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cleaning engine; how to do so safely

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by beedoola, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. Jan 2, 2012 at 7:53 AM
    #1
    beedoola

    beedoola [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I bought some engine cleaner awhile back but never got around to using it. I plan on doing so but I've never cleaned an engine before so I want to be as properly prepared as possible before proceeding.

    What is the best method for covering all the needed parts - wiring, etc. What to cover. Are guides around here for noobz? :eek:
     
  2. Jan 2, 2012 at 7:56 AM
    #2
    Rusty 06 4x4

    Rusty 06 4x4 NBHNC

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  3. Jan 2, 2012 at 8:05 AM
    #3
    beedoola

    beedoola [OP] Well-Known Member

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    cool, pretty straight forward, thanks.

    Wasn't sure of Tacomas (mine is an 01' prerunner) had any particular parts that needed to be covered/protected, things to avoid, etc.
     
  4. Jan 2, 2012 at 8:08 AM
    #4
    Rusty 06 4x4

    Rusty 06 4x4 NBHNC

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    no prob
     
  5. Jan 2, 2012 at 8:14 AM
    #5
    RAT PRODUCTS

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    Avoid spraying directly on the alternator if you can. Some water on it is alright but high pressure is bad. I always clean mine with the engine running so it can burn any small water molecules that might get in the intake.
     
  6. Jan 2, 2012 at 8:20 AM
    #6
    beedoola

    beedoola [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I figured I'd do it with the engine off, cover the alternator and distributor. Also the wires on the coils for plugs are showing - the wire cover has cracked over the years, figured I'd cover those too.
     
  7. Jan 2, 2012 at 8:25 AM
    #7
    RAT PRODUCTS

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    A good idea would be to replace those plug wires. It will help your engine run smoother ten-fold because of the resistance difference without insulation on all of the wire.
     
  8. Jan 2, 2012 at 10:41 AM
    #8
    Rebel Taco 22

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    I put a plastic bag over my air filter and used the shower mode on my hose and washed it off. Ive done it that way at least 5 times and everything is working fine
     
  9. Jan 2, 2012 at 10:43 AM
    #9
    G scott04

    G scott04 ...

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    Do not clean it while it is running, Im sorry this is a terrible idea. or while it is hot.
     
  10. Jan 2, 2012 at 5:29 PM
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    RAT PRODUCTS

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    Please elaborate because every reliable source I've asked said to leave it running.
     
  11. Jan 2, 2012 at 9:02 PM
    #11
    TacoMX

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    I think pouring cold water on hot components is bad.


    Every time I have cleaned my motor I have just covered the alternator/avoided spraying it, and avoided the electronics.

    Then started it up to dry everything off.
     
  12. Jan 2, 2012 at 9:11 PM
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    Rebel Taco 22

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    ^^^ yep, i started it and let it run after washing it.
     
  13. Jan 2, 2012 at 9:12 PM
    #13
    TACOMABOSS

    TACOMABOSS Well-Known Member

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    why is that?
     
  14. Jan 2, 2012 at 10:00 PM
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    pittim

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    i leave it run. have done for the past 15 times I've washed my engine n it still works...
     
  15. Jan 3, 2012 at 7:14 AM
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    hulkit

    hulkit Well-Known Member

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    just used some water mixed with Ariel detergent Powder. (cause im cheap) connected it to my power washer on mid settings

    covered the alternator battery and fuse box with plastic bags

    while running and started washing like a mofo 250k of grudge came off like nothing
     
  16. Jan 3, 2012 at 7:21 AM
    #16
    NicNac22

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    subbed for the enging running or off debate...

    when you guys clean it with the engine running, is the engine hot? or is it cold when you start it and begin washing it?
     
  17. Jan 3, 2012 at 7:28 AM
    #17
    Krazie Sj

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    I left off when I did it. (91 Corolla) It didn't like to be turned back on again afterwards. So long as you aren't dumping ice water on the block at full operating temp I should think you'd be okay. Air temps can get down to -50ºC in the winter here.
    Putting some 5-10ºC water on a slightly warmed engine ain't going to hurt it.

    Just don't pressure wash the air intake and you'll be good to go.
     
  18. Jan 3, 2012 at 8:43 AM
    #18
    Yamaha Dave

    Yamaha Dave Well-Known Member

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    I've been cleaning my engine bay on cars, trucks, and bikes for 15 years. Here are a couple of tips for a smooth process.


    1.) DO NOT clean the bay with the engine running! The chances of you damaging something increase 10x. If you don't cover the intake properly you can get water into the engine especially if you use a high pressure sprayer. Also if the engine is running and there is a chaffed wire you can easily cause a short if the engine is running.

    What you need:

    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]



    2.) Use a good engine degreaser like Engine Brite. Cover the intake box, alternator, fuse box, plugs/wires, battery with a plastic shopping bag. Spray the degreaser generously (use the entire can). Allow it to sit and break down the dirt and grime for at least 15 mins. Scrub any metall areas with a wire brush if you need to. Then rinse with a water house (without pressure or spray nozzle). Soak the engine completely until all the degreaser is off. Allow it to air dry for about 30 mins. Start the engine and let it run for about 5 mins to burn off any excess residue. Don't freak out if it smokes a little this is 100% NORMAL. Then cut the engine and lightly use a plastic dressing with a rag on the black parts and your done.




    :cool:
     
  19. Jan 3, 2012 at 8:47 AM
    #19
    NicNac22

    NicNac22 D.I.L.L.I.G.A.F

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  20. Jan 3, 2012 at 9:27 AM
    #20
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    K&N intake
    I have an aftermarket K&N air cleaner (cone type). That's the only thing I avoid spraying with cleaner (it's got it own cleaner I use). Just spray the crap out of that engine and hose it off. Scrub the really dirty parts with a nylon brush.

    If you're worried about getting water/cleaner on certain parts of the engine electrical system, you shouldn't drive your truck in the rain, either...
     
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