Engine cleaning with Agent Orange.

Date Posted:10 June 2010 

It?s a real love and hate affair when we run the cars at different events, as we love seeing them stretch their legs, but the cleaning of them afterwards is quite arduous with all the dirt and grime that finds its way throughout the car, especially into the engine bays. At the 2009 Gold Coast ?SupaGP? we had 10 cars running around for 4 days straight and the amount of build-up on these once spotless engines was quite remarkable. Cleaning them is sometimes fraught with disaster; so many different components with different finishes means that we have had a few parts damaged by harsh chemicals that were better suited to industrial machinery than priceless bits of racing history like we collect. We tried a number of different formulas of engine and parts cleaners till we agreed on this one. We call it Agent Orange.



It?s a safe and powerful engine cleaner, sometimes these words just do not go together, but with Agent Orange it does.  We use it for degreasing engine bays, car parts, bikes, and other grime covered components. The best points on the product are as follows;
? Effective, non corrosive, water based citrus formula so it will not damage the more delicate parts of the engine and ancillaries, as well as being a lot more environmentally friendly and does not smell that bad either.
? Rapidly dissolves oil, grease and grime. No point having a product that does not work, it is quite powerful and effective in quickly cleaning away all the grime with a minimum of fuss.
? Penetrates built up stubborn residue. As fastidious we may get with the cars and trucks in our sheds, even we have the big build-ups of gunk and grime that need something strong to clean them. No cheap spray degreasers will come close to the effectiveness of Agent Orange with this!
? Safe on paint, metal, alloy, chrome and most plastics. When you look at the engines of cars like the Beechey Monaro, even the GT40 you will begin to understand why we put so much effort into this product. Too many times we had different finishes wrecked or marred by harsh chemicals, so getting Agent Orange to be super safe was of a very high priority. The only case where we found it is not ideal was cheap painted plastics; (as used on a few USA built late model cars) use our Auto Body Gel wash to clean these items with ease.
? Easy to use - Spray on, brush, then hose off. Like everything we make, it has to be easy!
? Gives a showroom clean finish with no white residue. Essential to have good presentation, so you?re not afraid to lift the bonnet in the presence of others and show off your babies goods on the next car club run.
? A cleaner engine makes it easier to spot leaks, so you can see any new things before they become a problem. Plus clean engines run cooler? Yep, as an engine caked in crud will always tend to run warm, so clean it all down before the next summer road trip.


Engine Cleaning tips with Agent Orange.

You will find this product to be quite different than most you may have used, especially if you have been using the cheap two buck cans you find at every hardware and auto parts store. Biggest differences will be its effectiveness and the nice finish it leaves. Follow these instructions to a lovely, clean engine bay.


1. Idle engine until warm, no more than a few minutes. This just makes it easier for the Agent Orange to break down any of the oils and grease. If you cannot hold your hand on the engine block for an extended period, it is too hot.

2. Turn engine off. Wrap any electrical components like ignition coils, sensors, distributor and alarm systems in plastic bags/ glad wrap and seal with rubber bands/ tape to them prevent getting wet. In the same vein, any air intakes, air filters should also be covered or at least a cloth placed over them to stop the chance of any water getting in there. If there is any doubt with anything, cover it anyway.

3. Firstly assess all the different areas on your car, if you have any plastic engine covers etc, we suggest testing the Agent Orange on a small inconspicuous area first to assess suitability. It is fine on most types we have tried but did find in one rare case it did not like the painted plastic, which this manufacturer did as a cheap way to make their engine look good (still looked cheap tho). Spray Agent Orange directly onto all surfaces in need of a clean. Do it nice and evenly. I like to do it in sections at a time, always starting with under the engine bay (jack it up and put it on stands) or usually the dirtiest part of the engine first. Then do the rest of the engine and then the sides of the engine bay, then the top part, just so I can be sure to give it all a good and thorough clean. After spraying it on leave sit for around 10 minutes. DON?T allow it to dry as when it is dry, it does not work. If it looks like drying, spray a little more in that area.

Our inspiration for developing Agent Orange, not Serina, but the Beechey Monaro! Your looking at irreplacable sandcast 58mm DCO3 carbs, magnesium manifold, brass fittings, highly polished alloy, chrome, painted surfaces that are all easily wrecked with the wrong type of product.  


For more built up and more stubborn grime, spray directly onto the surface and leave to penetrate for 10 minutes before agitating with a soft bristle parts brush and/or a wheel and lower body cloth. Brushes with a long handle are ideal, as you will be able to get into areas not that accessible with a shorter brush and your hands.

4. Hose off with a strong stream of water, keeping away from the covered electrical items. You can use a pressure washer if you desire, but be really sure it is not too powerful as we have found that the pressurised water will sometimes get into other unwanted places, like suspension parts, firewall cavities etc with the excess power these machines have.

5. Remove all plastic bags and wipe dry any excess water with either (or a combination of) a compressed air gun, leaf blower or a vacuum it?s on blow cycle. An older chamois or the Wheel & Lower Body Cloth will also help clean up any other water, to help eliminate any water spots. Once all that is done, turn the car on and take it for a nice drive, which will dry out any of the other water left sitting in there.


If you got any of the Agent Orange on the guards or other exterior areas, it would be an idea to give them another go with our Auto Body Wax, as waxes are an oil based product and Agent Orange will remove them from the paint. 

To get a better and more serious show car looking detail, all the rubber parts, hoses and leads can be cleaned with our Vinyl Care. All other parts throughout the engine, like the block, chrome, carburettors and block can be brought up to a fine finish with the Body Detail spray. Any sides of the engine bay that are painted can be treated with the Auto Body Wax to give it all a beautiful shine. Every alloy bit will be brought up to a mirror like shine with the Metal Polish. After all that being done you should now have an engine bay that is good enough to eat from!


If you need any more information on this Agent Orange, engine cleaning or anything else car care related, please feel free to email me here dan@bowdensown.com.au or give me a call on (07) 5445 6065.

Love your car,

Dan Bowden