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Old 07-12-2016, 06:38 AM   #1
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How to keep engines clean?

And keep rust away?
Most of the boats we've been looking at have some rust at different areas on the engines. Some have been painted nicely. Some not so nice with paint runs and drips but not rusty. Rust on the fuel line fittings, at expansion tanks, on different areas.
I remember many years ago working in the oil patch the guys taking care of the engines used to wash them down then spray with a light coating of diesel. Their engines looked great! Now I don't plan to do that but is there anything I can do to keep the rust away (once I get a boat) after I've cleaned up the rust and re-painted those areas?
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:44 AM   #2
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Old 07-12-2016, 07:04 AM   #3
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While rusty to the point of not being able to find bolt heads, let alone easily remove them is never good....

Some rust may not look yacht but isn't the death of a diesel either.

Yes, yes.....I too will get there some day...maybe.

My process would be to find the absolute best way to degrease, then use one of the many rust converting formulas, then touch up with rust converting primer and topped off with whatever final coat I decide on.

Just keeping an engine clean is different than keeping rust away. Using a nicely painted engine and keeping it wiped down all the time is what many do. It makes it clean and shiny looking, and may help prevent or slow rust because in all likelyhood, you are just smearing around a light coat of diesel and oil while removing the unsightly items. If you wipe to the point of almost being dry, recoating like Capt Bill suggested is common. Some even spray a little first to help clean any darker deposits.

But that isn't the clean you want to be able to touch up easily unless you spot degrease. The only method for keeping an engine clean ready to paint without a lot of other things to think about I would guess is stream cleaning.
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Old 07-12-2016, 07:10 AM   #4
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Not talking about squeaky clean but do want an engine to look nice. But most importantly like you pointed out to keep things from rusting more and then having problems when repair work is needed.
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:48 AM   #5
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Mine is painted white. Originally she was light green (Kubota)

The white allowed me to spot a small leak in the hose that went to the overflow tank (coolant). Were my engine green I doubt if I'd have seen it.

And Cap'n Bill: Thanks for the tip on Bioshield. T-9 is great stuff.
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Old 07-12-2016, 10:36 AM   #6
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One way to keep it clean is not to run it.....But other than that wipe it down and use a dry paint brush too get stuff out of the cracks and gaps. If you live with a beagle, you will have dog hair on your engine, guaranteed. In my boatyard every engine was sprayed with CRC 656 after it was winterized. It is quite impressive how that will keep rust and corrosion at bay. Also spray every engine mount and the coupling bolts with it once or twice a year. Makes everything much easier to service when you have to do an alignment. If you have a bronze packing gland this 656 will keep the corrosion down on it too.
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Old 07-12-2016, 11:14 AM   #7
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Last month's maintenance included rebuilding the water pump and dealing with the rust caused by a slow drip. Years ago there was tiny oil leak that was repaired. Best to correct the problem before the situation becomes a big mess.
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:56 PM   #8
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Last month's maintenance included rebuilding the water pump and dealing with the rust caused by a slow drip. Years ago there was tiny oil leak that was repaired. Best to correct the problem before the situation becomes a big mess.
This is similar to how I keep my engines clean. After some use, I spend a few minutes in the engine room checking oil, belts, etc. if I see any oil anywhere I wipe it off. If I see a spot that needs paint I paint it. I'm going to be checking oil and fluid levels anyway, the wiping and rare paint touch ups add almost nothing to the time required, plus a clean engine makes it much easier to spot an issue or do maintenance.

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Old 07-12-2016, 08:53 PM   #9
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Fluid Film......Fluid FilmĀ® | Corrosion Preventative, Lubricant and Rust Inhibitor

We use it on all our Dredges, Tugs, Barges and Tenders. Just spray it on and let it protect your metal surfaces....great stuff. We buy it by the 55 gal Drum.

FYI.....Lowes Hardware carries Fluid Film in spray can form.

Cheers!
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:57 AM   #10
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Ventilate the engine compartment better.

