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How to clean exterior of engine

1975 Views 20 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  hkshowcar
What is the best way to clean the engine so that is stays looking like new. I wipe mine down everytime I wash the car, but it's getting some build up in areas my hands and a rag won't reach.
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I use the air hose on my compressor. If you don't have access to an air compressor, go to a hobby store or computer store & buy compressed air in a can. That should be suitable.
Normally I’d say a once a year cleaning with de-gunk like Engine Bright would do it. However, with the fine Bullitt sticker we have you’d want to make damn sure it’s protected from the cleaner. I also try to avoid spraying it directly into things like alternators and other accessories that have electronics or bearings that might be damaged.
I've found using STP tire foam works wonders on the hoses and plastic covers in the engine compartment. It also works great in the wheel wells!
How ever you end up cleaning the engine compartment, take care to protect that sticker in some manner. Many owners are experiencing letters wiping off with just a clean towel, and definately losing letters with any type of liquid cleaner.......
I learned by watching car owners at the last car show I went to using Windex on the exterior of engine compartment. Not to remove the grease, mind you, but to remove the dust and splatters from wet roads. It shines the compartment features very nicely!

I used to own a detailing business and I don't think using chemical cleaners is a good idea on an engine as new as yours. Just use a high power sprayer that has a soap resivour with hot water and spray in the locations that need it and be careful not to use to much pressure on the sensitive type components. Afterwards keep your hood open and whipe the engine down as best as possible, and let it dry before starting the engine.:smile:
Thanks for all the suggestions. Using a can of compressed air is something I haven't thought of. I once sprayed an engine with a hose, but afterwards, couldn't get the engine to start up for about an half and hour. Not sure why it wouldn't start up, and kind of scared me away from spraying water in the engine again.
thanks for the professional opinion Rod!
yeah i'm kinda surprised that you guys don't know about this but....simple green works the best to clean your engine and use tire shine on the hoses and plastic parts. just spray simple green on every part then spray it off with the hose then wait for awhile then start your engine. i detail cars for a on the side job.
I have found Orange-Blast works the best. Safer than Simple Green but just as strong. Leaves my engine smelling nice! :lol:

DHG #2679
Ziebart Diamond Gloss Finish, Z-Shield
3,508.8 miles; Hibernating in garage!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: williamflynn on 2003-04-11 09:21 ]</font>
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I use meen grean to clean the engine but, I always thought u should do it with the engine running?
I use the Simple Green spray as well. I use a gallon size freezer bag to cover the alternator and rubber bands to secure it. Tape a sandwich bag over the shock tower sticker and make sure not to spray directly on it. Dry everything off well before starting. Works great!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: 2k1bullitt on 2003-06-27 19:37 ]</font>
On 2003-04-11 09:17, williamflynn wrote:
I have found Orange-Blast works the best. Safer than Simple Green but just as strong. Leaves my engine smelling nice! :lol:

And we all know how important it is for our engine compartment to smell squeaky-orangey clean!!
I used to hate putting water on the engine and would only use different sizes paint brushes and a towel.

Then I got lazy and used "Clear Magic" Just sprayed everything and closed the hood.

Now I use a small home steam cleaner. Only uses a cup of water for 10 minutes of use and I probably half of that cup evaporates upon contact. Great for the really small places. Doubt it would be good on even near the Bullitt ID sticker.
Hey Larry,

I was looking at your site last night and the little steam cleaner. Very KEWL. 227's Engine compartement is a real mess right now and I just started cleaning it yesterday. Handrubbing out the jams and Simple Green on the plastic. I'm going on step more though becuase of all the compound on the car and pulling the Cowl so I can get it real clean. Same for the radiator support. Once it is all cleaned, I will put it back together :wink:...

I do like that little steam cleaner though, I may have to get one :wink:...

Take care.

Hey Bud,

I found my Eureka 370A (you'll see a photo on Larry's awesome site!) earlier this week and he's being modest about using a steamer like this, as usual.

This thing rocks. Let me say this again in case someone missed my point: This Thing Rocks! :lol:

There are many "similar" products for $50-250. MidLife and I had a little private chat about this. I did some additional homework on the Net and decided on the Eureka.

I used the steamer on my Bullitt and it just melted all the nasties away. Follow up with a soft towel and some compressed air and it's good to go.

In addition, my wife is thrilled with it! :grin: It cleans our kitchen tile and bathrooms better than I'd hoped. Even steamed out some uncleanable stains in the carpet.

Larry, you continue to go "the extra mile" for all of us here. What a great recommendation!! Thanks again!!!

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Wow Dave you let your wife use the steamer? I won't mine near it for fear I will loose it for good. It is pretty neat for keeping it clean, it does not have the power of like the big $2000 commercial steamers but then I would not want to put that much water and pressure on my engine ALL the time like I do with the Eureka. I probably use it at least once every 10 days.
Mid Life my wife purchased the stean cleaner for me on your recommendation. Used it yesterday. Was very happy with it. Thank you for the information. She will probably want to use it for something in the house.
I have been using simple green for years and have liked it. This time I used orange blast and liked it also. After wipeing it down I will know which one I like the best.
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