The costs associated with utilizing engine cleaning tool 10 is low due to the easy replacement of the sponge head of engine cleaning tool 10. The replacement heads can comprise either sponge 40 alone which overlays nylon core 36 (which is preferable comprised of plastic) or can comprise sponge 40 in combination with nylon core 36. In either case, sponge head replacement is efficient and inexpensive.
An optional cover 32 is also shown on FIG. 1. Cover 32 is significantly wider in diameter than both elongated rod shaft 22 and attachment collar 28. The wide diameter of cover 32 is effective in preventing engine cleaning tool 10 from being inserted too far into any engine component. Attachment collar 28 includes a second end 34 to which is attached a nylon core 36. Nylon core 36 has an end 38 which can be locked into end 34 of attachment collar 28. While there are various known means for connecting end 38 of nylon core 36 to end 34 of attachment collar 28, including interlocking features available on most standard rachet sets, in the preferred embodiment of the invention, connectors marketed and available from Colder Products Company of St. Paul, Minnesota have proven to be most effective. It will also be noted that optional cover 32 serves a secondary function of overlaying the connection between end 38 and end 34 thereby providing extra protection to this connection to avoid undesired disconnection of nylon 36 and attachment collar 28.
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While there has been shown and described what is presently considered to be the preferred embodiment of this invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the broader aspects of this invention. For instance, while an inexpensive hand-operable engine cleaning tool has been shown and described having only replaceable sponge heads, it is possible to make the device of components inexpensive enough to render the entire tool disposable.
Referring to FIG. 1, a hand-operable engine cleaning tool generally designated 10 is shown in exploded form. Engine tool 10 includes a handle 12 upon which an optional gripping overlay 14 can be placed. While optional gripping overlay 14 can be of different shapes, it is preferred that gripping overlay 14 include finger grip 16 to permit proper orientation and easy manipulation of engine cleaning tool 10. Bore 18 on handle 12 and bore 20 on gripping overlay 14 will align to permit engine cleaning tool 10 to be easily stored on a nail when not in use. An elongated rod shaft 22 has an end 24 which is coupled to handle 12. The coupling of end 24 of elongated rod shaft 22 to handle 12 can be accomplished simply by a tight fit, by threaded grooves, by a fastening glue or other techniques known in the art. While elongated rod shaft 22 can be comprised of various materials, it is preferred that it be comprised of a flexible yet strong material such as nylon. The flexibility of elongated rod shaft 22 will permit the user to easily reach tight spaces of engine components that are being cleaned.