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Pressure Washing Engines


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#1 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2013 - 03:40 PM

Ok guys, I did some searching and couldn't find a whole lot so I figured I'd ask...  The Tecumseh on the Sears Suburban I just picked up is beyond dirty, I was looking at how dirty the frame was and decided to pull the tins off the engine to check it out and there are places where you can't even see the cooling fins due to the grease and dirt build up.  I've seen several guys say to leave it running as you pressure wash but that's not an option due to how much I had to take apart just to get the tins off (this tractor is like a puzzle to work on) and I've also seen that damage to the stator is possible (among other things) if it gets wet so I need some suggestions.  Cleaning dry (like with an airgun) isn't really an option since the build up is quite oily; degreaser and pressure washing seems like the best option but obviously I don't want to fry anything when I start it up afterwards.  Is there a way to dry it out?  Should I let it sit for a length of time before starting it up?  Or does it not even matter?  I'm gonna be doing a couple of my Kohlers soon too but those aren't nearly as bad so I figured I'd start here...


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#2 glgrumpy OFFLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2013 - 03:58 PM

Let'er Rip!  I wouldn't wash while running with heat and cool damage possible. I've washed many with no problems. If any weak gaskets around breather say or such might leak a bit. I've even left carbs on. You can plug the in/ex holes if you wish if down that much. Try not to hit the wires under flywheel hard if you have those off, or even just remove, set aside. You can peel the covers off wires if hit too hard. I use the softer setting on mine for most times, less chance of damage. Might peel paint if chipped and loose, another good idea for the softer settings. OH, and point the end that water sprays out at the engine while using! Clean the driveway off with it when done. Mine sprays onto the gravely end of mine. The Grass don't like the cleaners!



#3 JRJ OFFLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2013 - 04:40 PM

Going on your words that the parts being removed are like a puzzle I would suggest taking pictures prior to remove them and that way you can show us a before and finished product and it will help putting the parts back in there assigned areas.

 

 

Dick



#4 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2013 - 04:50 PM

I use this Air gun from HF,  you'd be surprised how much grime and dirt, even greasy oily dirt this gun with about 90 - 100 Psi will take off.  Then I use this Engine Cleaner gun also from HF with a solution of Water and Grease lightning and or Dawn.  It doesn't use a lot of water so you don't really soak the engine.  When I'm happy with how clean the engine is I then use the air gun to dry off the engine and hopefully get any water that may have gotten around an electrical component dry.


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#5 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2013 - 04:57 PM

If it's really greasy you will have trouble getting it clean with just water in one go. I'd go over it once and see how it looks. then I'd use some engine degreaser on the stubborn areas, let that sit for a bit then pressure wash again. I found that it's really difficult to get all the gunk out from the fins unless you can get the engine torn down enough to get good access. Wear eye protection because the gunk will fly back in your direction quite often. 


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#6 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2013 - 05:58 PM

Going on your words that the parts being removed are like a puzzle I would suggest taking pictures prior to remove them and that way you can show us a before and finished product and it will help putting the parts back in there assigned areas.


Dick


Thankfully I have all of the original manuals which include thorough schematics and breakdowns of all parts so I'm hoping all will be well in the end.

Thanks for the all tips guys, let's keep 'em coming, maybe it'll help some other people out too.

Here's what I'm dealing with...
Posted Image

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#7 Kfs35 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2013 - 07:49 PM

Yep, that could stand some power washing!

I wouldn't directly spray any electrical components, and avoid the intake and exhaust, but have at the rest.

I have used a siphon gun and mineral spirits for degreasing, but I think you need more than that!

Bob

#8 robert_p43 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2013 - 07:52 PM

I totally understand the puzzle thing.  Just to get the tins off, you need to remove the side covers, the gas tank and tray, the clutch and bracket, etc.  The head bolts hold some of these things. I had to do this a few times, just to get my 67 running.  At least now I know what I am up against if I ever decide to get the engine ready for a better cleaning and painting.

