'Engine wash" and shiny brass?

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DianneB
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'Engine wash" and shiny brass?

Post by DianneB » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:02 pm

Has anybody got a favourite 'engine wash' - something to wash your engine down with after a day's running that will clean up all the oil and dirt without having to scrub every little crevice? Something that wont hurt the paint.

Question #2 - My American has a lot of brass and I like to keep it shiny but is a godawful lot of work to polish it every day. Has anybody tried clear-coat over polished brass to keep it from tarnishing? I usually use Turtle Wax but that only seems to last a few days.

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Bill Shields
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Re: 'Engine wash" and shiny brass?

Post by Bill Shields » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:08 pm

clear coat is only as good as the preparation, and generally does not like high temperatures.

FWIW for cleaning (the little that I do) -> I use kerosene sprayed with an air sprayer.

for really dirty areas, I use blowdown steam straight from the boiler..

keeping clean and 'easy on paint' are not necessarily mutually inclusive.

The 'brass' / paint problem you are describing is exactly why my current project will have almost no brass and a stainless steel boiler wrapper.

Cary Stewart
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Re: 'Engine wash" and shiny brass?

Post by Cary Stewart » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:25 pm

Have you tried Semi-Chrome-Poly a German made polish? It does a fine job on brass and has some sort of coating that lasts a couple of weeks. I am wearing a brass belt buckle now that I have been wearing much of the time for the last 40+ years. It needs a good rubbing about every two weeks.
Might be worth a try. The biggest piece of brass I know of that gets the S-C-P treatment is the steam dome on Richard Farmer's Gwen, and 18" gage full size contractors loco. He buys the stuff in a very large amount but it does work. The heat and chemicals of operation may degrade the length of time between polishing though.
Best, Cary Stewart

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Bill Shields
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Re: 'Engine wash" and shiny brass?

Post by Bill Shields » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:38 pm

semi-chrome is good stuff -> it's a polish - lots of elbow grease required. To best of my knowledge, doesn't keep the oxidation from coming back.

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Bruce_Mowbray
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Re: 'Engine wash" and shiny brass?

Post by Bruce_Mowbray » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:19 am

WD-40 is a good wiper cleaner and protectant. Simichrome works great to keep things polished, Brasso works good at taking heavy oxidation off. The 45 minutes it takes to raise steam is a good time to polish. It keeps you busy and prevents the urge to keep opening the firebox door.

Firemen stay in shape by shoveling
Engineers stay in shape by polishing
Bruce Mowbray
Springville & Southern RR
TMB Manufacturing & Locomotive Works

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Bill Shields
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Re: 'Engine wash" and shiny brass?

Post by Bill Shields » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:03 am

wd 40 leaves behind residue that is tough to get off..

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Fred_V
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Re: 'Engine wash" and shiny brass?

Post by Fred_V » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:40 am

Heat is what turns the brass; no way to stop that. I like to use Purple Stuff, I think it's called. Automotive parts stores carry it. It works great on oil/grease; washes off with water. For tough spot I rub with a brush.
Fred V
Pensacola, Fl.

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NP317
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Re: 'Engine wash" and shiny brass?

Post by NP317 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:08 am

When I built my Ten Wheeler I cleaned and clear-coated (rattle-can lacquer) the brass bright work.
Heavy track crud gets steam cleaned with a wand connected to the blow down valves.
The rest gets a cloth and WD-40 cleaning.
It's still looking good after 12+ years.
~RN
TM #1 Oct-12.JPG

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NP317
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Re: 'Engine wash" and shiny brass?

Post by NP317 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:09 am

Oops. Guess only the Southern Hemisphere Folks can view that inverted photo.
Or not.
~RN

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Fred_V
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Re: 'Engine wash" and shiny brass?

Post by Fred_V » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:45 pm

I tried using WD-40 to clean/protect the bright steel parts. After a couple of years the bright steel was brown and had to be sanded to get it bright again. Just my experience.
Fred V
Pensacola, Fl.

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Bill Shields
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Re: 'Engine wash" and shiny brass?

Post by Bill Shields » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:55 pm

like I said....WD40 leaves a residue....

jcbrock
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Re: 'Engine wash" and shiny brass?

Post by jcbrock » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:15 pm

The ritual at the Billy Jones was fireup engineer cleans from the top to the running boards, and the shutdown engineer cleaned from the running boards down. So splitting it up between the start of the day and the end is one way to maybe relieve some of the drudgery. My favorite cleaner on the paint work was wiping down with mechanics hand soap like GoJo followed by a wipe with a clean cloth. Brass was just hand polishing as you are, Dianne. Fireup was a 3 hour deal for us, so there was plenty of time with nothing better to do. The running gear wipedown at shutdown, as you were trying to get out of there, was always a good reminder to not over-lube.
John Brock

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