Baked on road grime. - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 16 Old 10-06-2018, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Baked on road grime.

Just wondering how some of you remove baked on road grime. My 919 engine while it looks clean there is underneath some baked on crap. I think it's a combination of road grime, WD40 and squashed bugs. All baked on hard. I've tried cleaning it off with hot water, detergent, degreaser, WD40 and a bug and tar remover. It's not moving. The only thing I've found to work is a green scouring pad. The problem with the green pad is it scratches and removes paint.
Is there a product out there that will remove baked on crap but not damage paint or engine metal?
It's underneath so cannot really be seen. But I know it's there. I plan on painting the entire engine someday.

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post #2 of 16 Old 10-07-2018, 11:14 AM
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power washer maybe? idk i think if it was my bike that's what I'd try

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post #3 of 16 Old 10-07-2018, 11:38 AM
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Yeah, can you get a water-blaster near it? With one of those rotating dirt-blaster-type tips? I think I'd try that, after splashing it with degreaser and letting it stand for a while.

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post #4 of 16 Old 10-07-2018, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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I'm nervous about using a power washer. Concerned it will remove paint. I think I'll try elbow grease.

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post #5 of 16 Old 10-07-2018, 12:47 PM
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I dont think there is any paint on the gray engine casings. I've sand blasted it and nothing really happened other than clean it up.

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post #6 of 16 Old 10-07-2018, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Well shit. Mine is painted, dead slug grey. 2002 model. I can see stone chips in it.
I'll take a pic later. I only noticed the baked on grime when lying for an hour on the floor polishing the header. I thought "that looks nasty, I'll get rid of that". But no, it's still there.

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post #7 of 16 Old 10-08-2018, 12:03 AM
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You can try different solvents, but it sounds like you've already tried some. Something like Goof Off or Goo Gone might get it. You can also try a heat gun, get it hot and scrape it off with a hard plastic putty knife. If you can get a bit of it and put it in the solvent, you'll see how well it works on it.

You mentioned you tried bug and tar remover, I'd try soaking it. Take a tooth brush or something like it and a dish of the bug and tar remove and keep working it on there. Keep it wet for a while and see if it's starting to do anything. When you keep brushing it on, it's better than soaking because you are brushing the surface and it can dig in faster.

Maybe warm it up with a heat gun 1st, then tooth brush and solvent. One of those stiff nylon brushes should help.
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-08-2018, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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You might be onto something with the heat thing. I'll try cleaning it off after a good ride. Get it all hot like.

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post #9 of 16 Old 10-08-2018, 09:55 PM
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Supposedly power washers are not too good because the pressure can cause water to push past seals. I'm no expert so I take it with a grain of salt but I have heard several wrenchers say the prefer to use something like a small steam cleaner to melt off hard packed grease. I think one of my closer friends even suggested the steam shark. Seems like it would work really well, after all you can use the smaller steam cleaners to melt the burnt on remains off a BBQ grill. I just have not had a chance to pick one up and try it out. Also happens that I used WD40 and a combination of screw drivers and similar stuff to pry out all the trash in all the nasty crevices of the bikes so I am not quite at the point where I need to do that type of cleaning right now. I'll probably pick one up in a month or two once it starts to cool down and I can focus on winter tear down and cleaning.
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post #10 of 16 Old 10-09-2018, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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I never go at my bikes with power washers. Garden hose at the most.
I like the steam cleaner idea. Seems to me bug guts and oil burnt onto a motor isn't that much different from cooked meat and grease on a BBQ grill.

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post #11 of 16 Old 10-09-2018, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandboy View Post
I never go at my bikes with power washers. Garden hose at the most.
I like the steam cleaner idea. Seems to me bug guts and oil burnt onto a motor isn't that much different from cooked meat and grease on a BBQ grill.
The steam idea of his sounds very intriguing!

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post #12 of 16 Old 10-09-2018, 10:27 AM
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Sorta related....
Decades ago, a friend of mine who did moto cross and dirt track racing with the air cooled engines of of the day, used to spray his engines with silicon spray.
The washing off became quick work, and dirt didn't seem to fuse to the cooling fins the same way, so any black barrels in particular, stayed nice and black.

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post #13 of 16 Old 10-09-2018, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpcraft View Post
Supposedly power washers are not too good because the pressure can cause water to push past seals.
HP washers also do an excellent job of helping water get to where it shouldn't be.

They can also do wonderful things like reshape the fins on your rad.
I'll still fume over my stupidity of washing the bike from what I thought was a very safe distance, only to observe that the rad seemed to be changing colour from black to aluminum.
Upon closer scrutiny, I realized the fins were getting folded over and exposing unpainted aluminum.
I spend hours with a small bladed screwdriver reshaping the fins as well as I could.

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post #14 of 16 Old 10-09-2018, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Did the same thing to a car radiator once. Power washers also do a wonderful job of removing auto paint, don't ask how I know!

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post #15 of 16 Old 10-09-2018, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Also interesting point about silicon spray. I had a spray painter mate once who cursed silicon spray/polish. He said it played havoc with getting paint to stick if not completely removed. I would consider using it on the engine once I get it cleaned up. Suppose it's heat proof? Lots of high temp silicon stuff about these days.

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post #16 of 16 Old 10-09-2018, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandboy View Post
Also interesting point about silicon spray. I had a spray painter mate once who cursed silicon spray/polish. He said it played havoc with getting paint to stick if not completely removed. I would consider using it on the engine once I get it cleaned up. Suppose it's heat proof? Lots of high temp silicon stuff about these days.
By the late 70s / early 80s, paint shops didn't even want under the hood RTV in their shops!
Fish eying was the problem the painter experienced back then.
I'd assume to this day, silicon would still wreak havoc in a paint shop, no doubt the widely available and used sprays being at least a zillion times worse than RTV long set up below the hood.

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