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jsarro

De-greasing Tractors

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jsarro
I know tractors can be inherently dirty, however I would like to clean mine up as best possible. So what is the best way to degrease without removing lubrication from necessary components and doing harm? I imagine guys who have done restorations have this down. This would be being done on a tractor that is not going to be restored right now. Thanks for the input!

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huffy
Spray on grill & oven cleaner, pressure wash with hot water. Regrease zerks after and oil other areas asnecessary. If cleaning engine, cover carb and other wise seal first.

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RickS
I know several members here clean the tractors and leave them in the sun for several hours to give the motor and electrical parts a chance to dry before starting the tractors. Or don't wash the tractor in front of the garage door with the car inside in case the tractor won't start right away. Rick.........

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huffy
btw, there's a thread about cleaning off engine & tranny crud on page 2 of the tech tips forum. I can also tell you that washing them down with degreasers and then pressure washing the crud off your driveway into the grass isn't real good for your lawn

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jsarro
Thank You guys for the info on this process. I figured experience would help me avoid some issues, and you already have!:) When I do it, I will try to take some pictures. Maybe I should haul it on my trailer over to the local car wash and use their sprayers. They are usually required to tank their waste which would divert the oil in the yard. I tried the search function prior to starting the thread but did not find anything on degreasing. Thanks for the tip on the tech tips page, I'll check that out.

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Brettw
Ideally a Hotsy or other chemical/heat/pressure washer type unit would be great for a first time cleaning. I would love to have one and take the new finds and blast them top to bottom, left to right and inside out. THAT would be a refreshing way to start. Alas, there needs to be a place to do this that would be environmentally friendly. Either you trash the driveawy orr the lawn, and potentially screw up ground water. Therefore, I do take them to the local do it yourself car wash on occasion, but it still isn't the same as a good steam clean or Hotsy wash. Lastly, and used most often is the good ol' tried and true super duty cleaner/lubricant: Elbow grease.......wah

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GLPointon
I have used cheap waterless hand cleaner (go-jo) and a stiff nylon scrub brush or even Dawn dishwashing soap and hot water. If its bad I load it on the trailer & go to the coin-op carwash when nobody else is around (I left some real messes) :O

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goatfarmer
quote:
Originally posted by GLPointon
I have used cheap waterless hand cleaner (go-jo) and a stiff nylon scrub brush or even Dawn dishwashing soap and hot water. If its bad I load it on the trailer & go to the coin-op carwash when nobody else is around (I left some real messes) :O
Oh, so you're the one.....sm03 Yeah, carwash is probably the best way to go, without staining your driveway, or lawn with grease, chemicals, etc.

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OrangeMetalGuy
I don't recommend a pressure washer. Too much pressure, you can force water underneath seals and such. Just use Gunk engine degreaser and your regular garden hose.

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jsarro
I'll check to see if I can modulate the pressure down a little at the car wash to avoid spraying water under seals yet avoid dumping grease all over the driveway by doing it at home. I would think most towns make the car washes tank the dirty water. I hope.

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GrincheyOne
Jack I'll be able to see better in the daylight, but I tried a 4:1 concentrated de-greaser from ACE, in a Windex sprayer. Of course I also got around to putting a hose bib onto my hot water heater coil. A few minutes of clear hot rinse first. Then I followed it with the spray bottle. My driveway is all crushed stone, and the run off is reasonably quick. Small areas I usually loosen up with Super-Tech Carburetor cleaner, then rinse. It is always a good practice to get a copy of the MSDS* from the manufacturer! *Material Specification Data Sheet, and this contains an ingrediant list, purpose of use, and any safety precautions if necessary. Wayne

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MrSteele
Spray a thin film of Purple Power on the hole tractor, let it sit a few minutes, half a beer or so. Wash with your garden hose at the jet spray. If that didn't do it, repeat until it does. Be careful not to use the soak time mentioned above too often. I have a paved drive with gravel to the back of the shop. Maybe it is not totally environmentally friendly, but the crud disappears into the stone

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MysTiK
Do degreasers like Gunk or Purple Power hurt anything on the engine? or do they cause deterioration of wires, gaskets, carb. Is it necessary to cover carb no matter what you use? I have never used these products; so I don't know what they are. Are they just detergents or soaps? Oven cleaner seems like a different kind of animal? Are degreasers the same kind of chemical thing??? I kinda doubt that. Another thing - is it necessary to disassemble certain parts, or remove motor? Or can you just blast away with everything in place and then rinse it off well?

