At work, when I get in a bind I'm pouring diesel fuel in a bucket. I hate it but it'll get you out of a bind.
I reckon if I was in the bay area and couldn't find solvent I'd walk into a Cat dealers parts department and ask for a 5 gallon bucket of mineral spirits, aka almost solvent. It even has a Cat part#. They carry it because they know the trick just like I do,,,, they sell it they don't use it.
We tear up at least 3 buckets of solvent per overhaul, sometimes 5 or 6(and it's scary high, 50 bux a bucket for over a year now). I can still get my hands on solvent here, I've been told to don't let the safety man know about it. I could care less what the safety man knows, he messes with me and I'll put some of my customers on him and see how he likes heat. But he's been warned to stay clear of me, so we're buds
. We aren't supposed to have buckets in our trucks either. Yeah right bite me.
And I go through a couple or 3 cases of Berryman Carb Cleaner every overhaul as do all my guys. B-12 is the only one that's worth a hoot, and it's pricey. About 60 bux a case. There's others cheaper but either they don't work or all gone in a few seconds. And I've gotten where I don't trust the cleanliness of solvent and air, so I use Carb cleaner last. But we work on massive stuff, I can do a car engine with just 3 or 4 cans on assembly.
Used to go through buttloads of Berrymans Lectrosol, 10 -12 cases at a time. Man I had a bad habit. That stuff cleans good, and I love the way it flashes off. But I decided I was mad at it for some reason. Carb cleaner's more fun anyway, it'll burn.
I've used plenty of diesel fuel when working offshore but dammit that's nasty. Just can't get that stink out of your nose after. Gasoline will clean but it leaves too much residue. And I guess some folks fear it. I respect it but a gallon of gas is nothing compared to what I spend my days around.
And believe it or not, I've done quite a few overhauls using nothing but soap and water followed by air then wd for cleaning. In truth I think those were the cleanest I ever did and I'm a clean freak. Hell that's how factories build stuff, soapy water with antirust chemicals. The problem with water is 32°F, and 8.8#/gallon. Just last week i told some guys on a crashed machine to just steam the insides of it. They thought they had heard me wrong over the cell and were kinda incredulous, no it's perfectly legit and does great.....you just have to work hard ith air and wd to dissipate it all before you rust.
A little 2 gallon pail of modern day piss type liquid carb cleaner is a good way to soak bolts and stuff. But it may take friggin weeks.
My brothers tranny shop has a damhot water parts washer as does our shop. Those do remarkably good. But that's a $4K investment.
I did a little 305 at home last year, honed the cylinders myself and all that jazz. I had 2 old cans of Gunk and worked it in the poop with a brush and just let it sit all day. Then I pressure washed it, then a garden hose and a bucket of hot soapy water and brushes, then air and wd. It came out pretty fair for as nasty as it was. I just didn't want to spend a friggin penny on it is why I didn't go vat it.