Best ways to clean dirty engine parts?

#1
What are your best tips on best and most time-efficient methods/cleaners to clean eg engine parts and brackets in steel, with ground-in dirt and oil? The same question but for aluminum?

I have cleaned the engine and gearbox on my 2200 TC with petroleum based degreaser and brush, and then washed again with degreaser in a pressurized sprayer. Finally, I have sprayed with brake cleaner spray which is very effective. However, there is still some dirt left that is difficult to remove without time-consuming "manual work" with brush or similar.

For example, the side plates are in very good condition and the silver/shiny surface is visible in several spots, but there is also a layer of dirt in other places of the plates, which is very hard to remove.
 

colnerov

Well-Known Member
#4
Hi, The cheapest, most effective and readily available cleaner is petrol. Stubborn areas might
need a bit of agitation from a wire brush, either by hand or in a drill. The shiny bits on the side
plates is probably the plating, the dirty bits is ingrained dirt, again wire brush. As suggested to
finish off try the partswa...dishwasher, but only if the coast is clear and already empty, because
you want to get egg or gravy over it. :wink:

Colin
 
#5
The surfaces will not be damaged by the washing tablets then?

I recently had a rear wing standing in the bathroom because after some paint work, and the carburetors where lying in the laundry room for some time. It was not popular, but I think I can smuggle in some parts in the dishwasher at the appropriate time =)
 

ghce

Well-Known Member
#7
I have in the past used Mobilsol 77 which is a water based product, I found it excellent on grease and oil, For engine blocks I have used my 3000psi water blaster that works a treat :mrgreen: but can be very very messy with the resultant spray carrying particles of grease every where :oops: best done in the big out doors ( my last house was a small farm so no problems)


This one looks like a good one also

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eP4bWgU-10o


Graeme
 

PeterZRH

Well-Known Member
#8
On metal parts NOTHING beats laquer thinner. Oils oxidise to gums and laquers. It's called laquer thinner for a reason.

Be careful with it, it tries to dissolve almost anything organic including paint and rubber.
 

Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
#9
I generally use White Spirit & a stubby paintbrush (you can cut one down to about a half inch); failing that some carb cleaner will get much of the rest off, again with a stubby brush.
 

quattro

Well-Known Member
#10
colnerov said:
Hi, The cheapest, most effective and readily available cleaner is petrol. Stubborn areas might
need a bit of agitation from a wire brush, either by hand or in a drill. The shiny bits on the side
plates is probably the plating, the dirty bits is ingrained dirt, again wire brush. As suggested to
finish off try the partswa...dishwasher, but only if the coast is clear and already empty, because
you want to get egg or gravy over it. :wink:

Colin
I hope you don't mean using petrol and a drill powered wire brush at the same time? :shock:

Richard
 

Dave3066

Well-Known Member
#11
PeterZRH said:
On metal parts NOTHING beats laquer thinner. Oils oxidise to gums and laquers. It's called laquer thinner for a reason.

Be careful with it, it tries to dissolve almost anything organic including paint and rubber.
Which means it's probably not safe to use in a domestic environment...

Paraffin is my cleaner of choice. It's a tad expensive these days but great for pre-soaking and cleaning off oily grime etc. I use 1 inch car detailing brush to aid the process :D

Dave
 

colnerov

Well-Known Member
#12
Hi, Quattro, Err no. :wink: I just use those ½" round brushes in a slow speed cordless drill for the corners
and stubborn bits.

ghce, I would think your 3000psi pressure washer would shift most of it without the agent.

Dave3066, Paraffin is not as readily available round here.

Colin
 

colnerov

Well-Known Member
#14
smokin1942 said:
colnerov said:
Dave3066, Paraffin is not as readily available round here.

Colin
Isn't jet fuel mainly paraffin/kerosene? s Should be able to find that near Gatwick :wink:
HI, yes, but they are very protective of it. :) In fact whenever there is a spill and we had to
clean it up, you wouldn't believe the paperwork that generates.

Colin
 
#16
alloy wheel cleaners are good for aluminium parts, make sure you wear gloves (its quite nasty stuff) and a scouring pad can help to work it into the surface. quite a bit of hard work but you can get cast aluminium parts to look like new.

If you can get the cleaner before its diluted thats even better as you can make it stronger.


Otherwise elbow grease, jet washers (ideally someone elses so you dont inadvetently rust proof your drive with a combination of oil and grease.... petrol stations are very useful for this....), brake cleaner, and wirebrushes can help.
 
#17
I generally clean stuff off with Paraffin, then stubborn stuff gets a blast with some Fairy Power spray and scrubbed and hosed off. Just don't leave it on too long. Works great on engines with baked on oil.
 

Tom W

Active Member
#20
I use Jizer. It's effective at softening stubborn deposits and doesn't flash off as fast as brake cleaner. Brake cleaner is good for removing the last traces of grease, but it's nasty stuff. I find it also leaves the surface very 'dry'. I like wd40 for leaving a clean protective finish on bare metal.
 
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