Engine bay detail help?
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This is a discussion on Engine bay detail help? within the Detailing Forum forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I want to detail my engine bay. I have heard mixed reviews on doing this because of gettng electronics wet. ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Boris22's Avatar
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    Engine bay detail help?

    I want to detail my engine bay. I have heard mixed reviews on doing this because of gettng electronics wet. What parts should I cover when spraying it down after the degreaser? And how should I cover them? Any help would be awesome. Thanks!

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    Registered User CSwrx22's Avatar
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    you can always cover things that you do not want to get wet with a plastic bag.

    google engine detailing and tons of stuff comes up.

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    1. Cover what you do not want wet with plastic bags (if it does get wet, just let everything dry before driving the car again)

    2. spray the bay down with simple green diluted with water (2:1 ratio)

    3. Let sit for 5-10 minutes

    4. Hose everything down.

    5. Allow to dry

    That's how I do it usually.

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    Engine cleaning????

    What is the best way to clean the engine and engine compartment? I have an 03 wrx and didn't know if direct cleaning and rinsing would damage anything?

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    dunno how scoobies are with direct spray (haven't had to hose mine down yet).. should be ok as long as its not direct and high pressure. Cleaner wise I like to use the orange citrus degreaser.. its plastic and rubber friendly unlike the purple stuff.

    some cars (honda's,any american product, vw's) I wont spray unless they're already running .. I've had a few drive in, wash.. push out .. experiences with the brands I listed. Worse off just let it set until dry and fire it up.. but sucks to have a nice clean bay and no start.
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    Registered User lytlec's Avatar
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    make sure you cover all electrical stuff and intake stuff...
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    Registered User oguitar's Avatar
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    I use a spray bottle and paper towels. Takes a long time but works.
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    Today I just covered the alternator and sprayed Simple Green all over the engine. Then I got a toothbrush and scrub it, then I rinse it with a hose. I let it dry, and that was it.
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    ....the following is from another thread in this forum I responded to last year (before I sold my '03 WRX pictured):

    Personally, I've never had any issues with hosing down the engines on both our '08 Forester and my '03 WRX (or any of my vehicles over the past 25 years for that matter). Most of the sensitive areas/components in your bay are water resistant and are generally protected by design, gaskets, etc. If your intake is stock, there is really nothing to worry about in that respect. Just use a little common sense when rinsing (i.e. don't shoot a strong stream of water into sensitive looking areas, etc.). In my case, the nozzle I have has a variety of selections. I find the "shower" setting provides enough pressure and volume to rinse away any soap/cleaner while keeping the risk low for water seeping into areas I don’t want it to go. ....keep in mind however that vehicle age, particular layouts, modifications, etc. may be factors in whether or not you decide to cover certain areas. Also, there is nothing wrong with taking extra precautions. If you feel the need to do so, then don’t hesitate to cover the sensitive areas.

    Below are a couple shots of my '03. I typically wash with Meguiars APC+ (diluted 4:1) and use a variety of detail brushes I have on hand to agitate/scrub (soft nylon & boars hair). After a final rinse with DI (deionized) water I will typically use a leaf blower or compressed air (again, using a little common sense & caution) to help chase off some of the water from the areas I will be treating. My last step is to dress the plastics, hoses and rubber trim pieces. ....typically with something like 303. Here are a couple of shots of my '03 (original owner with 90k+ miles):

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  12. #11
    Registered User Tennis's Avatar
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    You really don't need to cover anything, unless an aftermarket intake. Just make sure you don't focus the water on anything for too long.
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    Registered User GrtScott's Avatar
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    Covering stuff is just a precautionary thing. Everything is designed to be relatively water tight but a plastic bag on your fuse box and distributor won't hurt anything.

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    Moderator   Sasquatch's Avatar
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    I've been washing the engine bays of all of my cars for the past 20 years or so. Here is what works very well for me …

    Start with a cold engine. I’ve never covered electrical components, but have put a plastic bag over open exposed air filters. Obviously do not spray directly into the air intake. Use a garden hose with a variable nozzle to go from a fine spray to a concentrated stream depending on what you are hosing down. A high pressure car wash hose is asking for trouble.

    Wet down the hood, fenders and engine hosing off loose debris. Spray liberal amounts of full strength Simple Green all over, especially in the inaccessible areas. Let soak for ~5 minutes or so. While I wait I have a couple of odd brushes I use to scrub around where I can.

    Gently hose off all areas thoroughly until all traces of the detergent are gone. Some areas can take higher pressure, like the IC and around the firewall. Once the car / engine wash has been completed I take the car on a drive to heat and dry the engine bay out. I just did all of this on Saturday.

    I’ve never had a problem with getting any electrical items wet – a modern engine bay is engineered to get somewhat wet during normal use.
    Last edited by Sasquatch; 06-28-2010 at 05:59 PM.
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    Administrator TheJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 04.SPT.WRX View Post
    I've been washing the engine bays of all of my cars for the past 20 years or so. Here is what works very well for me Ö

    Start with a cold engine. Iíve never covered electrical components, but have put a plastic bag over with open exposed air filters. Obviously do not spray directly into the air intake. Use a garden hose with a variable nozzle to go from a fine spray to a concentrated stream depending on what you are hosing down. A high pressure car wash hose is asking for trouble.

    Wet down the hood, fenders and engine hosing off loose debris. Spray liberal amounts of full strength Simple Green all over, especially in the inaccessible areas. Let soak for ~5 minutes or so. While I wait I have a couple of odd brushes I use to scrub around where I can.

    Gently hose off all areas thoroughly until all traces of the detergent are gone. Some areas can take higher pressure, like the IC and around the firewall. Once the car / engine wash has been completed I take the car on a drive to heat and dry the engine bay out. I just did all of this on Saturday.

    Iíve never had a problem with getting any electrical items wet Ė a modern engine bay is engineered to get somewhat wet during normal use.
    ^^Bill keeps a very very clean engine. Seriously. I would definitely pay attention to his advice if you intend to do the same.
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  16. #15
    Registered User GrtScott's Avatar
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    Cold engine huh? Woudn't it make sense to have a slightly warm engine so that the "grime" was a little softer and more affected by chemicals?

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