Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Engine Clean

The engine looked like it might appreciate being cleaned and as there was no wind or rain I decided the time was right.  When last at Halfords purchasing oil for the next engine service I wandered down the cleaning aisle to see what degreaser they stocked.  After reading the various labels I opted for the 500ml spray bottle of ‘Gunk’.  Next time the engine needed degreasing I’d probably choose another product.  The Gunk worked, but not as well as I had hoped.


I removed everything from the engine compartment floor reminding myself that the entire area will need to have its annual clean and repaint once the weather gets warmer.  The next step was to wrap aluminium foil around both alternators.  This probably wasn’t necessary, but I didn’t know what the Gunk might do to the electrics.  Better to be safe than sorry!


175A alternator in the top right covered. 

It was then a case of spraying Gunk all over the engine starting with the lower part and then the top.  This might seem like the wrong sequence but as I had to drape myself over the engine to reach the lower half it made sense.  The engine was left for a few minutes and then I brushed down all the heavily contaminated areas with an old paint brush.  The last of the Gunk was sprayed on before I pressure washed the entire engine with a 240V high pressure water washer.  refilled the empty Gunk bottle with clean water to rinse down the engine.  Actually the bottle needed to be refilled five times.

The easily accessible parts were then dried with a clean rag  before I gave the top a polished with the last of the Craftmaster. Yes, I’m a sad individual with nothing else to do!


Of course all the oily and dirty water and used Gunk drains out of the bilge and into the canal then needed to be removed from under the engine.  The one advantage of using the spray bottle to rinse the engine was the small volume of liquid to be removed.  About 1½ litres.  I had intended to use an old sponge but the amount was so small that I was able to soak it all up using Tesco budget paper baby nappies.

By now my back and legs were telling (screaming) at me about their age.  However I pressed on managing to place a set of puppy training mats underneath the engine.  You might be able to see the end of one under the gearbox in this next photo.


Finally I realised all the soggy and dirt filled nappies and old puppy mats needed to be bagged and disposed.  Wish there was a cold beer in the fridge!


Dave said...

Hi Tom

I assume you isolated the electrics before wrapping tin foil around the alternator? Would clingfilm or a bag have worked?

When i last used Gunk back in my motorbike days, i found it always seemed to leave a oily residue that needed hot soapy water to remove. Maybe there is something better now.

Tom and Jan said...

Cling film or a bag would probably work but all the you tube videos showed foil as being easier. I think I woud try a different degreaser nex time!