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 What's a good cleaner for under the hood?

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99Rivman
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IBx1
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What's a good cleaner for under the hood? Empty
PostSubject: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyMon Dec 31, 2007 12:44 pm

When it gets warmer out, I know I'm gonna be waxing, shining, polishing, and cleaning my car, inside and out. The one thing I haven't thought of is under the hood, however. Is there any certain product or method I should use to clean the engine cover and his best friend, superchargey lmao ? I know I shouldn't spray it down with water because that'll obviously mess around with wiring and such. This is what my engine looks like, so I'm gonna need something for all the little grooves and stuff. Thanks.

What's a good cleaner for under the hood? 100_4919
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PostSubject: Re: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyMon Dec 31, 2007 2:35 pm

I know people might not like my approach, but I like to hose down everything under the engine compartment (including the SC) with engine brite, wait, then hose it all off with water, gently from a garden hose nozzle... I give the alternator and coilpacks a miss, but I don't cover them either.
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PostSubject: Re: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyMon Dec 31, 2007 2:39 pm

Ok, now, is engine brite something sold in the auto section of walmart or sears, or is it special order? Also, what and where is the coilpack on my Riv? I know the alternator, but I'm still a little new under this hood.
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PostSubject: Re: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyMon Dec 31, 2007 2:42 pm

coilpacks are the things the spark plug wires are coming from.

Engine Brite is basically kerosene in a spray can, marketed by "Gunk" brands and sold in damn near every auto parts aisle you can find. Any store should have it.
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PostSubject: Re: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyMon Dec 31, 2007 3:28 pm

I have never sprayed mine down, but I don't think it would hurt much. I don't think having a little dirt on the engine hurts, either. I've used carb cleaner in a spray can to clean grease/oil from the block, heads, and other engine components you can see. I use a rag to wipe off residue (wearing gloves of course). I also use a rag with WD40 to clean the easier parts and painted portions of the engine bay, and use Armorall or similar to make all the rubber goods black. Usually, if I take a part off the engine to repair, I clean it and the areas around/under it before putting back together.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO • 85k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe • 116k miles • 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica • 152k miles • 0-60: yes
Because free
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99Rivman
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PostSubject: Re: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyMon Dec 31, 2007 3:45 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:
I know people might not like my approach, but I like to hose down everything under the engine compartment (including the SC) with engine brite, wait, then hose it all off with water, gently from a garden hose nozzle... I give the alternator and coilpacks a miss, but I don't cover them either.
agree
I do the same and haven't had any problems so far thumbsup
What's a good cleaner for under the hood? Lg_eb110
I won't say I hose it off gently with just a hose though. I just used 2 1/2 cans under the hood of Silver Arrow #10 that I just bought, and then I have a spray washer that hooks to the hose and to my air compressor. It isn't a great deal of pressure but works better than just hose pressure. I do the same as Derek and stay away from electrical components as much as possible, but everything gets rinsed some!
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PostSubject: Re: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyMon Dec 31, 2007 5:39 pm

Thanks everyone! So, let me just get this straight, in this picture, the blue outlines the alternator and the red outlines the coil pack and wires, right? So to make sure no water gets on those, should I put a plastic bag or something over it while cleaning?


What's a good cleaner for under the hood? 100_4919-1
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PostSubject: Re: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyMon Dec 31, 2007 5:42 pm

people say you should but I don't bother. I just spray around them and haven't had any problems smile
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PostSubject: Re: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyMon Dec 31, 2007 7:37 pm

I have cleaned and sprayed both of these without any problems, these are the results. They both ran fine afterwards thumbsup

The '95
What's a good cleaner for under the hood? P2210010

The '99
What's a good cleaner for under the hood? P1010011
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IBx1
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PostSubject: Re: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyTue Jan 01, 2008 12:59 am

Beautiful, especially the '95! I will definitely do this come springtime!
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PostSubject: Re: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyThu Jan 24, 2008 8:44 pm

Because Engine Brite is a petroleum distillate, I use Castrol SuperClean for some engine cleaning. Engine Brite is great, but cleaning the stuff off the driveway afterwards is a tough job for me - so I prefer cleaners that emulsify the grease, and accerate biodegradation, not just dissolve it so it drips off.

And, surprise surprise, some less-aggressive cleaners actually work pretty well. For instance you might want to try Murphy's oil soap or dish liquid on a brush. I find that most dish liquids work OK, and Dawn is especially effective on grease and also tends to bust it up so it's easy to get off the street/driveway too. I squirt it on the brush, scrub it into the dirt/grease, then rinse it off. An inexpensive bottle of dish soap goes a *really* long way, and the residue comes off the driveway with spray from a hose.

lmao

I have also used 409 spray, or the spray-on bathroom cleaner. The off-brand stuff seems to work fine. Don't use it on the plastics though, it will craze and crack acrylics. it's not so great on thick grease, if only because I find I have to use an awful lot of it -- compared to dish liquid. It's great for a light cleanup, don't have to rinse afterward. Like cleaning up dribbles of oil after an oil change and such.

