Cleanliness in Diesel Engine Repair

When you're working on your engine, I'm sure you're focused on getting it back up and running as soon as possible. But have you ever given much thought to your environment as you take apart your diesel engine? It can actually have a big effect on the overall quality of the repair. Master Diesel Mechanic Mike Schrems fills us in on some things to think about as you do your engine repairs to help ensure maximum cleanliness. You can also check out our video for more information!

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Preventing Dirt and Debris


When you're getting ready to overhaul or work on your engine, it's a good idea to have it clean. This prevents the possibility or potential for dirt to enter your engine. You obviously want to keep dirt and debris out of your engine, as well as other foreign materials, like coolant. You don't want coolant in your oil, and you don't want oil in your coolant. You definitely don't want power steering oil in either of these areas either. So it's wise to have good practices and ethics to prevent any future failures or catastrophes. 

When you get ready to work on your engine, it's a good idea to steam it off first. When you put it in your pole building, garage, or wherever you're going to work on it, you want to be able to have a clean area. The workbench that you're working with and set the components on should be nice and clean as well. That way, when you remove them, you don't have to worry about introducing any more dirt or foreign material.


While cleanliness is particularly important when it comes to assembly, you also need to pay attention on disassembly. If there's dirt or debris when you're removing something, say a fuel line or component off your engine, there is potential for that dirt to fall in there and you not see it. With this, you're at a point where it can be ingested into the engine and cause problems down the road, performance issues and so on. 


Good Practices for Disassembly

As you're taking your diesel engine apart, there are some things you can do to both make your job a little easier and to help keep things as clean as possible.

When you're removing components, it's a good idea to set them out in order, so that when it comes time for reassembly, you can easily go and grab them and know you're putting the right part in the right spot.

When it comes to the fuel systems on the engine, it's a good practice to even put those in plastic containers or plastic ziploc bags. You can get these at your local dollar store. They're inexpensive and you can label on them the location in the engine they came from. So if you pull out the injector for number one, you can place it in a bag, zip it tight, and write on there "Cylinder Number One," as well as any components that accompany that particular injector.


The same thing is true of any fuel lines. You need a little larger bag to put that in. Take the fuel line off, put it in a bag, and you have a really easy way to identify them, as far as injector number one, number two, or wherever it came from. Again, this makes it really easy for reassembly. 


Types of Cleaners

When you're working on your engine, you'll probably want to be cleaning the various components. To do these, you can use many types of cleaner. For example, you can use brake cleaner, or you can use contact cleaner.

Some manufacturers recommend contact cleaner over brake cleaner because brake cleaner is a petroleum distillate, and petroleum can affect gaskets as far as their sealing abilities. Contact cleaner does not leave a residue, therefore you won't have gasket or sealing failure because of a petroleum product contaminating the surface you're trying to keep clean. 


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So, to help keep your engine healthy, it's vital that you focus on cleanliness any time you're working on it. You'll be thankful you did!

Our certified techs can help you find the parts you need to complete your diesel engine repairs! Call them at 844-304-7688. Or request a quote online!