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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    How to clean mud off the underneath of your 4x4 the lazy man's way

    How to clean mud off the underneath of your 4x4 the lazy man's way




    Since this topic comes up once in a while, here's a trick I used to use back when I did a lot of mudding in Oregon...


    First, all washing should be done as soon as possible. Even if your dog dead tired, muster the strength to wash your truck as soon as you get home or get back into town and can drive or trailer it to your local friendly do-it-yourself car wash.


    First, use a pressure washer or your garden hose to blast off as much of the big stuff off the outside as you can. Blasting it off with a strong spray of water will be safer than using any type of tool to physically scrub the paint.

    After you blast the big stuff off, then wash the exterior with your normal wash process, brush, mitts, sponges, etc. because by now the exterior will be very wet and the dirt that's left on the exterior will be very saturated and thus softer and more easily removed.

    Next, blast off as much under your 4x4 as you can reach, if you're still in your mudding cloths then might as well get down on the ground and blast away, by this I mean "yes", lay on your back on the ground so you can see what you're blasting and you can better direct the blast of water to the places that need lots of blasting. Be sure to wear some safety glasses or goggles as you're going to get get a lot of kickback spray at some point during the process.


    After you've blasted and washed as much of the mud off that you can, then park your 4x4 in your lawn and place an oscillating sprinkler under your rig and let her run for a few hours or as your water bill budget will allow. The continual spray of water will act to dissolve a lot of the mud splattered into places you can't directly blast and then gravity will do her work.




    Do this as soon as you get home while any mud under your 4x4 is still somewhat wet or at least fresh. Then after a good soaking do some more blasting with your water hose and get some brushes into the action.

    Little by little you can get your underneath back to clean enough to eat off of or at least get your wrenches onto nuts and bolts without having to first chip away mud that's hardened and dried like concrete.


    And with a little effort your truck can be back to its prior clean self and ready to pound pavement or ready for the next mudding event.





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  2. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Mike Phillips
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  3. #3
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    Mike,

    This might be the wrong time of year for this question, but relevant to the topic at hand. Up here in the northeast during the winter, road crews are constantly spraying salt all over the roads to melt ice. Of course we can and ought to use normal wash methods to get that corrosive salt off of the paint, but what about underneath!? Will this mud method also work for the salt underneath my 4x4 in the winter? I hate that rust that you get underneath and want to prevent it as much as possible.

    Thanks,
    Rob


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    -Rob

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jomax's Avatar
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    Mike, do the boars hair really leave a scratch free finish? Would love to use one on my black truck, but it's black.... Thanks!
    David 2000 Ford F-350 DRW CCLB BLACK/GOLD
    Wish list:
    Everything Mike has in his garage for detailing

  5. #5
    Senior Member Harry Da Hamster's Avatar
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    Re: How to clean mud off the underneath of your 4x4 the lazy man's way

    I don't know if this would be the "responsible" way of doing it. Many areas have fresh water shortages. And i'm just guessing but if its really muddy, it'll take the sprinkler hours to do a decent cleaning.

    If you drive off road often or live in a snowy area perhaps it would be a good idea to purchase an undercarriage pressure washer available online. Maybe Autogeek can make one available.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nWKXaksUaY

  6. #6
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    Re: How to clean mud off the underneath of your 4x4 the lazy man's way

    Quote Originally Posted by xtitan1 View Post
    Mike,

    This might be the wrong time of year for this question, but relevant to the topic at hand. Up here in the northeast during the winter, road crews are constantly spraying salt all over the roads to melt ice. Of course we can and ought to use normal wash methods to get that corrosive salt off of the paint, but what about underneath!? Will this mud method also work for the salt underneath my 4x4 in the winter? I hate that rust that you get underneath and want to prevent it as much as possible.

    Thanks,
    Rob


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    Yup!

    The only problem is actually 'in the winter', frozen hoses. I go to the (yes, really) to thru the car wash and ONLY get the 'Bottom Wash.' I don't know if every car wash set-up will allow this, ask first.

    Bill

  7. #7
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: How to clean mud off the underneath of your 4x4 the lazy man's way

    Quote Originally Posted by xtitan1 View Post
    Mike,

    Will this mud method also work for the salt underneath my 4x4 in the winter?

    I hate that rust that you get underneath and want to prevent it as much as possible.

    Thanks,
    Rob
    It could only help, at least I think. While I understand the problem with ice on the roads, the rust and corrosion caused to everyone's "nice" cars is a crime.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jomax View Post

    Mike, do the boars hair really leave a scratch free finish? Would love to use one on my black truck, but it's black.... Thanks!

    Somewhere on the forum I think Roshan did a review and some extensive testing for Boar's Hair Brushes, some pretty impressive information if I remember correctly. Maybe do a search or someone reading this can add the link?



    Quote Originally Posted by anonymoususer View Post

    I don't know if this would be the "responsible" way of doing it. Many areas have fresh water shortages.

    Kind of goes without saying that a person should adhere to local laws and regulations concerning water usage as well as use a little common sense.

    When I did this I live in OREGON and water usage was not an issue except for paying the water bill.


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  8. #8
    Senior Member scuff's Avatar
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    Re: How to clean mud off the underneath of your 4x4 the lazy man's way

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike.Phillips@Autogeek View Post
    Excellent! Thanks for the link to this, Mike.

    I don't go looking for mud, but it happens. I usually put my truck on ramps, throw some plastic bar signs on the ground, grab a face shield, and use a heated commercial washer to blast everything clean. Next time, I'll try a sprinkler before hitting it with a foam gun, brush, and hose. I'm careful with the pressure washer, but I still worry about forcing water somewhere I don't want it. Your advice on getting the mud off ASAP is dead on. The owner of the manual wash in Moab must be a millionaire.

    Quote Originally Posted by xtitan1 View Post
    Mike,

    This might be the wrong time of year for this question, but relevant to the topic at hand. Up here in the northeast during the winter, road crews are constantly spraying salt all over the roads to melt ice. Of course we can and ought to use normal wash methods to get that corrosive salt off of the paint, but what about underneath!? Will this mud method also work for the salt underneath my 4x4 in the winter? I hate that rust that you get underneath and want to prevent it as much as possible.
    My truck model is prone to corrosion issues, so I treat it with a rust inhibitor (Fluid Film) in the fall. FF and cold temperatures keep the salt from eating the frame until it's warm enough for a decent cleaning. Fluid Film works well and makes it easier to blast the undercarriage clean, but there are several other products available in bulk that can be applied with an undercoating gun or a paint sprayer; AG carries CorrosionX, for example. It's a pain, but it's worth the protection, especially if you plan to keep the truck very long or work on it yourself.

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