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Guest EOppegaard

Cleaning the Engine compartment, where to start?

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Guest EOppegaard

Okay, I know, its an engine, and its not suppossed to be the cleanest thing on earth, however I want to spruce it up a little.

 

I know one of the major steps of the process is pretty much spraying everything down with degreaser, however besides electrical...what should I not spray? I have been tempted on occasion to just take a powerwasher to it, however I have a feeling this would be bad news.

 

Thanks guys!

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Guest Brettm57

The way I clean my engines is I go to The Dollar Store and buy this stuff they call Mean Green. It's kinda like Castrol Super Clean, but it's got twice the rump roast for half the price. Spray everything down generously (the stuff's cheap, remember?) Then hose it down with a garden hose with the nozzle set on that straight long distance squirt. The worst I've ever had happen was I had to blow out the spark plug holes and dry the connections with compressed air to get it to start. I do the firewall, brake booster, inner fenders, everything. When it's clean to my satisfaction, (it might take several sessions to get it really clean), I start it up and let it idle until it gets up to operating temp., that dries everything out. In fact I usually jack the car up in the front end, lay on a creeper, and get as much as I possibly can from underneath. I'd rather just get covered with grease one time to clean it up than get into it over and over every time I work on it. I think it's SO MUCH NICER to work on an engine that isn't covered with gunk!

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Guest ccrinc

Besides, taking all that funk off the engine helps it run cooler :)

Using the power spray at the local carwash does a pretty good job too.

 

Emily

www.ccrengines.com

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Guest intrigueing

I usually cover electrical stuff with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Then I soak down the engine with engine degreaser. I have my own power washer, and it works very well. It has different adjustable nozzles, so your overspray is not too bad. I usually only cover the coil, plug wires and major bundled wiring. Have fun!

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Guest EOppegaard

So it is alright for me to just go to town on cleaning the engine? I thought there were parts in there that I definitely did not want to hit with a high pressure stream, or degreaser.

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Guest Brettm57

I've done it both ways, with degreaser and garden hose, or a steam Jenny, and knock on wood, I've never had a problem either way without covering up anything.

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Guest 1 Lucky Texan

Since one of the few things WD-40 does well is displace moisture (that's why it was developed I think) have a can handy and if after hosing your engine it doesn't start, spray some around the spark plugs and coils/distributer. Probably less of an issue with newer vehicles but I've had 1 or 2 cars that required it after visiting the car wash.

 

Carl

1 Lucky Texan

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Guest Legacy777

You don't want to use steam. Hot water in combination with a pressure washer is fine, but you don't want to use steam. The extreme temp of the steam can cause the rubber hoses to become brittle and crack.

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Guest ShawnW

Keep the stuff off the oxygen sensor area. I think I shorted mine out getting water in its plugs. I think you are supposed to avoid exhaust pipes with certain degreasers so be sure to read the can.

 

Grill cleaner and Oven Cleaner have been used before but be careful!!!!!!

 

I had the fire marshall pay me a visit one evening due to my lack of proper disposal and ultimately my lack of rinsing the stuff so it might be wise to do this stuff at a carwash bay on a late evening. Be sure to rinse all of it off and make sure the area doesnt smell like petroleum product after you are done as to avoid trouble with the law.

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Guest Setright

Okay, call me a wus, but I don't like spraying water in my engine bay. Especially not from a high pressure cleaner. The tiny droplets can penetrate cables and wires and although they may not stop the engine running, I would fear for the long term effects. Especially the water that may seep past the rocker cover gaskets :x

 

Clean things off with a cloth. If there is a stubborn stain spray some WD40 / RP7 on the cloth beforehand.

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Guest meep424

mask the brake and clutch reservoirs. they don't like water within.

 

car washes recycle their water. owners get pi$$ed if they catch you w/ the hood open. grease kills their filters.

 

Mike

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Guest canedog18

Another product that works is Simple Green, but I haven't seen it on the market in a while. It was supposed to be more enviornmentally safe as well.

