View Full Version : Best way to clean the engine bay?

09-30-09, 05:59 PM
Hi guys,

Im going to be detailing my car this weekend and I don't want or have the money to spend at a shop. I was wondering how you guys clean the engine bay of your rides? Best solvents, technique's?

09-30-09, 06:18 PM
I just hoes it down. Spray very judiciously on the cam covers. Don't want to get any water down in the ignition cassettes.

10-01-09, 02:15 PM
I have a can of engine gunk I spray SPARINGLY on only metal parts and wipe it off any plastic right away. Let it sit, and spray like Ranger says.
I then go back and hand clean it with windex and a rag and then hit all the black rubber and plastic with something like Armour All

10-02-09, 01:59 PM
I use a pressure washer, (as Ranger said) be careful of the coil cassettes, than use a fine detailing spray to get a shine on the plastic and rubber parts.

10-02-09, 10:20 PM
I use buckets of hot water, original Dawn and a couple of wash mitts. Then Simple Green with small white cotton towels. Change out dirty water frequently. Takes some time but well worth the effort.

Have also used the spray Gunk and car wash spray washer when doing for first time.

10-24-09, 11:07 PM
i got some stuff at autozone called Greazed Lightning or thunderblast and all u need to do is spray it everrrrywhere on everything in the engine compartment, let it sit for a few minutes and spray it off with the hose. dont need to get in there and scrub and cut ur fingers on stuff,, it works really well, just make sure and soak everything real good and it will take the dirt and greas off by its self

10-24-09, 11:09 PM
There is a big difference between the Northstar (especially a 2000+) and your engine. You don't want to flood these engine like you could with the old ones.

10-25-09, 09:56 PM
So would just a car wash sprayer and some engien degreaser work to clean my 90.

10-25-09, 10:01 PM
Sure. Might not even need the degreaser. I've always had great results with Gunk even on the dirtiest and greasiest of engines. If it does not want to start, wipe out the inside of the distributor cap.

00 Deville
10-25-09, 10:18 PM
If it does not want to start, wipe out the inside of the distributor cap. A hairdryer works real well to get the moisture out of all the nooks and crannies.

10-25-09, 10:26 PM
Yeah, but where ya gonna plug it in? Back when I did that a lot I always took a can of Permatex DFL (Dries, Frees, Lubricates) with me. Probably similar to WD40. It never failed me. Open the little adjustment window in the distributor and give it a shot and it always fired.

10-25-09, 10:33 PM
Everybody forgot to mention the beer, essential on a hot (or cold) day with the tunes playing.

10-25-09, 10:35 PM
There's really no reason to get the distributor wet to begin with. If you really want to go nuts with the hose, I suggest eliminating any problems from the start by wrapping it in a plastic bag. Even if you wet and dry out the distributor, corrosion inside is never good.

Personally, all I use is a regular garden hose, dish soap, 2 brushes for agitating trouble area's, and a rag. It's more about patience than technique or equipment. Just take your time.

These are examples of what just an hour or two every spring can do. These were taken just a week ago, around 172,000 miles, and I hadn't touched the engine bay since May of this year.

Keeping up with it every spring helps (along with all new gaskets ;) )

Hang on, I'm gonna go throw my flame suit on before you all see the picture of the dexcool in my overflow bottle...

10-25-09, 10:59 PM
I agree. Spring cleaning includes the engine bay and TB.

I forgot that the 4.9 had torque struts (or at least one).

10-26-09, 02:05 PM
Engine compartments and detailing.................

For Christmas ask Santa Claus for a Porter Cable 6 gallon pancake air compressor and kit. No, it won't run a die grinder or air tools, but is lightweight, runs 150 psi and is great for blowing stuff dry, cleaning out crevices, tires, blowing the dust out of nooks and crannies, and general blowsy stuff. Every now and then the Porter Cable site has the things on sale, refurbished, for $129 + UPS.

10-30-09, 08:36 AM
:sneaky: I'll go out on my own...

I always use compressed air - never water (Dear Jesus, certainly not a pressure washer) - to clean the engine bay. You get water in the wrong place (look at all those wire harnesses in there) and you could spend weeks or months chasing down a problem that randomly comes and goes.

Where compressed air isn't effective, stick to a rag and spray cleaner of some kind - I like the simple green product. Clean under the vehicle whenever you change the oil. Yes I like a tidy engine bay but don't feel the need to "detail" it on a daily driver - that attention is for the outside and cabin interior.