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Steam Clean

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:19 am
by Ramsden
Hi there,

After many months and significantly more money I have (I think) located and solved the many oil leaks from the enging in my Plus 2 130/5. Thing is, the engine, geabox and anything down stream of them is so spattered with old oil its hard to tell if I've really solved the problems (the car also burns some oil so checking the level isn't a guaranteed indicator).

I've been thinking of having the engine, gearbox and underside of the car steam cleaned but have heard cautionary tales of squeaking pulleys and drowned electrical components resulting from such treatement.

Does anyone out there have any experience of steam cleaning and elan and twink? Can anyone recommend a reliable outfit in the West Midlands area?

All advice welcome.


Re: Steam Clean

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:49 pm
by steveww
Leave the oil - it's rustproofing ;)

Re: Steam Clean

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:23 pm
by type36lotus
my method has been a warm engine, a good spray on degreaser (wheel cleaner works well for me), then rinsing everything off with a hose attached to the hot water. Using low pressure lessens the opportunity for water engress and alows for a little more controlability. Repeat as needed.

Re: Steam Clean

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:15 pm
by Frank Howard
I agree with what Mike said. I have had great luck using engine degreaser that you can buy at any auto parts store. The directions say that you should do it with the engine as cold as possible. The only electric components you will have to worry about are the distributor, the generator, and the voltage regulator (or alternator if you have one). Just put some plastic over them and hold it in place with rubber bands. After you apply the degreaser, let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes before you hose it off. I see no reason to use low pressure. I have done this plenty of times with a high pressure (pump assisted) pressure washer. The spark plug galley will fill up with water, but you can remove most of it with a turkey baster. The rest will turn to steam once you run the engine. Before you remove the water, start the engine and inspect the area around the plugs. The water will reveal any leaks. You will be amazed at the results.

Frank Howard
'71 S4 SE