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I recently purchesed my first car and it was owned by a bunch of olf people for 10 years, I bet it has never been touched in that ten year span. It is quite clean now, but I really want that clean shine. I dont have a clue on what to use, I know there is polish out there but I need to know what, where, and how to clean it.


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Here's how I degreased and detailed my engine:

1. Start with a warm engine, NOT HOT!

2. Cover ANY & ALL sensitive equipment with HEAVY DUTY aluminum foil. Anything electrical, cover it up. I doubled up with the foil on really sensitive equipment.

3. Spray the engine down while it's dry with CASTROL SUPER CLEAN full strength with a spray bottle and let it sit a couple minutes. Wal-Mart has Castrol for $6.00 a gallon...worked really well and didn't strip any paint. Be careful with GUNK engine degreaser as it WILL strip your paint...believe me! You may have to use a pointy brush to clean stubborn grease off the valve covers, etc.

4. Hose it down. I used a pressure washer since I have one, but it's not necessary. If you do use a pressure washer, be careful to not blow off the foil or blow a hole in it! Try to avoid the spark plugs and the cavities they go in. You may have to repeat the degreaser and rinses to get it clean.

5. Remove the foil and wipe down the areas previously covered. Once degreased to your liking, start the engine and lower the hood to speed up the evaporation process. Blow off any remaining water with a shop vac. Use paper towels to soak up the water that will be lying in the intake manifold valleys.

6. Now the fun part...rubber dressing. Silicone works the best. I used STP and it worked great! Spray down everything really well (except the belts). If you don't want the shiny look, wipe the silicone down, just let it soak in a while first. Wiping it down will give it a matte look finish if that's what you prefer. Spray some silicone on a rag and detail all the nook & crannies, wiring harnesses, hoses and what not. You can wax the metal if you like. I used STP on some of the paint under the hood and a month later it still looks good and shiny. I've heard silicone on paint is a no-no though, not sure why. I've also heard from numerous sources to stay away from Armor All like the plague! It's not very good, doesn't last long, not much silicone in it if any at all, and has been known to do damage from time to time.

Once done, your engine will look good as new, maybe better! ;) Mine did and it was well worth the effort. Makes working on your engine a not-so-dreaded task too, when it's clean.

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Got a picture, epricedright?

Hey, Yenko, mayhaps you'll consider keeping the capital letters in the post title to a minimum?

I like what you said epriced, but afterwards I always go over everything with one of those condensed air things used for dusting. Nice for fine detailing.

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I have two things to add.

1. Be careful with silicone. You don't want to get it near the intake as it is instant death to the O2 sensors.

2. The last time I cleaned my engine I got a "Battery No Charge" warning after initial start up the next day. Probably got the alternator wet. I just drove it and heated it up good and evaporataed all the water. The light went out very shortly after starting so don't panick if you get something like that.

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I spray Simple Green on a warm engine, and then use a rag or brush to loosen debris or other oily buildup. You just use a garden hose to flush it off.

I use a hard spray against the thick deposits and just a soft spray on the rest. Try to be brief around the power steering pump to reduce water under the intake manifold. Won’t really hurt anything, but it will take a while to evaporate away.

After rinsing it is a good practice to pull the spark boots to see if any water got in the spark plug tube. I haven’t had any problem but sometimes you may get a little in one of them. If so just poke a paper towel in with a slim screwdriver to soak it up, and place the boot back on.

I also use this opportunity to thoroughly flush the battery and surrounding area with water, low pressure to reduce splashing, to remove any acid that may be there.

To dress it up a bit I a use Meguiar’s Vinyl & Rubber protectant sprayed liberally. Allow to completely dry before applying the Meguiar's. Blot with paper towels as needed.

Allow it to set for 30 minutes or so, and then wipe off any excess. It has wet shiny look for a day or so then settles in to look nice and clean. Care must be taken to not allow any dressing spray get on any of the pulleys or belts; it will cause them to slip.

Keeping an engine and the surrounding area clean also helps you become familiar with it. You will notice signs of wear (battery leaking, corrosion, hose seepage, etc.) and can plan repairs rather than break down somewhere.

I have built engines for many years and with all of the work that I put into one, I like them to look as good as they run.

I will clean it about three times a year, no particular schedule. After the initial cleaning, it is very easy and fast to clean. Actually after you do an initial cleaning it is very easy to do the next time.



Drive'em like you own 'em. - ....................04 DTS............................


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