And, yeah, thats a dirty one.  Mine looks similar at first.  I used a machinists scribe to scrape in there along with blowing lots of air to get the crud off of mine.


Edited by robert_p43, October 15, 2013 - 07:55 PM.

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#9 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2013 - 07:13 PM

Spray the whole motor down good and heavy with standard oven cleaner. let it soak for about ten minutes, and then rinse the motor down with your highest setting on the garden hose. It might take two, possibly three times with the oven cleaner, but it will get clean. The first oven cleaner soak will remove a lot of the grease and grime, but the second soak will get any nooks and crannies that the first soak didn't. Let the first soak on for about ten minutes, Each and every soak after that, don't let it on as long. The cleaner the motor gets, and the longer you let the oven cleaner on, the more paint you will remove from the engine block.


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#10 lyall ONLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2013 - 07:33 PM

I try to remove most of the old dirt and greaseoil build up first with a wire brush and/or old tooth brush

then blow it off then spring degreaser before I power wash the motor or anything else I am cleaning

 

the reason for the wire brush first is to get all the heavy dirt and grease/oil build up off first so that the degreaser can be it's job better



#11 Alc OFFLINE  

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Posted October 17, 2013 - 05:37 AM

I try to remove most of the old dirt and greaseoil build up first with a wire brush and/or old tooth brush

then blow it off then spring degreaser before I power wash the motor or anything else I am cleaning

 

the reason for the wire brush first is to get all the heavy dirt and grease/oil build up off first so that the degreaser can be it's job better

 

 

 As I was reading this post I was think on how I would do it ,, then read Lyall's ,  yep that's it



#12 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted October 17, 2013 - 07:18 PM

I was the one who burnt up the stator, I think it was cause I started it while it was all still wet under there. I traveled 1 1/2 hrs in heavy rain also with tractor getting wet on plow day so it may have gotten wet there also.

I just degreased and hosed down my Onan so I'm not scared to do it again. If the motor will be sitting for a while to dry out, then go for it. Scrape as much heavy stuff off, I used Purple degreaser and also old tooth brushes for those tight places.

That motor is pretty grimey!



#13 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 17, 2013 - 08:33 PM

Oh that was you, I couldn't remember who had done it but it scared me... Well I went nutty with the degreaser, brushes and power washer and this was the end result...
Posted Image
Posted Image

There was paint under all that grease that looks almost new, the cleanup made it look pretty good for a 43 year old tractor. Still working on putting it all back together with new fuel lines and so on, hopefully it'll still run when I get done :D
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#14 lyall ONLINE  

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Posted October 26, 2013 - 08:07 PM

I hope you keeped the spark plug in when you cleaned your motor!

water and cleaner inside the motor is not good.

 

that motor sure did clean up good

 

now you will be able to see if you have any oil leaks

 

a good blowing off once in a while to keep the dirt build up off

 

air cooled motors with oil and dirt build up can short the like of any good motor - that is why the manufacturers say the remove the oil and dirt build up



#15 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 27, 2013 - 07:17 AM

I hope you keeped the spark plug in when you cleaned your motor!

water and cleaner inside the motor is not good.

 

Yes I definitely did, I also left the carb on but put a piece of duct tape over the mouth of the carb and screwed the air cleaner base back into place to hold it tight.  As soon as I was done washing I drained the oil and gave it a few squirts of oil both on top of the piston and around the valves then spun the engine over by hand to work the oil around just because I knew it would be sitting for several days and I wanted to make sure any moisture that was in the engine got driven out.

 

I've run it for a couple of hours since I reassembled it and I can't find a leak anywhere, I was certain I would based on how badly coated the entire tractor was but now I'm not sure.  There's no visible vapors or anything coming out of the breather but is it still possible that all of oil came from the breather over the years?  I'm at a loss for ideas, I figured I'd keep an eye on everything as she gets used and maybe the answer will present itself...

 

I think it cleaned up pretty nice as well, thanks Lyall!  It was a lot of work but well worth it, the tractor overall looks so much better now it almost doesn't even look like the same one I brought home with me.






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