69 vert - 351W cleaning engine bay area - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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69 vert - 351W cleaning engine bay area

In my engine bay, I'm wondering how most of you clean your engine bay area. Do you just wipe it down? Wash it with soap and water and a light rinse? Or do you power wash it? I know it depends on how dirty it might be. Mine is pretty clean. Cover carb with plastic bag amd rubber band? Cover distributor same way?

Anyway, any pointers would help.

I'm planning on entering my car in a couple local car shows here in the Seattle area in the next few weeks and want to make sure everything is nice and clean That's why I'm asking these questions.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 10:59 AM
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I clean engine bays at the local, coin car wash. It can be risky with a hot engine, so be forewarned. However, I've been doing this since the 1980s and I've never had a problem. Don't hose down an engine if it's really hot. Warm should be OK.

If I had a power washer, I would hose everything down with a water and mild detergent solution using a garden sprayer. Then I'd hit it with the power washer. If there was still some grime around, I would hit it with a brush and detergent, then power wash again.

Definitely enclose the carburetor in a plastic bag. Do your best for the distributor, but that can be a losing battle. If moisture gets inside, it's no big deal. Just pop the cap, wipe everything down and let it all dry thoroughly.

Be careful with detergents. Some, like Simple Green, will discolor aluminum. Ask me how I know.

Use a wet/dry shop vac to suck water out of the top of the intake manifold. If you let it air dry, it will likely leave behind residue and discolor the intake.

Have fun!

Currently working on a 1970 Mach 1 project. See it here: http://forums.vintage-mustang.com/vi...ode-build.html

Last edited by Klutch; 05-26-2019 at 11:01 AM.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 12:14 PM
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OP...since you're in the Seattle area, just leave the hood open. All that water always falling from the sky should keep it clean. 😂

Seriously, I power wash with no soap or detergent. The pressure alone washes off probably 90% of the dirt, oil, grease under the hood. I cover the carbs with plastic shopping bags. For the distributor, I remove the wires and then cover it with another bag. Just be careful with the pressure washer around the radiator...it will bend the cooling fins.



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1965 Fastback, 289, Toploader 4 Speed, owned by me since June 1980. Originally a C-code with a C-4. 5R09C16****
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 03:36 PM
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I've just used engine degreaser on any heavy deposits on the engine or wheel wells/firewall. Use some low pressure water to rinse, keep any open electrical connectors covered including carb and distributor/coil. Otherwise, could do as already stated and use high pressure washer. Low pressure water without any degreaser won't do much good with oil.

My engine bay is painted flat black and I don't have any oil leaks (yet) so any oil or grease is hidden for the most part. Are you entering into Greenwood Car Show? I'm in Seattle area as well.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input everyone. I think it cleaned up pretty good. I covered the important items and washed the engine and engine compartment with just soap and water.

The car show is called Fenders on front Street in Issaquah Washington. Sponsored by Evergreen Ford. This car show is on Fathers day June 16th. I'm getting a head start on detailing my car. Next is breaking out the chrome cleaner. And then on to the interior. And that will entail just a good wipe down.
She's coming along nicely, I think👍

Has to throw one in of my little buddy (grandson).😃
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