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briansansone 10-24-2011 04:11 PM

degreasing mess!!
O.k body work guys, Whats the easiest way to get rid of caked on grease and tar? I always use the foaming engine cleaner, but it just seems to smear around the mess. It always takes soooo much work for me to clean up an under carriage.

Also, I would like to restore the wheel wells to the original shiny red on one of my vans, but I can find nothing that will dissolve the stuck on grime.

Whats the trade secretes?


eloc431962 10-24-2011 05:15 PM

I alway's have used oven cleaner or air craft stripper but still have to do alot of scraping to get it all off , depending on how bad it is anyway. JMO i am sure there are better way's to do it maybe someone else will chime in with a better way. :thumbup:


sqzbox 10-24-2011 05:17 PM

Short of pulling the engine and hand cleaning it, I always use Simple green. It's good stuff and even though it might not get it all the first time two or three does the trick for me. Lucky for me the local do it yerself car wash has it on the engine cleaner position button so the hood get's raised every time I wash the truck. :D

eloc431962 10-24-2011 05:19 PM

X2 simple green is pretty good stuff . :thumbup:


gmc1990rodder 10-24-2011 05:31 PM

I use purple stuff degreaser and pressure washer but with the caked on stuff hand scraping almost a must

eloc431962 10-24-2011 05:34 PM


Originally Posted by gmc1990rodder
the caked on stuff hand scraping almost a must

This is so true seems i can never get out of doing it. :pain: :sweat:


Lizer 10-24-2011 05:40 PM

I scrape as much of it off as possible with a small putty scraper.

Depending on the location, another thing I'll do is take to it with a wirewheel on a drill after I've scraped it. This will get it spotless, then you can degrease. This is extremely messy and will throw that crap everywhere. If you are doing it where you want other things in the near vicinity to remain clean, then don't use the wire wheel.

eloc431962 10-24-2011 05:42 PM

Been there done that to, you better wear some safety glasses. :eek: :cool:


Lizer 10-24-2011 05:45 PM

safety glasses, a hat, and a face shield for sure :smash:

eloc431962 10-24-2011 05:47 PM


Originally Posted by Lizer
safety glasses, a hat, and a face shield for sure :smash:

HaHaHaHaaaaacough cough spit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL :sweat: and some leathers if you have some laying around.


briansansone 10-24-2011 06:48 PM

old fashion elbow grease huh.
Well that's what I did today; Putty knives and wire brushes. But it sure was a pain in the ***!..and neck,back, and arms for that matter.

Simple green will be my next try.

rsfyj 10-24-2011 07:40 PM

What ever happened to.........
Does anyone use steam cleaners anymore?..I have always used them and do a good job.

fasteddy_1947 10-24-2011 08:25 PM

degreasing mess
I haven't seen a steam cleaner in many years. Are they still around? When I was a teenager (many many many.....years ago) company I worked for had one out back (and the detergent). Just drove my old wreck up to it, lit it off, when it got up to steam, dumped in the detergent and steamed the engine off. Was hard to start until got some of the water off the plugs and stuff but it sure cleaned that greas off that ole motor.

cobalt327 10-24-2011 09:46 PM

Steam jennys are a thing of the past it seems. I haven't seen one in YEARS. The one we had at the 'yard was an ancient thing but god would it clean the **** out of anything- right down to removing paint! We used lye in it sometimes but it would work w/o anything but the pressurized steam, too.

NAPA (for one) sells a cleaner called "Black Maxx". This is an alkaline cleaner like 409 on mega steroids. It will strip paint, too, if left on for more than a minute or two unless it's diluted. One ounce to a quart of water makes a cleaner equal to 409, cost for that quart is about 10. It will degrease even the worst cases.

Another option is the driveway cleaner the parts stores sell. It's not as concentrated as the Black Maxx but is still strong enough to burn the skin if it gets on you- eye and body protection is needed if you work w/either of these.

Dollar stores sell store brand oven cleaner that works as good as the name brands as a degreaser for much less money. Has to be left on for as long as you can before rinsing off. Same cautions for exposure and paint.

Regardless of what you use, if the grease is thick, the worst of it needs to be removed before being treated w/chemicals. One way is w/a putty knife, scraper, screwdriver, etc. Another way is to use a pressure washer to blast off the worst of it, then you can douse it w/the cleanser of your choice, work it in w/a stiff parts cleaning brush and/or allow it time to work, then rinse (or pressure wash) it off.

UPandComing 10-24-2011 10:11 PM


Originally Posted by rsfyj
Does anyone use steam cleaners anymore?..I have always used them and do a good job.

i actually have a catalog i got in the mail today from a truck company specializing in big rig parts and they sell brand new steam jennies that run off diesel fair price too!

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