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Question Show me your clean wheel wells and tell me how you got them that way please.

I just bought a 2 1/2 ton jack and some 3-ton jack stands from the Home Depot and I remembered seeing someones car(I am almost positive it was 88911)so clean under the wheel wells it got me jealous. I jacked the car up for the first time no problem. Used the bottom engine sump as stated in Wayne's book.(Thanks again Wayne) Anyway, back to my question, for those who keep their car's wheel wells clean what cleaner do you use? I scrubbed it real quick(got real cold as the sun went down so had to hurry)with water and dish soap and it got most of the dirt off, but some of it has been their forever and I want it clean enough so I can wax under their. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Old 03-09-2003, 02:50 PM
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Dish soap is way down the, um, food chain (don't eat it) of cleaners.

Try a citrus degreaser, preferably with hot water.

I am impressed there are so many people who clean their wheel wells. I clean my engine, but only because working on a dirty engine sucks.
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Old 03-09-2003, 03:19 PM
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To clean your wheel wells good. use a strong degreaser and power washer, that has heat, GOOD HEAT.(100 to 150) let the degreaser do the work and let it sit. Rinse, with the power washer. Just make sure you dont hit your body with the washer, it will strip your paint way.
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Old 03-09-2003, 03:29 PM
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you can't see much of the wheel well in this pic, but it will have to do...( i'm not going to take the wheel off for another picture!) I took it after painting the centers of my rotors and cleaning the wheel wells out. Citrus degreaser and several different sizes and textures of scrub brushes. With an occasional blast of the garden hose. The cosmoline is as hard to remove as the grunge. I tried xylene in one spot, but it will soften and remove your paint. My hands are finally healing up from the project!...good luck, max
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Old 03-09-2003, 03:36 PM
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Good degreaser and hot power washer is the way to go, but be very careful about concentrating the spray on inside of wells, it will remove paint and you will have white stripes. As I learned the hard way.
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Old 03-09-2003, 03:49 PM
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More pic's please, it is a good motivator. Thanks
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Old 03-09-2003, 06:02 PM
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try that degreaser by Castrol. I think its called super clean. Dilute with hot water and wear gloves. It actually will eat your hands raw. Try to keep it off the exterior paint.

Chris
Old 03-09-2003, 06:38 PM
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My neighbor owned a detail shop. When I asked him the same question, he said to use a product called Red Hot. I don't think you can get this just anywhere, it has to be through a detailer supplier. I bought a 5 gal. drum of concentrate through him, and it worked very well.
Old 03-09-2003, 06:57 PM
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I'm doing mine the lazy way. Every time I wash the car I spray Simple Green in the wheel wells and rinse with a garden hose. Over the past few months the wheel wells have really cleaned up slowly but surely.
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Old 03-09-2003, 07:36 PM
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The power washer and degreaser method is the best but for stubborn and caked on dirt, you may have to resort to elbow grease, a rag, and brake cleaner. Spray the brakleen on a rag and rub the area you want to clean. It is difficult but effective and if you are under the car, use a face mask as the fumes from the brakleen may get you dizzy - take it from someone that knows!
Old 03-09-2003, 08:21 PM
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Anybody know if the Castrol Super Clean (purple stuff) is safe to use in there? That's scary stuff-- I got some on my thumb (scrubbing with it undiluted) and my thumb has been peeling dead skin for over a month! It does nasty things to aluminum (must have lye in it) so I'm worried what it might to to rubber, paint, etc.
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Old 03-09-2003, 09:23 PM
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I used both Castrol primarily on the metal or really greasy bits, and undiluted citrus cleaner on the wells. Don't have a power washer, but worked well with the hose and bit of brushing. (edit) - found a pic I posted earlier:

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Old 03-09-2003, 10:32 PM
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As Cam said don't use the dish soap. It contains acids that cause rust - I know about these things, I work for the factory that makes the stuff. I'd rinse it well, then once it's dry use a degreaser that's intended for cars.
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Old 03-09-2003, 11:39 PM
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You need to conquer this job in stages, with stronger agents at the beginning. You need a place with plenty of drainage also so you don't contaminate the ecology. If you have a self wash place in your area, I would suggest taking your car there with a jack. Try to do this at a slow time in their business. Jack up one side until the wheel drop. Apply a heavy degreaser, (Castrol, Gunk, etc.) to all the visible areas. If you can, pull the wheels off. Let this set for a few minutes and then use their power washer the blast off all the loose crud, stones, grease,(You'll find half a roadway above the oil lines!) Once all the heavy stuff is off, take you car home and resume the cleaning with less caustic stuff like Simple Green and kerosene. A soft brush and a bucket of hot water works well with the simple green. After most of the dirt and grease is off, WD 40 and kerosene on a rag work well.

Old 03-10-2003, 05:39 AM
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"Oil-flow" works really well to ge that first layer of cosmoline off...some on this board have posted that it eats paint..but I have absolutely *no* evidence of this at all ! Basically a kerosene based product and has been safe even when it touched the outer-finished paint. Use plastic throw-away knives as spatulas for the beginning....and use a apray bottle toward the end....
You'll be amazed at the gold-clad fasteners and such you'll find in pristine shape underneath!
---Wil Ferch
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Old 03-10-2003, 06:27 AM
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Power washer I got for Christmas from my pop got the inside wheel wells just about spotless. I sprayed simple green on for a few minutes the first time and let it soak. I was really surprised how red it is under there. Problem is that with our recent ice storms it's all cruddy looking again. At least I have an excuse to fire it up again.
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Old 03-10-2003, 10:29 AM
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Question

Can you run hot tap water through a non-heated pressure washer without damaging it?
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Old 03-10-2003, 10:34 AM
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I thought cosmoline was a rust preventative?

I would like to keep mine, thanks.
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Old 03-10-2003, 12:21 PM
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Anyone have any ideas to take that black undercoating off!?! I've tried everthing listed here but it isn't moving!!!! It looks like some of its been there since the car was new.
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Old 03-10-2003, 01:14 PM
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Do not run hot water through a cold water pressure washer. Hot water machines heat the water after passing through the pump. The pumps are not designed for hot water.
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Old 03-10-2003, 01:27 PM
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