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Pressure Washers

Guy

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Anyone use a pressure washer at home on your Vette? The reason I'm asking is back in 88 I took my 84 Vette to the dollar carwash in the winter (about freezing temps). By the time I got home, the clear coat was flaking off in large areas. Could this happen because: a) I was stupid for doing this in the winter. b) cheap clear coat (I bought the car used), c) should not have used a pressure washer on a Vette? I'm buying a pressure washer for something else, but I'd like to use it in the warm weather to wash the 82 (still has factory paint). Anyone use a washer on thier Vettes?

Thanks
Guy
 

Ken

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A "Pressure Washer" and your local coin-operated car wash are two different animals Guy. Granted, there is a significant amount of pressure from the nozzle at the car wash, but it's nothing compared to what you'd get from a truly pressurized washer. If you do use a pressure washer on something like your Vette's undercarriage (don't ever use one on the body!), don't spend any extra time or use undue pressure around your bushings - the pressure washer will eat them up. ;)

_ken :w
 

Guy

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Thanks, Ken. Are these things safe for "normal" vehicles like our suv's, or stay away entirely?

Guy
 

Ken

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They're "safe", just don't hover with the spray too closely or for too long. If you using them to wash your vehicles, use the widest spray pattern you can. ;)

_ken :w
 
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Guy

Depending on what your buying for a pressure washer, there may be several optional nozzles available. I know that Karcher and Craftsman have mulitple nozzles fpr a variety of uses including washing vehicles. Ken has given excellent advise BTW be careful. I've actually peeled paint off equipment (CAT loaders and Dozers) if you catch a place too close at the wrong angle, with a narrow pattern.
 

Guy

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DDL-81 said:
I've actually peeled paint off equipment (CAT loaders and Dozers) if you catch a place too close at the wrong angle, with a narrow pattern.

:eek I had no idea they where THAT powerful. I've been looking at just about any brand as long as it has the Honda engine. Found one at the last place I looked - Home Creepo. Gonna repaint the ranch this season.

Guy
 

Tom Bryant

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Guy,
I'd be lost without my pressure washer. I clean my decks and porch every year brfore I reseal them and the wood looks like new. I use it on the concrete and the brick walkways too. You will be suprised how often you use one after you have had it for awhile. I also wash the cars, 4 wheeler, mowers ect with it. It is great for prepping a house to paint.

It will remove decals, loose paint and anything that the water can get under and lift hydraulically. Adjust to a wide but even pattern and keep the nozzle back from the surface at least 18" or more, depending on the pressure output of your unit.

If the clear coat came off of your '84 it was ready to lift anywasy. There had to be cracks or loose edges for the water to get under. Once it starts to peel it will keep going. My '67 had clear coat on it and was buffed through in places. also had a small crack by the rt outer front bumper bracket. I washed this car at the car wash every day that it was salty out that year I drove it all winter. Never lost a flake of paint.

I don't use the pressure washer on the '81. I get more enjoyment running my hands over it. My wife used to wash it at the car wash regularly though, with no problem. Like Dale said don't dwell on one spot, use a wide pattern, keep a good distance and keep moving.

Oh, and never have your hand in front of the nozzle cleaning dirt off and accidentally pull the trigger.You will be suprises at how much water you can inject under your skin in a fraction of a second. Or at least I've been told. :gap I would never do anything that stupid. :eyerole

Tom
 

69MyWay

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I could entertain you with a funny story about how/why I bought my pressure washer, but will save that for some other time.

I went for a honda powered unit with 2,600 PSI. It is about middle of the road in terms of power, but works well around the house and shop.

At the same time my buddy bought a 3,500 PSI unit. He decided to squirt off his 89 vette with the washer. Yep, you guessed it, it was peeling the clear coat right off the front bumper and he did not even notice until he took about a solid square foot of clear paint off. His unit would dig holes in the driveway if held in one place too long. He drew blood out of his calf when he was careless with it one time as well.

I have run mine over my foot (pressure blasting with sandles) and just made my skin raw and red.

Mine on the other hand is fairly mild. I would not hesitate to wash a car off with it, but would not consider getting the nozzle closer than two feet to the surface.

I use it for household things just like Tom, and I use it to power wash engine bays, suspension parts, greasy engine parts, things I drag home with my truck, and mostly the floor in the shop.

I recently used it to power wash the belly of my buddies 71 vette while it was rolled over on its side, and then power washed the privacy fence to make it look new again. Then I got carried away and blasted my dually engine bay and frame. Ended up blasting the undercoating and paint off the front frame rails and had to wait until it dried so I could apply some fresh paint!

Got mine at Lowes back in 97.
 

Guy

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Chris - I remember where the best place to buy hardware in Melbourne was Scottys :s . That was a LONG time ago.

Tom - I don't think YOU would ever do something that stupid :D.

Dale - Hope to see you this spring.

Thanks for all the tips everyone! Guess I'm gonna be real careful:D.


Guy
 
M

Montana

Guest
Try it Hot!

Guy, Even a 2500psi washer is powerful. You might think about a hot water unit that is kerosene heated and 1500psi. The 1500psi pressure is plenty when combined with the temperature of the water. Also would be great for any degreasing activity. The top producers of hot water units are "Hotsy" and "Mi-T-M". If you want, you could get a soap injector. Cold water only units come in two basic types, Direct drive and belt drive. The belt drives are more expensive but have the advantage of the belt being the weak link between your expensive honda (recommended) engine and the pump. If your pump would have a problem then the belt would break and not the engine. In a direct drive washer, the drive shaft of the engine is connected directly to the pump. As noted before, injecting water under the skin can hurt, worse than that it can be fatal. Personally, my 65 roadster only feels the force of spray that my thumb over the hose end produces. Come on Spring! Wahoo! Wahoo!
 

Ken

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The pressure washers we're all talking about are dangerous if not properly used and safety observed, but are any of you familiar with the things they use in places like refineries?

They used 'em at Chevron to blast their way through the coils of heat exchangers for instance, when they were in the shop for routine maintenance or repairs.

There is enough pressure involved there to slice though a six-by-six piece of lumber as if it was made of butter. :eek

_ken :w
 

Guy

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No enima therapy then, huh?

:J
Guy
 

Tom Bryant

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We have a big heated and soap injection unit at work. Does a good job on the semis.

Tom
 
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Ken

Power Plants and Refineries share some similarities. I am very familar with 25000 psi..........."NO mis print" 25 thousand psi hydro-blasters. At least 8 hours of safety training is recommended as this pressure is extremely dangerous. Before operating any pressure washer, read all the safety precautions carefully.

Dale
 
J

Jim

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DANGEROUS!!!

I have a pressure washer I use around the house on decking, concrete, siding etc. It's rated at 3000 PSI. I wouldn't get this thing within 50' of my vehicles. I would be afraid there may be some scratch, crack or hidden flaw that would allow the water stream to get into and destroy my paint job. Worse yet, you may get off balance and inadvertantly get too close to the paint and knock a piece off. These things will cut through flesh, concrete, wood, etc. and I'm certain they will cut through paint. I've seen them take oil base paint, including the primer, off of wood where the user got too close or stayed in one spot too long. They'll cut morter from between brick and block in a heartbeat. I wouldn't think of using them on a vehicle's painted surfaces. If you use them under the hood or on wheels, you can knock sand, loose particles, etc. flying and chip paint or glass where they may hit. :w
 

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