Engine Cleaner (exterior)

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Shlick88
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Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:59 am

Engine Cleaner (exterior)

Post by Shlick88 » Tue May 21, 2019 9:51 pm

What do you guys use to spray/wipe down your locomotive and keep it looking clean? We've used a mix of products over the years, but interested in what everyone else is using. Thanks!
Burlington Little Line
4-6-2 Pacific 1.5"
Omaha, NE

765nkp
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Re: Engine Cleaner (exterior)

Post by 765nkp » Tue May 21, 2019 10:11 pm

WD-40 or diesel fuel in a pump spray bottle works good

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NP317
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Re: Engine Cleaner (exterior)

Post by NP317 » Tue May 21, 2019 10:36 pm

WD-40.
It is primarily a solvent, but does leave a light oil film, too.
And really convenient to store and use.
~RN

mihit
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Re: Engine Cleaner (exterior)

Post by mihit » Wed May 22, 2019 2:52 am

Not specific to locos, but vehicles, engines and things outside...
Diesel and 2-stroke mix. About 70:30. The petrol cuts grease then evaporates off, the diesel and oil leave a protective coat.
Fisholene or Lanolin work as well.

Harold_V
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Re: Engine Cleaner (exterior)

Post by Harold_V » Wed May 22, 2019 3:15 am

mihit wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 2:52 am
Diesel and 2-stroke mix. About 70:30. The petrol cuts grease then evaporates off,
Heh! You're fortunate to not have experienced a disaster. The use of 2 stroke mix is asking for issues you'd be far better off to not experience.

It's WAY too easy to experience ignition when using gasoline for any type of cleaning. Far too many people have paid with their lives in doing so, with a substantial number having survived, only to live a life of misery. It is my opinion that suggesting such treatment is not to be recommended.

Please note that I am not suggesting that the mix doesn't work. I'm simply trying to address the danger in its use. There are far safer methods of cleaning, each of which will do an equal job of cleaning, all the while lowering the risk of combustion, the use of Stoddard Solvent being one of them.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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Fred_V
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Re: Engine Cleaner (exterior)

Post by Fred_V » Wed May 22, 2019 7:18 am

I've tried WD and it discolored bare metal over time. The best I've found is Purple Stuff, sold under different brand names. That stuff has a grease cutter and really does a great job and leaves no residue. Wash off with water.
Fred V
Pensacola, Fl.

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ccvstmr
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Re: Engine Cleaner (exterior)

Post by ccvstmr » Wed May 22, 2019 9:03 am

Agree with comments made about using WD-40. Leaves a film on metal surfaces. Took some effort to get that "film" off the rods.

For rods and valve links now...started using citrus scented wipes to cut thru oil and grease. Sometimes follow that with a towel wipe down. Used to use those same wipes on the rest of the locomotive...only to find that it will discolor/dull the paint finish.

Someone has recommended another product for painted surfaces...haven't tried that yet.

All comes down to finding the right product for the right surface. A "one-size-fits-all" solution might not be practical or available. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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NP317
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Re: Engine Cleaner (exterior)

Post by NP317 » Wed May 22, 2019 10:37 am

My usual practice is to steam clean the running gear during shut down.
I made a wooden handle steam wand that quick-connects to the blow down valves on the boiler.
Some compressed air after to blow the water off
Then re-lube the bearings. Also a good time for inspections.
15 years + and still clean and running well.
~RN

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Jacob's dad
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Re: Engine Cleaner (exterior)

Post by Jacob's dad » Wed May 22, 2019 2:39 pm

I use the foam engine cleaner from Gunk, but there are multiple kinds and I use the weakest. I spray it on, let it wait, and hose it off. When finished I spray with WD-40, but I am going to go back to a gallon of K-1 kerosene with a quart of non-detergent motor oil mixed in. I learned about the K-1 with oil from Lou Kohler from MD in the early 1990's and that works well. I also like to steam wand off the engine when it is hot. My favorite is to take the steam from the engine in the next bay over from mine because it is a Northern and I can clean for a long time when it is steamed up. lol

jma1009
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Re: Engine Cleaner (exterior)

Post by jma1009 » Thu May 23, 2019 6:38 am

I have always used 'Mr Sheen' spray furniture polish. Silicon free, and the beeswax breaks down dirt and steam oil.

Cheers,

Julian

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Bill Shields
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Re: Engine Cleaner (exterior)

Post by Bill Shields » Thu May 23, 2019 7:02 am

wd40 tends to leave an interesting film.

I use kerosene from an air-spray bottle....and a rag or 10
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

John Hasler
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Re: Engine Cleaner (exterior)

Post by John Hasler » Thu May 23, 2019 10:04 am

Harold_V wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 3:15 am
mihit wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 2:52 am
Diesel and 2-stroke mix. About 70:30. The petrol cuts grease then evaporates off,
Heh! You're fortunate to not have experienced a disaster. The use of 2 stroke mix is asking for issues you'd be far better off to not experience.

It's WAY too easy to experience ignition when using gasoline for any type of cleaning. Far too many people have paid with their lives in doing so, with a substantial number having survived, only to live a life of misery. It is my opinion that suggesting such treatment is not to be recommended.

Please note that I am not suggesting that the mix doesn't work. I'm simply trying to address the danger in its use. There are far safer methods of cleaning, each of which will do an equal job of cleaning, all the while lowering the risk of combustion, the use of Stoddard Solvent being one of them.

H
Work outside. Don't put anything up on a table (especially containers full of gasoline): work on the ground. Keep your large container of gasoline at a safe distance from your work area. Don't put gasoline in any kind of sprayer. Use it only to soak things in or apply it with a brush. Don't use steel brushes or anything else the might create a spark. If you spill more than a small amount of gasoline move to a different spot. Most important of all, if you spill any gasoline on your self, stop work *immediately* and change your clothes. Mixing gasoline with something with a higher flashpoint does not reduce the hazard unless you dilute the gasoline so much that it might as well not be there.

Guys get severely burned by spilling gasoline on themselves and then continuing to work wearing clothing wet with gasoline.

Diesel works as well as gasoline and is much safer (but you still must stop work and change your clothes if you spill it on yourself). Clean with it and then rinse with gasoline, following the rules above.

I only use gasoline as a soak for parts that can be immersed in a few liters of gasoline. I clean engines by spraying them with diesel, letting it soak in, spraying engine cleaner, and pressure-washing.

Stuff labeled "Stoddard Solvent" seems to run about $25/qt. "Mineral oil", which is the same thing, is $12/gal. at Walmart.

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