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Cleaning Engine and Chassis


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I was just reading a thread by Mike M talking about finding an electrical connection for his Jake Brake when cleaning his engine, and rather than jumping in on that thread, I am starting a new one.  I tried searching, but did not see a discussion on this topic of cleaning your engine and chassis, but I may have missed it.

How have you gone about cleaning your engine and chassis?

I am tired of looking like a grease ball every time I just do a little work around my Cummins ISL 400HP or under the chassis.  It is not leaking fluids, but over the years it is obvious whenever the chassis was greased or engine serviced, no one would ever bother to clean up the spills or extra grease.  Even about 1/4" build up in some areas.

So I am about to tackle this project and thought I might ask for ideas.  I know it might be obvious, but I am always shocked by the ideas from this forum that I would never think about.

Thank you!

 

Edited by Bill R
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I power wash my motor / radiators / chassis / suspension almost every long trip return.  Especially if there was any snow / salt involved.

If this sounds like dirty / nasty / grimy stuff to you, go to any truck center who does this all the time for rigs.

 

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I found that Purple Power works great. Put it a pump sprayer let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes then spray it off with the garden hose. Reapply as needed.  Depending on how bad it is might take a few times.  Cheapest place I have for for the stuff is Walmart.  Works great 

Edited by Bob Schmeckpeper
Fat finger hit the wrong button be for I was done.
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17 minutes ago, ktloah said:

I think what they were asking was what one used to clean their engines....

And what to stay away from!

(following)

- bob

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1 hour ago, Bob Schmeckpeper said:

I found that Purple Power works great. Put it a pump sprayer let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes then spray it off with the garden hose. Reapply as needed.  Depending on how bad it is might take a few times.  Cheapest place I have for for the stuff is Walmart.  Works great 

Should I try this again? Use the pump sprayer to spray it on the areas that need to be cleaned.  Just don't wash it off the sprayer.  Lol.  Should not try to multi task. 

I  was turned on to this stuff from an old Cummings mechanic.  AKA my brother. 

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I've used La's Totally Awesome All Purpose Cleaner with good results. 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007F19O8G/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_i_DE3S44Z9ERP13X8KBGAW

You can also get it at some of the dollar stores. I scraped off any thick areas first and spray a liberal coat of this on and let it sit 15 min. I used it straight for cleaning the motor. Then rinsed off with warm water out of my garden hose.

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I have always used Simple Green Pro HD. The main reason is that it is safe on aluminum and all metals as well as plastic. A lot of others like Regular Simple Green isn’t good for aluminum and I like to clean the radiator as well. 
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Simple-Green-128-oz-Pro-HD-Heavy-Duty-Cleaner-2110000413421/100550784#overlay

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17 hours ago, DavidL said:

If this sounds like dirty / nasty / grimy stuff to you, go to any truck center who does this all the time for rigs.

I have no problem getting grimy.  If I can not get it clean to my satisfaction, any recommendations in the DFW area to have the engine and chassis cleaned.

 

13 hours ago, Bob Schmeckpeper said:

Use the pump sprayer to spray it on the areas that need to be cleaned.

Great idea to use a pump sprayer to apply.  Thanks Bob.

I am going to start with Purple Power, but also going to look into Simple Green Pro (thanks Mike) and La's Totally Awesome (thanks Kevin).

Hopefully Mr. @Happycarz has some additional thoughts.  I actually have a friend who doesn't eat off his engine, but will wrap a meal in aluminum foil and cook it in the engine while driving.  Lol.

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If oil / grease, just use standard engine degreaser from any auto parts store.  Simple Green is good for all other areas that aren't waxed (all underbody) as that loosens dirt better.  But the power washer is what is doing the great majority of the work.  Don't direct spray electronic, rubber, seals, suspension pivot points.  Keep further away from radiator fins with the direct jet.  I use a handheld nozzle with no wand for all underbody.  Oh, and just purchased a second spray bar on two wheels that is intended for underbody cleaning.  I suspect the RV is too high up in the air to be effective (to far from the nozzle), but we'll see.  Bought that really for cars with the Winter finally leaving Michgan.

Edited by DavidL
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It seems that Monaco bought flat black paint by the rail carload. Then they took a fire hose and sprayed anything and everything they could with this flat paint. Why not leave the engine the way it came from Cummins?

Not liking the look, I used acetone and in some areas MEK to remove all the flat paint and expose the shiny pant underneath. I did this an area at a time. So it was no afternoon project.  I’m happy with the results and have even painted parts to make them look better. 
 

