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Old 02-10-2010, 01:27 AM   #1
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Default Degunking the lower engine

I was looking under the hood today, and wondered what was stopping me from changing the front valve cover gasket and grommets. So I did. Finally. (The rear ones will have to wait for a warm, sunny weekend.)

Now, I've been driving on old gaskets for quite some time, so the lower half of the engine seems to be covered in its fair share of oily gunk, so I can't tell if the traces of smoke are just old gunk that got knocked onto the exhaust manifold, or fresh oil dripping out.

(It'* probably old gunk: the pressure is normal, the dipstick hasn't dropped, the cardboard I left under the car is still clean, and the front valves are still quiet.)

I'm no stranger to cleaning the top half of my engine, but what'* the easiest way to clean the bottom half? I've got an aerosol bottle of AutoZone engine degreaser, a spray bottle of Simple Green, and a spray bottle of water. The clearance is tight enough to make it challenging.
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Old 02-10-2010, 01:33 AM   #2
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better off hitting it with a pressure washer at a car wash after you spray degreaser on it and let it sit for a few seconds to penetrate the sluge
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Old 02-10-2010, 01:33 AM   #3
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Probably to soak the dirt in that degreaser, hit it with a stiff plastic bristled brush, probably shouldn't use a wire brush, and then rinse it off. Make sure to avoid your sensors and other electronics. For the hard to reach spaces, I soaked them in degreaser and gave them some water pressure from the hose, then used one of the brushes on a metal wire that can get into tight spaces. Also it is a good idea to dry everything out before you fire it up. I hit it with the air compressor then left it sitting out in the drive way on a warm sunny day with the hood up.
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Old 02-10-2010, 02:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawgunner
better off hitting it with a pressure washer at a car wash after you spray degreaser on it
Quote:
Originally Posted by ymmot04 View Post
Also it is a good idea to dry everything out before you fire it up. I hit it with the air compressor then left it sitting out in the drive way on a warm sunny day with the hood up.
Most of the coin-op car washes near me (New Britain has at least five, oddly) have degreaser settings on the sprayers, although none have driers or compressed air.

Realistically, I'd like to lift out the engine and give the whole thing a good scrubbing. Just hoping for a far more practical don't-bother-Bill-or-Justin solution.
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:59 AM   #5
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A warm spring day and car ramps work wonders for me.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:05 AM   #6
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Any degreaser you use you will have to make sure you don't get any in the alternator or any of the electronics like the starter.
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Any degreaser you use you will have to make sure you don't get any in the alternator or any of the electronics like the starter.
I'd just wrap those as well as possible with a plastic bag or two.
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:50 PM   #8
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I don't spray the alternator directly. Otherwise...It'* fair game when I'm on cleaning detail. Thinking more though, the soleniod of the starter is probably not the best of things to spray.

I've done it tons of times w/o issues though. Hmmm something to consider in the future for me. Thanks for the reminder guys.
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:50 PM   #9
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I'm partial to simple green. Just spray it down with green, wipe and repeat. Then hit it with a hose run the engine and away you go. I'd wear swimming goggles as you do this.
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