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How I pressure wash my engine.
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Robw_z
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:52 am    Post subject: How I pressure wash my engine. Reply with quote

It seems there are often threads inquiring on how to clean the motor so I thought I'd start my own thread on how I do it. To be clear this is just how I do it which doesn't mean it's the right way:). I have used this method several times on my van over the years. Having a clean motor makes it easier to proactively spot problems like fuel and oil leaks, and it also makes it less intimidating and more enjoyable to work on the motor.

Before:

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After:

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I go to a local car wash, nothing special, just your typical quarter feeder, open 24 hours. The water is heated there. Be sure to go when it's not busy as you will take up the bay for an hour at least. I like the motor to be warmed up but not hot.

Bring several plastic bags, zip ties, and at least an 8, 10, and two 13mm wrenches.

Phase I: disconnect and remove some stuff.

First step is very important: disconnect the negative ground cable:

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Then remove the airbox, disconnecting the air hose clamp, ground wire, and flow meter connector:

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After that remove the alternator, I didn't take a good pic at this step. Tip: loosening but not removing the nut that holds the alternator adjusting bracket, which is in the center of the case, makes the job a lot easier. Took me awhile to learn that. It takes an 8mm wrench to remove the little exciter wire nut, and a 13mm for the larger charging wire nut. I really wish VW had welded the nut that is on the back of the lower alternator bracket, but they didn't so you have to hold it still with a wrench from behind while turning the bolt from the front.

Lastly disconnect and remove the plug wires and hall sender connector on the distributor. I usually only disconnect the distributor end of the plug wires but I'd recommend removing them completely:

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Phase II: protect stuff

I stuff 2 plastic shopping bags in the open air intake boot. I obviously avoid spraying into it directly, but a little bit of water in there really won't hurt anything. That said I don't think I've ever gotten any in there:

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Protect the distributor with a hardy plastic bag and zip tie the bottom:

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Protect wire connectors like so:

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There is a hole in the back of the case that opens into the transmission bellhousing, I always plug it up.


Phase III: pressure wash.

I go to town on the motor, believe me I am not shy at all. I love that the WBX is alloy, with no iron to rust and no paint wear it can get looking almost like new:

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I usually use regular high pressure soap wash and then rinse.

Phase IV is to put it all back together right and hope it starts, which for me it always has without a problem.

So long story short I just go to a car wash, remove sensitive electrical components to protect them and expose more of the motor, wash, and put it all back together. I used to be afraid of doing this but over time have learned it is harder to do harm than you think.

The car wash technician saw me doing this once and very cordially told me it was OK but to please be sure I cleaned up the bay floor afterward if it got dirty, which in the case of my motor it doesn't.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


-Rob
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T3 Pilot
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work,

Thanks for the before and after pictures. I like the common sense approach.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:35 am    Post subject: nnc Reply with quote

Now you'll have to wash your hands before you work on the engine.

A very thorough cleaning plan -- if done at home would be a good time for some other maintenance while so much of the ancillaries are out of the way.
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BillM
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be careful when cleaning a zetec conversion that you make
sure to vacuum any water that gets into where the plugs go.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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bluebus86
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 86 Vanagon came with a rust proofing sprayed inside the engine bay amoung other places. Pressure washers and degreasers will remove this coating (it is a waxy yellow/clear material)

You should be sure that you are not removing any rust proofing sealers when washing the motor.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's my scientifically-developed 9-step engine wash process:
1. drive down to Espaņola and into coin-op wash bay on La Jolla across from the old MVD.
2. go to change machine and get a few bucks in quarters.
3. open rear hatch, tip up foam mattress and engine bay cover.
4. put coins in machine, select "soapy wash".
5. wash the shit outa the engine, maybe go over the van a bit if it's dirty too, until my quarters run out.
6. put spray wand back in holder.
7. close engine bay cover and hatch.
8. get in, start engine and drive over to El Parasol and eat a pork and guac burro and a chicken taco while I listen to the radio in my van and check out the Espa chicks.
9. drive home.
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Escorial Syncro Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of your 8400+ posts, this one is in my top 50 favorites. Perhaps my top 40. Pretty good. Smile

tencentlife wrote:
Here's my scientifically-developed 9-step engine wash process:
1. drive down to Espaņola and into coin-op wash bay on La Jolla across from the old MVD.
2. go to change machine and get a few bucks in quarters.
3. open rear hatch, tip up foam mattress and engine bay cover.
4. put coins in machine, select "soapy wash".
5. wash the shit outa the engine, maybe go over the van a bit if it's dirty too, until my quarters run out.
6. put spray wand back in holder.
7. close engine bay cover and hatch.
8. get in, start engine and drive over to El Parasol and eat a pork and guac burro and a chicken taco while I listen to the radio in my van and check out the Espa chicks.
9. drive home.

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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just cleaned my not-too-dirty engine today using my favorite method.

Open engine compartment and using rags and soapy water, transfer all the engine dirt to my person (hands and arms up to the elbows catch most of it but somehow even my face gets dirty).

Go in the house, throw clothes is wash machine and take a shower.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
Here's my scientifically-developed 9-step engine wash process:
1. drive down to Espaņola and into coin-op wash bay on La Jolla across from the old MVD.
2. go to change machine and get a few bucks in quarters.
3. open rear hatch, tip up foam mattress and engine bay cover.
4. put coins in machine, select "soapy wash".
5. wash the shit outa the engine, maybe go over the van a bit if it's dirty too, until my quarters run out.
6. put spray wand back in holder.
7. close engine bay cover and hatch.
8. get in, start engine and drive over to El Parasol and eat a pork and guac burro and a chicken taco while I listen to the radio in my van and check out the Espa chicks.
9. drive home.


I would skip 1 -7 and go straight to 8 Wink
Save the quarters and buy a 40oz and hang with a full belly.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I would skip 1 -7 and go straight to 8


Well it's more like once in a while I stop off and do 1-7 on my way to 8.

But you might not say that if I told you that checking out the chicas in Espa is mainly to see who has the biggest bearclaw.
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Check out my Vanagon accessories at the Vanistan shop at https://intrepidoverland.com/vanistan/

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"Official" IntrepidOverland thread for news and discussion:
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0

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insyncro
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TMI, you spoiled it for me Laughing
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