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Old 12-05-2020, 06:06 PM
bob888 bob888 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Fresno, CA
Posts: 294
Default Exhaust residue on belly

What is a good cleaning product or home brew solution for this?
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Old 12-05-2020, 06:28 PM
treetopin treetopin is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Longwood Fl
Posts: 5

Scrub-n-bubbles for showers works great, use it dry, spray on heavy and wipe off
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Old 12-05-2020, 06:38 PM
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hgerhardt hgerhardt is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: torrance, ca
Posts: 705

The soap-based stuff gets most of the exhaust residue off, but to get it perfect, I use a cleaner-wax like this:
I should add that I have a white-painted belly... darker colors may not need that additional step.
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Old 12-05-2020, 06:42 PM
PCHunt PCHunt is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,734

Originally Posted by treetopin View Post
Scrub-n-bubbles for showers works great, use it dry, spray on heavy and wipe off
While Scrubby Bubbles certainly works, years ago we were told that it was not compatible with aluminum. Stopped using it, because we couldn't be sure it wasn't getting down in the seams and lap joints. Something to do with the pH of the product, IIRC.

I now stick with aviation approved chemicals.
Pete Hunt, [San Diego] VAF #1069
RV-6, RV-6A, T-6G

2021 Donation+, Gladly Sent

Last edited by PCHunt : 12-05-2020 at 06:43 PM. Reason: Add info
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Old 12-05-2020, 08:27 PM
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N804RV N804RV is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
Posts: 742

Believe it or not, mineral spirits or Stoddard solvent is good for this, and will not harm most single stage aircraft paints. Though, it can dull metallics and clear coats over time.

The best product on the market that I've found is Aero Cosmetics Belly Soap.
Ken W.
Mount Vernon, WA
2020 VAF Supporter

Last edited by N804RV : 12-05-2020 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 12-05-2020, 08:33 PM
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KAdriver KAdriver is offline
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 44

Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle
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Old 12-05-2020, 08:52 PM
JRichichi JRichichi is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: League City, TX
Posts: 96
Default Aero Cosmetics Products

I've tried lots of things to clean the belly of my aircraft. The combination of exhaust and oil seemed to be a tough problem to solve. That is until I tried the Aero Cosmetics product line.

Before I installed an Anti-Splat air/oil separator, the belly would get greasy due to the oil blow by. I used their "Degreaser" to remove the oil. Now with the air/oil separator, I don't get any oil on the belly. However, the exhaust residue still gets on the belly. Their "Belly Soap" easily removes the exhaust residue. Finally, their "Wash Wax ALL" polished everything up nice and shiny.

I hope this helps.

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Old 12-06-2020, 04:21 AM
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plehrke plehrke is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Defiance, MO
Posts: 1,756

Carbon X
RV-6A - flying 970+ hours
Based at 1H0 (Creve Coeur)
Paid dues yearly since 2007
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Old 12-06-2020, 09:36 AM
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climberrn climberrn is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Carson City, NV
Posts: 593

Simple green (Aviation version), safe for aluminum. Then use “Aero Wash and Wax” after. Both available at your favorite aviation retailer.

RV-7A at CXP
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Old 12-06-2020, 12:53 PM
xblueh2o xblueh2o is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: SF East Bay
Posts: 859

Parts washing solvent.
It think I have shared this story here before but when we had the T-28 we were properly motivated to find something to remove oil and exhaust residues. The thing was that all 28s have a round engine that leaks oil like a sieve with exhaust runners that are short stacked and faired close to the fuselage. It baked the oil-exhaust-lead deposits onto the stainless steel exhaust shields with a vengeance. Scrubbing bubbles and brillo pads was the go to within the community for years before somebody mentioned it might not be compatible with aluminum so that sent everybody searching for a replacement. Everything we tried worked worse than the scrubbing bubbles and even that took multiple applications to get down through the baked on residues. One day after a flight I have no idea what made me think to try it but as a test I opened the parts washing tank and dipped a paper towel in it. The caked on baked on exhaust stains came off with one wipe, no effort required. It was a revelation. The only residue left after the solvent wipe was a few streaks that came up with a quick application/buff up of regular old car wax which had the added benefit of making the airplane look good. In fact, once you got far enough away from the exhaust tips, just the plain old car wax did a good job of cleaning the lead staining. I would use solvent from the exhaust ports down the fuselage until about the back seat and then just car wax for the remainder of the empennage.
The stuff we had was mineral based and made by Solvoil. No clue if the newer citrus based solvents would have the same efficacy.
RV-8 with the Showplanes Fastback conversion
Emp completed except for glass work
Wings completed except for bottom skin and glass work
Fuselage underway
N18451 reserved
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