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Share your engine cleaning techniques by Dennis LaGrua
Started on: 06-12-2012 07:17 PM
Replies: 33 (1660 views)
Last post by: Steven Snyder on 05-25-2014 02:11 AM
Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post06-12-2012 07:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Like many of you I attend cars shows with my Fiero. One thing evident at those shows is that many owners have very clean engines. With todays electronics more care is needed on modern day engines so I basically just clean with a bucket of soap and water, a brush , wipe with a towel and finish off with a coat of Armorall.. I avoid hose washing or powerwashing as water may end up entering the engine and or damage sensors.
I have moderate success with this technique but would like to now how all the rest of you good folks do it. Any special tips for SAFE and Effective cleaning. .

------------------
" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Powerlog manifold, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Flotech Afterburner Exhaust, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
"THE COLUSSUS"
87GT - ALL OUT 3.4L Turbocharged engine, Garrett Hybrid Turbo, MSD ign., modified TH125H
" ON THE LOOSE WITHOUT THE JUICE "

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Report this Post06-12-2012 07:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for crashyoungClick Here to Email crashyoungSend a Private Message to crashyoungEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Keep a spare engine just for shows, no oil or coolant, so no leaks
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pete 2m4
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Report this Post06-12-2012 11:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pete 2m4Click Here to Email pete 2m4Send a Private Message to pete 2m4Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Dennis you have seen mine. Patience and constant attention results in a near perfect apperance. I use several products. Purple Power for grime and oil stains. Once a year I hand shampoo the firewall cloth. I use Meguairs semi shine protectant on all the hoses. Only use microfiber cloths. 4 times a year I put the Fiero on jackstands and hand clean the entire underframe including all suspension componments. Clean and check is my approach.
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2.5
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Report this Post06-13-2012 09:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm also looking for tips for especially between the intakes on a 2.8. Do you have to remove the vacuum and other lines? (The 2.5 is easier to clean.) Things like what to cover with plastic bags so electronics dont fail. (Dist, alt, coil) etc ...wires?
If you use a (degreaser which I will need to) you have to hose it off after, I don't like the idea of water getting in bad places.
WD40 says "displaces moisture".
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steve308
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Report this Post06-13-2012 09:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for steve308Send a Private Message to steve308Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I use a “cold” de-greaser like simple green / spray nine or grease off in a garden pump sprayer. It allows you to aim the spray where you want it and because you can apply it with pressure it cuts the crud easier. After it soaks for a while I rinse with a garden hose that has a homemade flexible ¼ line that allows me to “place” the water for maximum rinsing and protection from the electrical. I then dry with compressed air and finish off with a “shine” coating. Sometimes a tooth brush is needed for stubborn areas. Always check your degreaser on a small area if using on chrome or polished aluminum.
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rogergarrison
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Report this Post06-13-2012 10:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I too use something like simple green or fantastic to spray down any dirty areas, and just use a garden hose with a pressure pencil tip. I drive my cars year round in all weather and show most of them at 3 -4 car shows a week. I only have to do that maybe once a month, then just blow it dry and wipe down any big areas like air cleaner, valve covers. Im working on cleaning up the filthy engine bay in the new Mercedes now. Ive got to replace oil fittings on the cams, so im going to polish the ally valve covers while there off. Doing lots of detail accessory paint. If you keep them clean, you never have a very major cleanup once you get it nice.
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Report this Post06-13-2012 10:34 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 87antuzziClick Here to Email 87antuzziSend a Private Message to 87antuzziEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I take them out and clean them part by part then put them back together.
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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post06-13-2012 11:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by pete 2m4:

Dennis you have seen mine. Patience and constant attention results in a near perfect apperance. I use several products. Purple Power for grime and oil stains. Once a year I hand shampoo the firewall cloth. I use Meguairs semi shine protectant on all the hoses. Only use microfiber cloths. 4 times a year I put the Fiero on jackstands and hand clean the entire underframe including all suspension componments. Clean and check is my approach.


Got to say Pete that you have one of the cleanest stock Fieros that I've ever seen. Looks like it just came out of the showroom. Your forum name should be "Mr Clean" We have a powerwasher here but spraying lots of detergent and water on all the electrical parts and connections can be somewhat risky. My next door neighbor wiped out his alternator this way. Perhaps hand scrubbings and light hose use in the way to go. Then you can dry the engine with a left blower and shine with McGuires or Armorall.
Thanks for the tips everyone..
------------------
" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Powerlog manifold, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Flotech Afterburner Exhaust, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
"THE COLUSSUS"
87GT - ALL OUT 3.4L Turbocharged engine, Garrett Hybrid Turbo, MSD ign., modified TH125H
" ON THE LOOSE WITHOUT THE JUICE "

[This message has been edited by Dennis LaGrua (edited 06-13-2012).]

