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5/26/05 10:36am - Original Message: 'Undercar cleanup'
74-454 Lifetime Member
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
Coupe 74 - 454 Drive it like you stole it!

Joined: 8/6/2004
Posts: 533
I could have continued a previous thread, but my question has a twist that I didn't see on the other ones.
 
I have a mess under the car, and I am suspecting a transmission leak.  I bough that car like that, so I don't know how long it's been like that, but it was thick enough that I removed the first layer by scraping it with a plastic spatula (I could not see the color of the oil pan at first.)
 
Now I would like to clean it with an engine cleaner.  Not show quality clean, just getting most of the grease out so I can see/trace the source of the leak.
 
Here's the problem : In Florida, there are laws against cleaning the engine. You can only do it where they have re-claimed water and some filtering system.  I found a carwash where it is Okay.
 
How can I prevent damage with those high pressure water gun. Is the "rinse" setting too strong ?  Could I do the underhood as well with one of those gun ?  And which part should I cover (probably using foil like stated in earlier post.)
 
Another solution, would be to rent a steaming cleaning machine and bring it to that car wash.
 
Any idea ?
 
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5/26/05 6:20pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
Ten15
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East Hanover, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
'68 Black Conv. Matching 327/300 4 Spd. P/S, P/B, P/W, Tele, A/C

Joined: 9/25/2004
Posts: 525

74,

I can't really help you with the Florida regs, but I am a big fan of Castrol Super Clean as a degreaser.  The grease practically runs off.

Good luck,

Anthony



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'68 Triple Black Conv. 327/300
4 Spd. P/S, P/B, P/W, Tele, A/C
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5/26/05 7:17pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
Lowbrowser
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Los Angeles, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1972 elkhart green T-Top, New paint, one previous owner, 370hp/350, hookers/flowMasters. Original PW,PS,PB,AC. All docs.

Joined: 1/27/2005
Posts: 260
Brake cleaner has worked well for me...but be careful around paint, it will
strip it.

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http://www.roulettestudios.com
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5/26/05 8:56pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
Lowbrowser
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Los Angeles, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1972 elkhart green T-Top, New paint, one previous owner, 370hp/350, hookers/flowMasters. Original PW,PS,PB,AC. All docs.

Joined: 1/27/2005
Posts: 260
Sorry, I meant to post that brake cleaner dries into nothingness pretty
quick. If you have scraped most of the think layer off, you can use brake
cleaner and rags to wipe it clean (cuts thru grease with ease), thus
avoiding the seepage and spillage of engine degreaser. That is what I had
to do, not for regs, but for a fussy landlord! It worked great and I found
my sorce leak (oil pan) and everything looks nice and clean under it now.

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5/26/05 9:13pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
BLennox
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Damascus, MD - USA

Vette(s):
1970 Conv. 350/350, Wht./Blk.,P/W P/B,P/S,TT, 4 Spd.

Joined: 12/17/2003
Posts: 247

I can tell you from experiance that if your ride has power steering, the worst leak is typically from the power steering valve.

We have the same basic regs up hear in the peoples republic of MD.

If you have a friend with a service station, they can typically have one of those portable steam cleaner auto detailing guys do the job at the station. I had my Roadmaster Wagon done that way and we found the leaky valve cover gaskets to be the culprit and the gut did an excellent job on washing down the motor. It was almost spotless!

 

Hope this helps.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend and remember our troops!

 

Bill

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5/26/05 9:42pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
jredding
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Miramar, FL - USA

Vette(s):
1972 coupe/350 cid/mild cam/4 spd/20 ft. paint (looks perfect from 20 ft.), but it sure runs nice.

Joined: 3/16/2004
Posts: 672

Brakleen gets my vote!  Comes right off and dries fast, just like "lowbrowser" says.

