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Cleaning the engine bay (77 280z Auto)


MH77280Z

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Guys, i bought a 77 Auto over a year ago and car was sitting for 3-5 years. It does need a wash!!!

I stumbled upon somewhere in the manual that says do not steam clean the engine. Is anyone aware of this? I am not able to find that again.

Right now I am just planning to use some good of the shelf solvent and wash normally. Is there something I need to be careful about and prevent water to it?

Appreciate some input.

 

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Those are good posts.  I was going to say "every electrical connection".  Be prepared to replace the injector connectors if you haven't already.  There are much better out there, available at any wrecking yard from Chevys, Volvos, BMW,s etc.  

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I would recommend you stay away from cleaning with any kind of flowing water, If you must clean just use a damp cloth with some warm soapy  water and wipe down where you want to clean. The engine does not care to be clean, except if you plan to open something up and there is a dirt that could get  the engine internals. I hose down areas like that with brake clean. It dries quickly and cuts grease and oil. Use it liberally and you can just let he dirt wash off. 

Edited by Dave WM
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6 minutes ago, siteunseen said:

Brake cleaner? That's pretty strong stuff. I like the "low and slow" approach like barbecue. LOL

 

works great I use it all the time with no issues, super clean, nice when looking for oil leaks etc as well. Main point is water is not good as it can promote corosion if not dried well. Its easy to over love an engine by thinking it needs to be all shiny, inside is what matters, this is for the OP as far as engine cleaning goes.

Edited by Dave WM
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OP one thing to watch out for, oven cleaner, there are some folks on internet that use this stuff, esp to clean alum, not a good idea, as it will dull and grey the finish and just not needed.

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1 minute ago, mailnome said:

Yes. Some, or most, brake clean sprays are pretty wicked. They will remove cheaper paints, and stain others along and maybe worse on plastics.


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guess I must be the exception here, never had that problem.

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Brake parts cleaner used to be chlorinated solvents.  Today's common ones are petrochemicals.  Might explain the difference.

https://www.berrymanproducts.com/chlorinated-vs-non-chlorinated-brake-cleaner/#:~:text=Berryman Chlorinated Brake Parts Cleaner,best cleaning for brake parts.

 

Edited by Zed Head
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I use lots of brake clean. I buy ot by the case. I have found it can remove some paints but that's pretty rare. It can also hurt some plastics.

Now dont confuse that with carb cleaner!! I have found carb cleaner to be super aggressive at damaging paints and plastic

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9 hours ago, Zed Head said:

Those are good posts.  I was going to say "every electrical connection".  Be prepared to replace the injector connectors if you haven't already.  There are much better out there, available at any wrecking yard from Chevys, Volvos, BMW,s etc.  

Thanks for the tip. Seems like something not to be rushed especially if the engine is running ok. Let me air blow it first and use dry brush to clean areas along with damp cloth like others are suggesting. I am applying new silicon to places like AFM circuit cover etc.

Just curious i have hosed and pressure washed my other more latest 2000+ model cars with no issues. Are we just more cautious with the 280z due to its age or something else?

 

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Good advice above. Modern cars (not yours) have gaskets between electrical connectors. If you get water inside your connections like to the AFM etc you could create a short across a terminal. If the voltage is enough you could damage something like the ECU. Disconnect the battery before you do anything. You can power wash with care to avoid these connections. I power washed the heck out of my engine but it wasn’t running at the time and I let it sit in the sun and dry before connecting the battery. You can also pull connectors post wash use compressed air to blow out the water on the connections. You have to avoid the distributor for sure. Water will pool in the bottom and you won’t be able to start it. I like brake cleaner and simple green. Brake cleaner disperses water and has chlorine and evaporates quickly. I go Simple Green. Let is soak for 15 mins the lightly spray off with water. Get a bag of rags and wipe everywhere you can and follow it up with the brake cleaner. Cleaning the engine bay is a process. Get the big stuff and then over time focus one one areas and progress. Will take days or weeks to get it really clean but you need to get the caked off grime to get headed in the right direction and power washing with care in those areas (like oil pan and lower block areas) will help.


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