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Engine cleaning, degreasing, etc

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by COKid, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. COKid

    COKid XS650 Member

    Hey everybody, new to the forums.

    I inherited a 80 Special that probably hasn't been cleaned in a LONG time. I'm almost done stripping her down to rebuild but everything is a filthy mess! I'm in need of a recommendation for the best engine cleaner out there to attack dirt, road grime, grease, etc.

    Also, I removed the gear shifter cover and the grime around the chain area is crazy! Stupid question but is it ok to use engine cleaner/degreaser inside there or will I damage anything. Is it ok to spray with a pressure washer after I spray degreaser?

  2. bikefreak69

    bikefreak69 XS650 Enthusiast

    Try some Gunk foaming degreaser.Works decently enough.
    wrenchjohns likes this.
  3. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I like good old mineral spirits (paint thinner) and various brushes. I will pressure wash the worst stuff on the bottom but am leery around the clutch push rod area. I have seen more than a couple bikes with a lot of ruined parts (corrosion) from excessive washing probably with harsh detergents too.
    wrenchjohns likes this.
  4. COKid, About once a year I clean the drive sprocket area on my bikes in the following manner. Its a bit unconventional but works for me. Take a small cardboard box about
    12"x12"x4"deep, put it inside a kitchen trash bag then push the bag into the box to form a plastic lined box. One large spray can of WD40. Bike on centerstand, box under area to be cleaned. Saturate the area to be cleaned with WD. Let it sit a bit.
    Note the excess WD is dripping into the box. Respray with WD and start scrubbing w/ tooth brush. You'll discover the WD spray does a good job of flushing out the crud as you go. About the time your can of WD is gone the crud should be gone too. Wipe down the now cleaned area with rags and you're done. Put a few handfuls of oil dry (kitty litter) in the box of filthy WD to dry it up. Pull the bag back around the box and the mess is in the bag. What you do with that has a lot to do with citizenship.

    I don't like using a pressure washer on my bikes. Water ends up in places it shouldn't.

    Superjet, gggGary and wrenchjohns like this.
  5. FrkyMnky

    FrkyMnky XS650 Junkie

    WD40 works great. If you are trying to clean the whole engine before repaint soda blasting is where it is at.
    gggGary likes this.
  6. 3Deuces

    3Deuces XS650 Addict

    I recently did mine. Combination of power washer, Simple Green, some type of wheel cleaner, and non chlorinated brake cleaner. Came out pretty decent.
    gggGary and wrenchjohns like this.
  7. COKid

    COKid XS650 Member

    Appreciate the responses. I'm just trying to get it clean and then decide what to do. Its just grimy as hell...
    gggGary likes this.
  8. charles839

    charles839 XS650 New Member

    Hi, I am a newbie and I want to know which is the best engine degrease product available. After lot of research I found this. Please help and guide me.
  9. max mariner

    max mariner XS650 New Member

    I used a combination of spray degreaser and water and it worked best for me , in fact it always works best for me you should also use spray degreaseras they are very simple and easy to use and they also gets removed easily .
    RX Marine was established in 1996 in Mumbai, India; as chemical manufacturing company catering exclusively to the needs of the marine industry. In a short span of 12 years the company has established itself as one of the leading wholesale suppliers of a wide range of chemicals for - Marine industry internationally - and other local industires and plants. Our client list bears testimony to this. The RXSOL policy has its foundations on two pillars of strength - a continuous investment in research and development to deliver premium quality products and a commitment to service.


    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  10. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I use kerosene mostly, cheap and effective. And just so you know, that's why WD40 works so well, it's like 99% kerosene. Buying kerosene is much cheaper than buying WD40. I buy mine in bulk, by the gallon from a pump at one of the gas stations on a local Indian reservation.
    Superjet, gggGary and wrenchjohns like this.
  11. OHRider

    OHRider XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    I use the part washer fluid I get from Tractor Supply and put in a spray bottle. Then clean with Simple Green.
    gggGary likes this.
  12. thuban

    thuban Horse Scratcher Top Contributor

    I use Rust-oleum Wax and Tar Remover. It liquifies chain grease instantly, and will not hurt paint, plastic or rubber. It is also the only primer/paint prep, other than a tack rag, I use prior to primer or paint and between coats. Has a nice orange smell and dries in a few minutes. ( If you try this stuff, you won't go back to anything else)
    52Chevy, 59Tebo and gggGary like this.

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