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Author Topic: Can you safely pressure wash an engine?  (Read 3220 times)
Paladin
Dave Knight
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« on: February 27, 2008, 03:55:05 PM »

I was thinking of pulling out my pressure washer and spraying down the engine while I'm in working. I do it all the time on my cars but is there any reason why I can't do it on the bus?

Just want to make sure I don't do anything to damage the spark plugs! I went to Pep boys and asked for spark plugs and wires for a DD 8V71 and they had to look them up for me.


-Dave   
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Dallas
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2008, 04:13:11 PM »

Be careful washing your 8V71... if you use hot water it will shrink and you'll end up with a 6V53 when it drys.
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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2008, 04:18:25 PM »

More of a concern than the plugs and wires is to be sure you cover the distributor cap with plastic to keep water out of it.  Wink  Grin Grin Grin
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jjrbus
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2008, 04:20:44 PM »

 If you remove the air cleaner, be sure to rubberband some plastic wrap over the carb!!!!
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2008, 04:21:16 PM »

It will not hurt to pressure wash you eng. Make sure it is cooled down and watch the excess pressure on certain areas.
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Paladin
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2008, 04:41:46 PM »

Which 'certain areas'?
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'75 MC-8   'Event Horizon'
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Dreamscape
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2008, 04:54:28 PM »

When I pressure washed my 8v71 I ended up with a problem, this is because I was very green at the time and didn't know much about this beast. This was back in 2004, had the bus for a couple of months.

I washed everything real good and stayed away from any electrical and anything else that could be damaged. I fired her up and went for a test run. Everything seemed fine, this was on I-5 in Santa Clarita Ca, all of a sudden I could feel the power drop and looked at all my gauges and mirrors. I was horrified, tons of black smoke was coming out the exhast. I had all kinds of thoughts going through my mind, mostly $$$$$$ signs. I pulled over, within 2 minutes the CHP pulled in behind me with lights flashing, again $$$$ signs appeared. He said you have 30 minutes to get this bus off the shoulder, then he proceded to call a tow truck. I pulled up the engine hatch in the back and was looking around, found that the emergency shutdown lever/rod was flipped. No solenoid was there, only the lever. I didn't even know at the time what this was all about. I flipped the rod over, tied some wire to hold it open, fired it up and noticed no black smoke and plenty of power. Boy was I glad, I told to officer that I had it under control and went to the nearest exit ramp and dissappeared into the sunset! Of course he said, what did you do, I said that I fixed it no problem, smiled and away I went. I had not idea what I was doing or what I did until later. At least it didn't cost me anything, just my pride.

Just be careful,

Paul
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grantgoold
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2008, 05:48:03 PM »

Funny, when I power wash my 6v92, it seems like for at least a day or two it swells to the 12v92? Is that supposed to happen? Should I check the coil?

Grant
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Grant Goold
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2008, 06:06:56 PM »

I'm still waiting for the swelling to go down. But FWIW, almost all diesel manuals advise against pressure washing their engines. Diesels and water do not mix. As an idiot, I know these things, PP
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2008, 07:58:58 PM »

 Smiley Smiley Wink Cheesy Grin..amazing, that posted above.....I pressure wash my Cummins often.  amidships, pancake style and no problems that I know of for several years. The local Diesel repair facility does it as well...on my engine.  Roll Eyes

FWIW , eh Henry?

RCB
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2008, 08:31:32 PM »

I pressure wash mine and the facility where I work pressure washes their whole fleet.  In one of my past jobs I called on a customer that cleaned up repos. I saw them open up a Caddy’s door and pressure wash the entire inside including the dashboard! I asked what are the side effects and they told me that something’s might not work for a day or so but by the time the car made it to auction it would be OK. Not something I would do to anything I owned, but interesting I thought.
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2008, 09:40:47 PM »

Let me make a suggestion.  Before I pressure wash my cars at the car wash I make certain they are warmed up nicely.  My cars have plugs and at least half the time I get a rough running engine after washing.  Sitting with the hood up it dries off in a few minutes and even if I couldn't get her going at first I have a rapid recovery.  I also leave the engine running if I am not familiar with it.  That way if it dies I know what I was "squirting" when it died and where the problem might be.

