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  #1  
Old 07-23-2006, 08:19 PM
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Engine Washing

would it be safe to wash my engine i want to take it to those places where they have those power wash stations first use the degreaser on my engine then rince it with the de-ionized water is that ok? my car is a 87 300DT
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2006, 03:13 PM
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Engine cleaning

I've done some "light" cleaning in the engine compartment before using various type of degreasers and the garden hose sprayers. I wouldn't think a pressure washer would be much different. The same rule of thumb should apply in either case.

I just tried to make sure that I kept the stream from hitting any electronic boxes or housings directly. Also, make sure that you don't hit any areas (dip sticks, filler caps, etc.) directly as you might get water into the engine fluids areas that way.

Obviously steam cleaning by a pro is better, but this way you can get rid of heavy accumulations of grease and road grime to see what is going on in there.
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2006, 12:49 PM
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Take a can of engine degreaser with you and when you pull in saturate the engine. Let it sit for 10 minutes then power wash. You can use the built in tire cleaner setting to help remove further dirt. Its a good cleaner. Just stay clear of the air intake and any major electrical areas with direct hits from the powerwasher.
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Old 08-01-2006, 01:07 PM
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Your car's engine didn't get dirty overnight, so don't try to clean it "in a jiffy." Given the vintage of your car, there's probably some wear on the wiring harness, and likely some compromise in the waterproofing of things like the distributor cap and other sensors. You would be better served by using an engine degreaser, but using taped or rubber banded plastic bags to cover the electrics. Use no more water pressure than you would use by a garden hose on a rose bush to rinse, not blasting off stuff, otherwise you might find your car immobile until the water dries.
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Old 08-01-2006, 01:42 PM
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A good assortment of scrub brushes, degreaser and a water hose is all you need. Pressure washers can be very invading to old wires.
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  #6  
Old 08-07-2006, 05:10 PM
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Environmentally friendly stuff?

Any of you guys used anything like Simple Green or any other type of environmentally friendly cleaners for engine degreasing? I was thinking that it might also be easier on old wiring and other rubber parts. Any opinions or experience?

I've always used commercial degreasing products, but then heard some people say that stuff will harm rubber parts if you aren't careful.
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Max 1984 300TD 285,000 miles - Sold
The Dee8gonator 1987 560SEC 196,000 miles - Sold
Orgasmatron - 2006 CLS500 90,000 miles
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Old 08-07-2006, 05:53 PM
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I've seen what steam cleaning can do, like peel off paint and ruin wiring harnesses.
I only use WD-40 and lots of it! Use an old toothbrush and work on the areas then wipe the grunge off as you go, using the blue papertowels they sell for automotive use or old socks are great for this.
I sometimes follow the WD-40 treatment with a shot of Simple Green and wipe it off with a towel.

For dirty aluminum parts, topside fenderwells and wheels I use the Orange stuff (go-jo?) hand cleaner that has a little grit in it, you can do wonders with that stuff!
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  #8  
Old 08-07-2006, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieseldiehard View Post
For dirty aluminum parts, topside fenderwells and wheels I use the Orange stuff (go-jo?) hand cleaner that has a little grit in it, you can do wonders with that stuff!
Interesting idea that... the stuff is quite powerful. I'll have to try it next time
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  #9  
Old 08-07-2006, 09:53 PM
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Brake cleaner.



sprayed locally on all castings, being sure not to douse any plastic parts
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee8go View Post
Any of you guys used anything like Simple Green or any other type of environmentally friendly cleaners for engine degreasing?
It's sort of a misconception . . an environmentally friendly degreaser . . . since it's not going to be too friendly as it's carrying grease off you engine, now is it?
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  #11  
Old 08-07-2006, 10:30 PM
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The cleaner's friendly

I didn't say it was for cleaning environmentally friendly grease off. For that go over to the WVO section.
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OBK #55

1998 Lincoln Continental - Sold
Max 1984 300TD 285,000 miles - Sold
The Dee8gonator 1987 560SEC 196,000 miles - Sold
Orgasmatron - 2006 CLS500 90,000 miles
2002 C320 Wagon 122,000 miles
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  #12  
Old 08-08-2006, 09:05 PM
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power washer

I do the top portion with a can of degreaser from local auto zone, had good luck with the citrus stuff. for the underside I take my car ramps to the power wash. Pull her up on the ramps and then I use the car wash degreaser stuff and let it set for about 5 to 10 mins. While I am waiting I suit up in my rain suit and once I've waited I blast away. The underside is the worst. I usually do this early Sat morning cause you get some weird looks being at a car wash with a rain suit on. I read or seen somewhere not to get it steam cleaned. Due to the steam getting into connectors and causing corrosion. I think it was ABC news or something. Good luck
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2006, 03:54 PM
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Techniques

I have used the pressure wash with good effects and have used with degreasers as well. This has produded good results but have noticed over time that some paint can be damaged.

I have just purchased an 86 560SL and want to clean the engine components and bay. I have given it a cursory cleaning with the hose and some orange cleaner. Ok this was ok but did not provide the results I was looking for. My experience with the orange clean products is that it leaves a residue and can attract more dirt. I use a soft bristle brush. I am consideing the steam clean (low pressure) if I can find a good outfit in the San Diego area.
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2006, 04:16 PM
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I use WD-40 Spray in on copiously then use a toothbrish to loosen any grease, then wipe it off. Repeat as necessary. No water necessary. Great results, no paint damage.
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  #15  
Old 08-31-2006, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swilly43 View Post
I have just purchased an 86 560SL and want to clean the engine components and bay. I have given it a cursory cleaning with the hose and some orange cleaner. Ok this was ok but did not provide the results I was looking for. My experience with the orange clean products is that it leaves a residue and can attract more dirt. I use a soft bristle brush. I am consideing the steam clean (low pressure) if I can find a good outfit in the San Diego area.
Before cleaning the engine compartment, make sure it won't get dirty again! I had to replace my valve cover gaskets (I reinstalled the covers with a torque wrench and the proper crush washers). This was how my engine compartment got bad in the first place.

I then cleaned it with several cans of cheap "3M heavy duty brake cleaner", which was on sale at NAPA at the time; as far as I can tell, it did no harm to the paint but I used the nozzle hoses on the cans to keep the spray away from any externally-visible paint (USE OUTSIDE GARAGE, KEEP AWAY FROM HEAT/SPARKS/FLAMES UNTIL ENTIRELY EVAPORATED). I then waxed everything I could get to with a lot of the cheapest wax I could find at Mart Le Wal.

I would NOT use pressure washing or steam cleaning in an engine compartment anymore, there's just too much electrical/electronic stuff and you are asking for trouble. I will say that you keep cleaning as you get more into it and get into more nooks and crannies. Changing the water pump is a great cleaning opportunity; so is pulling the radiator. Changing the front/rear hood pads on your SL will dramatically improve underhood appearance (and other things) if you only have remnants of them or if they are deteriorating.

A great thing about having a clean engine compartment is that it will quickly show any early signs of leaks (from the cooling or oil systems) before they get bad.
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