You can’t avoid the baked on mess if you run your nitro vehicles frequently. Pipes and headers can get pretty nasty looking. One of our lead contributors, Chris K., has a solution that he says has been working well for years. For this he has repurposed a crock pot originally used to cook the Sunday stew. Here is how he does it:
Dismantle a ‘one piece’ pipe, removing springs and rubber seals. Fill the crock pot with antifreeze (I use 100-percent but 50/50 accomplishes the same result, it just takes a bit longer), add in your parts to be cleaned making sure that they’re fully covered with antifreeze, turn on the slow cooker to max heat, put the lid on and walk away. I would recommend doing this in the garage to avoid filling the house with the smell of antifreeze stew.
Check the parts after they’ve cooked overnight, using tongs or needle nose pliers to remove them from the pot. Sit them on a shop grade towel to cool, then rinse inside and out in fresh water to remove any residual antifreeze. If they’re not clean enough, another 12 hours will more than likely do the trick.
This also works well for engine heads and blocks, but be sure and remove the bearings as it will erode the bearing surfaces.
When you re-assemble, it’s a good time to install a Dynamite DYN6597 (1/8) or DYN5599 (1/10) pipe rebuild kit. For around $6.50 you get two seals, three pipe-to-header springs and a pipe-to-engine spring. Cheap insurance!