I make a point to do my wiring.  12 or 24 volts isn't going anywhere through water no mater how much soap it might have in it.  The thing to avoid is "relays" and anything that needs oiled regularly that will bind if dry.  And stay away from the warp drive.

HTH,

John
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2008, 06:05:52 AM »

Funny, when I power wash my 6v92, it seems like for at least a day or two it swells to the 12v92? Is that supposed to happen? Should I check the coil?

Grant

If it stays swollen for more than 4 hours, contact a professional.

Len
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2008, 07:28:22 AM »

Mechanics here in big transit won't even look at the engine unless it has gone through the steam jenny room first.

Cleaner hands, and lots harder to contaminate open stuff if there is less dirt around.

Also, less grease and oil, less fire risk...

keep it clean!

happy coaching!
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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2008, 07:53:38 AM »

At least on my engine set up (8V-71 with V730) with the D50 Delco sealed alternator, pressure washing is not an issue.  If you have an electrical control box like I do that has the rear engine control switches on it, I would avoid shooting water on it.  But as far as the engine and transmission go, they are almost completely sealed except for the breathers.  You got to realize that with a rear engine you get lots of road dirt and water being thrown up into the engine when driving-so everything is designed with that in mind.  Also, a dirty engine tends to run warmer since dirt and grease are good insulators.  Great in winter, not so good in summer.  Plus it's just nice to have a clean engine that is also painted nice when you inevitably open the door to show your friends.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2008, 02:27:32 PM »

Don't wash!!  The points will get all wet and the Detroit will start and run backwards and you will have only 2 gears forward....and....10 in reverse!  Happens all the time. (in my mind's eye) 

Actually, you will want to keep the high pressure stuff away from the starter and alternator...sometimes moisture gets driven into and inside them that may over time hurt.  Best to keep them kinda dry.

As far as the rest of the mill, I thought that Detroit 2-stroke owners were REQUIRED to pressure wash their mighty mills at least weekly as they leak more lube oil than they burn. Very traditional.

Or....get a Crown Super Coach with a Pancake Cummins Big Cam 2 which never leaks a drop of lube oil.  None.  Nada.  Absolutely clean absolutley or even better sometimes.  Right rc??  Smiley Smiley Smiley
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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2008, 02:39:53 PM »


as they leak more lube oil than they burn. Very traditional.


It's called rust prevention.   Wink

If the original engineers had built them to be front wheel drive with the engines in front, even Eagles wouldn't rust as they would get a continuous underbody oil treatment.   Grin
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« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2008, 03:27:09 PM »

HB- believe me when I say that I have seen virtually every make of engine completely oil soaked-including your big cam engine at one time or another.  On the other hand, the first I had that had a 8V-92TA in it never leaked at all.  I had to tilt the cab many a time to prove that my engine was clean and dry.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2008, 04:17:59 PM »

 I got a 6v92 and don't leak I don't have that problem. My problem is when on the hi way I always get behind a MCI and it keep my undercarriage oil so it can't rust. So that makes my EAGLE rust free.

          Pete & Jean
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« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2008, 04:58:09 PM »

Ours don't leak either ! They just mark their spot! LOL!
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2008, 05:03:00 PM »

Clean away......

The only down side is when it leaks it will aggravate you more!

Our local DD dealer cleans every engine before they work on them, so I am pretty sure you have the DD blessing.

Have fun and wear clothes you don't want back...Like that shirt someone bought you, that you hate... Grin

Cliff
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« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2008, 05:42:33 PM »

Henry....how the heck do you think I don't have leaks that show up??? Smiley

Too much vino, Hank!!!!  Grin

FWIW

RCB
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« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2008, 09:02:15 PM »

I liked Paul's story.."I fixed it!"  Better lucky than smart any day, right?
Dennis
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« Reply #23 on: February 29, 2008, 01:28:27 PM »

Cummin mills DONT LEAK OIL.  Cummins DON'T LEAK!!!   DONT LEAK!!!  Duh....anyone got any more quarters?  Smiley Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: February 29, 2008, 02:53:21 PM »

