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What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
#448029 08/07/12 10:22 am
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"In the old days" I used to get bollocked by my Mum for getting Gunk stains on the driveway shocked Now it would be the wife wink

I want to get at the awkward hard to reach bits such as between the engine and gearbox etc. Garages won't let you use their steam cleaner these days and anyway, that might be a bit "vicious" shocked

What do you guys do ?


Current rides = 1959 650 Matchless G12CSR in near showroom nick, 1956 BSA B33 in "Goldy" trim (yeh, I know, cheesy but I like it !)
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Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
John Birkett #448074 08/07/12 6:25 pm
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I have a siphon sprayer that works with a compressor. It has a three foot long siphon hose attached to it. A little compressor that is used for tire inflation works OK if a little slow. Then I spray off oil and grease with paint thinner. I think you call it white spirit. It takes only a pint to clean a bike this way. If it's covered with road grime, for example from rain, a detergent works better like Simple Green diluted for the job. A pan underneath catches the run-off to be re-cycled. I don't use Gunk anymore because it's much more expensive to use.
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Black Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
John Birkett #448113 08/07/12 11:03 pm
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I usually clean my engines with mineral spirits (not sure what you call it in the UK- white spirits?). I use a paint brush and wipe off with towels. The mineral spirits breaks up grease and gunk well and leaves a thin coating that seems to protect from oxidation.

Last edited by SteveM; 08/07/12 11:05 pm.
Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
John Birkett #448148 08/08/12 2:28 am
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I'm fortunate to have a gravel driveway, and a cheap source for spray engine degreaser/weed killer (Autozone, $2/can, $1/can on sale). But when I'm out of engine degreaser, I use kerosene (cheaper yet) with a brush or Scotch-Brite pad, and then a rag. This will also mess up your driveway, but less so than a spray substance and a hose - you can catch the run-off in a pan or on rags, cardboard, or newspaper.







Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
John Birkett #448185 08/08/12 12:04 pm
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I use water soluable spray-on Gunk or your part stores equivalent and a pressure washer. I don't do it very often but always before I start significant work on the bike. I then blow dry it real fast with a leaf blower. Gunk with lots of water doesn't kill the grass and it takes very little to do a good job. The whole process takes less than five minutes and the bike is real clean before starting repairs. I do the same before working on auto engines. I just don't like that black gritty dirt on my mitts while working on motors.

Mr Mike

Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
John Birkett #448330 08/09/12 11:21 am
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I use cheapo spray on degreaser from the local el cheapo auto store. Spray it on, leave it for a while, bit of a scrub if it needs it then gently wash it off.


Mark F.
'52 ZB34 Gold Star.
'65 Lightning Rocket.
'74 Roadster Commando.



Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
John Birkett #448332 08/09/12 11:58 am
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One of the main issues = mess on the driveway / road.

I reckon I have formed a "plan" = Do it on some waste land (nearby) and thereby avoid getting stains on the driveway or road, using gunk for the "general" cleaning of the motor / box / hubs / front of swing arm etc from a small spray bottle (like you get laundry spray in). I have ordered a self contained (2 gallon) portable pump up washer LIKE THIS to do the hosing off.

Sorted :bigt

I will try the white spirit thing as well = an "aside" = The mention of Paraffin (Kero), we use it as part (45%) of our model aircraft fuel for racing. The stuff you get nowadays from the likes of B&Q etc is rubbish quality for this purpose. During my (extensive) experiments with regard to model aircraft fuel I discovered that "White Spirit" works VERY well instead of the Paraffin content (and I was applauded for making the discovery smile ) By the way, the rest of the fuel is, in order, Ether, Castor (racing) oil, and Amyl Nitrate (or Iso-Propyl Nitrate)


Current rides = 1959 650 Matchless G12CSR in near showroom nick, 1956 BSA B33 in "Goldy" trim (yeh, I know, cheesy but I like it !)
Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
John Birkett #448419 08/10/12 4:32 am
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Dollar General sells Purple Power for a few dollars per gallon. I dilute it in spray bottles. That stuff works well with Scotchbrite pads or tooth brushes for tight spots.
Also, you can't beat SOS pads for cutting grease and polishing.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
John Birkett #449009 08/13/12 1:16 pm
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I use Dow Scrubbing Bubbles for the first pass along with an old pillow to absorb the wash-off. Scrubbing Bubbles bath cleaner contains butyl cellosolve, a very good degreaser and emulsifier. It must be put on before any water is used to work well. Let the foam sit and add more as needed; brush into spots then rinse off, dry, repeat. Most pillows contain polyester fibers which preferentially absorb oil, so when the the engine is washed off with water, the pillow fibers below will sorb most of the oil and minimize pollution. (The pillow can be used more than once after drying out.) For final clean-up I love naptha.

Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
sciadventurer #449011 08/13/12 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by sciadventurer
I use Dow Scrubbing Bubbles for the first pass along with an old pillow to absorb the wash-off. Most pillows contain polyester fibers which preferentially absorb oil, so when the the engine is washed off with water, the pillow fibers below will sorb most of the oil and minimize pollution. (The pillow can be used more than once after drying out.)


Interesting idea and I do have 2 old pillows we just replaced smile

Originally Posted by sciadventurer
Scrubbing Bubbles bath cleaner contains butyl cellosolve, a very good degreaser and emulsifier.


I wonder if we have a similar product here in the UK?

Originally Posted by sciadventurer
For final clean-up I love naptha.


That is interesting as Naptha is just a purer form of White Spirit paint brush cleaner, as mentioned further up twice, once for cleaning your bike, and once by me for powering high performance racing model aircraft ! Will give that a try for sure smile


Current rides = 1959 650 Matchless G12CSR in near showroom nick, 1956 BSA B33 in "Goldy" trim (yeh, I know, cheesy but I like it !)
Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
John Birkett #449032 08/13/12 3:39 pm
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John: "cellosolve" is also known as ethylene glycol monobutyl ether. All the gory details can be researched in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2-Butoxyethanol.

The solvent is widely used and is biodegradable. In Scrubbing Bubbles it is mixed with a surfactant (detergent). I'd like to stress again that it should be applied before any water is used.

Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
sciadventurer #583149 01/29/15 8:04 am
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Oh, for Chisakes, just clean the bloody thing, Hot soapy water! If you assembled the bloody thing properly in the first place, you wouldn"t have to worry about dissolving oil and grease all over the place! The trick is, clean the buggers regularly.

Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
Triless #583174 01/29/15 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Triless
Oh, for Chisakes, just clean the bloody thing, ! If you assembled the bloody thing properly in the first place, you wouldn"t have to worry about dissolving oil and grease all over the place! , clean the buggers regularly.


laughing clap :-) Why did I know that was written by an Ozzie even before I looked :-) beerchug

Last edited by johnm; 01/29/15 12:26 pm.
Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
johnm #583182 01/29/15 1:27 pm
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Reminds me of when I had an Aprilia Falco. Lots of Brits on the forum. I asked how they kept their bikes so clean with all their rain. One guy answers "We clean the f#$%in things all the time!"

Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
John Birkett #583209 01/29/15 5:21 pm
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Originally Posted by John Birkett



I want to get at the awkward hard to reach bits such as between the engine and gearbox etc.

What do you guys do ?


Sames as always, kerosene and a 1 to 1 1/2" paintbrush, with a tray underneath.
(Insulation tape around the steel brush body optional)

Then a good lashing of CRC 808 silicon spray wiped down via a terry towel type rag.
From then on it should need little more than the same, silicon (or lanolin) via a rag wipe down now and again.
Once the hard yards are done is is easy upkeep unless it is a major 'leaker, even then the silicon makes for easier clean up.

[Linked Image]

Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
Les P #583226 01/29/15 7:09 pm
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The road near home was sometimes a bit muddy...


[Linked Image]

Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
John Birkett #583249 01/29/15 9:43 pm
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.....something like what Triless said.....maybe a little soap and water and without oil leaks it isn't much of a problem.....except Rohan's photo and that would happen around here after a winter trial or scramble and the secret there is do it SOON......I didn't once and it was like sculpting once is was good and dry.....didn't want to help any of it to get into wheel bearings etc.by using the hose. With the road bike it doesn't seem to need doing all that often. If I've been out in the rain I just wipe it down before it comes into the basement...(it likes to keep warm at night)

Cheers, Wilf


"It's about the ride..."
Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
John Birkett #583429 01/31/15 7:18 am
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6.5HP gernie, I use it on everything...house, car engines (even on car seats and door trims), bikes etc etc, with some care of course

Last edited by Tiger100; 01/31/15 7:19 am.

Regards

Grant
Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
Les P #583448 01/31/15 10:16 am
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spray bottle with K1 kerosene and a rag

Re: What do you do for routine engine cleaning ?
John Birkett #583535 01/31/15 7:13 pm
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Rohan, is that factory mud? grin

Cheers

Richard


1977 T-140V
1973 T-140V
2011 Bonneville SE
Author of "Relics and Reminiscing."

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