JR

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5/27/05 11:43am - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
VETTERBOB Lifetime Member
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DUNEDIN, FL - USA

Vette(s):
1969 COUPE CORTEZ SILVER, BRIGHT BLUE INTERIOR 383 cu. in. 512 HP. Hooker headers w/ side pipes PS PS AC AM FM STEREO. 68,000.MILES C5 5oth Anniversary Coupe , auto.350hp

Joined: 10/22/2004
Posts: 823
Grease Lightning worked real good for me. Did`nt know about the cleaning reg. in Fl though.  oooopppps!

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I might be going to hell in a bucket, but at least I`m enjoying the ride!

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5/27/05 10:19pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
stevep316
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jersey city, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1979 corvette metallic silver/red leather interior

Joined: 11/30/2003
Posts: 372

but lets not forget that the grease forms a fine rust proof coating!

 



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5/28/05 3:47pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
74-454 Lifetime Member
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
Coupe 74 - 454 Drive it like you stole it!

Joined: 8/6/2004
Posts: 533
 
 Good one stevep316. As it turns out, the areas where the grease/oil splashed to, this is where it looks good (and kept the original colors without pealing or rusting).  Maybe I should just leave it alone and keep the transmission and power steering fluids at the right level.
 
Good advice browser, I will do that with rags and maybe steam clean the whole thing later, once I fix this almost obvious one.
 
While replacing the starter last night, I took another look at it.  It is drippin red and taste like cherry coke.  I am suspecting transmission.  I have the Hydramatic 400 pan, and I can see some silicon squeezed out of the side (just a little bit). (Hey, that would be another thread now.)
 
Anyway, I will clean it with brake degreaser and rags, pinpoint exactly the leaking area, fix it and then try to find a steam machine for the whole thing.
 
The car wash (do it yourself) are open 24 hours, so I could do that at night and take my sweet time.  I'll pick one where they have reclaimed water and use the "spotless rince" cycle if I need water (it's a spray, but with very low pressure).
 
Thanks for the input on products.
 
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5/28/05 5:03pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
anips
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sonoma, CA - USA

Vette(s):
72 LT-1 AC coupe,69 l-36 coupe

Joined: 8/9/2002
Posts: 783
I believe most all the states have the same law, I think its a law made for industrial and commercial people, we have the same law here in Calif. what I do is scrape all the heavy off and then I break the law and clean the rest with my high pressure washer on the property, don't get caught, you might get cited for Best Appearing.

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6/1/05 12:17am - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
greypoupon69 Lifetime Member
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Irving, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1 -1969 Corvette Coupe Riverside Gold, black interior,MN,A/C,350/350,PS,PB,window cranks. #2 -2000 C5, black/black, 6 sp, Bose system & lots of buttons.

Joined: 8/21/2004
Posts: 4273

Well, I don't know if Texas has a law on that, but I took mine to a car wash and used some of that "Glad Press and Seal."  It seals GREAT!  I sealed around the air filter/carb and around the Distributor (I have a chrome box over mine) box.  Used the high pressure cleaner & the high pressure rinse, took off the Press & Seal, hopped in my car and took off.........no problem.  I hope you find your leak!

 



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6/1/05 9:46am - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
74-454 Lifetime Member
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
Coupe 74 - 454 Drive it like you stole it!

Joined: 8/6/2004
Posts: 533
Great feedback greypoupon69, exactly what I was hoping to see.
 
I will get to it in a week or two and let you know how it goes.
 
Concerning the leak, I'm pretty sure it is the transmission, as a found
some drops on the garage floors.  Definitely red color and actually tasted a little bit like cherry coke! Go figure!
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6/1/05 8:31pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
kstyer Lifetime Member
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CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1975 C3 Red, T-Tops, Black Interior. All I need is time and money! Getting there!

Joined: 12/2/2003
Posts: 6410
Tasted like Cherry Coke?  Does that mean the trans operates sweet?

____________________________________
On the "Tail of the Dragon"
(some day, no strike that, October 2008 it turned red, still in progress!)

