital, and was told I have lost about 30% lung function - permanently.

If you use these solvents, 1) keep away from heat and open flame. 2) use in a well ventilated area. 3) wear eye protection, and gloves - keep it off your skin! Catch runoff on an absorbant pad and dispose in a METAL can, preferably with a lid. Do not use a plastic can, the solvent may melt it! 4) keep away from children and pets. Most of these solvents are carcinogenic - they can cause cancer. BE SAFE when using them! "

Jim drive

Re: Read this if you use spray brake cleaner !
Trulyvintage #1173242 Sun Jul 10 2016 05:21 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 772
VEW Offline
Shop Shark
I recommend you make this a "sticky". Not only in this section, but maybe others too, like "Shop or Body".

I was not aware of this issue, so thanks for passing it on!

Last edited by VEW; Sun Jul 10 2016 05:22 PM.


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