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Grantman
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Report this Post06-13-2012 12:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GrantmanClick Here to Email GrantmanSend a Private Message to GrantmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I would climb underneath to clean up mine except it's too dusty, rusty and oily!

Seriously tho, lots of good suggestions and ideas, my thanks as well. I plan to do some cleaning and wondered best way.

I worked at a car dealership in high school many,many years ago and detailed cars. I remember taking a power hose hooked up to the compressor that had a built in solvent sprayer and we would power wash everything under the hood. No plastic bags, just try to stay out of the air cleaner snorkle. not always easy starting them after and often times we just kept them running while hosing them down.

------------------
1986 Fiero GT Fastback
1979 Naked Honda Goldwing

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Report this Post06-13-2012 02:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rogergarrison:

If you keep them clean, you never have a very major cleanup once you get it nice.


Yep my car needs to be done fore the first time since bought from a previous owner who never did it.

I'm thinking take it apart method...
But that leads to ..should I have this bored out while its off?

[This message has been edited by 2.5 (edited 06-13-2012).]

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Report this Post06-13-2012 03:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
After the engine is built and installed, it should be very clean (in the case of a swap or a rebuild), so the task then becomes KEEPING IT CLEAN.

I use a spray bottle and mist the COLD engine with a 1:5 mixture of degreaser/water, let it sit for a few minutes and then hit it with a engine degreaser wand (venturi effect using compressed air) that is only spraying HOT water out of a bucket. The degreaser wand rinses off the engine and sprayed on degreaser solution, and doesn't develop enough force to push water past the bellows seals on the electrical plugs.

I then dry the engine using a long blow-off wand and compressed air.

I then mist the engine with a water soluble shine (like they use at the car dealerships) and wipe everything down with a clean cloth.

If you start with a clean engine, this technique has worked well for me for many years.

[This message has been edited by olejoedad (edited 06-14-2012).]

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Report this Post06-13-2012 08:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pete 2m4Click Here to Email pete 2m4Send a Private Message to pete 2m4Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My engine compartment on my 1984 Fiero Sport
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Report this Post06-13-2012 09:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 87antuzziClick Here to Email 87antuzziSend a Private Message to 87antuzziEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My most recent engine cleaning. I can make a thread with pics on how im cleaning it if you want.
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Report this Post06-14-2012 10:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just me since I show most of my cars....I dont like putting any kind of dressing or shine products under the hood. It just attracts dust and dirt in my opinion. I know guys who spray a whole bottle of like oil on the whole engine bay at a show to make the dirty stuff look clean and shiny. I just think it looks tacky. Without it, you just dust it off with a damp cloth if you want.
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Report this Post06-14-2012 10:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 87antuzzi:

My most recent engine cleaning. I can make a thread with pics on how im cleaning it if you want.


I'm sure many would appreciate
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Report this Post06-14-2012 10:54 AM Click Here to See the Profile for carbonSend a Private Message to carbonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rogergarrison:

Just me since I show most of my cars....I dont like putting any kind of dressing or shine products under the hood. It just attracts dust and dirt in my opinion. I know guys who spray a whole bottle of like oil on the whole engine bay at a show to make the dirty stuff look clean and shiny. I just think it looks tacky. Without it, you just dust it off with a damp cloth if you want.


+1
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Report this Post06-14-2012 09:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for crashyoungClick Here to Email crashyoungSend a Private Message to crashyoungEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I am surprised no one has mentioned the way aircraft engines are cleaned.
They spray mineral spirits over the engine, brushing and soaking as required, then rinse it and let it dry.
Some use a low pressure air hose to help dry out the water.
Most do it in the hangar, but it would be better outside...
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Report this Post06-14-2012 09:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Tony KaniaSend a Private Message to Tony KaniaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Basically, I keep mine clean all the time.

One thing that I do, and I don't see other's do, is to use my leaf blower to dry everything off. I just did my engine bay this morning, and then caught this thread. I do use car soap and water. I just do not spray water. I let it flow. I also have ALL of my electronics di electric greased. This helps. Finally, i turn on the old Stihl, and go to town. I use the air to dry the small, hard to reach areas. Then a final dry with a towel. I also wax just about every part before the install, so this keeps spots down.

An FYI, use air to blow out your interior. It really does get into everything. You would be amazed at how much dust collects in our little cars.

Tony

Oh yeah...

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Report this Post06-14-2012 10:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gmctyphoon1992Click Here to Email gmctyphoon1992Send a Private Message to gmctyphoon1992Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Tony Kania:

Basically, I keep mine clean all the time.

