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Old 04-22-2009, 08:32 AM   #1
72BlckButy
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Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

So you're going to clean up your engine bay, what type of things might an individual look out for? Well here's your chance to share your experiences with your fellow members. Good or bad, post them here!

- What tips and tricks have you learned during your experiences? (Cleaned up well, ruined my motor...)

- What products work better than others? (Simple green,...)

- What products should you not use? (Oven cleaner around rubber....)

- What do you need to watch out for? (Covering up the dizzy,...)

Let's hear your stories!

For a little help in showing what a little elbow grease will do, I asked tcb-1 to provide some pictures of his engine bay. I have seen this thing first hand and let me tell you... I would eat off this thing!!!

(Disclaimer: This in no way is a dare I will have to meet at any meet, show, or other get together board related.)

Now as you can tell, tcb-1's engine was fairly cleaner than most when he first picked up the truck, but it still took a lot of work to get it to where it is now. Props to tcb-1 for providing the pics, now post away guys!

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Old 04-22-2009, 11:41 AM   #2
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

i'm sorry i can't too much to the discussion----i do know that oven cleaner works well on stock exhaust manifolds as far as getting rid of the grease.

What i mainly wanted was to add another question to the original question:

What can we do if grease/oil gets on wires?
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:57 PM   #3
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

for oil/grease covered wires, I always used undiluted Simple Green to freshen up wires, even with grease or oil buildup. spray in a terry rag, wrap the wire, and pull lightly. turn over the rag and repeat until the wire(s) gets clean(er).

another point. I NEVER use spray on engine cleaner. it strips the "good" oils off the valve covers, inner fenders, air cleaners, etc. again, use undiluted Simple Green and a soft bristle toilet brush. then go back with a spray detailer to bring back the shine.

buy a cheap electric lawn blower or cannister vacuum to dry the engine off. the less of time you leave water on the engine, the less problems you may have when you try to start it up.

another tip. Armour All and silicone based topical protectants are dust collectors. Use RuGlyde to brighten and protect rubber under-hood pieces. RuGlyde is an old school tire bead lubricator. you can get it at Oreilly, NAPA, etc for around $15 for a gallon. YES a gallon. ever price a gallon of Armour All??
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:44 PM   #4
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

Where can we get this Simple green?
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:39 PM   #5
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

In the Simple Green storage cabinet, known as Walmart.
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:39 PM   #6
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by C-10 simplex View Post
Where can we get this Simple green?

Wal-Mart, any parts house, home Improvement like the Home Depot, buy it by the gallon and buy yourself a good spray bottle. This stuff is gold in a bottle!!!

Note Dougs earlier comment about undiluted. This stuff is meant to be be cut, but I never have. I have always used it on tires and wheels, never hurt any chrome, I dont know about aluminum wheels, but safe otherwise....
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Old 04-23-2009, 02:08 PM   #7
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

I'm glad I saved a case of Simple Green a few years ago and it will come in quite handy when I start cleaning up under the hood.

I will be picking up a gallon of RuGlyde this weekend.

Any concern about firewall markings for those that might want to keep them original?

Hey Doug, did you remove any of the panels to clean up the engine bay that well?

bump...
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Last edited by 72BlckButy; 04-23-2009 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 04-23-2009, 02:26 PM   #8
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

yup, used to use RuGlyde on all the suspension rubber years ago when I was a mechanic and doing oil changes. Kept the older cars from squeaking.
And, it works great instead of Armour-all on your tires. Gives them a nice black, clean look without all the Bling shine of Armour-all. I didn't know you could still buy RuGlyde.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:05 PM   #9
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

yep, you can still get it! I was kind of amazed too....
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:17 PM   #10
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

So RuGlyde won't attract the dust right?

Anyone else have any tips/tricks they are willing to share?
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1969 CST SWB - Project Blank Slate (4.5/6" ECE Static Drop, 6-lug disc brake upgrade (manual), Billet Specialties Vintec 20x8.5 255/40 (F) 20x10 295/40 (R), 250 I-6)
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Last edited by 72BlckButy; 04-24-2009 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 04-25-2009, 02:05 PM   #11
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

no, RuGlyde will not attract dust. and since it is a vegetable oil base instead of a petroleum oil base, there is no problems with spraying it on metal parts under the hood.

back story. I used to use Armour All or silcone spray on rubber parts under the hood of an S10 I used to show. When it came time to repaint the entire truck, my painter had big problems getting paint to stick to the inner fenders, firewall, and inside lip of each fender. after 6 trys, we got it to stick.

my painter attributed it to the use of petroleum based silicone products, which I used a LOT under the hood.

but I digress. RuGlyde is definitely the hot ticket for under hood detailing.....
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Old 04-25-2009, 02:09 PM   #12
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

and Nate, I only removed the valve covers and air cleaner for cleaning outside the engine bay.
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:42 PM   #13
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

I keep looking under the hood and think.... man, where do I begin.

Doug did you repaint anything on your firewall, inner fenders,...?
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:34 AM   #14
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

just a heads up... in my opinion.. "purple power" i sthe best dang stuff ever made...
just my opinion.. i use it even to wash my truck (cause it has a 100 dollar paint job)
but yes.. it's mroe aressive then simple green but soent eat stuff like oven cleaner..
and if you mix it into a pressure washer it'll get everything off your driveway..
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:58 PM   #15
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

Nate,
never painted anything except the battery tray and the hood latch plate. the battery tray was a bit crusty, so I blasted it and had it powdercoated. then, I put a battery acid neutralizer pad under the battery...... just in case.

another underhood tip....

have a long wire that you have under the hood that gets in the way? take a pencil (for small wires) or a plunger handle (for larger wires) and wrap the wire around it. when your done, the wire will be curled and shorter. look at the pics of my engine compartment above. I curled my master cylinder fault wire.


