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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering how you keep your Busso v6 engines clean with all the electrical connections and a timing belt?

Engine degreaser works brilliantly but don't want slippery stuff ending up on my cambelt ... and you are supposed to hose it off meaning water all over all those electrical plugs

Am I being a chicken?
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #2

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I just don't.

Never clean an engine that needs no servicing.

There is literally no reason to keep an engine clean on the outside.

On the inside use only the best oil changed at least once per year or 16,000 km, and use and change the various oil, air and fuel filters with the best you can find, flush ordinary coolant every two years and long life per the manufacturer's interval usually five to ten years. Flush the brake fluid every three years while you're at it.

Leave the outside alone unless you need to see something and repair it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well I change oil and filter at 10,000 kms, so we are good there. Will bleed brakes this weekend (been on my to do list a little too long).

I get where you are coming from Michael, but I noticed it could be cleaner while changing spark plugs.

I'm very busy at the moment, so might just do a bit of compressed air blowing and leave it at that

Pete
 

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Many years ago a MB service manager told me a trick he used on his own cars to keep the engine compartment clean.
His procedure was to use spay brake cleaner to remove oil and grease accumulations. I've used his tip a few times over the years, but two cautions:
!. Put a tarp or other sacrificial cover under the engine to catch the dripping crud.
2. DO NOT try this procedure inside the garage! AMHIK.
 
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The visible parts of the engine can be safely "cleaned" with a rag dampened with some sort of oil solvent, if you wish. Where the trouble starts is when you try to use any form of water based cleaner. Water can just kill electrics dead, non rescuscitatable dead. Why risk that?
 

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If the electrics are old Lucas, then ok I get that. But having ridden motorcycles in my younger days, across hundreds of miles and through numerous downpours and puddles, and knowing that piston engine aircraft usually stay aloft in a rainstorm, I really don't see how water here and there will kill anything. Unless connections are loose, insecure or sprayed directly with a jet of water.
Just my own experience...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Valid, but we are talking about an Alfa Romeo where many will say the electrics only just work in the first place :D

If it was a Toyota/Mazda or Honda I'd already have cleaned it with engine degreaser and then rinsed it off with water
Pete
 

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Pete the problem is if you wash the engine you will get water down the spark plug wells. Nothing more, nothing less. I'm pretty sure we have been over this before but you can clean down the engine with suitable brake cleaner and compressed air. Or take the plenum off again, remove the coil packs, stick rags everywhere and pressure wash it.
 

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I have no hesitation spraying with water but I wrap cling film around the distributor (if there is one such as a 105 engine), however I spend time afterwards with a sponge and the air gun to dry everything out. I also find the WD40 or CRC 556 that I spray on the engine to keep the alloy clean helps prevent water penetration within the electrical plugs etc.
 

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On the V6 the spark plug wells are pretty well protected. Though might be worth protecting other components.
Personally though, as others have posted, I don't see the need to clean the outside of my engine - am more bothered by how it runs and drives. The only time have cleaned parts have been when there were off the car and then painted them before refitting.
1654577
 

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Well ironically I don`t like getting my hands dirty when I work on my cars, plus you can see better what you are actually working on, spot any oil leaks earlier and a clean engine just seems to go better. Also a matter of simple pride in the vehicle and being a bit weird I actually like looking at these great engines - I`ll leave the bonnet open just so I can look at them - also prefer a clean engine bay. In all my years of playing with cars - including owning a Euro workshop cleaning an engine has never caused problems providing things are dried off properly afterwards and it is not hard.
 

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On the V6 the spark plug wells are pretty well protected. Though might be worth protecting other components.
Personally though, as others have posted, I don't see the need to clean the outside of my engine - am more bothered by how it runs and drives. The only time have cleaned parts have been when there were off the car and then painted them before refitting.
Richard I'm sorry to disagree but I am only doing so with good intensions. On Pete's car 156 V6, the spark plug wells do look well protected. However 100% the slightest bit of water and it makes its way in there causing misfires. Other than that and common cense there is no problem washing the engine as I mentioned in the above post. This is what I do for a living so trust me I'm not just making stuff up (y)
 

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I've never jetwashed any engine nor felt the need to so I'll bow to your greater experience on this front. I have no experience either way but obviously you do. :)
 

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I've never jetwashed any engine nor felt the need to so I'll bow to your greater experience on this front. I have no experience either way but obviously you do. :)
lol Please don't bow. Believe me I wish I wasn't a mechanic, unfortunately its one of the few things I'm good at. Life is what happens when your busy making other plans. Customers want engines cleaned so its reasonable to say I have washed my fair share of alfa engines.
 

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It depends on your post wash proceedure. I go through with the duster gun and sponge afterwards to clear the water away and this includes taking apart the electrical plugs. On the 156 V6 there is no problem with the spark plugs as they are well covered anyway however I am always mindful of not directly pointing the water at electrical connections. It is not a fast process but well worth it afterwards. Never had a problem yet but I am methodical. I have just over 40 years of doing this and covers all cars from Fiat 500D to Ferraris including Boxer, V6 and twin cam Alfas I own or have owned.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm very proud of my Busso v6 engine. Yes the 156v6 is now the only family car and is used a lot, but I do try and look after it. Yes I also believe in the concept that if you remove something during a repair it should be cleaned before reinstalling. If you look at the front suspension of this car you will see this in action, and I even got carried away one day and cleaned the underneath of the floor :eek: (must fix the dents that miss-placed jacks caused :()

More servicing work this weekend, so will see what I can easily do.
Pete
 

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Me to Pete. I thought I had some before and after photos from one of my customers cars but I cant find them. Changed the cam cover gaskets, pressure washed the engine bay, polished the intake runners and changed the ratty looking coolant tank. Huge difference.
 

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When I would rinse off the engine cleaner, I'd just use a dribble of water- only enough to rinse it away. Then I'd use compressed air to immediately blow any remaining water off any wire connectors, cables or plug wires. I rarely had an issue but then I'd usually clean a hot engine to get the crud to release better. I've even cleaned off engine blocks and front covers with it running, but avoiding the plug wires of course!
 
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