I have not got a DD yet, but I know a thing or two about leaky British gas engines Wink The old saying with the Healey guys is..." If it doesn't leak...it is empty!"
Someone said they got their engine good and warm before cleaning. On my cast iron block, that could be a very BAD thing, with cool water and all that. "Warp factor 2 Mr. Scott" adds awhole new meaning.
A pressure washer will remove paint too if yer not careful...don't ask how I know that! Cry
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Dreamscape
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« Reply #25 on: February 29, 2008, 03:51:38 PM »

GreenHornet,

With my Bus Eyed Sprite that's exactly how we checked the oil. Looked underneath and if no puddles, fill 'er up! Same way when I owned a BSA.

It's been so long ago I fogot, Thanks for the Memories, I guess.... Grin

Paul
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Sojourner
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« Reply #26 on: February 29, 2008, 09:50:20 PM »

Paladin….Not knowing the age of engine wiring harness. Or brand and year of your bus.

And not knowing what psi & gallons per minutes your pressure washer.

Pressure equal speed of water
Gallon per minute equal weight of water to hammering the crud off.

But will say this…if you have 2500psi or greater and 2 gph or greater and do not already have a Roto-Head…you don’t what your missing. Roto is straight stream that rotate in circle. It will about double the cleaning action. Otherwise fan spray doesn’t cut grease as well.
Before going to purchase Roto Nozzle….need to the right one for your washer and get an inline filter installed back of nozzle. Filter protect ceramic nozzle from wearing out.
However need to be careful aiming at old style woven covered wire, any tape-wrapped harness, labels and any thing that is soft to rip open.

About hot or cold engine….it best to wash when engine is very warm to hot…..BUT not on hot exhaust manifold until is cool down to about the same as hot engine’s temperature. Use your IR gun to check for your self. About 200°F exhaust manifold will be at peace to start washing.

After all heavy crud is removed and dried…then spray over well with degreaser clean fluid (straight from bottle no mixing) “Right-Stuff®” or “Grease-Lightning®” or equivalent. Let soak for 15 minutes. Again pressure washes off to squeaky clean. Wear goggle and vinyl glove to protect from harsh chemical.

About alternator and starter….they made for very wet climate. I have done many rebuilds and pressure washes them. Only water problem is been bury in marine boat with water for few days or salt water in a minute.

Better yet after washing is done always run it till it dried.

Caution…makes sure all intake hoses & pipes are connected & sealed so water can’t get in.

FWIW

OH…by the way…turns off the muffler bearing before any washing is being performed.

Sojourn for Christ, Jerry
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« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2008, 07:52:39 AM »

Well I can tell you this! That after putting a new pump on my Kerosene fired steam cleaner, I was cleaning everything that I could reach. I steam cleaned the engine compartment of flight# 722 (my 45' Setra 60 series), and all was fine. Several days later I took it out on a charter and all seemed fine. Then I got down in Nashville, an had some down time so I shut it off. When I went to restart it, it just went whr,whr,whr,whr,whr,whr,whr,whr super fast like someone pulled the coil wire! So I got out and looked, sure enough I could not find that dang coil wire anywhere! I tried everything from shaking the wiring harness, pushing in on all the plugs/connections even hooked up a string on the harness where I could shake it while trying to start it from the rear start button. Still nothing! So I remembered once b4 it'd acted like this (but shaking the harness fixed it that time), and Setra told me it sounded like I'd lost my 12V connection to the fuel injection side of the ecm. So on a crazy (or frantic) whim, I sprayed either into the air cleaner and hit the button. Vroom! Walla! And it has started 1/2 a dozen times since then no problem! So ya never know, but do be careful around wiring & ecm's! FWIW
Grin  BK  Grin
Almost had 54 stranded teens w/5 adults (not counting me since I'm still a kid! LOL!)Talk about relief! LOL!
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2008, 07:30:09 PM »

Speakin' of leaking DD's...I can't verify this, ...(yet).. but I heard that if you took a picture of a Detroit Diesel and hung it over your living room sofa, you would get oil stains on your carpet!
Dennis
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« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2008, 07:35:29 PM »

That would explain the puddle of oil under the book shelf with the engine manual on it Grin
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