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drivetolive
02-17-2010, 06:10 PM
So it's been years since my engine's been detailed. To be honest i'm kinda nervous doing it myself, don't wanna damage anything. Should I attempt it on my own?

I do every regular detailing myself (regular wash and wax including interior, not polishing with buffers and that heavy stuff), but when it comes to the engine it just seems like I could cause a lot of damage if I don't have experience with it?

If I should do it on my own, is there any tutorial I can follow or some pointers you guys can suggest?

I installed angel eyes in my car and have them running in the engine bay w/ ballasts (but they are covered with that wire tubing stuff) if that makes a difference?

Dado 540
02-17-2010, 07:14 PM
Some will say they have done it for ages and no issues. Some will say they had issues after washing. Its gonna be up to you. I personally have not touched it.

If you do decide to do it, cover all electrical components and keep the engine running while rinsing.

Good luck

mclovin
02-17-2010, 07:54 PM
Just get a bottle of simple green and some rags to clean off the grease&grime in places u can see/reach. Then Armorall all the large plastic pieces and ur done.

W2WDETAILING
02-17-2010, 08:09 PM
i haven't used simple green i have used it before and i dont like that stuff. i use super clean(avaliable at wallmart/napa) dilute the degreaser 50/50. get to spray bottles, mist half of the engine bay then spray degreaser where required. wipe with shop towels. keep going over it sections at a time. finally once all the grease and crap is removed i use 303 aerospace protectant i spray it on and wipe it off. while i was cleaning an engine at a shop they said why arent you pressure-washing it blah blah blah. i told them its not good for the engine. they said its fine ect. i washed my jeep the next day decided to clean my engine bay. decided i would try spraying it down with water... 2 hours later started the car drove away and my abs and tcs light came on and stayed on for 5 min. i will never hose down an engine or recommend someone hose down an engine ever!

drivetolive
02-18-2010, 01:04 PM
I've heard good things about simple green before also. I'll get either that or super clean (w/e they have in stock).

Now do I need a degreaser on top of that? Any generic degreaser or is there anything I should look for specifically? Guessing i could probably get it at Canadian Tire?

Just to clarify:

1. spray down the engine with simply green or super clean
2. wipe it down
2. dilute some degreaser with water, 50/50, spray the engine bay and wipe it down
3. shine it up with armorall or 303 aerospace protectant

The debate on spraying the engine bay down with water and a hose is enough to scare me away lol.

The-Traveler
02-18-2010, 02:49 PM
Spraying the engine with water isn't necessarily going to give you problems. In my old neon I used to spray the hell out of it with that Mr.Clean carwash thing set on high pressure and it was fine. I must have done it a dozen times.

With the BMW I won't be doing that but a little bit of mist or regular water pressure from the hose shouldn't damage anything. There's sand and dirt that you need to remove that the degreasers won't desolve.

W2WDETAILING
02-18-2010, 04:31 PM
I've heard good things about simple green before also. I'll get either that or super clean (w/e they have in stock).

Now do I need a degreaser on top of that? Any generic degreaser or is there anything I should look for specifically? Guessing i could probably get it at Canadian Tire?

Just to clarify:

1. spray down the engine with simply green or super clean
2. wipe it down
2. dilute some degreaser with water, 50/50, spray the engine bay and wipe it down
3. shine it up with armorall or 303 aerospace protectant

The debate on spraying the engine bay down with water and a hose is enough to scare me away lol.

super clean is a degreaser.. and i have only found it at wallmart or napa. (cheaper at wallmart located where the car oil is. its a purple bottle)
after your done wiping up the degreaser you sprayed mist it with water and wipe it off to remove any excess degreaser. this method works very well.

Nikku
02-19-2010, 01:40 AM
+1 with Zach's comment. When it comes to engine detailing you have to be weary of your process.

My process consists of mapping the engine bay into parts and tackling it similarly to the panels of a vehicle. I do not hose, pressure wash or rinse down the engine bay.

1. Cover all electrical

2. Lightly Mist the Engine bay with water from a spray bottle. I personally used a pressurized bottle. The mist is much lighter.

3. Mist your favourite All Purpose Cleaner or Degreaser. I use Power Clean and if the engine bay is not in horendous condition I use Optimum No Rinse. I let the solution dwell for a few minutes.

4. I aggitate with a detail brush, Daytona Wheel Brush, EZ Detail Mini

5. Spray down cleaned area with Spray bottle or Pressurized Bottle.

6. Use a damp MF and wipe the area down.

7. Dry everything up, spray 303 Aerospace or Optimum Protectant Plus and wipe access protectant off.

Oh and if you have clearcoated or carbon fibre engine bay covers those can be removed and polished as well :) That should be fun for you.

Have fun!

drivetolive
02-19-2010, 02:33 AM
Awesome write up there Nikku, really detailed and helpful.

Gonna try this out, doesn't look to bad. Thanks for the help everyone.

Nikku
02-19-2010, 09:49 AM
Not a problem. Taking the extra time around the engine bay is key. Just be patient and I am sure you will attain the results you are looking for. If you don't just fire another question here :)

Cheers!
Nick

dbworld4k
02-19-2010, 10:13 AM
How much would one of you detailers charge to clean up my engine bay? I'm too lazy to cover stuff up and do it properly, lol.

Nikku
02-19-2010, 07:32 PM
Hey DBworld,

As prices for paint and interior from vehicle to vehicle so does the engine. It really depends on the current state of your engine bay and the expectations you have for it.

Pricing for my engine detail service starts at $60 dollars. That is a guideline and is usually for a well maintained engine bay. Labour rate per hour is $45/hr.

If you have more questions feel free to ask. Whomever you choose to detail your vehicle make sure you are well educated about the process and that it falls in line with your expectations.

Have a great day.

Cheers,
Nick

parm
02-19-2010, 08:27 PM
Dont let degreaser touch the alternator. It will wash away the protective gel on the windings = FAIL. Other wise I haved power washed the hell out of my engine, dried it and wd40 most ele. components and good to go.

drivetolive
02-20-2010, 11:12 PM
^^^Thanks for the tip. Anything else I should watch out for?

Took a quick glance at my engine bay today, didn't really see any electrical components which needed to be covered up? The main ECU box to the top right corner seems sealed pretty nicely, same with the postive battery terminal. Lol what am I missing here?

Nikku
02-20-2010, 11:15 PM
Use tin foil to cover your sensors, distributor, spark plug openings and any electrical devices. Some people use plastic bags but I find tin foil to mold to the areas much better and provide for a better seal.

Cheers,
Nick

drivetolive
02-20-2010, 11:21 PM
Got it, hopefully I don't screw up :P .

Lol if I get to parnoid you'll be getting a phone call from me :D . Regardless, seen your work before (was on an m3) and will probably give you a call during the summer (how far it feels :( ) for a full detail *wave* .

Nikku
02-20-2010, 11:23 PM
Just take it slow and you should fine. If you're ever concerned about covering or not covering up a certain area. Always cover up regardless. Better safe than sorry.

My door is always open just give me a ring or drop me an email and I'll get back to you asap.

We'll set something up for you in the spring :) Lets get you through the engine detail first.

Good luck!

Cheers,
Nick

aaron320i
02-21-2010, 02:52 AM
I wasnt thinking stright and when I sold my 320i i decided to wash down the engine bay. Surely enough I forgot how weak my alternator was. washed down engine. Alternator Shot.