Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Engine Compartment Cleaning

Did something today I've wanted to do since I bought the car on New Year's Eve, 2012, and that's do a "proper" Old Skool Engine Bath!

I started on this the other night by pulling off my strut tower brace. Then I figured out how to get the windshield washer reservoir out of it's bracket, which involved pulling the electrical connections for both pumps (one pump is for the headlight washers), which let me lift it out far enough to undo the hose connections.

This was quite fun because 1) it was full of washer fluid and 2) it holds a GALLON of the stuff.

It's a huge reservoir for an early 1980's car, and juggling the plastic reservoir full of fluid almost took another pair of hands. But it came out yesterday, so last night I put some cardboard under the car, and proceeded to liberally apply an entire can of "Gunk Heavy Duty Gel" engine cleaner.

This stuff is GREAT! I've been using Gunk for degreasing things since I was a kid. Lawnmowers, then go karts, then automobiles. The "Original Formula" stuff works well, but it runs off if you really spray it on. The gel hits, spreads out, and STICKS! It didn't run down the firewall or the frame rails and drip on the floor. This means it's just sitting there, slowly soaking into the grease and glop, in my case, about 12 hours worth of sitting.

Got out my "SunJoe" pressure washer, hooked it up, and experimented with the different spray heads it came with, finally deciding to use the "20 Degree" spray pattern head.

I've had this little guy for something like three years, and this is the first time I've used it.

It worked very well, except that it doesn't seem to meter anything from either of the two "soap" dispensers, so I'll have to look into that.

This is one of the areas that had grease and glop on it so thick it looked like undercoating!
You couldn't read the label on the EVAP canister, and I had thought the gold alodyne cylinder was painted black.

I made sure I cleaned out the front ahead of the radiator and A/C condenser, as that area collects a lot of bugs, leaves, and Other Road Trash.

So, she's much cleaner under the hood now. So much cleaner that now the areas I missed jump out at me. I'll do it again in the next day or two.


  1. RE: Washer reservoir. Anything that adds "unnecessary" weight has to go in the name of fuel economy.

  2. The rear washer/wiper has been removed, and if I can find a smaller tank and brackets, I'll do it.

    I'm never going to deliberately drive this car in the rain, and I'm pulling the headlight nozzles and tubing out, so I sure don't need a gallon of washer fluid!

    I'll see what they used on some other Toyotas.

  3. Replies
    1. Yeah, it came out so good that the spots I missed jump up and hit you in the face.

      But.....even in the spots where I didn't get the spray from the nozzle directly on the dirt to blow it off, the dirt got enough "overspray" that now that it's dry, it just wipes right off.

  4. Good old Gunk. One of those few products on the market that really, really works. We go way back.

    Looks great in there.

    1. They still make the "Original" spray formula, which is what I use when I scrub stuff in a pan.

      The "Foaming" stuff doesn't do much else, but it might be useful for some things.

      The "Clinging Gel" formula is a winner. It stays put (wonder how they do that....), and soaks in even on "baked on" dirt. MUCH easier to spray on the car and let it sit overnight without worrying about the huge pool of Gunk that would normally collect under the car as it ran off.

  5. The soap dispensers usually only work on the widest nozzle - many times this is the black one. You do not spray a high pressure through this, it is just for application - you then go back after and spray with pressure.

    1. Yes, the black one has a sticker indicating it's for "foaming" or something.

      Never would have thought of that, so THANKS!

  6. I might have mentioned this before: Sams Club Professional Degreaser/Cleaner. Gallon jugs, sort of a light purple color fluid. Best degreaser I've found. Beats the heck out of all the rest. Generally is cut considerably with water for use. Might be good after using that gel based cleaner on the heavy grease, since this stuff will run.

    1. Sounds like the "Purple Power" concentrate I've seen.

  7. Probably telling you something you already know, but, either remember to blow the washer completely free of water before winter, or don't store it outside.
    And we noticed the soap reservoir on ours tends to drip soap during storage.

    1. Oh, yeah! I always shut the hose off, and then hit the trigger on the wand to empty things out.

      Where does it drip from? these things are dead simple, so unless getting the outer plastic shell off to get at the guts is very hard, they should be easy to fix.

  8. Naw, Dr. Jim, you got it all wrong. Gunk and pressure washers, that's not old school, that's a high tech, fancy schmancy new fangled way of doing it.

    "Old School:" - pile of rags (doesn't matter if they are clean or not), a coffee can (metal, not plastic) half full of paint thinner, and some elbow grease. Directions: grab a rag, stick it in the paint thinner, rub it on the greasy engine until the rag is too disgusting to hold anymore. Note the area you worked on just got clean. Repeat above until you can eat off of the engine. And then paint it the factory color.

    Now THAT'S 'old skool.'

    1. My way is "1960's Old Skool"! Yours is more like "1940's Old School".

      We NEVER used "paint thinner", unless it was mineral spirits. To me, "paint thinner" means what most people would call "lacquer thinner", which is pretty volatile.

      Kerosene just seems to work so much better.....


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