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Should I wash it?

W.C.Machine

Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Well I was not paying attention when I was filling the oil tank with a funnel. It over flowed and ran down the neck under the tank and then on both heads and cylinders. I have never taken a hose to the bike and am a little concerned to do so. It is an all stock 1953 shadow. What do you think? Thanks. Warren
 

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Albervin

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
It won't melt

Welcome to the club of "overfillers anonymous". If you want to do a thorough clean you need to remove the petrol tank. Once you have made that decision you then have to securely cover your carburettors' intakes. A plastic bag & rubber bands should do the job. Now for the tricky bit, which solvent/degreaser do you use? There are aerosol cans of kerosene/paraffin, non caustic water soluble degreasers & non caustic oven cleaners. You understand that what you trying to do is saponify (make soap) or emulsify the oil. So, (you still with me?), the old chemistry law is an alkali plus oil (or fat or grease) will make soap which will wash away. Strong alkalis like caustic Soda are not compatible with aluminium alloys so should be the choice of last resort. So go for an emulsifying agent such as triethanolamine which will make the oil mix with water & wash away. This chemical is in a lot of "non caustic" oven cleaners & I have used it on alloy engines several times. Spray liberally on the COLD engine, around the UFM and any other place you care to. You may want to remove excess oil/grease from your chain guard or under the rear mud guard while you are at it. Leave for at least 30 minutes & use a small brush to work it into the worst areas. Then hose off with with copious quantities of water. Use a fairly high pressure nozzle on an ordinary hose, do not use a pressure blaster device. You may want to protect your magneto/distributor with a plastic bag but I have never had any problems as long as I don't direct the water at the device. Repeat if necessary. I have not mentioned the kero/paraffin as it leaves a real mess on the ground but a couple of cans will do the job albeit leaving a slightly oily film on the surfaces.:)
 

W.C.Machine

Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Thanks for the reply. I am quite familure with the various degreasers and used them frequently on my modern bikes. I was mostly concerned with getting water in the miller, lucas and else ware. I supose the hose is no worse than riding in a heavy rain storm. Warren
 

mercurycrest

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Warren,
Let the oil alone.. It'll smoke for awhile... But, the good part is, it'll get rid of all the mosquitoes and knats this summer plus, when you go to a Vincent Rally, all the old guys will think You're a veteran Vincent rider. Now, go get some bugs on your headlight!:cool:
 

bengunnhrd

Active Website User
VOC Member
Gunk

In the 60`s and early 70`s a good engine clean was a application of Gunk brushed in the crevices then hosed off, and that wonderful aroma when the engine got hot.
I used some newly purchased gunk a few weeks ago seemed to do the job but that evocative hot engine smell was no more.
Anyone know why?.
 

W.C.Machine

Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Well I figured that since everything is oily, now is a good time to pull the oil line fitting in the tank and give the screen a cleaning. tomorrow it's Gunk and the hose.:D
 

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