After cleaning with dish liquid I use armorall, Finish 2001 or Back To Black to treat the plastic and rubber.

I have also used Castrol SuperClean. You can get this as a spray or a concentrate. Be sure to follow the label directions. If the dish liquid does not get things clean I'll follow with the Castrol.

jump

As far as the alternator and coil pack are concerned - what works for me is to make a little hat for each out of aluminum foil. The thin and flimsy foil (think generic or dollar store) works fine for me. After rinsing the engine and bay, I pull off the hats and wipe the alt and coil pack off with a towel that's sprayed with 409 or some such, then use a treatment (back to black, armorall or such) on the plastic and rubber.

Finally - I have heard of people using DOT5 brake fluid (the silicone stuff) as a rubber preservative. Under the hood and on tires. What do you all think of that? My guess is it looks good but in the long run you'd miss the UV filters and such that are in the chemistry of the preservatives such as armorall. Please comment.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyThu Jan 24, 2008 9:58 pm

I use Purple Power mixed 50/50 with water. Spray it on and let it sit a few minutes, then blast the hell out of it with a pressure washer. I spray everything, but I don't get real close unless there's a real bad build up of grime. That's another thing that's impressive about this car: its 13 years old, has 98,000 miles, and no oil leaks anywhere. My wife's 2003 Ford Escape gets the same good maintenance and has 2 small oil leaks that need fixing...eventually gripe
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PostSubject: Re: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyFri Jan 25, 2008 5:19 pm

I wouldn't use brake fluid on anything, because 1. It's very poisonous, bad to get on your hands, and 2. If it gets on a painted surface, it will eat through to the primer.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO • 85k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe • 116k miles • 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica • 152k miles • 0-60: yes
Because free
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What's a good cleaner for under the hood? Empty
PostSubject: Re: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyFri Jan 25, 2008 5:49 pm

we did that on a BMW in autobody we made custom racing stripes


IBx1 i think you should send me that engine cover and ill hook you up with a nice airbrush job
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyTue Jan 29, 2008 10:16 am

DOT 5 brake fluid is silicone-based, and won't damage paint or typical automotive plastics. There are several vendors - see one at

http://www.clearcoproducts.com/specialty_silicones.html#3

to see what they say about DOT5.

That said, I would not run out and get DOT5 to use for brakes. It does not absorb moisture, but regular (DOT 3 or DOT 4) brake fluid does - which scavenges water out of the brake system. Brake system is exposed to water at the master cylinder vents, which vent to the air, which contains water vapor. This water absorption is one reason why you really should change your brake fluid from time to time. I am told that the darkening of DOT3 brake fluid is a 'telltale' for water content, darker means more absorbed water.

The Raceshopper.com site has a good caution about DOT 5:

---begin quote---
We do not recommend using DOT 5 fluid in any racing applications. DOT 5 fluid is not hygroscopic, so as moisture enters the system, it is not absorbed by the fluid, and results in beads of moisture moving through the brake line, collecting in the calipers. It is not uncommon to have caliper temperatures exceed 200 F, and at 212 F, this collected moisture will boil causing vapor lock and system failure. Additionally, DOT 5 fluid is highly compressible due to aeration and foaming under normal braking conditions, providing a spongy brake feel. DOT 5 fluid is best suited for show car applications where its anti-corrosion and paint friendly characteristics are important.
---end quote---

So on balance the moisture absorption is something you *want.* Braking is important to me, so I don't use DOT5 for my brakes. I use a synthetic DOT3. Some people recommend ATE SuperBlue brake fluid, a DOT3/4 synthetic. However, the stuff is like $12/liter. I use Valvoline or Prestone synthetic, depending on what's priced best when it's time for me to do the work (brake fluid does not keep on a shelf once opened). They are more like $4/liter or less.

Back to the thread - good cleaners under the hood:

Looks like to the degree that silicone (the stuff in DOT5 brake fluid, I think it is a polysiloxane) is a rubber preservative, it ought to work. Rubber & plastics will absorb the silicone kind of liek sponge absorbs water. The problem with spillage of DOT5 on paint, I think, is that it will make it *really* tough to re-paint the body panel unless you use a very aggressive prep solution - I think 3M sells one you're supposed to use to clean silicones off painted surfaces before repainting. Also, IIRC, 'polysiloxane' was the 'secret sauce' in the old Westley's Car Polish - developed in the late 1950s - as far as I know, Westley was the first to use it instead of wax (at the time, typically carnauba). But DOT5 won't strip paint, so show car folks like it.

By the way, the other thing I do when cleaning under the hood, If I've set aside enough time, is to haul out the wet/dry vac, connect the hose to the blower side, and put a nozzle (a cone or crevice wand) on the end. Then after I wash engine, I blow it dry. That's one you might want to try, no kidding.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: What's a good cleaner for under the hood?   What's a good cleaner for under the hood? EmptyTue Jan 29, 2008 3:59 pm

simple green
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