Cleaning Auto-Klean strainers

(crossposted to uk.rec.engines.stationary and uk.rec.models.engineering)
Has anyone among you any experience of cleaning up a stuck Auto-Klean
strainer? The offending item has been neglected for a number of years and will not turn. It's not entirely obvious why not, but as the discs are very thin & easily wrecked by excessive force I'm looking for a way round the problem. It may simply be that, as the filter was hidden in a dark inaccessible spot behind the engine, nobody bothered to turn it for years even before the engine was laid up. At the moment the outer edges of the discs are encrusted with a thin layer of what might be just solids filtered from the oil but might possibly be partly rust. difficult to be sure as it's all effectively dyed black! I've been told (not directly by Auto-Klean) that replacement discs & plates are no longer available for this particular size of filter. Has anyone here dismantled one of these and lived to tell the tale?
With the the recent talk of electrolysis I've wondered about trying that in case the 'crud' is partly rust, also wondered about dunking in some steam cleaner descaler (Hydrochloric acid based) which I have. I know I'm clutching at straws but this could easily develop into a *major* problem. The filter top, to which the discs & plates are attached, is brass, the discs & plates and supports are steel. It should be possible to keep the brass parts out of any liquid used.
Cheers Tim
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It's over 30 years since I worked for Auto-Klean so my memories of the construction are somewhat dim, but it should be possible to open the strainer and dismantle the stack of plates and discs for individual cleaning. They are mounted on a shaft with two flat sides to enable the discs to be turned while leaving the plates stationary, and secured I think with a nut at the bottom. Does this help?
Cliff Coggin Kent UK
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We have stripped and cleaned several over the last few weeks with no problems - boring re-assembling though :-(
I have a number of spare filter units, what size is it?
Paul
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wrote:

The stack of discs is about 0.9" dia & 2.2" long> The brass top has a 1 7/8" thread, the assembly below the top flange is 3.5" long, with a 1" spigot at the opposite end.
My problem is that the engine must be back in service within a few days, so I can't afford to do anything now which risks destroying the existing filter. If neccessary something more can be done at a later stage, eg rebuilding the present one or replacing entirely with a different sort of filter.
It must have been passing some oil (or the engine would have been wrecked by now, I don't think there's a bypass), at the very least I need to help it to pass a bit more.
I've soaked it overnight in warm washing soda, that's certainly loosened some of the crud.
Many thanks
Tim
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Have you considered ultrasonic cleaning?
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Hand washing liquid for clothes, in ultrasonic cleaner works well.
Used Jizer also , But container said inflammable, so only used it for a short time at it started to heated up. Not sure what the flash point was using it this way.
Lionel
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On Wed, 13 Oct 2004 18:22:22 +0100, "Lionel"

AFAIK Jizer is mainly Kerosene, though I may be wrong.

Must admit I hadn't thought of ultrasonic cleaning, might have been a good one to try though I don't actually know anyone round here with that facility. What I've actually done - time being of the essence, to some degree - is soak overnight in warm concentrated washing soda solution, scrubbing off with a toothbrush. Then half an hour in dilute hydrochloric this morning, more toothbrushing. Then rinse again, dry, then a liberal spraying with contact cleaner. By this time it had reached a state where I was sure it wouldn't free up but I had some confidence that it would survive being dismantled - I could actually *see* the individual components <G>. Spent the whole morning taking it apart, cleaning the 250 or so individual parts as best I could without spending forever, & reassembling. It's not perfect, two or three of the 'wipers' have torn off, but it's a bl**dy sight better than it was. It should pass the full flow of oil, and will at least partially clean itself. If the owners wish to, we can pursue a 'proper' job at a later date.
Many thanks to all
Tim
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sure
I wonder whether boiling in washing powder? I remember mother putting my oily overalls in the old fashioned washing machine boiler, and poking around with the copper stick.
Lionel
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