REMEMBER! your engine compartment doesn't have to contain a tricked out engine with chrome as far as the eye can see to be appealing. it just needs cleanliness and order.
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Old 04-29-2009, 07:40 AM   #16
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tcb-1 View Post
REMEMBER! your engine compartment doesn't have to contain a tricked out engine with chrome as far as the eye can see to be appealing. it just needs cleanliness and order.
Excellent tips Doug, especially this one! It doesn't take dropping a ton of $$$, just take sometime and do it right.

I was overlooking my engine bay on Sunday making a list of items I need to pick up and and get ready for the engine cleanup.
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:49 PM   #17
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

Simple Green

On the lower end of my engine work I use the gel hand cleaner from Pep-Boys and a cheapo nylon brush set from Harbor Freight - with various lengths and bristles. Breaks loose the really heavy stuff, without having to resort to any high pressure water streams and the problems associated with going that way.

Prior to doing any painting I always buy a couple of cans of light gray primer and put a very light coat down to highlight any clean-up imperfections. I know, sounds crazy - but it makes any crust left over stand out like neon. Once you've chipped of any crud it's easy to sand any signs of problems and put another coat of primer on before finish paint.

Works for me.

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Old 04-30-2009, 07:46 AM   #18
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

Thanks for the info Mac, and don't feel bad about the coat of primer... I'll be doing the same thing here pretty soon.
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1969 CST SWB - Project Blank Slate (4.5/6" ECE Static Drop, 6-lug disc brake upgrade (manual), Billet Specialties Vintec 20x8.5 255/40 (F) 20x10 295/40 (R), 250 I-6)
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:54 PM   #19
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tcb-1 View Post
no, RuGlyde will not attract dust. and since it is a vegetable oil base instead of a petroleum oil base, there is no problems with spraying it on metal parts under the hood.

back story. I used to use Armour All or silcone spray on rubber parts under the hood of an S10 I used to show. When it came time to repaint the entire truck, my painter had big problems getting paint to stick to the inner fenders, firewall, and inside lip of each fender. after 6 trys, we got it to stick.

my painter attributed it to the use of petroleum based silicone products, which I used a LOT under the hood.

but I digress. RuGlyde is definitely the hot ticket for under hood detailing.....
hi tcb-1; OK now where can i find some ruglyd out here in the bowels of the Mojave desert, will the local storage cabinet have any thing like that???
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:49 PM   #20
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

seldomseen,
try calling Parts Plus or NAPA out there in the no-rust-belt.

yes I'm jealous.
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:59 PM   #21
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

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seldomseen,
try calling Parts Plus or NAPA out there in the no-rust-belt.

yes I'm jealous.
Hi Doug; thanks for the note, but there is enough room out here for more people
and the 35,000 people out here wouldn't mind you coming out here.
it's so dry out here the doctor told me i was dehydrated and needed to move to a more humid climate ,,so let me know how the weather is out your way, me and my wife need to move soon. thanks
look on a map just north of Las Vegas, and see if you can find Pahrump, Nevada.
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:23 AM   #22
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

Simple Green is great. I've always left the engine running during pressure washing. Then I use a product called "High Gloss" made by a supplier in Broken Arrow, OK called The Detail Supply Warehouse. It's a white milky liquid that is sprayed while the engine and parts are still wet, then dries shiny. It works great. I worked at two different detail shops when I was younger and that is exactly how we did it. Never had any problems. I'll post pictures next time I do it.
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Old 05-03-2009, 04:26 AM   #23
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

As far as actually cleaning products are concerned, I don't have a whole lot. What I usually do when I clean my engine bay is apply degreaser liberally; power wash; wax firewall, fenders, under hood, and air cleaner; clean plastic intake tract then spray with tire shine; use Armor-all interior wipes one all hoses and plastics; use B12 and a clean towel to wipe down BMC, carb, and any parts as needed; polish A/C lines with Simichrome; once-over with microfiber towel and quick-detailer.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:04 AM   #24
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

The Purple Power as mentioned before (i get mine from Advanced Auto) is great for alot of things that are greasy. You can cut it with water, but i always use it straight.

Another thing i would like to mention, some orange pumice hand cleaner is absolutly fantastic for bringing rubber parts back to life. Any rubber bumbers (hood bumpers) and whatnot can look and feel new after scrubbing them throughly. Infact it works so well, i scrubed my old but new tires that i bought for our stock model T truck. These tires i bought from a gentleman were in very dusty storage and a degreaseing did nothing to help. I used hand cleaner and a scrub brush and they came out looking almost new and very clean.

Last edited by piecesparts; 05-09-2009 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:52 AM   #25
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Re: Do's/Don'ts of Engine Cleaning (Tell us your experiences...)

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The Purple Power as mentioned before (i get mine from Advanced Auto) is great for alot of things that are greasy. You can cut it with water, but i always use it straight.

Another thing i would like to mention, some orange pumice hand cleaner is absolutly fantastic for bringing rubber parts back to life. Any rubber bumbers (hood bumpers) and whatnot can look and feel new after scrubbing them throughly. Infact it works so well, i scrubed my old but new tires that i bought for our stock model T truck. These tires i bought from a gentleman were in very dusty storage and a degreaseing did nothing to help. I used hand cleaner and a scrub brush and they came out looking almost new and very clean.


That beats putting shoe polish in the cracks on the tires.
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