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  #1  
Old 06-22-2011, 02:16 AM
gastropodus's Avatar
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Best way to clean up engine after an oil leak?

Hi,

Well, I had a small oil leak at the oil cooler on my 240D after the rebuild, and of course I was so excited to get it running that I ran it a couple of times to work and back (enough to get through the initial break-in oil period). Had to keep adding additional break-in oil, which was leaking out and coating much of the engine (blown by the fan).

So, anyway, now I have a slightly oily but not yet too dirty OM616 engine. I'm about to mount a replacement oil cooler on the engine bay to deal with the leak, but I want to get the engine clean again, as befits its status as "like new." What's the best way to get the engine clean and dry so that dirt doesn't stick to it?

- wipe all surfaces with red shop rags over and over until dry?
- spray solvent (what type?) on engine, wipe with rags?
- spray engine cleaner on engine, let soak, rinse with water?
- take to car wash?
- all of the above?
- ?????

Thanks for your advice.

Kurt
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'79 240D - engine swap complete! Engine broken in! 30-31 mpg! Lovin' the ride!
'86 190D (W201-126) - 2.5 NA engine, 5 speed, cloth interior, manual climate controls, 35-37 mpg.
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  #2  
Old 06-22-2011, 02:21 AM
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Hey Kurt the most expensive way is to use brake cleaner. It works really well and keeps the dirt contained in as small an area that you can spray it on. I think it is great stuff - but - it costs a lot of money. As I live in a damp area I don't like solutions where I need to rinse with water. There's enough of that rust helping stuff about here already.
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1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone

1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - this one should be the daily driver

Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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  #3  
Old 06-22-2011, 02:23 AM
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Tyler has had quite a lot of experience in this area.......
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2001 ML430 Daughters

Gone:
'95 E300 188K "Batmobile" Texas Unfriendly Black
'85 300TD 235K "The Wagon" Texas Friendly White
'80 240D 154K "China" Scar engine installed
'81 300TD 240K "Smash"
'80 240D 230K "The Squash"
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  #4  
Old 06-22-2011, 03:24 AM
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Kurt, just go to the car wash with a pocket full of quarters.

I use the steam cleaner where I use to work on the engine and under the car,fender, wheels. then I use the air hose to blow off the exess water, (if the tank has air) I go in on weedends. or use paper towels etc... to dry off the excess water. then drive the car and the heat does the rest.

I run the front end up on ramps first. do the under side, then back off the ramps, wash the top side of the engine, and under the hood. (don`t have a hood pad at present).

Really not going to hurt anything.

Charlie
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there were three HP ratings on the OM616...

1) Not much power
2) Even less power
3) Not nearly enough power!! 240D w/automatic transmissions)




Anyone that thinks a 240D is slow drives too fast.

84 300SD 270K
85 300D 360K
82 Datsun Kingcab Diesel 483k
83 Nissan long bed Diesel 134K
80 240D Naturally Exasperated, 372k
78 240D $300
86 Ford 6.9 201K
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  #5  
Old 06-22-2011, 10:00 AM
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I suppose it all depends on your definition of "best" and your definition of "clean"
I would think soaking the motor and all hoses with engine cleaner, going to town with brushes and rags, then rinsing off with warm water would be best, and then coating all rubber and plastic lines with aerospace 303.
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"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

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1987 300TD
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  #6  
Old 06-22-2011, 10:31 AM
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Car Wash. I do it every few months.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
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  #7  
Old 06-22-2011, 11:33 AM
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Since I have stuff like tractors I can not take to a car wash....and would not wash an engine with high pressure if it had any kind of computer exposed ( some have them in the inside )...
AND since I want to be cheap and safe ( not use gasoline or brake cleaner )....
I get a gallon can of Gunk Concentrate...
and mix that with Kerosene ( as per the Gunk instructions ) ..... four gallons of Kero to that one of Gunk Concentrate.... this is cheap... works great.... very low in flammability .... spray on , leave as long as possible.. overnight, whatever.... then spray off just with water hose with thumb over end...
If not clean enough.. let dry, repeat....
There are cars which already have electrical connector issues.. like FORD for instance... and steam or high pressure putting stuff up into those types of place to corrode is something I try to avoid...
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  #8  
Old 06-22-2011, 01:28 PM
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and it smells good. Do not use high pressure water. Water and wires do not mix well.
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  #9  
Old 06-22-2011, 01:43 PM
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I've been washing my cars for 35 years at car washes with the high pressure hoses. The only problems I have ever encountered was water in the distributor in a gasoline engine. Wiped it out and was good to go.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #10  
Old 06-22-2011, 01:44 PM
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Doesn't Simple Green at full concentration pit aluminum?

Sixto
87 300D
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  #11  
Old 06-22-2011, 03:11 PM
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Yes, Simple Green does pit aluminum. I wouldn't want to use it unless dealing with a small area that can be rapidly rinsed after application.

The best, and least expensive, cleaner I've dealt with is Kerosene on initial application then Gunk or some other degreaser to remove the film.
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2011, 03:32 PM
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Wow, some crazy suggestions there.

So how about this: remove the motor and run it through an engine washing machine.



Ok my 2 cents:

Either just use a steam cleaner (high pressure HOT water).
or use a bio degrable degreaser and a pressure washer. (Preferably at the car wash as they often times are required to have a grease trap, thus not allowing petrol waste into the water table.).

Lastly, use a biogradable degreaser and your garden hose with an attachment that will create a small high(er) pressure stream.

Just be mindful of the areas that can be effected by water. ie: water can get in. (oil fill cap for one).

It's good to have a clean engine bay.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
I've been washing my cars for 35 years at car washes with the high pressure hoses.
same here, only not nearly 35 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
The only problems I have ever encountered was water in the distributor in a gasoline engine. Wiped it out and was good to go.
From my back woods off roading days, we'd apply silicone to the base of the distributor cap when installing a new one. No more water issues.
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  #13  
Old 06-22-2011, 03:37 PM
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Cleaning

I would use a heavy solution of Dawn Concentrate (Original Blue) and water. Use the brushes . . . if really grimy and built up with dirt mixed in, might take several applications, but Dawn will break down any and all grease/oil. If you can't get access for the brushes, then I would use Gunk or Engine Degreaser, let sit a bit and then rinse off with the hose. Do not forget and leave on as it will eat rubber!!!! Sometimes, it takes several applications if the oil has had a chance to bake on.

I have also gone to the car wash with a pocket full of quarters, and two cans of engine cleaner . . .opened the hood, sprayed the crap outta everything then put in the quarters to rinse the car. Some car washes have an "Engine Compartment Option", which gives a high dose of soap . . ..

Guess what you wind up doing is up to you, and based on what you can afford and what's available.
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  #14  
Old 06-22-2011, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
I've been washing my cars for 35 years at car washes with the high pressure hoses. The only problems I have ever encountered was water in the distributor in a gasoline engine. Wiped it out and was good to go.
While the length of time seems impressive your sample size and skewed vehicle type included in your observation pales in contrast to the factory shop manual warnings , specialized fittings and recall notices available for the cars for which I am personally aware of this being problematic.
So your post makes you APPEAR to be argumentative simpleton.. but I am sure there is some other explanation.
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  #15  
Old 06-22-2011, 06:12 PM
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Not sure how my vehicle types are skewed but I am definitely an argumentative simpleton. Please post any FSM warnings found in the 240d manuals.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:12 PM
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