That engine bay is looking pretty good already. What was on the shopping list Graham gave you? Icould do with some of that
Set aside about 4 hrs of spare time
Cheat a little
Things you will need:
Tube of Autosol chrome cleaner
(use with wire wool and soak it in until its a paste when you squeeze the wool)
Fine and medium wire wool
(for the chrome intake runners and general alloy)
Mr Muscle oven cleaner (see the wife) or Gunk
(soak the entire bay, it wont harm anything and leave it to drip for a good 15 minutes)
A 2" paint brush
(to move the oven cleaner about) & a fine art brush
(for the lettering and areas that you can't spray)
Masking tape 1"
for masking off areas
Blood red nail varnish
(for the lettering) see the wife!
Silicon lubricant spray
(for all the rubber pipes as it feeds the rubber and makes it shiny)
Baby wipes and cotton buds
(See the wife) for all the nooks and crannies that you cant get a cloth into and plastics etc.
800 grit and 1400 grit emery paper
(use progressive grits to get the mottled alloy oxidisation off)
A steam shark or similar hand held steam cleaner
See the wife (to get all the dirt off and oven cleaner deposits.... Start at the top and work your way down... It wont harm any electrics as it is low force but high temp steam that evaporates very quickly with the heat
For the alloy that wont clean up with any of the above:
You can polish, scrub , sand and clean the plenum and rocker cover as much as you want but it will never come back to original condition Even taking the top layers off will leave it with a mottled dark and light appearance....
Cheat a little: Spray and laquer once removed. Enclose the engine bay with masking and newspaper and cover the bits that you dont want any over spray and build up with light coats
Mercedes brilliant silver or Honda saturn silver spray cans are the closest matches to original colour
Pound shop "gold" spray and "clear" laquer
Use the gold spray on the rubbed down and cleaned up injection rails and spray into the lid and use the fine brush to touch up parts you cant get to without overspray being a problem.
The engine will not get that hot enough to effect the paint and laquer or peel so you don't need anything that is heat resistant.
Use carb cleaner, a clean cloth and cotton buds to rub off any mistakes of overspray before it dries thoroughly
Use the steam cleaner on the coolant bottle (remove, plug the hoses and drain it to steam clean the inside deposits off too if you wish) Also steam clean the fluid reservior caps while they are fitted etc to get rid of the tell tale finger marks and ground in dirt.
Most important bit:
Take your time... Prepare everything and think it through... Clean as much as you can but don't get frustrated.... Spray paint what simply won't clean up until you are happy with the results...
You will end up with an engine bay that looks brand new and as Alfa intended it to be kept
As you can see the above will cost you no more that £20 really and most of it you will have in the house anyway...
Some owners powdercoat, use heat resistant paint or even crinkle effect paints... They all look good in their own right, I just wanted it to look original and above all else, keep it cheap!
Once it's done, half an hour every three month is all it will need!
One last tip: while you have certain thing disconnected, take the opportunity to clean electrical contacts to sensors, relays or even clean the throttle body etc...