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DIY Engine Detailing

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by Toytuner, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. Toytuner

    Toytuner Well-Known Member Donated!

    Alright, everyone of us can relate to this problem with our cars...a dirty ass engine bay, grease, oil, dirt, dust, mud, you name it. Its relatively easy to detail your engine and make it look really really nice, not only is a clean engine run better, it just looks better. All it takes is about half an hour and if you don't have the supplies it costs about 10 bucks.
    1)First off you need to make sure your engine is completely cold. Hot engine plus cold water equals cracked blocks, warped heads, cracked manifold, etc. (You can take your hood off if you like but you don't need to.)then take out your battery, there is a shit ton of build up underneath your tray. Cover up your dizzy with a grocery bag and seal it with duct tape. next if you use a cone filter do the same wrap it in a bag and tape it.

    2)If you have a nice powerful sprayer for your hose your in business. Spray your engine thoroughly hitting all the greasy dirty spots hardest. Next get your self some heavy duty cleaner, i use a cleaner called "Awesome!" i get it from a dollar store but i think Wal*Mart carries it too, otherwise get some engine cleaner/degreaser from a parts store its like 2 or 3 bucks, 1 can usually does it but if your engine is dirty get 2 or 3. Cover the engine in your cleaner of choice getting the bad spots heavily, let it sit for about 5 minutes or so and rinse it off, look for areas that need a little persuasion and use a wire brush to take out the hardcore stuff, an old toothbrush works good too for tight spots. Rinse the engine again, use a rag to get your firewall and strut towers and your Rad support. Spray the engine with your cleaner again and let it sit for a bit. Rinse one last time. You may need to repeat this step if your engine is nasty so feel free.

    3) Dry off your engine as much as possible with an old towel or if you have a compressor blow it off. (DON'T TRY TO HEAT DRY IT BY STARTING THE CAR.) Once its dry your onto the next step.

    4)Get out the Armor All or whatever you use for your interior plastics and vinyl. Get all of your hoses and plastics good. Go through the engine one last time making sure you didn't miss anything. Then clean up your battery and put it back in the car, unwrap your filter and dizzy and you should be good. Your engine should be bright and shiny and you should be proud. These pictures are of my GTS when i detailed the engine in July i think, i took me an hour and a half but i went through it completely. I also added wire loom and painted my Monte Carlo Bar.
  2. rye

    rye Well-Known Member Donated!

    An alternative method, stolen from the internet!

    Why should you clean the engine compartment? Rust prevention, early oil/fluid leak detection, early belt wear detection and cosmetics are among the prime reasons. (There is a rumor that certain series of German mid/rear engine cars have a factory designed engine oil leakage feature to assist in rust prevention for the non-galvanized rear quarter panels and trunk areas.)

    To soften the grease and grunge collected on your engine compartment, start the engine, let it warm up for a few minutes and shut it off. The proper cleaning temperature of the engine is warm but not hot. If you can just hold your hand to the engine without burning it, then it is warm enough to clean. As the engine cools to proper temperature, use the time to cover the few openings on the motor that dislike ingesting water. The air intake/air filter, the distributor, the coil and the oil dipstick/breather are among the few sensitive areas.

    Use plastic Baggies and rubber bands to cover the air intake/air filter(s) and the distributor/coil. Place a double layer of Baggies over the air intake and secure with a couple of rubber bands. Use a pair of two-gallon size Baggies to cover the distributor and plug wires around the distributor cap. This may be difficult to seal, but the idea is to prevent significant amounts of water possibly shorting out the distributor. If the cap is in good condition, it will be waterproof, so this is only a preventative measure. The coil is also waterproof, so Baggies are again a preventative measure. Check the tightness of the oil filler cap, the power steering filler cap, windshield washer fluid cap, oil dip stick, battery filler caps and all other engine compartment opening caps and secure baggies over them with rubber bands.