One thing that I do, and I don't see other's do, is to use my leaf blower to dry everything off. I just did my engine bay this morning, and then caught this thread. I do use car soap and water. I just do not spray water. I let it flow. I also have ALL of my electronics di electric greased. This helps. Finally, i turn on the old Stihl, and go to town. I use the air to dry the small, hard to reach areas. Then a final dry with a towel. I also wax just about every part before the install, so this keeps spots down.

An FYI, use air to blow out your interior. It really does get into everything. You would be amazed at how much dust collects in our little cars.

Tony

Oh yeah...






I use a 5hp shop vac/Leaf blower and use the different fittings to get in tight nicks and crannies..I use it on everything.. Interior, engine bay, front bay, and even to dry my car for the most part (since water loves collecting in the door quard moldings only to find its way out and leave water spots when the car is finally moved).. best idea and easiest to do.. cleans all the dust that collects in the radios and controls..

[This message has been edited by gmctyphoon1992 (edited 06-14-2012).]

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Report this Post06-14-2012 11:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Tony KaniaSend a Private Message to Tony KaniaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by gmctyphoon1992:


and even to dry my car for the most part (since water loves collecting in the door quard moldings only to find its way out and leave water spots when the car is finally moved).. best idea and easiest to do.. cleans all the dust that collects in the radios and controls..




Exactly. Those dang belt moldings hold gallons.

I am a bit OCD, and often get comments on how clean my GT is. I have used air to clean all of my vehicles out for about 25 years now. Rarely, and I mean rarely do I need to bust out the vaccum. Heck, even before I work in my garage, I blow it out.. Who really likes to lay in dirt?

Tony

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Jason88Notchie
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Report this Post05-08-2014 08:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Jason88NotchieClick Here to Email Jason88NotchieSend a Private Message to Jason88NotchieEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hey, spring cleaning guys! Good info in this thread.
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Report this Post05-08-2014 10:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KitskaboodleClick Here to Email KitskaboodleSend a Private Message to KitskaboodleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Lots of good info above. I don't think anyone mentioned this and it is very important: Before spraying/rinsing off the engine with water, it's a good idea to use Saran Wrap, plastic bags, etc around sensors, connectors, distributor, alternator, etc
If you don't your asking for electrical gremlins.

Ok, my tech tip is SOS pads. I use them on all sheet metal shielding. I use them on the transmission housing and also exhaust manifolds.
Lastly, the Eagle 1 cotton wadding works great on SS & chrome exhaust tips!
Kit
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lateFormula
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Report this Post05-08-2014 12:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lateFormulaSend a Private Message to lateFormulaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I routinely clean car engines on late model cars with a degreaser and a 3000 PSI powerwasher. The degreaser I use is Zep "Formula 50", comes as a concentrate in a gallon, I mix it in a spray bottle 4:1 ratio water to cleaner. I will douse an engine with at least one quart of degreaser, let it soak for a few minutes, then spray it all down with the powerwasher. I personally have never had a problem with an engine after using this method.

My Fiero... When I got the car ~20 years ago it took a couple rounds with cleaner and powerwashing to get the engine clean. But over time doing projects to the car the engine has been stripped down and all components cleaned, detailed, and most refinished before reassembly. I'll put my Fiero up against any show car within reason - a fully chromed engine bay intended for Auto-Rama or a Concours restoration will do better in a judges eyes than my car. Even given that my engine bay is very clean and highly detailed.

[This message has been edited by lateFormula (edited 05-08-2014).]

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Fiero84Freak
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Report this Post05-08-2014 01:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero84FreakClick Here to Email Fiero84FreakSend a Private Message to Fiero84FreakEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I keep old toothbrushes handy to use to scrub. Sometimes spraying and degreasing doesn't get into the really tight nooks and crannies, or if it does it just pushes mess around. Usually use Simple Green or any other common deep clean product. After I get everything really clean, I use tire shine on all black components - under the decklid, on anything that shows black. It makes it pop against everything else, especially on a stock V6 with the contrasting red. Don't use tire shine on rubber hoses or similar though. Just on hard components.

[This message has been edited by Fiero84Freak (edited 05-08-2014).]

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Report this Post05-08-2014 01:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by lateFormula:

I routinely clean car engines on late model cars with a degreaser and a 3000 PSI powerwasher. The degreaser I use is Zep "Formula 50", comes as a concentrate in a gallon, I mix it in a spray bottle 4:1 ratio water to cleaner. I will douse an engine with at least one quart of degreaser, let it soak for a few minutes, then sray it all down with the powerwasher. I personally have never had a problem with an engine after using this method.

