Goodbye to 55 Years of Grease and Oil


You know when Winter is on its way out when you start to see the trees blossom.  Saturday was a nice day, so I took the opportunity to get stuck into degreasing the engine bay.  There was 60 years of grease and oil in there, and a lot of the grease had gone hard like plastic.

I had kept a roll of old carpet and underlay from the last room we renovated to catch the goo.  I rolled them out on the lawn and then employed the kids to help push the Cadillac on to the lawn.

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Before getting started I had to cover up the front section of the car to keep the muck off of the paint and glass.


I started by scraping off the heavy and thick crud, which was just about everywhere, but especially near every grease nipple.  I placed a sheet of plastic under the car before I started scraping to catch it all.  After I had finished, there was about 2kg of hardened grease and dirt on the plastic.  In places, the gunk was over 1/2″ thick!  A bit gross when you think about it.

I then followed up with degreaser, a stiff bristled brush and plenty of elbow grease.  This was really a test of persistence.  After working the degreaser with the brush I let it sit for a few minutes, and then washed it off with the Karcher pressure washer.  After 4 or 5 cycles, it started to look good.

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Once I was happy with the degreasing, I dried it all off using compressed air.  I did this to make sure I got rid of the water sitting in the cracks and panel crevices. It still looks like a bit of a mess, but minus the oil and grease!  I am happy with the results.

I used a wire brush and electric drill to clean up the brake cylinder as it was particularly rusty and ugly.  I then put a coat of VHT Roll Bar & Chassis paint on it.  That made me feel better, as something now looked good.

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I only had just over 1 hour on Sunday, so I decided to start with a wire brush and electric drill to remove some rust.  I focussed on the RH frame because of the limited time.  I also cleaned up the battery area, which was a bit of a mess.  Once it was all cleaned up, I sprayed on a coat of VHT Roll Bar & Chassis paint.  I didn’t worry too much about the control arms as they will be hidden once the new aprons are fitted.  I will probably give them a good coat of paint when I do the suspension some time down the track.

This is only the first coat to seal what I have cleaned and tell me what I have done.  I will put a second final coat on everything once everything is done.

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I can’t wait until the whole engine bay looks like this!


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