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(Post Link) post #1 of 26 Old 26-03-09 Thread Starter
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Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

Hi, im not too good at cleaning but! my Alfa Spider appears to be forcing me to change my habits, i have through research on the boards managed to achieve an exterior that is like new! Clay, polish & Waxing with AG products. Now my focus is on the engine bay.

My car is the alloy top 150bhp 2.0TS 16v and the alloy top and engine block are somewhat dull and extremely grey, so! can any of you guys with detailing experience advise as to what i could do/buy so as to achieve a gleaming engine, i see others simply paint the cover but! as a purist i would like to keep the engine bay like the rest of the car as original as possible.

PS: I've tried the new Cillit bong concentrate and i have noticed absolutely no improvement

Regards,

David aka kARMA.
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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

Well aparantly you cant steam clean the engine bay anymore or get any liquid in the engine bay as there are alot of computer/ electronic parts in there that cant handle a drop of moisture. (like my TV blew up when it got a few drops of rain inside it next to an open window)

So its only going to be cleaning with a dry rag or moist rag at the very most if you know what your doing
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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

I once had to do a clean on my alloy top engine I stupidly forgot to replace the oil filler cap and resulted in a very oily engine.

I removed the alloy cover
Removed the coil packs and had about 10 plastic bags and used the bags to cover all electrical components and taped them up, I covered all the spark plugs.....just about anything that does not like water.

I then sprayed Gunk Engine Degreaser Aerosol and left for a couple of hours and then got the pressure washer to it.

When i connected all the electrical components back up and removed all the plastic i then used electrical contact cleaner and a microfibre cloth to clean the rest.
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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

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Originally Posted by Freds GTV 2001 View Post
Well aparantly you cant steam clean the engine bay anymore or get any liquid in the engine bay as there are alot of computer/ electronic parts in there that cant handle a drop of moisture. (like my TV blew up when it got a few drops of rain inside it next to an open window)

So its only going to be cleaning with a dry rag or moist rag at the very most if you know what your doing
They are not that bad, the only bit that does not like getting moisture is the coil packs. Just think of the amount of water sprayed up from the road on a wet day or going through big puddles...as long as you cover the most important electrical components then you should not have a problem Just remember to remove the battery
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(Post Link) post #5 of 26 Old 26-03-09 Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

thanks Guys! is there any miracle products that give the alloy shine that im after?

David.
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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

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Originally Posted by andylossie View Post
I once had to do a clean on my alloy top engine I stupidly forgot to replace the oil filler cap and resulted in a very oily engine.

I removed the alloy cover
Removed the coil packs and had about 10 plastic bags and used the bags to cover all electrical components and taped them up, I covered all the spark plugs.....just about anything that does not like water.

I then sprayed Gunk Engine Degreaser Aerosol and left for a couple of hours and then got the pressure washer to it.

When i connected all the electrical components back up and removed all the plastic i then used electrical contact cleaner and a microfibre cloth to clean the rest.
Hmmm yeah I dont know what is what under my hood i think im just going to do a light "dusting" so i dont disturb anything. Do you think I can get it professionally done maybe better
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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

damp cloth , then use some interior dressing simple really .
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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

No, there is no miracle product, but look at these pictures of my engine:





1. Step one is to vucuum the whole compartment with the crevice nozzle of your vacuum cleaner. Get rid of as much dust, dirt, debris not forgetting the sound proofing under the bonnet.
2. Wipe down all the painted surfaces with a damp cloth soaked in proprietary cleaner (a good APC or any grease cutter). They are then polished and waxed to repel dirt.
3. If you really want to use an engine cleaner to clean the lower part of your engine, then care must be taken in spraying water. Personally I avoid this.
4. The alloy parts cannot be shone or polished in the conventional manner. They tend to go blotchy and get ugly marks on them. I use a toothbrush and a metal cleaner like Meguiars NXT Metal Polysh and gently brush the surface and then remove with a damp cloth. The cover at the front was chrome plated as it tends to get oil on it from the dip stick and the oil filler cap.
5. All plastic surfaces dressed with Aerospace 303. This is absolutely the best product I have ever used.
6. Thereafter it is a matter of a weekly wipe down every time the car is washed.