Your car engine doesn't rust , why should the boat engine?

BECAUSE IT SITS IN A WATER FUNK ENVIRONMENT .

A mostly dry bilge with fresh air movement is good!

Not easy to do as many folks want to seal the engine against diesel noise.
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Last month's maintenance included rebuilding the water pump and dealing with the rust caused by a slow drip. Years ago there was tiny oil leak that was repaired. Best to correct the problem before the situation becomes a big mess.
Wow Mark. Does that mean your boat has a blemish..? That's ok, consider it now well and truly seagoing Christened...
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:53 AM   #12
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I've never really cleaned my engine.

I bought it from a supplier to the fishing fleet. So it's painted by the engine manufacturer not the marineizer. Fishermen don't require "pretty" engines nor do I. However I'd like a pretty engine but not willing to pay for it. My engine never did look new. It was bought in Seattle (I should say ordered) and I don't remember seeing it then. I was living in Alaska at the time and just arranged foy the yard installing the engine to pick it up in Seattle w the features I ordered installed. So I did'nt see the engine until I came down from Alaska and saw the engine completely installed in the boat. It did'nt look shiny like a new car or a Volvo ect when I first saw it and it looks about exactly the same now.

Don't see any rust but some paint is peeling on the individual tubes leading to the head from the exhaust manifold. The manifold is steel (a weldment) made of a special alloy that rusts very little so I don't expect much rust on the outside or inside of the manifold. The valve cover is aluminum (the only aluminum on the engine) and one can see the aluminum as some of the paint is worn off from people stepping on it (entirely me now) but it looked about the same as it did when I first saw it.

I have sucked up what dust I could w a shop vac quit a few times and wiped up oil on occasion but never really cleaned it w solvent or anything similar. I have far far more important things to do.
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:57 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Troubadour View Post
Fluid Film......Fluid FilmĀ® | Corrosion Preventative, Lubricant and Rust Inhibitor

We use it on all our Dredges, Tugs, Barges and Tenders. Just spray it on and let it protect your metal surfaces....great stuff. We buy it by the 55 gal Drum.

FYI.....Lowes Hardware carries Fluid Film in spray can form.

Cheers!
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Lanolin based product that we only just found out about 3 years ago. One of the best products out there. 5 star rating.
PB Blaster for soaking seized bolts. 5 star rating
Wrap "denso" tape around hydraulic fittings and all hose fittings. 5 Star rating.
That's my tips Oh and wash engine regularly!
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:03 AM   #14
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Ventilate the engine compartment better.

Your car engine doesn't rust , why should the boat engine?

BECAUSE IT SITS IN A WATER FUNK ENVIRONMENT .

A mostly dry bilge with fresh air movement is good!

Not easy to do as many folks want to seal the engine against diesel noise.
After running the engine, my engine compartment is warm and dry because of the engine heat and fresh air sucked in as the engine consumed it. Lesson: operate the engine frequently.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:34 PM   #15
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Paint is your friend against rust. Keep it clean and keep it painted.
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:40 PM   #16
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I've never really cleaned my engine.

Eric,

Properly maintained is inherently clean. Your ER is a perfect example. Nicely done!

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Old 07-14-2016, 06:53 AM   #17
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A lot of long lived, hard working, go-go every day engines in commercial craft are fare from spotless and work just fine.

An engine does not have to be a work of art.

Suburbs are full of perfect, highly waxed pickup trucks that take their owner's to desk jobs every day.

Work trucks may not look the same but work just as well.

Yes...yes...at some point cleanliness, paint, corrosion protection all need to be done...but up to a point aesthetics is all it is.

It's not only my concept, it has been posted here in TF many times that REAL maintenance and good records are way more important (when buying) than a spray paint tune up.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:56 AM   #18
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After use I have always sprayed my outboard engines with WD-40 and they kept looking brand new for years. I didn't do this with my diesels but instead just wiped them, which tended to keep a thin film of oil all over.

I like the WD-40 but it gets exciting if you hit an open flame when spraying.
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