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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > What's the best way to clean the engine bay?



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      04-03-2016, 11:41 AM   #1
Fundguy1
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What's the best way to clean the engine bay?

My car has 226k miles on it and I'm just finishing the upgrades including an engine swap. The bay was cleaned during the install but still shows grime. It had leaky gaskets and oil grime and dirt is all over. I want to get it as shiny new looking as possible. Not doing shows but want it presentable. What's the best way to clean it? I was thinking simple green and a rag would be 80 hours of torture at this point. Would steam be a good alternative?
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      04-03-2016, 01:12 PM   #2
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I've used a bunch of simple green, never sprayed directly on connections, and steam. As long as you don't get chemicals on the connections or force water in you'll be fine. Even if you do get water, remember that most engines don't have underbody trays that block road splashes and such so you'll be fine.

Spray is down, steam it off, leave hood open and let it air dry or with the help of direct sunlight.
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      04-03-2016, 02:13 PM   #3
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Thx. Now I need to find a decent steamer
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      04-03-2016, 02:50 PM   #4
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6Walmart has a Wagner one for $100.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Wagner-915...ingMethod=p13n
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      04-03-2016, 03:45 PM   #5
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Take pics when you do all this. Showing a before and after at least will help motivate people. I'll be doing the same soon as my OFHG is starting to leak, and now has made everything a mess under the hood.
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      04-03-2016, 06:48 PM   #6
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What are some of the sensitive areas that one should be mindful of when applying steam? What about pressure washer? Can we wrap the sensitive areas in plastic bags and then spray with pressure washer?
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      04-03-2016, 07:51 PM   #7
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Degreaser,soap water,elbow grease and a whole bunch of rags.....helps to use a spray bottle to get the liquids exactly where you want them.
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      04-03-2016, 08:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Needbmwpartzz View Post
Degreaser,soap water,elbow grease and a whole bunch of rags.....helps to use a spray bottle to get the liquids exactly where you want them.
That's the 80 hours I'm hoping to avoid.
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      04-03-2016, 08:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fundguy1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Needbmwpartzz View Post
Degreaser,soap water,elbow grease and a whole bunch of rags.....helps to use a spray bottle to get the liquids exactly where you want them.
That's the 80 hours I'm hoping to avoid.
Lol.....it will take 2hrs max.
I can clean my whole bay in about an hour once cowl and air filter is removed.
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      04-03-2016, 08:27 PM   #10
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The above pic was after a day of cleaning was spent with the engine and subframe removed.
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      04-03-2016, 08:45 PM   #11
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Yikes.....your almost there
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      04-03-2016, 09:26 PM   #12
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I have read to cover up any electrical connections and spray with simple green. Hose it off with no sprayer...straight hose...not Hoes..and them wipe it clean and air dry.

I never ended up having the balls to do that but my engine is pretty clean, anyway. I touch it up from time to time.

Why are did you swap engines? I thought you had all of your modes and built it all at once? Did the motor get cashed?
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      04-03-2016, 10:04 PM   #13
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I used the Griot's Engine Detailing kit on my E46. Sprayed it on heavily, let it set a few mins, then used a brush and scrubbed at the grime. Then, took a hose with a pressure nozzle and washed it away, taking care not to get the electronic bits too wet. The whole process took maybe 30-45 mins.

Kit: http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/...tailing+kit.do

Before (about 135k miles of grime):


After:
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      04-04-2016, 08:16 AM   #14
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How to Detail Your Engine Bay by Todd Cooperider

Zach McGovern
Detailed Image Ask-A-Pro Blog Author
www.AttentiontoDetailingPeoria.com
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      04-17-2016, 04:20 PM   #15
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When I first bought this car 6 years ago, I used Simple Green, a hand rag, and a garden hose, to get it looking good. I use 404 protectant to detail the engine with. Every Spring I just wipe the engine down with a damp cloth and re apply the 404. I occasionally wipe the dust off the engine during the Spring, Summer, and Fall. I just did the first wipe down of the year today, took 20 minutes. Keep up on it and it will always look nice with minimal effort.
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      04-22-2016, 01:25 AM   #16
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Mr. Moto motorcycle wash, or as its know some places.....VP racing fuel bike wash. I buy it at Cyclegear. It is hands down the best stuff I've ever seen. Dilute it, spray it on, rinse it off. It cleans like you wouldn't believe, and doesn't harm or streak anything at all.
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      05-23-2016, 08:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fundguy1 View Post
My car has 226k miles on it and I'm just finishing the upgrades including an engine swap. The bay was cleaned during the install but still shows grime. It had leaky gaskets and oil grime and dirt is all over. I want to get it as shiny new looking as possible. Not doing shows but want it presentable. What's the best way to clean it? I was thinking simple green and a rag would be 80 hours of torture at this point. Would steam be a good alternative?
I like P21S Total Auto Wash... Simple Green is pretty good too. I know this may be taboo, but i use hose, cleaner and rags. I typically put towels over the DME box, however, because I am paranoid.
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      05-23-2016, 08:42 PM   #18
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Now I'm NOT recommending this, but....
The detail guy where I work pressure washes engines every day. Never had any problems. Dude doesn't cover anything or care what he sprays. Again never had a problem of any kind.
I'm not going to do it to my car, but it seems totally safe.
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