Cleaning up the engine bay


If you've ever wrenched around a car, or even changed a tire, you're familiar with the black grime that seems to coat every part of the car around the wheel wells and in the engine bay. It's oil, dirt, brake dust, and glue all mixed in one. It gets under your fingernails and you nearly have to scrub your skin raw to get it off. Nobody likes grime!

Looking at the engine bay of the project car, we can be fairly certain that it's been quite a while since the engine has been cleaned. First up is to get off the grime! I'm not going to detail the engine in this post, but instead just get rid of the worst of the grime before I even think about working in this engine bay. Gross!

Before cleaning the engine, I did a bit of prep work. First, I idled the engine for 20 minutes to get it up to temp. The grime is easier to remove when it's warm -- thanks to Uncle Tony for that tip. I removed any debris (sticks, leaves, etc) from below the windshield and in the "ruts" around the fender wells. Next, I removed the battery. I then used plastic and tape to protect water from getting into the distributor and the alternator.

I used a pressure washer on medium strength to wash the engine bay. I didn't go to crazy as I didn't want condensation or sprayback to get water into the alternator or distributor. About twenty minutes later, she's looking a lot better. Check out the pics below.