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GUIDE: Engine Bay Valeting:

As we all know, the engine bay of our ST's are prone to getting dirty, dusty and full of dead leaves, bugs and debris with use over time.

A lot of people regularly comment on my engine bay, both at meets and shows, and ask how I keep it so clean. Today I thought I'd take a few pics of the step to step guide I use and follow when I valet my engine bay. (Below: - My engine bay as of August 2013)



Step 1:

Firstly prop the bonnet up. If you have a Mountune Cais, a K&N 57i or another Foam/Gauze air filter and have left the standard airbox unit on, you can either remove it for a more advanced valet or just leave it on. (To remove it, it is simply connected on 3 locator pins and easily pulls up and off. Alternatively, If you have one of these custom after market air filters and have already removed the airbox unit then Step 6 is applicable.

If you have the complete Ford standard air filter system, then continue with steps as required.



Step 2:

Carefully remove the front grill. Again this is easy to do and should only take a few seconds.



Step 3:

Obviously making sure the ignition is off, carefully disconnect and remove headlights. These can be tricky when new so take your time, get a feel for them and persevere! (Note: - These themselves get a build up of mud and debris behind them. Once off the vehicle, feel free to give these a once over with some warm soapy water, some brushes and sponge, making sure the rubber blank plates are secured and properly sealed.



Step 4:

Carefully bag up your after market Foam/Gauze after market filter, (If applicable), with a strong plastic bag and put an elastic band round the top to prevent the filter getting wet.



Step 5:

Carefully bag up your battery to prevent your terminals getting wet, again secured with a large elastic band.



Step 6:

Bag up your main block ensuring all spark plugs are well covered and secure with some masking tape.



Step 7:

Continue to use this masking tape and mask up all naked wires and electrical points. (Sorry to be vague here but it is an engine bay, so just take your time and use your head. It is imperative you make sure you know/remember these masked areas as you don't want to leave any in your bay afterwards)



Step 8:

Use an engine degreasant to liberally spray over areas where dust/dirt is built up and oil/grease is evident. I use GUNK spray. Allow to penetrate for 5-10 minutes and then rinse off with a strong stream of water. This stuff is awesome and penetrates, binds and lifts any pollutants and then is simply washed out the bottom of the engine bay once you jet wash over the top.



NOTE: - Some harder to reach places, nooks and crannies and more heavily contaminated areas will need some gentle agitation with an engine valet brush or old toothebrush/paintbrush. Another good engine bay cleaner is Auto Glym Engine and Machine Cleaner, which can be used over the top of GUNK to get to these affected areas and further aids the cleaning process.



Step 9:

Once happy that all vulnerable areas are masked and bagged up securely and you've GUNK'd all areas with high dirt/dust/grime build up, jet wash over the top of the engine bay covering the whole bay evenly. (NOTE: - Hold the lance a good few feet away to ensure you don't blow off any masking tape or bags and to prevent direct pressure of water into any vulnerable components. ALSO, quickly sweep over the engine 3-4 times only. This helps to prevent large volumes of water in the bay).



Step 10:

Once finished with the jet wash lance, it's now time to remove all masking tape and bags from the engine bay. (NOTE: - Make sure you take a few moments to carefully view everywhere so that you don't miss anything and be careful not to snag or damage any wires in the process).

Obviously the areas that have/were bagged up and protected will still be dirty and require some further attention to clean. The 2 main areas are......

- Around battery box and terminals.
- Inbetween spark plug/ignition HT Leads.

These again can be cleaned with the use of some hot, slightly soapy water, and a small piece of sponge and a selection of bristled brushes.

Step 11:

When your 100% positive and happy the engine bay has been fully de-masked and de-bagged and everything has been cleaned, turn over your engine for about 1 min only. The brief heat and vibration assists with the drying out process. (NOTE: - Do not run your engine bay for any longer than 1 minute as you wont be able to proceed any further due to the engine being too hot!)

Step 12:

Once your engine bay is turned off, use some strong/durable paper towels and start to dab everything dry. These are AMAZING. Strong, durable, absorbent........can't recommend them enough. Halfords Garage Towels

Step 13:

Next, a trick of my trade!, use Maguiars Endurance Tire Gel to clean/treat your hoses, plastics and engine bay surrounds for that long lasting show gleam and water beading surfaces!!


(NOTE: - Notice the areas treated with the gel!)

Step 14:

Once blinded by the show shine of your engine bay, re-assemble your headlights, front grill and airbox unit, (If removed).

Step 15:

Complete by touching up and treating any other mods you may have.

- Polish up your chrome assessories, (If applicable). If you can't find a chrome cleaner, i've found everyday household glass cleaner does the trick!!
- Auto Glym Polish your painted areas, (If Applicable).

Step 16:

Once you've finished, take a few moments to stand back and admire your amazingly clean bay and get a few pics of it before you shut the bonnet and take it for a spin!!



NOTE: - Please be aware this is only a personal guide of ideas and products and I except no responsibility for damages or complications associated with this process. All engine bay cleaning is to be undertaken at the owners own risk.
 

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Nice little guide Lee, your engine bay is very clean
I was hoping that the pictures would've shown a couple of hot chicks in white tops spraying water everywhere


How much of the cleaning is down to the gunk stuff or do you think the jet wash is the thing that blasts the scum off?
 

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Fantastic guide iceman! I will be using this guide the next time I clean my engine bay! Hopefully mine will look similar to what yours did at fitp.
 

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Steve - LOL!!! Not sure Emz would be too pleased with that!


Thanks mate.


IMO, I think they both compliment each other and individually wouldn't do as good a job. I found the jet lance only removes the lighter stains/dust and can tend to just move the dirt from one area of the bay to the other. Also I wouldn't recommend bringing the lance closer and concentrating its pressure to remove the more stubborn stains in the risk of doing the bay more damage. GUNK simply binds the loose dust/dirt etc and allows it to be drained through the bay and out the bottom with the help of the water lance.
 

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nice write up.... im crazy and dont mask anything up... after all the engine bay gets wet when it rains anyway so must be relatively water proof. Spark plug HT leads should be "sealed" as are the connectors to the coil, so i dont worry about masking those, battery i dont mask up, but i try to avoid getting it too wet. Maybe im just suicidal when it comes to engine bay washing. Only thing ive ever masked up was my K&N and the ECU (under the K&N) but now i got the Mountune CAIS its all protected by that big plastic box.

I use that AutoGlym engine cleaner as my main cleaner too, never used gunk, is it much better?

I use AutoGlym trim restorer on plastics, but looking at the tyre gloss results i might try that next
I often use a small paint brush to get the blacker/restorer into the tight spots.

As for running the engine, i clean the engine bay first, then turn car on with bonnet closed to "steam" all the water out, while i wash the car. Crazy?
 

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Overlag - LOL!!


Cheers Adz........


Im sure they are as good a product as each other.....I just tend to use them as 2 seperate applications. GUNK for the hard core stains and the removal of general contaminents and debris and the Auto Glym for the after care.

The Endurance gel is the snizz!!!!!!!!! Give it a whirl.
 

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Top guide Lee, this defiantly deserves a big thumbs up


I will be trying the old tyre gel trick next time round. I have used it on external plastics and the front grill before but never in the bay. I didn't know how it would react to heat.

Keep up the good work.
 

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R1DOK - Thanks buddy. Post your pics here on completion!!!! Need to inspect!!


seanb_87 - True gent as always mate.
Its "miracle" in a bottle!
Dont 4get the before and after pics


Craig P - Cheers dude. very much appreciated as always.
 
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