How to clean your engine? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Auto Detailing 101 General discussion of auto cleaning and detailing. Learn tips and tricks to keep your Ford Ranger looking its best.

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  #1  
Old 06-01-2004
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I still got nasty stuff all over my engine compartment from february. And lots of sand, etc. Now I was told you could spray all over your engine, but I have a hard time believing it. I did some cleaning but its so spotty in such hard to get places there has to be something, whats the real deal?
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2004
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Hey Jon,

I posted this up in the product review forum, but it applies here as well...

And yes, you can just spray down the entire engine compartment, however try to avoid where the wire harness connects to the computer just to be on the safe side...

Kirkland brand of Simple Green from Costco. You get 1 gallon of "consentrate" for only 5 bux. I've used it 4 times on my engine and once on each of my daughter's cars. My engine hasn't been all that bad, but a 94 Integra and a 95 Civic that were never cleaned since new- full of packed, dirt and oil.

Anyway, pic of my engine compartment:


Here's an pic of the 95 Civic after doing the cleaning. Before you couldn't even see the valve cover, no other colors and looked all fuzzy from the caked on oil/dirt....


I use about a 50/50 blend with water and use full strength on the thick grimy stuff. Just spray it on and wash it off with a fine stream of water. It's also bio-degradable so you don't have to worry about getting a hazmat fine from washing it down the gutter.[/img]
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2004
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Well I figured I should do this on at least one board

Simple Green is good stuff. I have never cleaned an engine with it, but I have used it on carbs that needed cleaning before with very good results. It is MUCH safer for you and the car than pretty much any engine degreaser. Many engine degreasers can cause hazyness on painted parts, Simple Green should not.

The owners manual should tell you what things to cover up before cleaning the engine.
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  #4  
Old 06-02-2004
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I will second that simple green or kirkland stuff. Depending on how bad your compartment is Jon, is how much to put to water. My compartment was pretty filthy so I went full strength and I used our pressure washer with the hard mist setting it has and came out great. But like stated remember to cover the wires and stuff. Like stated above the manual shows exactly what needs to be covered and don't forget to do it on a cold engine...lol.
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2004
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Cold engine, cover it with either Simple Green or Grease Lightning, let it set for about 5 minutes, then hose it off lightly. The only thing that I did special was not spray anything on the battery. I just used a paper towel to wipe it off. Looks great! Use a blower and dry it off for about 5 minutes and then let it set for a while just to make sure that it is dry. I would say a good hour. If you really want it to shine, spray some Armor All Tire Foam onto the air intake pipe, the SOHC or whatever you have cover, and anything else that is plastic besides your electrical box. Be sure to let it set for another hour or two before driving because that stuff is supposedly flammable! It really makes it shine though. If you are going to just spray some Simple Green and pressure wash your engine out, please be sure to cover any connections ( they are diagrammed out in the back of your owner's manual ) just to make sure that you don't force any water into those connections! Hosing it out though shouldn't be bad- just don't spray straight onto those connections. Good Luck!
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  #6  
Old 06-04-2004
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I have honestly never paid attention to where and what I spray under my engine and my truck is doing just fine. Do what the others have suggested; cold engine, simple green, brush and scrub, rinse.
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  #7  
Old 06-05-2004
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You really don't need to worry about the battery. You can put the cleaner on it and hose it off. I also use a battery cleaner that is made for the crap the builds up on it. Dry it off when your done. No problems.

I wouldn't hose down the fuse/relay panel under the hood simply because I wouldn't want water staying in it causing rust and corrosion.
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  #8  
Old 03-12-2005
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TSP any good for engines?

