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This is gonna be a long one but a few people told me privately they were interested so hope it wont bore you.

I like to clean engines. I have done a few ferraris including a V12 which took one year. 8 days ago I decided to tackle my S4 Spider. All the work was done with the engine in the car. I try to get the engine to a "factory" look thus no BLING, no polished cam covers ect. I call it stage one because I haven't yet tackled the manifold of fuel rail, that is stage two. Everything was done in my little attached garage here in the UK with basic tools. Any questions, please ask and I will try to answer.

Generally the process is to take EVERYTHING apart that you can. Pull the Alternator, belts, pulleys, PS pump, hoses, radiator, coil, plug wires, VVT and cam cover. get yourself the following: Cleaner degreaser 3 gallons, cellulose thinner, paint brushes, wire brushes, tape, gloves, glass bead for your home shot blaster 20kg, a digital camera, basic hand tools, UPOL and Wurth Paints.

First you can see pictures of the engine bits during the tear down.

Now once you have all the bits in a big pile along with every nut, bolt, clamp, ect you are going to spend about 5 hours washing and cleaning the engine block. Its a back killer but worth it. I use panel wipe to clean and degrease everything starting at the top of the engine and working down. My engine used 3 gallons of the stuff. best to use a pressure spray bottle in order to wash out all the oil and grime from everything.

You also have to clean all the parts you have removed. Seperate the silver from the gold bits. Use the cellulose thinners for the really grimy stuff. Doing the work now will make all the shot blasting easier and will make your glass bead last longer.

Get yourself one of those home style shot blasting cabinets. they are pretty cheap. You have to have an aircompressor as well of course. My little 50l one takes ages to clean stuff but at least it gets done right. You do not want blasting grit, find yourself glass bead; this will make a great finish on the castings without marking them up. Put all the small nuts and bolts in a mesh cage and blast them clean as well. make sure you have noted which parts are supposed to be gold passive and which are silver zinc. You need to make sure you get the right parts plated the right colours!

My next thread will take up from here....
 

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Do you have any tips on how to clean old plastic parts? Especially things like the clear(ish) plastic brake fluid reservoir. I've shied away from anything abrasive or chemical based for fear of damaging the plastic.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I generally use panel wipe as a degreaser and plastic polish to clean (same as you use on the rear windscreen of the top). Panel wipe wont cause problems and get a stiff brush and scrub away!
 

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OK, next dumb question - What is "panel wipe" and is it, or an equivalent, available in the UK?
Actually I AM based in the UK (Shropshire). Goto your local autofactors or auto paint store, every town has one. Ask for 5l of pannel wipe. It will cost 14.00-15.00. Best cleaner and degreaser ever. Use it for everything though use gloves cause it will dry out your hands like you can't believe. Its used to prep bodywork before painting. Expensive but the best stuff...clean tools, parts, floor, everything.
 

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f512tr, I think this is going to be a great thread, ive been doing a VERY basic cleaning of my engine compartment but would love to get it more "detailed". ive always been a little unsure of the metals though. i never know what each piece or component is made out of or what to use on them. id hate to do this only to find out ive destroyed the look or finish on something.

thanks for taking the time to start this, can't wait to see more!

Rob
 

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Cleaning plastic

Do you have any tips on how to clean old plastic parts? Especially things like the clear(ish) plastic brake fluid reservoir. I've shied away from anything abrasive or chemical based for fear of damaging the plastic.
Ice is the vehicle you want. Shaken, not stirred.
 

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Great job! Makes my efforts pale in comparrison.:eek:

Just a quick question or two:
What is Panel Wipe and cellulose thinner, and would you know the equivalants on this side of the Pond???

Once again, beautiful job.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great job! Makes my efforts pale in comparrison.:eek:

Just a quick question or two:
What is Panel Wipe and cellulose thinner, and would you know the equivalants on this side of the Pond???

Once again, beautiful job.
Cellulose thinners is a type paint thinner used with cellulose paint. Its pretty nasty stuff so use with care but it does degrease parts pretty well. never ever spray on the engine and it will melt ALL plastic and quickly (dont ask me how I know this). Panel wipe is used in the car paint process, it is literally a degreaser to wipe the body work prior to painting. Its probably a similar name in the USA, check with a car paint supplier.
 

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engine bay cleaners

In Europe are companies offering dry ice blasting. I have had it performed on my 89 VW Beetle convertible and it worked absolutely super. It does not harm rubber parts!
For your PE (Polyethylene) based parts you can use a citric acid based degreeser and elbow grease!

HJM
 

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I washed the resivoir when I replaced the brake master cylinder, regular dish soap and warm water in the kitchen sink (the wife wasn't home).
 

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I suspect that 'panel wipe' is also known as 'pre-prep' degreaser. From memory, the chemical name is carbon tetrachloride. Not dissimilar to carb cleaner in effect.

For normal oily residue, you can use diesel and paraffin too - neither of which will strip the surface of painted surfaces. Gunk cleaner fired out of a schutz gun is pretty effective too.
 

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Great thread. I do have a tip that has worked for me on really bad greasy engines. I run the engine until it gets warm then spray it with E-Z OFF oven cleaner, spray it with water after the engine cools down and then, once it dries, you can use 'Simple Green' on it to get at the areas still greasy. I make sure to cover the distributor and alternator before hosing the EZ OFF off the engine. It does a great job.
 

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I suspect that 'panel wipe' is also known as 'pre-prep' degreaser. From memory, the chemical name is carbon tetrachloride. Not dissimilar to carb cleaner in effect.
I ought to point out that you shouldn't let carbon tet and aluminum filings anywhere near an ignition source. It might cost you an engine bay respray, a trip to A&E, and an interesting conversation with your other half .... :rolleyes:
 

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I ought to point out that you shouldn't let carbon tet and aluminum filings anywhere near an ignition source. It might cost you an engine bay respray, a trip to A&E, and an interesting conversation with your other half .... :rolleyes:
WEll, carbon tet, CCl4, is not flammable, yet very volatile. I know, sounds contradictory, but some compounds are like that. BUT it is v dangerous if vapors are inhaled .....it is a close relative to chloroform......

One of the best degreasers, though.
 

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Great thread. I do have a tip that has worked for me on really bad greasy engines. I run the engine until it gets warm then spray it with E-Z OFF oven cleaner, spray it with water after the engine cools down and then, once it dries, you can use 'Simple Green' on it to get at the areas still greasy. I make sure to cover the distributor and alternator before hosing the EZ OFF off the engine. It does a great job.
Man, still doing Chemistry Police tonight....

Watch out for EZ off!! That stuff is Very corrosive, and will eat at the aluminum, although, just surface. Also, BAD vapors when sprayed. That is one of the most corrosively alkaline compounds known. Burns skin. (mostly sodium hydroxide, also known as lye)

Getting tired of patrolling this beat, gonna go to another thread.....
 

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Can dry ice blasting be effective for body preparation, including rust removal, as opposed to sand or soda blasting?

Thanks
Frank Luongo
1965 Spider
 
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