Thank you everybody who responded to this post. I had about a dozen
answers and I have collected information from other sources as well.
Here is whatI found:
There is no clear consensus about STP Brake Clean eating the insulation
off the winding or not. Some say to use it worry free, others have had
problems with it. I did stop to read the can in the store though;
The back of the can has a label that reads "For skin contact, wash
thoroughly with water for 15 minutes" and it also has a warning
label that says "Contains 1,1,1-trichloroethane, a substance which
harms public health and environment by destroying ozone in the upper
Not only don't I wash my hands every time I clean my motor, but there are
other, more ozone friendly products available. Far too many hazards for
me just to save a buck.
Some people have mentioned something like CRC Electrical Contact Cleanser
from an autoparts store. This is for use on your altenator and
reportedly does not eat the insulation of the windings in the alt. After
looking all over the place, I found it at a semi-local auto pars store at
$5.99 can - no savings over actual motor spray and I *believe* it
contains the same trichloroethane as the STP formula.
One guy said he used motor dumping fluid from Paragon and it could be
re-used by running the fluid through a filter, as well as regular rubbing
***. I've yet to investigate these methods but it certainly sounds
worthy of a closer look. I think rubbing *** is about 50 cents a ton
;) so I may give both a shot although it's not as portable and handy as a
spray can. Both "bath" ideas sound great but something I will try on the
home bench rather than taking to the track - strictly for convience sake.
(I'm lazier than I am cheap).
Finally, after the health issues, environmental warnings and potential
motor death issues, I've settled on the latest Tower Speed Mart catalogue
and bought Duratrax Power Shot Motor Cleaner. 2 cans for $6.98 (item #
TM5850). Not only did I save over the $5.99 a can I was paying, but it
(reportedly) doesn't eat windings or the ozone layer. I stocked up with
a half a dozen cans.
Thanks again to all who answered my query, hope this is usefull
information for all.