I hope that this is of some help.
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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

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Originally Posted by springbok View Post
No, there is no miracle product, but look at these pictures of my engine:





1. Step one is to vucuum the whole compartment with the crevice nozzle of your vacuum cleaner. Get rid of as much dust, dirt, debris not forgetting the sound proofing under the bonnet.
2. Wipe down all the painted surfaces with a damp cloth soaked in proprietary cleaner (a good APC or any grease cutter). They are then polished and waxed to repel dirt.
3. If you really want to use an engine cleaner to clean the lower part of your engine, then care must be taken in spraying water. Personally I avoid this.
4. The alloy parts cannot be shone or polished in the conventional manner. They tend to go blotchy and get ugly marks on them. I use a toothbrush and a metal cleaner like Meguiars NXT Metal Polysh and gently brush the surface and then remove with a damp cloth. The cover at the front was chrome plated as it tends to get oil on it from the dip stick and the oil filler cap.
5. All plastic surfaces dressed with Aerospace 303. This is absolutely the best product I have ever used.
6. Thereafter it is a matter of a weekly wipe down every time the car is washed.

I hope that this is of some help.
Yes Wow ! Amazing looking engine

How do you clean the parts where your hand wont reach into? or the vacuum cant reach?
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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

Try using a scotch brite pad with wd40 on the alloy cover and gearbox etc, comes up a treat
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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

The only way to get into the parts your hand can't reach is with a toothbrush or by dismantling.

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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

The only way is strip it, clean it and put it all back together is the best way

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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

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The only way is strip it, clean it and put it all back together is the best way



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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

Someone has far to much time to kill, wish mine was like that, looks absolutely amazing .
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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

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Someone has far to much time to kill, wish mine was like that, looks absolutely amazing .
Yeah agree I would have no idea how to dismantle the parts and clean where my hands dont reach. Do you reckon a professional deatailer would be able to do it?
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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

They might, but most detailers tend to concentrate on paint correction, wheels, tyres, interiors pretty much in that order.

Engines are tricky things and a lot of people shy away from getting too involved "down there".

Unless you are preparing your car to show car standards, my advice is just to start slowly and don't be too ambitious.

Wipe down, clean and dress all the parts you CAN get to. There is more than enough to keep you busy for a whole day without getting too hung up with all the more difficult parts.

Here is another pic of a beautiful engine compartment, also Australian I believe.

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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

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Originally Posted by springbok View Post
They might, but most detailers tend to concentrate on paint correction, wheels, tyres, interiors pretty much in that order.

Engines are tricky things and a lot of people shy away from getting too involved "down there".

Unless you are preparing your car to show car standards, my advice is just to start slowly and don't be too ambitious.

Wipe down, clean and dress all the parts you CAN get to. There is more than enough to keep you busy for a whole day without getting too hung up with all the more difficult parts.

Here is another pic of a beautiful engine compartment, also Australian I believe.

Yeah that just looks brand new !
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Re: Engine Cleaning - What, How & Why?

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Originally Posted by springbok View Post
No, there is no miracle product, but look at these pictures of my engine:





1. Step one is to vucuum the whole compartment with the crevice nozzle of your vacuum cleaner. Get rid of as much dust, dirt, debris not forgetting the sound proofing under the bonnet.
2. Wipe down all the painted surfaces with a damp cloth soaked in proprietary cleaner (a good APC or any grease cutter). They are then polished and waxed to repel dirt.
3. If you really want to use an engine cleaner to clean the lower part of your engine, then care must be taken in spraying water. Personally I avoid this.
4. The alloy parts cannot be shone or polished in the conventional manner. They tend to go blotchy and get ugly marks on them. I use a toothbrush and a metal cleaner like Meguiars NXT Metal Polysh and gently brush the surface and then remove with a damp cloth. The cover at the front was chrome plated as it tends to get oil on it from the dip stick and the oil filler cap.
5. All plastic surfaces dressed with Aerospace 303. This is absolutely the best product I have ever used.
6. Thereafter it is a matter of a weekly wipe down every time the car is washed.

I hope that this is of some help.
Ahh jayus go out and get that engine dirty man Very nice I have to say.
 