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Talntedmrgreen
I second the Purple Power...it's replaced my other degreasers at home. If washing a wroking tractor, I dilute with water, and spray on lightly (the half beer timing is about perfect if you don't want to hurt the paint). Rinse and done. For a big-time degrease, like before restore, I use it straight, and employ a power washer pulling water from the Hot tap in my parents garage...on a long, long hose out to a slight ditch with a hedgerow. ;) That hedge can't be pulled for fear of breaking the neighbors concrete, so I poison it with my 45 year old grease and Purple Power every chance I get. }:) I stay away from seals, vents, etc with the pressurized water, and scrub around them and lightly rinse. I've also used the quarter-carwash, but ours has piping hot water. Trouble is, you gotta move fast to avoid giving up $10 in change.

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huffy
Graham: I recommend covering the carb anytime you pressure wash near the engine, no matter what degreaser you use. One downside of a pressure washer is that it's able to force water into places that it should not go. You don't want water getting into the engine, tranny, etc, so I cover the carb and other openings, and am careful not to get too close to the with the pressure washer. I also don't let the jet directly hit things like the axle seals to keep from blowing water through them.

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MysTiK
Well the message seems to be to leave it on a few minutes so it can work the magic. And rinse well, thoroughly. I was mainly concerned about damage to wiring, electrical parts, gaskets, seals - but not from the pressure washer/water - more from the degreaser itself. A lot of rubber and plastic parts are derived petroleum products - so if degreaser cuts oil and grease, I thought it might affect these other things, immediately or eventually. I suppose it's ok; cos the stuff has a strong position in the marketplace. Just wondered if there was some caution required. The only caution I hear is to not leave it too long, and rinse well. And cover some things that don't do well with water, never mind degreaser. thanx

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Talntedmrgreen
Probably good to mention! I don't powerwash anything inside of the outer sheetmetal, aft of the BGB. I also don't degrease electrical components. It's easy enough to use a rag doused with something mild and wipe. I suppose I've never taken the chance, but it could work out OK.

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jsarro
quote:
Originally posted by GrincheyOne
Jack I'll be able to see better in the daylight, but I tried a 4:1 concentrated de-greaser from ACE, in a Windex sprayer.
I'm curious to hear how that product works out. I'm with you on the MSDS sheet. I'm all for the least toxic way to work on and with these machines. I certainly don't want any health damage from this hobby. I have read that you want to use a respirator with degreasers even if there is no odor, as some of the chemicals will be absorbed through vapors in the lungs. I would think an enzyme based product would be safer. Thanks Jack

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jsarro
quote:
Originally posted by MrSteele
Spray a thin film of Purple Power on the hole tractor, let it sit a few minutes, half a beer or so.
Is that a auto zone product and you prefer that over others?

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jsarro
quote:
Originally posted by huffy
Graham: I recommend covering the carb anytime you pressure wash near the engine, no matter what degreaser you use. I also don't let the jet directly hit things like the axle seals to keep from blowing water through them.
All good advice, thanks!

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jsarro
quote:
Originally posted by Talntedmrgreen
I also don't degrease electrical components. It's easy enough to use a rag doused with something mild and wipe.
More good advice, controlled degreasing!dOd

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Kent
quote:
Originally posted by jsarro
So I guess the most logical next question is: What is the most effective and least toxic product to degrease with?
Not sure if it is either the most effective or the least toxic, but Simple Green works pretty well, and is easy on the environment... and is relatively easy to find... http://www.simplegreen.com/

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