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6/2/05 5:16pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
greypoupon69 Lifetime Member
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Irving, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1 -1969 Corvette Coupe Riverside Gold, black interior,MN,A/C,350/350,PS,PB,window cranks. #2 -2000 C5, black/black, 6 sp, Bose system & lots of buttons.

Joined: 8/21/2004
Posts: 4273

74-454

Have you gotten any further on your tranny?  The red color drops on your garage floor sounds like a tranny leak.  Is the car hard to get in gear or is it acting up in any way??  I assume it's a 4 speed.

Kstyer, that was really bad......way too funny!! "Tasted like Cherry Coke?  Does that mean the trans operates sweet?

I found a wire leading to my coil that looks like part of it fried in the middle.  My car wouldn't start & I thought I had flooded the carb.  Lifted the hood to check it out and found that wire.  Got it started finally & noticed that section of the wire was smokin'.  I'm not too electrical.  What's the best thing to do?  I'm not trying to mess up this thread......



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6/2/05 8:54pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
2 cruzn Lifetime Member
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Poquoson, VA - USA

Vette(s):
73 Conv, Blue-Green/White Top - 454, M21 - Dark Saddle Leather, Power Windows, A/C, Tilt/Tele, AM/FM St. (orig. and sounds like it too).#2 -- 2007 Coupe,3 LT package, Z51 option, Victory Red, Ebony Int. Clear Top.

Joined: 11/20/2004
Posts: 1023

I like brake clean too, but doesn't it dissolve, deteriorate some plastics? have to be careful spaying it... near your paint job

 

2 cruzn38505.7472569444

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6/2/05 9:54pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
kstyer Lifetime Member
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CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1975 C3 Red, T-Tops, Black Interior. All I need is time and money! Getting there!

Joined: 12/2/2003
Posts: 6410
Find where the shorting wire is smoking, and insulate it.  That should take care of it.  If it's not a shorted wire, whatever the wire is feeding is shorting.

____________________________________
On the "Tail of the Dragon"
(some day, no strike that, October 2008 it turned red, still in progress!)

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6/2/05 10:00pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
L82M21
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HURRICANE, UT - USA

Vette(s):
1978 L82 4 speed Black on Black vin12231 BDay Nov 7 1977 1966 327 Roadster BDay May 18, 1966 (next project)

Joined: 1/11/2004
Posts: 119

When I cleaned under my car I scrapped the heavies, took it to the car wash and hit it with high pressure and removed the rest with rags and some diesel in a spray bottle.  I suppose you could use parts washing fluid in a spray bottle too.    If it's really baked on and you can remove the parts, you could use oven cleaner.  That does the trick too.  Did that when I rebuilt my 72 camaro many years ago.

--Eric



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1978 L82 4 Speed
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6/2/05 10:19pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
74-454 Lifetime Member
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
Coupe 74 - 454 Drive it like you stole it!

Joined: 8/6/2004
Posts: 533
I didn't get to it yet, most likely mid next week.
 
It is not baked in, so I'll use brake cleaner and rags for the under car.
I'll do it by hand; since I have to get down there anyway to go figure out why my speedometer left me down.  Cable to transmission could be loose or in need of a lube.
 
I'll finish it off with regular engine cleaner using low pressure at the car wash (with the electronic covered).
 
Thanks for all the tips.
 
I'll even take before/after pics!
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6/2/05 10:23pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
kstyer Lifetime Member
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CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1975 C3 Red, T-Tops, Black Interior. All I need is time and money! Getting there!

Joined: 12/2/2003
Posts: 6410
Looking forward to them.

____________________________________
On the "Tail of the Dragon"
(some day, no strike that, October 2008 it turned red, still in progress!)

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6/3/05 8:50pm - Reply: 'Undercar cleanup'
Ron 78 Lifetime Member
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BINGHAMTON, NY - USA

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Joined: 7/19/2003
Posts: 3805
I never tasted transmiision fluid,to see if it tasted like CHERRY COKE.I only like COKE CLASSIC myself

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