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Old 11-28-2009, 02:12 PM   #1
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Procedure Needed to Safely Clean Engine

Does anyone have advice on the best way to clean the engine & engine compartment without damaging the electronics, alternator, etc?

In the old days, I used to wrap the distributor and alternator with tin-foil and stay away from those areas...

I want to clean my recent purchase of a 2001 Sahara.

Thanks,
Joe

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Old 11-30-2009, 07:32 AM   #2
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Don't worry about covering anything except for the inlet to the air filter. I've cleaned many engings. The only thing that will get youy into problems is a pressure washer which will force water into connectors and into places. A garden hose is fine. Simple Green is a great product. Also a warm engine is better as grease and grime is looser.

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Old 11-30-2009, 07:46 AM   #3
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I usually turn my engine on and let it idle while i hose off all the big stuff, then simple green to make the hard to reach stuff go away then armor-all the plastic
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:09 AM   #4
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Does the Simple Green work on removing dirt too?
I used the Engine Brite stuff and it got grease/oil cleaned up, but did nothing for the dried dirt that's all over the motor.
Starting to think I'll have to get in there with a brush & elbow grease for that.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:21 AM   #5
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Make sure you dont use alot of pressure and I would recommend to do it when the engine is not hot. You don't want to put cold water on a hot exhaust manifold.
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:12 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice. Will give the garden hose and Simple Green treatment a try. I was going to give the self-service car wash approach a try before the advice.

Guess I could just keep the hood closed....
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:36 AM   #7
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would recommend to do it when the engine is not hot. You don't want to put cold water on a hot exhaust manifold.
It's not going to do anything to the manifold. Think, you are driving and you splash through a big puddle. The manifold will get wet. Plenty of Jeppers drive through water crossings. Think the manifold is hot when they drive in? Do you think either of the above happens in winter whe the water is really cold? The manifold is not going to crack.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:59 AM   #8
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Does the Simple Green work on removing dirt too? I used the Engine Brite stuff and it got grease/oil cleaned up, but did nothing for the dried dirt that's all over the motor.
Starting to think I'll have to get in there with a brush & elbow grease for that.
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:55 AM   #9
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I don't see where it does anything special on dirt. When I wash my engine, I always end up with water inside fyi.
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:13 PM   #10
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I do nothing more than take mine to the coin-op car wash and use the high pressure soapy sprayer. I just use a little common sense and don't hit the sensors around the throttle body with the high pressure spray but I do pretty much everywhere else. I back off on the high pressure and only use the low pressure setting around the throttle body but I still spray that area. There's nothing inside the engine compartment that can't get wet since water gets kicked up in there when it rains anyway. I would only either unplug the underhood light or remove the bulb first, you don't want water hitting it when it's hot from being on as it will crack or shatter.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:06 PM   #11
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It's not going to do anything to the manifold. Think, you are driving and you splash through a big puddle. The manifold will get wet. Plenty of Jeppers drive through water crossings. Think the manifold is hot when they drive in? Do you think either of the above happens in winter whe the water is really cold? The manifold is not going to crack.
You're right, it may not crack but to me it doesn't make sense. Just do it when it is cooled down. The amount of water that I splash on it from driving through a puddle vs. a hose spraying directly on the manifold isn't exactly the same. Just a unnecessary risk. You are also quenching the steel which doesn't exactly help your ductility properties.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:11 PM   #12
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i hose the whole thing down with gunk engine brite, wait 15-20 min then hit it with a garden hose. never had any problems. haven't tried simple green but i use that in alot of other places and im sure it would work fine on the motor too.
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:52 AM   #13
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Do it the safe way. Rags and degreaser. Get elbow deep and start wiping.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:26 AM   #14
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You're right, it may not crack but to me it doesn't make sense. Just do it when it is cooled down. The amount of water that I splash on it from driving through a puddle vs. a hose spraying directly on the manifold isn't exactly the same. Just a unnecessary risk. You are also quenching the steel which doesn't exactly help your ductility properties.

No risk involved. I've been cleaning many engines for years.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:11 AM   #15
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I do nothing more than take mine to the coin-op car wash and use the high pressure soapy sprayer. I just use a little common sense and don't hit the sensors around the throttle body with the high pressure spray but I do pretty much everywhere else. I back off on the high pressure and only use the low pressure setting around the throttle body but I still spray that area. There's nothing inside the engine compartment that can't get wet since water gets kicked up in there when it rains anyway. I would only either unplug the underhood light or remove the bulb first, you don't want water hitting it when it's hot from being on as it will crack or shatter.
exactly what i do. works like a charm. after that first time i didn't wash it good enough, and had some serious rust problems, never again.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:51 AM   #16
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Yes deff unplug or turn off the engine bay light. Mine shorted out and started smoking. I broke it pulling it off thinking the housing had caught fire lol! It didnt do it the first three cleanings but the 4th it did. Just something to watch out for
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:44 PM   #17
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Yes deff unplug or turn off the engine bay light. Mine shorted out and started smoking. I broke it pulling it off thinking the housing had caught fire lol! It didnt do it the first three cleanings but the 4th it did. Just something to watch out for
I will check out the engine bay light because right now, I just noticed it does not work when I open the hood anyway. Maybe the prior owner already performed the "smoke test"?
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:57 PM   #18
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I have used greased lightning in the past with some decent results. I just sprayed a real good amount on the engine while cold but I used a tire brush to help the dirt off. Then I sprayed the whole motor down real good just being mindful of the intake tube.

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