Just so you know, I ordered my 08 Camelot in April 2007.  So, I’ve had years to work at it. I want to know it there is any leak and the best way is to tidy everything up.  I use diluted Simple Green Purple in a spray bottle and then a garden hose. Any sign of oil get a blast of parts cleaner (Brakleen) and wiped off. I’ve been known to put a coat of wax on parts, also. I just stay after it. But that’s just me.

 

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A6A1B9D2-3659-41F3-AC53-6DF4AAC52462.jpeg

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47 minutes ago, Happycarz said:

It seems that Monaco bought flat black paint by the rail carload. Then they took a fire hose and sprayed anything and everything they could with this flat paint. Why not leave the engine the way it came from Cummins?

Not liking the look, I used acetone and in some areas MEK to remove all the flat paint and expose the shiny pant underneath. I did this an area at a time. So it was no afternoon project.  I’m happy with the results and have even painted parts to make them look better. 
 

Just so you know, I ordered my 08 Camelot in April 2007.  So, I’ve had years to work at it. I want to know it there is any leak and the best way is to tidy everything up.  I use diluted Simple Green Purple in a spray bottle and then a garden hose. Any sign of oil get a blast of parts cleaner (Brakleen) and wiped off. I’ve been known to put a coat of wax on parts, also. I just stay after it. But that’s just me.

 

CDAA063C-AC94-481F-92E2-A19E16E4D332.jpeg

9F8B0FAF-2F33-47AB-B863-C2101B22E4C3.jpeg

A6A1B9D2-3659-41F3-AC53-6DF4AAC52462.jpeg

Whoa, and I thought I was anal.

I do keep my Cobra show-car clean, and my RX7 is presentable for a cruise-in, but keeping my coach looking this good is beyond even my level of obsession. 😎😎

I use Simple Green and a hot water pressure washer to clean my engine bay.
Often, I just use the hot water washer if it's not that dirty.
I have a 45 and 90 degree elbow for the nozzle, and do all the work from the rear door, leaving the bed closed to keep the interior dry.

I run the hot water at around 200 degrees, and use a leaf blower to blow off the excess water afterward.

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1 hour ago, Happycarz said:

 I’ve been known to put a coat of wax on parts, also.

 

 

 

I always suspected you did. 😀

Paul

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2 hours ago, Happycarz said:

It seems that Monaco bought flat black paint by the rail carload. Then they took a fire hose and sprayed anything and everything they could with this flat paint. Why not leave the engine the way it came from Cummins?

Not liking the look, I used acetone and in some areas MEK to remove all the flat paint and expose the shiny pant underneath. I did this an area at a time. So it was no afternoon project.  I’m happy with the results and have even painted parts to make them look better. 
 

Just so you know, I ordered my 08 Camelot in April 2007.  So, I’ve had years to work at it. I want to know it there is any leak and the best way is to tidy everything up.  I use diluted Simple Green Purple in a spray bottle and then a garden hose. Any sign of oil get a blast of parts cleaner (Brakleen) and wiped off. I’ve been known to put a coat of wax on parts, also. I just stay after it. But that’s just me.

 

CDAA063C-AC94-481F-92E2-A19E16E4D332.jpeg

9F8B0FAF-2F33-47AB-B863-C2101B22E4C3.jpeg

A6A1B9D2-3659-41F3-AC53-6DF4AAC52462.jpeg

Do you have glass bottom flooring in your bedroom & closet?  That's pretty sweet!

Mine is gunked up with diesel from a (formerly) leaking lift pump that I just fixed only to discover lots of soot from a blown manifold gasket (or possibly cracked manifold).  Not pretty. 

- bob

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Every So often I use my Zypher Wheel Polish and rub on it. This has been over many years.  I just hope this original compressor keeps on running for years to come, as I would hate to do it over again.

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Thank you EVERYONE for all your valuable comments and experience! 

21 hours ago, Happycarz said:

I want to know it there is any leak and the best way is to tidy everything up.

So true Harry.  This is why I am taking on the task of cleaning my engine.  You have done a fantastic job in making your engine "show room" quality.   Yesterday I tried the broad brush approach of power washing with a degreaser/cleaner, but it just did not do the job in all places.  So it looks like I will be tackling this by cleaning a small area at a time with a brush and elbow grease (pun intended) approach.  Afterwards I will be doing the power washing and cleaner approach to keep it cleaned on a PM basis.

 

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I use Simple Green Pro From HD and for the real greasy areas Brake cleaner.  The steamer with a hand held sprayer does a great job in cleaning my ISL.  I clean my engine every few years.

 

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