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  1. #1
    nmwhitneyjr's Avatar
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    PO Clearcoated the Engine / Bay

    At some point in my car`s past, the PO had the engine bay detailed and then shellacked or clear coated. No surprise that now 60% of that has flaked off and the rest has turned a dirty brown color. I degreased the engine. That helped some, but what remains acts like it won`t come off with a diamond-tipped drill. Any advice on how to get the rest of this off?

  2. #2

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    Re: PO Clearcoated the Engine / Bay

    Short of sandblasting or hand wet-sanding, no, cured clear coat will not come off easily. If it is shellac, mineral spirits MAY work, but will risk getting that on rubber hoses or plastic that may degrade them significantly.

    Depending on the severity of flaking on which engine parts (intake manifold or valve covers), it may necessitate removal of these items from the engine to properly and completely "clean" them of whatever coating is now degraded to the point as you have examined.

    Are you sure it`s not aftermarket undercoating that may have been dealer-applied??? This will also flake off when a vehicle has seen many years of service. You also failed to mention the car`s manufacturer, vehicle model, and model year it was made. Is the engine a V8 or a 4-cylinder? Not that it matters, UNLESS you are going to remove these engine parts yourself. If it`s a Jaguar, Mercedes, or other hi-end car, you may feel slightly intimidated, depending on your mechanical prowess and experience.
    GB detailer
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  3. #3

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    Re: PO Clearcoated the Engine / Bay

    Could be cosmoline from a rust proofing package that has been attempted to be cleaned off in the past with previous details.


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  4. #4

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    Re: PO Clearcoated the Engine / Bay

    nmwhitneyjr- What have you tried so far?

    How do regular prep-type solvents work?

    What about lacquer thinner (be careful what you get it on)?

    And yeah...what car? I gather you`re certain about it being some clearcoat sprayed on by the PO, right?

  5. #5
    dansautodetailing.com
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    Re: PO Clearcoated the Engine / Bay

    Im pretty sure he is talking about his new car, the Mercedes in his avatar.
    He first posted up this Mercedes talking about its history, etc...

    NMWhitney Jr, have you tried degreasing AND pressure washing the degreaser off ???
    Just make sure you dont wet things that will make it hard to start later, etc..

    I always pressure wash engine compartments but know enough to not get into trouble, and then blow out all air with my Master Blaster 8hp blower, and leave the hood open all day long to help dry what may be left in there..

    Sometimes, I even (if its cold like in fall, winter) bring it inside and open the hood again and leave it that way all night, to further insure its as dry as possible, before I treat all the plastics, etc..

    I remember way back when I was a kid, that some shops would steam clean engines and spray something on them to make it all shiny - bet it`s what happened to your Mercedes..
    Dan F

  6. #6
    nmwhitneyjr's Avatar
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    Re: PO Clearcoated the Engine / Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by Stokdgs View Post
    I remember way back when I was a kid, that some shops would steam clean engines and spray something on them to make it all shiny - bet it`s what happened to your Mercedes..
    Dan F
    Correct on nearly all points Stokdgs... the "spray something on them to make it all shiny" is the stuff I`m talking about. With it flaking off, it looks like my engine & bay has psoriasis.

    I degreased but only used an open hose to rinse. I used a soft, plastic bristle brush on some of the larger (easier to reach) areas. What`s left is bonded pretty well to the valve cover, linkages and even the hoses. It`s a mess.

    I didn`t pressure wash as there are soooo many vac hoses, linkages, nooks and crannies in the OM602 engine. Simply too much opportunity to knock something loose. I`ll post a pic tomorrow and you`ll see what I mean.

    ... and yes, this is the 1991 Mercedes 300D 2.5 Turbo.
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  7. #7
    LEDetailng's Avatar
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    Re: PO Clearcoated the Engine / Bay

    Guilty of using that junk in the 90ís at my dadís car lot. After seeing the results months later I stopped using it. I only used it on older usually high mileage cars. It is really like a cheap clear coat spray paint.
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  8. #8

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    Re: PO Clearcoated the Engine / Bay

    Oh yeah, that wonderful `91!

    I`d be trying pre-paint prep solvents instead of degreasers, which I only use on, well...greasy messes that need emulsified.

    I don`t suppose the hoses need replaced? Simple but expensive solution to that part of it.

    This is the kind of dilemma that`s kept me away from products like Motor Kote.

  9. #9
    nmwhitneyjr's Avatar
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    Re: PO Clearcoated the Engine / Bay

    Precious hates nasty engine coatses...

    https://flic.kr/p/211K6Qw
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  10. #10
    dansautodetailing.com
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    Re: PO Clearcoated the Engine / Bay

    Nmwhitneyjr. --

    Well, that looks like a real Detailer`s challenge in that engine compartment !

    If it was lacquer sprayed on the engine, then lacquer thinner should loosen it up, and since there are fast-dry and slow-dry lacquer thinners, you can choose what you think may work best for you if you go that route..

    When I mentioned pressure washing, I meant using something strong enough first to get all the stuff loose so that you would not have to hold the pressure washer tip that close to blow it all off. When I pressure wash anything, I always use a wide fan tip, so there will less chance of accidentally damaging the worked areas..

    I can only think of one other thing that might work because I saw them do this in the Shop where I did Detailing before..
    They use ground up walnut shells to clean out carbon of BMW intakes sometimes, and it really knocks out the carbon without harming the metal..

    Might have to do research on what type of gun they use and see if that is an alternative ...

    i know some people use sand or a grit to do body cleaning etc., I just don`t know if those types of media would change the finish of the metal and plastic parts of that beautiful engine or not...

    Good luck with this - hope you get it looking like it did when it was built back then..
    Dan F

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    Re: PO Clearcoated the Engine / Bay

    If lacquer thinner doesn`t do it, I`d wonder about *very carefully* using a stripping product. Well, depending on what the finish underneath that [stuff] is..

    There are all sorts of blast medias these days, but I`d only do it after a thorough disassembly, which would sure be an undertaking and I gather that`s not in the cards.

  12. #12

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    Re: PO Clearcoated the Engine / Bay

    Still looks like cosmoline to me. Was common on those engines. They make cosmoline remover. Some oven cleaners work too. Diesel fuel works well too and itís non volatile. Wurth Engine cleaner and degreaser does too


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  13. #13

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    Re: PO Clearcoated the Engine / Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by MattPersman View Post
    Still looks like cosmoline to me. Was common on those engines. They make cosmoline remover. Some oven cleaners work too. Diesel fuel works well too and itís non volatile. Wurth Engine cleaner and degreaser does too


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    Hereís another one this is a 1991


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  14. #14

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    Re: PO Clearcoated the Engine / Bay

    Mattpersman- That may well be it. We`d always cleaned it off the obvious places before it got nasty, didn`t even occur to me even after you suggested it!

    I guess the reason why it didn`t register with me was that mnwhitneyjr is having so much trouble getting it off. I always found it comes off easily enough (especially with some applied heat), but maybe that`s because mine wasn`t too old/baked on. The real challenge was always cleaning it up without cleaning it *off*, lots of products make it look milky/cloudy, including the degreasers I tried.

    Is your Remover the, uhm...official Cosmoline brand Cosmoline Remover? Either way, I`m curious about any benefits compared to regular solvents.

  15. #15

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    Re: PO Clearcoated the Engine / Bay

    Presto makes one that ECS tuning sells. I know you are familiar with them


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