My Fiero... When I got the car ~20 years ago it took a couple rounds with cleaner and powerwashing to get the engine clean. But over time doing projects to the car the engine has been stripped down and all components cleaned, detailed, and most refinished before reassembly. I'll put my Fiero up against any show car within reason - a fully chromed engine bay intended for Auto-Rama or a Concours restoration will do better in a judges eyes than my car. Even given that my engine bay is very clean and highly detailed.


A pressure washer sprayed on the distributor or alt for example doesnt cause any problems for you?

[This message has been edited by 2.5 (edited 05-08-2014).]

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Report this Post05-08-2014 02:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for carbonSend a Private Message to carbonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:

A pressure washer sprayed on the distributor or alt for example doesnt cause any problems for you?



I've used a pressure washer, without covering anything in the engine bay, at about a 18 - 24 inch range without issue. Just don't focus on the dizzy for too long... think about the wet winds in the engine bay when you're tooling down the road at 65MPH on a rainy day...
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Report this Post05-08-2014 02:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jason88NotchieClick Here to Email Jason88NotchieSend a Private Message to Jason88NotchieEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:


A pressure washer sprayed on the distributor or alt for example doesnt cause any problems for you?



A low presure maybe not. I would anyway. But 3000 psi?

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Report this Post05-08-2014 04:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I suppose yes water gets all over things naturally from rain, just watching your aim with a pressure washer may be all thats needed. I gues a garden hose sprayer is very safe then comparatively. Thats what i would use probably.
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Report this Post05-08-2014 05:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lateFormulaSend a Private Message to lateFormulaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:
A pressure washer sprayed on the distributor or alt for example doesnt cause any problems for you?


I've never encountered a problem using it. Although I should clarify that I've never used my pressure washer on my Fiero. I have used it on many late model cars that have a lot more electronics under the hood than a Fiero has. When I had to initially clean my Fiero when I bought it 20+ years ago I took it to a coin car wash and used one of those pressure washers (pressure unknown). When I am cleaning an engine I do hold the tip of the wand 12"-18" away from the surfaces I am spraying, and I move the wand fairly fast over surfaces. With the high pressure you don't need to hit anything very long to get the grime off.

[This message has been edited by lateFormula (edited 05-08-2014).]

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Report this Post05-09-2014 11:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for kendallvilleSend a Private Message to kendallvilleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
When I dropped the drive train to replace the duke , I cleaned the replacement duke before putting it in.
Then I decided that some parts like transmission just always looked dull and dirty .
So might not be the best way to keep it clean but I came up with the idea of spraying things like
that with a high heat clear paint. Now with the fact I don't drive it much most of the time any dirt
can just be wiped off with a damp cloth. ( edit because the computer couldn't wait for me to finish typing )
It is still a bit of a pain to get to some spots but I don't like it to look dirty.

[This message has been edited by kendallville (edited 05-09-2014).]

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Report this Post05-09-2014 07:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
For my personal cars, I clean and paint the engine parts while everything it torn apart. Then all I do is power wash it every month or two at the car wash to keep it clean. Once I wash it, I towel it off to remove any standing water in recesses and try to avoid water spots... and that's it. I hate cleaning cars...
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Report this Post05-23-2014 12:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NeverFamousClick Here to Email NeverFamousSend a Private Message to NeverFamousEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I don't have the time, or the extra car to take my engine apart. It looks great up there but yesterday I got some real cheap oven cleaner (not the aerosol variety but the spray bottle variety) and everything came out pretty darn clean especially the stock rims! Dollar store has products that are made half useless, but this stuff was 95% awesome! My transmission is clean, that was so gross!
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Report this Post05-24-2014 12:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BoostdreamerClick Here to Email BoostdreamerSend a Private Message to BoostdreamerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Super Clean degreaser in the purple spray bottle. You can get it at Walmart.
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Report this Post05-25-2014 02:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Steven SnyderClick Here to visit Steven Snyder's HomePageClick Here to Email Steven SnyderSend a Private Message to Steven SnyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
As long as you don't have any major oil leaks or grease residue, in 5 to 10 minutes and you'll have a factory-clean engine bay:

Step 1) Blow off loose dust / leaves / etc with compressed shop air
Step 2) Spray down with Meguiar's All Purpose Cleaner ("APC") at 10:1 dilution (6:1 if its really dirty)
Step 3) Brush the APC in with a large soft-bristled brush (like this one).
Step 4) Rinse off with water
Step 5) Wipe down with a microfiber cloth to get the bulk of the water off (or blow again with compressed air if you don't mind getting water everywhere)
Step 6) Spray Meguiar's Hyper Dressing at 4:1 dilution liberally all over the engine bay. This is a water based dressing so it's safe for everything.
Step 7) Rub the dressing in with a microfiber cloth until it's evenly distributed and dry.

[This message has been edited by Steven Snyder (edited 05-25-2014).]

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