I've heard and experience alot of good with Simple Green. I recently discovered TSP (trisodium phosphate) as a excellent degreaser. I haven't used it on the truck yet. I'm still investigating the effects on aluminum & steel. It eats cooking grease like solvent. But I worried about it being a ruster on steel since it is a sodium biproduct. Is there any comments on that?
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  #9  
Old 03-12-2005
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Quater car wash....simple green....let soak...then hose away....leave the truck running BTW....just stay away from the coil pack and the batt and any aftermaket wiring you have there...and the main wiring harness....thats all...think about this you go though a BIG water puttle now whats ALL over your engine WATER.....so go wash it
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2005
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Ive always went to a car wash and use the engine wash( may be called different in other areas) and it cleans my engine up real good...if u keep doin that periodicly your engine will look great.
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  #11  
Old 03-12-2005
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Simple Green, Soak, Rince, Repeat...
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  #12  
Old 03-12-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rngprerunner
Simple Green, Soak, Rince, Repeat...
Dont do that to your Girlfriend she wont like it
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  #13  
Old 09-04-2010
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I've always used simple green and sprayed away with pressure washer never tried to avoid anything and never had any problems. I have been told to crank the truck while its cold and pressure wash away while its running. I always leave it running with the hood open for a few minuets afterwords too.
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  #14  
Old 09-15-2010
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I use a garden sprayer filled with 50/50 generic Walmart cleaner/degreaser (like simple green) and water. Soak down the engine and let it sit for a few minutes. I never bothered covering anything. Then just use the hose and rinse everything out. Be aware that any over spray or spillage of the degreaser on your fenders or paint will strip off any wax that you have so if you are worried about such things you'll need to rewax.
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  #15  
Old 09-15-2010
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Holy dead thread Batman.

I always use spray 9 and a waterhose
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  #16  
Old 09-16-2010
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Simple green and lots of spot free high pressure water.
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  #17  
Old 11-14-2010
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go to the car wash, open your hood and select the wax pressure washer. The spray everything in your engine compartment, let sit for 5 minutes and comes out shiny everywhere!
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  #18  
Old 11-14-2010
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put your truck into 4lo, drive into a pond, then back out. Presto!!!

just kidding dont do that.
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  #19  
Old 11-14-2010
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^^ hahahhaha
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  #20  
Old 11-15-2010
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I use any spray engine cleaner. Citrus degreasers seem ok, or Simple Green as suggested. Then I spray Armour All on everything under the hood. Then spray that off at the carwash, not squeezing the trigger for the high pressure. It leaves everything looking like it was detailed at a dealership.


GB :)
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  #21  
Old 11-18-2010
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I use "Mean Green" buy it at the dollar store, spray it on, let it set for 10 minutes, wide spray on the garden hose up high to rinse it off and start the truck right when I am done, looks like a new engine everytime.
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  #22  
Old 11-22-2010
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i used the spray cleaner . works great i used an entire can at like 5$ But just try to keep it off your belt !!!!! i got some on my belt and it squeaked for about a week or two at slow idle. It wears off the belt if you do get it on it
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  #23  
Old 11-23-2010
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car wash, cheapest and easiest way, never had any problems doing it either
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  #24  
Old 12-27-2010
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Every time i wash the truck i wipe down everything under the hood. If it gets a little out of hand wet with hose spray very little power purple and rinse well then use backpack blower to dry then detail with 303 protectant!

Wayne
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  #25  
Old 12-29-2010
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Truck Running, Spray everything under the hood with degreaser...let sit with engine running...pressure wash everything under the hood at high pressure but hold the washer at least 4 feet from the engine...just hose the whole thing off and get all of your engine degreaser off.

It's my personal opinion as a mechanic that there is no need to avoid electricals or anything like that...cars back in the day with crummy wiring, yes, avoid water, but the engine bay is already completely open to the outside and all of the connectors are at the very least water resistant. If the engine is running and you're 4 feet away, the amount of water that will get into anything is negligible. Just make sure the fuseboxes are closed and don't be dumb and point the pressure washer directly at any connections under force.

Then spray everything under the hood with a quality protectant that's safe for rubber. Drive the truck for about 15 minutes and the truck will look spiffy as can be.

If you pay someone to detail your engine, this is exactly what they'll do. There's no other way to effectively and quickly clean an engine thoroughly without a pressure washer.
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