I have an old engine that I need to clean. It sat outside a long time and has lots of oily dirt on the outside. I have to rebuild the tranny and that's no big deal. Here is the problem:
1. Original standard cast iron pistons that look great.
2. Crankshaft spins perfectly by hand - nice and smooth.
3. Still has shims on rods and main bearings.
So I want to clean the engine and save the babbitt. I plan on retaining the crankshaft, rods, and pistons if possible.
How do I remove the mouse stuff from the water jacket and clean off the rust n dirt without hot tanking it?
I strip it down to a bare block (do the head and crankcase too) and use a puddy knife to scrape off as much as I can, then set it outside on concrete and soak it good with some locally procured "purple power". Let it soak as I prepare my pressure washer, then, pressure wash it, making sure to get into every hole. You'll see all kinds of stuff come out of it. Keep on until you only are getting clean water out of it. Then I blow 150 pounds of air everywhere I can until nothing comes back at me but clean air. If I get much trash, I start over with purple power into all the holes, let it soak a while, then the pressure washer, then air again until I feel like it's got the foreign matter out. Don't know if it's right or wrong--but, it's where I start.
I do pretty much as Mike does but have a parts washer that a block will sit in. I have taken one to the car wash, just make sure you have most of the grunge off or they will probably run you off. Might anyway! KB
Additionally I wire wheel the rust off the outside. (The pan may need sand blasting)
Dave -- If you have an accommodating local engine shop, as I have, you can ask them to hang the block upside-down partially submerged in their hot vat. They've done this for me, cleaning out the water passages and saving the babbit.
Mike Walker has the best solution. That is what I had done to mine and they cleaned it down to the white metal inside and out. Even got all the rust out of the water jacket clean down to the bare metal. Don't forget to have them do the head as well. Jim Patrick
My local transmission shop offered to put mine in their parts washer when I was trying to figure out a direction to take.
The head is done already. Need to take in the hogshead and pan.
Now you all make me wonder if I can just get some drano in a pan and put the block in upside down to clean out the water jacket. Has anyone tried something like that? Does it have to be hot and swirling around? Full strength or diluted?
What actually is in a hot tank solution?
My local machine shop has a parts washer that just uses detergent and water. Works kinda like a dishwasher, I think. Seems to work pretty well. Doesn't hurt Babbitt.
Got a 30gallon trash can fill fill it 23 full with diesel and put the engine in it for 3 days.
If you have a cold water pressure washer stick the injector hose into a jug of the cheapest paint thinner you can buy.
You won't BELIEVE how well it works!
Why not hook up a hose to a hot water supply and it should work much better. Just make sure you are outside so you don't breath too many fumes.
Thanks to all above for a lot of good ideas.
Okay; I can't resist posting this BUT please understand this is a classic example of how NOT to do something unless you enjoy explosions, fire, burns, sudden death, etc.
I have always wondered WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? when they put this in the "Dyke's Automobile and Gasoline Engine Encyclopedia" of 1920. As a firefighter, I can only say "Kids, don't try this at home!"
Dave.......pressure is 90% and paint thinner is 10%.
You need the pressure to cut through and blow off the crud.
I have used the air blower with the siphon feed to clean and wash grease off of tractor parts. Depending on what was handy and cheap we would use diesel, kerosene or gas. This was many years ago and we were careful and the shop had no power in it and the compressor was NOT nearby and behind a wall.
Today the EPA would be all over you before you could get the lid off the gas can.
I like to use cheap oven cleaner that I get at the Dollar Store. First scrape off the heavy stuff and then squirt on the oven cleaner and let it sit a while and use a stiff brush. Then pressure wash the engine with water. Buy the way, I am talking about the complete engine-- and I stuff rags in openings where the oven cleaner might get inside the engine. Not certain if it would harm the bearing of not--why risk it? Works for me and it is pretty easy and fast and best of all CHEAP! joe
Ken, I used to work in a shop that the so called mechanic would use a siphon type air gun with gasoline to wash off parts that he was working on. He did this in the winter with two overhead gas infrared heaters in the shop. When he did this, I left. Dave