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Guest PHATBRAT

I use a heavy duty degreaser called Magic Purple or Purple magic or something like that. It is Purple something. Anyway, Spray generously, don't let it sit tooo long then pressure wash it off. Hot water works better than cold. The only thing I recommend not getting wet is the distributer cap. If so, You will be sitting for a while and/or your car will run like complete sh*t until it is dry. Boz

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Guest My Favorite Legacy

Simple Green works REALLY well. I've never had a problem with it. You can dillute it to different concentrations to wash the outside of your car and a heavier mix to wash tires/wheels/engine. It smells nice and fresh too. I've even used it to clean the upholstery in my car. :)

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Guest subyluvr2212

I cannot encourage you enough to thoroughly cover all your sensors!!! Take time to find every last sensor vulnerable to moisture and cover it!

 

I degreased my engine after changing the valve cover gaskets, without covering anything besides the coilpack and battery <img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/embarassed.gif ALT=":o"> ...

 

When I started the car, I had a CEL with the following codes: O2 sensor, starter switch, TPS, VSS, and purge valve. (I remember all those because I highlighted them in my Haynes as I read them off...)

 

My engine is clean though, at least the top of it <img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/ohwell.gif ALT=":\">

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When I clean my engine, I drive the car around to get it nice and hot. I then use an Orange degreaser and a rag I don't care about any more to clean the engine. Afterwords, I use a liquid ArmorAll spray to make the engine shine. It works pretty well for me, and I have never had any problems with this method.

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a couple of folks here mentioned using wd40 as it displaces water. if anyone has info to the contrary please let me know, i heard wd40 accelerates oil breakdown which makes it a bad choice to use on rubber and plastic since they are made from oil. drying and cracking result from exteded usage.

 

anyone have info on this?

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I cannot encourage you enough to thoroughly cover all your sensors!!! Take time to find every last sensor vulnerable to moisture and cover it!

 

I degreased my engine after changing the valve cover gaskets, without covering anything besides the coilpack and battery <img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/embarassed.gif ALT=":o"> ...

 

When I started the car, I had a CEL with the following codes: O2 sensor, starter switch, TPS, VSS, and purge valve. (I remember all those because I highlighted them in my Haynes as I read them off...)

 

My engine is clean though, at least the top of it <img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/ohwell.gif ALT=":\">

 

That sucks. I've used those "do it yourself car wash" pressure washers for years to clean the engine on: Toyota 4X4 22RE, Ford Mustang 5.0, Jeep Wrangler 4.2, and I've used my new home pressure washer to clean my 2.5 RS engine several times. The only times I had a problem were in my mustang and my jeep when I cleaned the spark plug wires and spent lots of time with the high pressure directly on the distributer cap. The water got inside the distributer cap and the cars would not start for about 20 minutes. I once also got a big gob of mud inside the Jeep dist cap that (thanks Dan) only stopped me for about 2 or 3 minutes.

 

While pressure washing an engine from the top down is a little higher pressure and reverse angle it's not that much different from doing 80 on the freeway in the rain. EVERY sensor mounted under your hood is a sealed sensor that can take getting wet very often. They have to be designed this way or no one would be able to drive in the rain. Even direct pressure washing on your failing valve covers may cause some water to get inside your engine is harmless. Once your car gets up to operating temp (180 to 220, depending on car) the (small amount of) water inside the oil will boil and evaporate.

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My only caveat would be to rinse after the engine has cooled down to reduce thermal shock of the sensors.

 

WD-40 probably will break down some rubber components, but not nitrile or other under hood materials. Just don't soak 'em in the stuff.

 

The kerosene based engine cleaners have not hurt my old 'ru and it smells great for a few days.

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Since one of the few things WD-40 does well is displace moisture (that's why it was developed I think)
Yup, WD-40 = Water Displacer, 40th attempt:-\

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Motorcycle cleaner works really well, called S100. Try a Harley or Honda motorcycle dealer.

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