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Have to say that I use a variety of different degreasers all aerosol based. One is a foaming product and the others are things like Gunk. Use a bottle brush to get to difficult ares and if it has a wire neck you can bend it to get underneath hoses.
The problem comes with really dirty engines as you tend to spend the first few hours moving dirt from one spot to another. I also do you as hose in the bay at low pressure and I have used a home steamer to loosen the worse grime. Once half decent I use disposable wipes to reduce any surface grime on hoses as they tend to be the dirtiest areas.
It is just a case of been regular to maintain the look. I am not competent enough to start dismantling everything so a few cosmetic touches make a real difference to the overall look. The plus side is I also find it quite relaxing.

2001 166 3.0 V6 24v
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I hate cleaning my engine bay, I actually might stop doing it until I get an aluminium undertray (i have no undertray at all atm) and then dismantle it and paint the covers with the wrinkle paint I bought in December/ January

The V6 has a lot of stuff down the back that is hard to see and wrap in plastic but water will find a way of destroying these components. I use a dry steam cleaner (4.5 bar pressure, 140oC+) and that is "safe" to use because it doesn't contain any water vapour to damage any electrical trickery. It is also very handy for doing the underside of modern cars which have numerous sensors on their exhausts.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
The only way is strip it, clean it and put it all back together is the best way

Very nice!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springbok View Post
1. Step one is to vucuum the whole compartment with the crevice nozzle of your vacuum cleaner. Get rid of as much dust, dirt, debris not forgetting the sound proofing under the bonnet.
2. Wipe down all the painted surfaces with a damp cloth soaked in proprietary cleaner (a good APC or any grease cutter). They are then polished and waxed to repel dirt.
3. If you really want to use an engine cleaner to clean the lower part of your engine, then care must be taken in spraying water. Personally I avoid this.
4. The alloy parts cannot be shone or polished in the conventional manner. They tend to go blotchy and get ugly marks on them. I use a toothbrush and a metal cleaner like Meguiars NXT Metal Polysh and gently brush the surface and then remove with a damp cloth. The cover at the front was chrome plated as it tends to get oil on it from the dip stick and the oil filler cap.
5. All plastic surfaces dressed with Aerospace 303. This is absolutely the best product I have ever used.
6. Thereafter it is a matter of a weekly wipe down every time the car is washed.

I hope that this is of some help.
Awesome steps... Will definitely give this a go...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springbok View Post
1. Step one is to vucuum the whole compartment with the crevice nozzle of your vacuum cleaner. Get rid of as much dust, dirt, debris not forgetting the sound proofing under the bonnet.
2. Wipe down all the painted surfaces with a damp cloth soaked in proprietary cleaner (a good APC or any grease cutter). They are then polished and waxed to repel dirt.
3. If you really want to use an engine cleaner to clean the lower part of your engine, then care must be taken in spraying water. Personally I avoid this.
4. The alloy parts cannot be shone or polished in the conventional manner. They tend to go blotchy and get ugly marks on them. I use a toothbrush and a metal cleaner like Meguiars NXT Metal Polysh and gently brush the surface and then remove with a damp cloth. The cover at the front was chrome plated as it tends to get oil on it from the dip stick and the oil filler cap.
5. All plastic surfaces dressed with Aerospace 303. This is absolutely the best product I have ever used.
6. Thereafter it is a matter of a weekly wipe down every time the car is washed.

I hope that this is of some help.
Thanks for posting this will defo give this a try next time I wash the car. Although the neighbours will think I'm nuts hoovering my engine bay. Mind you I do get some weird looks when I use Snow Foam

Really nice looking engines posted everyone I personally think Alfa's have some of the best looking engines.
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This thread has some useful info in it: https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...and-after.html
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springbok View Post
They might, but most detailers tend to concentrate on paint correction, wheels, tyres, interiors pretty much in that order.

Engines are tricky things and a lot of people shy away from getting too involved "down there".

Unless you are preparing your car to show car standards, my advice is just to start slowly and don't be too ambitious.

Wipe down, clean and dress all the parts you CAN get to. There is more than enough to keep you busy for a whole day without getting too hung up with all the more difficult parts.

Here is another pic of a beautiful engine compartment, also Australian I believe.

I hate you!!!!
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