    Now that your engine is warm and sealed, spray the entire engine/engine compartment with a quality, non-petroleum based degreaser. Try to start from the bottom and work up. This way you dont have the degreaser dropping on your face as you clean the underside areas. My two favorite citrus based engine cleaners are P21S Total Auto Wash and Wurth Citrus Degreaser. I find that either of these two citrus products will clean thoroughly and not harm the paint or finish of the aluminum components and are biodegradable. One note of caution, all degreasers will remove your nice coat of wax. If you get the engine cleaner on the waxed areas, plan on rewaxing. Allow the degreaser about 3-5 minutes to work and then use a 100% cotton towel or a SOFT brush to GENTLY agitate the heavily soiled areas. Respray and rebrush any areas that need additional cleaning. Once the entire engine/engine compartment has been cleaned, rinse thoroughly with water. There is a debate as to the optimum force of spray to rinse the degreaser. Some say a gentle spray is all that is necessary, while others advocate the use of a high-pressure spray. Use your common sense. The stronger the spray, the more likely you will get water in sensitive parts. If all areas are properly protected, you should have no problems with a stronger spray. If any areas need additional cleaning, repeat as necessary.

    Once the engine/engine compartment is clean, immediately remove all of your plastic baggies/rubber bands. Dry any puddles and aluminum parts with a soft, 100% cotton towel. Use paper towels to thoroughly dry the battery (if it is in the engine compartment). Start the engine and allow it to warm up. This will dry the rest of the engine and evaporate any moisture that may have collected in sensitive components.

    I am not a fan of steam cleaning. I have found that the high pressure steam has a nasty tendency to infiltrate the electrical connections and cause havoc. The modern engine has numerous sensors that continually feed precise information to the computers. If steam penetrates these sensors and corrodes the electrical connections, electrical signals may be disrupted and cause the engine to run erratically or not at all. The amount of time it takes to disassemble, clean and reconnect all these sensors is incredible.

    Once everything is dry and has completely cooled, you may wish to apply a coating of rubber protectant to the rubber hoses, rubber, plastic shields and rubber gaskets. One Grand Exterior Rubber & Vinyl Treatment, 3M Rubber Treatment, Meguiars #40 Vinyl/Rubber Treatment or Wurth Rubber Care Spray all work extremely well. I do not recommend treating the underside of the rubber belts, as this makes them reluctant to turn their respective pulleys, with somewhat interesting results. (This is somewhat like waxing brake pads.)

    The painted areas of your engine compartment (not the engine) should be waxed. If the uncoated aluminum areas are dull or have whitish corrosion, a mild metal polish will help restore the finish. My favorite is P21S Multi Surface Finish Restorer Polish. Use a soft, 100% cotton flannel cloth and work a small amount into the surface and then buff off with another 100% cotton flannel cloth. Check the battery terminals, to insure that they are clean. If not, disconnect the cables and clean both the cable terminals and battery posts with a wire brush. Reconnect the terminals and retighten. Wurth makes a nifty Battery Terminal Spray that protects the terminals from corrosion and changes from pink to blue if there is battery acid leakage.

    All of the hinges, throttle cables, cruise control cables and hood shocks should receive a thin coating of non-silicone lubricant such as Wurth HHS-2000 Spray Lube. Lastly, check all fluid levels, remove any stray Baggies and you are finished!
  3. zebani

    zebani Guest

    Hey guys, I just came across this topic and wanted to share with you guys.

    http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.p ... (info-pics)

    I not sure sure about the model of the car but I believe its 91 Civic ,I checked the car in his signature, and looks like it came out pretty good.
  4. Spiderman

    Spiderman Well-Known Member

    :shock .......... FAKE........ that's some serious photoshop right there :hehe

    WD-40 is trully an amazing product and has been around forever, I have used it on virtually anything and everything around the garage including the engine bay, bugs and tar on my Celi, have a look at their web site for potential uses.

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