What's the best way to remove years of grime? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 11th, 2012, 08:33 PM
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Jason Zolezzi
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What's the best way to remove years of grime?

The next little project I am going to take on is replacing the drive shaft pinion seals. I have put off tackling the drive shaft, steering, swivel balls and bushings long enough now only because of the mess from nearly 30 years of grease and grime. I have quite a bit to do down there and it is time. What is the best (easiest, most efficient) way to get as much of the crap off as possible without completely taking the truck apart? Do I get 5 gallons of degreaser and a pressure washer and park it on a sheet of plastic with some type of catch basin and go to town or is a steam cleaner better, where can I find a steam cleaner? I was hoping to not have to put on rain gear and goggles and get under the truck with a scraper. Any advice is much appreciated.

Thanks, Jason
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  #2  
Old September 11th, 2012, 08:48 PM
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There's only one way. Elbow grease. Get in there with a hard plastic putty knife and start scraping. All the degreaser in the world won't cut through it if it's caked on there. I spent 2 days in my engine bay alone when I swapped the engine. It sucks. But if you take the time it will be nice in the end..... Until you got trough the first mud puddle and cake the whole thing in mud anyways
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  #3  
Old September 11th, 2012, 08:50 PM
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Jason Zolezzi
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I was thinking of starting off having the engine steam cleaned, at least it would be a start
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  #4  
Old September 11th, 2012, 08:52 PM
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Bill Adams
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Best way is somewhat time consuming but the least amount of bother.
Go to the grocery store and get several cans of oven cleaner spray. Hose it all over the grimy area and allow to sit over night. Next day hose it off. Allow to dry and repeat over the course of a week or two. It will eventually be grease free and easy to work on.
Second best way is to power wash, but unless you can run it up on a lift it is very hard to get at where you really need to get.
Last best way is manually remove it either with a bucket of diesel and a green pad or earth friendly degreaser like POR-15 Marine Clean. Yes you'd have to get under it and most of it will be on you before you're done. You need a spray bottle, a scraper, green pads, etc...
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  #5  
Old September 11th, 2012, 08:57 PM
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I spent the better part of 3 weekends scraping the undercoating off the bottom of my truck. Got smart and went to a media blaster who used baking powder. I think it's a pretty soft medium to spray. It wasn't too aggressive but it made quick work of the entire bottom of my truck. Looks brand new after some new chassis paint. Someone else might want to chine in to confirm its a good idea for what you had in mind.
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  #6  
Old September 11th, 2012, 09:00 PM
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I have access to all kinds of big toys like tower cranes and excavators. I could probably get something set up so I can get under it fairly comfortably to work on it. I wish it had lifting eyes, that would make things a lot easier. I have a pressure washer too, I just don't wand to blast anything that may be damaged by the water jet
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Old September 11th, 2012, 09:00 PM
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Castrol super clean, let it sit for a while (careful, it eats aluminium) and a power washer.

If you are going to paint it post cleaning, you can use a wire brush. I am tempted to hit it with a wire wheel on my grinder, but I am not that bothered by grime. I like to think of the grime as auto rustproofing -- you can still read grease pencil marks under the grime on old trucks where the rest has rusted away.
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Old September 11th, 2012, 09:07 PM
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I don't need to be able to eat off of it, I would just like to be able to find the bolts to get a wrench on them
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  #9  
Old September 11th, 2012, 09:13 PM
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Trouble with any power washing soda blasting or any of that is that you get "shadow" areas that the nozzle simply cannot reach due to the geometry. You'll find that you will end up hand finishing anything that's "macro" like that. Plan on getting dirty no matter how you slice it.
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  #10  
Old September 11th, 2012, 09:16 PM
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water gets in everywhere......power washer 2400psi - DONE!
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  #11  
Old September 11th, 2012, 09:27 PM
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One time when I couldn't find any car cleaning products around the house I went into the bathroom and grabbed some "scrubbing bubbles" and sprayed it all over the engine bay. Let it sit a few minutes and sprayed with garden hose and I could see that the engine block was actually painted red! A few applications and I was impressed with what it could do. Not sure how it acts with plastic, rubber or aluminum. Doesn't seem to be harmful so far
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Old September 11th, 2012, 09:31 PM
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What i have used in the past is a steam cleaner with the soap spraying, also when that was enough i would put coat the area with the "heavy duty Truck and trailer cleaner" soap on there first and let it presoak for a few minutes, then hit it with the steam cleaner. Now i know most people don't have a steam cleaner so i do encourage you to pickup a little bit of the 'heavy duty truck and trailer cleaner' which i believe is $80 for 5 gallons but I'm sure you can find a smaller size. For some stuff like the tar and whatnot there was no way around scraping it off by hand with a scraper. As a last resort you could use some Oven Cleaner and let it sit overnight, Brakleen is useful but that can get very expensive if you keep using cans.
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  #13  
Old September 11th, 2012, 09:50 PM
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get a wide scraper and a skinny one, a faceshield and just scrape it off. lifts, chemicals, pressure washers, etc etc.. just scrape the shit off. Its actually the cleanest method because you're not blowing the grease everywhere, youre not creating gallons of toxic slime water. When you're done you roll up the dropcloth afterward and all the mess is gone in one swoop. If you wear some gloves your hands wont even get dirty!!!!
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  #14  
Old September 11th, 2012, 11:31 PM
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Thank you all for the great suggestions. I am going to start chipping away at it this weekend. Maybe I'll hit it with some cleaning supplies this week a little at a time. I'm hoping to get the new Rockware trailing arms and some of the bushings switched out while I am waiting for the pinion seals. I have a feeling I am going to be breaking lots of bolts over the next couple of weeks.
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  #15  
Old September 11th, 2012, 11:49 PM
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http://www.yankeeteakoil.com/products/SeaSpray.html

Worth a try, I have never used anything like it before. I even run it through the carpet cleaner. Best engine degreaser. That and elbow grease..and a pressure washer.
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  #16  
Old September 12th, 2012, 06:01 AM
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It's a fawkin waste of time. My DD IIA has original dirt and I have no intention of washing it off........even IF it ever needs to be worked on. Doesn't seem to affect performance either.

Customers rigs get castrol super clean and a hot power wash. Gets most of it. I usually don't get carried away with a power washer unless something is getting taken apart. The jet seems to be fairly intrusive.
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new expansion complete. Not only are we the only Rover shop in Eliot Maine...now we're also the biggest.

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  #17  
Old September 12th, 2012, 08:19 AM
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It's only going to leak if you take all the crud off....
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Old September 12th, 2012, 08:46 AM
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by junkyddog11 View Post
It's a fawkin waste of time. My DD IIA has original dirt and I have no intention of washing it off........even IF it ever needs to be worked on. Doesn't seem to affect performance either.

x2!!
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Old September 12th, 2012, 10:12 AM
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Same methods for Waxoyl + grime?

Curious since I have getting covered in black nastyness every time I go near the truck.
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  #20  
Old September 12th, 2012, 12:28 PM
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In the past I used a steam cleaner to clean the underside of 1970's antique Fire Engine we had at the station. It came away clean and I came away covered in dirt and grease.
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