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View Full Version : Spring Detail (1st Phase): Engine Detail



akimel
Mar 30th, 2009, 03:15 PM
I am breaking my spring detail of my Luthien (2007 Honda S2000) into several phases, all to be accomplished (hopefully) over the course of the next month. Today I tackled phase #1: the engine detail.

I have never detailed an engine, and I confess I was more than a bit nervous. Yes, everyone says it's all very safe, as long as one takes the proper precautions; but what if I get it wrong? Anyway, today I decided to roll the hard six and do it.

Here were my steps:

1) Cover the alternator with a plastic bag and stuff a towel into the air intake.

2) Spray down the front end with water from the hose. I understand this is desirable, just in case some of the degreasing solution should get onto the painted panels.

3) Lightly spray the engine with water.

4) Liberally spray the engine with Megs' APC+ (diluted approximately 8/1). In retrospect I think I might have sprayed a bit more than I did.

5) Brush the areas I could reach. I used two different brushes: a soft tire brush I had picked up from AutoZone and a Swissvax detailing brush. I think I rushed this step. Next time I will slow down and try to do a more thorough job. I was concerned that the APC would dry out before I could get to it.

6) Rinse the engine. I rinsed it fairly thoroughly. All the articles say to avoid the electronics, but heck if I could figure out where the electronics are. This was the nerve-wracking moment. Will the engine start?

7) Remove plastic bag and towel. Start-up the engine and let it run for 5+ minutes. This is supposed to assist the drying. More importantly, I just wanted to know that the engine would run.

8) Dry the areas of the engine I could reach with a towel.

9) Spray the engine liberally with CD2 Engine Detailer (http://www.turtlewax.com/main.taf?p=2,2,2,1). I picked up the CD2 at AutoZone.

10) Per instructions, let the engine sit for 20 minutes with hood up.

11) Per instructions, run the engine for 20 minutes with hood down. This is supposed to help the CD2 to set up and spread properly.

During this time I gave the front end of my car an ONR wash.

12) Open the hood and dry off with a towel any excess liquid.

I then proceeded to finish the washing of the car, with special attention to door and trunk jambs. I later waxed these areas with Cleaner Wax.

Finally I went looking for my camera. I did not take any "before" shots, as my engine looked fairly clean before I began. "Before" shots are so much more compelling and dramatic when the "before" is dirt and neglect disaster. Here are the "afters":

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/IMG_0479.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/IMG_0480.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/IMG_0483.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/IMG_0484.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/IMG_04872.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/IMG_0485.jpg

I was pleased with this first attempt. I was especially pleased that my Luthien survived and lives to drive yet another day.

I welcome your suggestions for improvement.

Cheers,
Al

J. A. Michaels
Mar 30th, 2009, 03:28 PM
I do not believe I have ever seen a cleaner engine. Great work. It looks fantastic.

TimG
Mar 30th, 2009, 03:33 PM
Very clean indeed! :doublethumbsup2

Tuck91
Mar 30th, 2009, 03:59 PM
looks great Akimel, I like to use M40 as a dressing for my engine as it cleans/conditions nicely.

Markus Kleis
Mar 30th, 2009, 05:57 PM
Holy smokes, is that a new car? That is one CLEAN engine bay!

akimel
Mar 31st, 2009, 12:40 AM
I should have mentioned that in the beginning, as my first step, I warmed up my car for about a minute. I am beginning to think that I was wrong to warm up the car even a little. I had read on Autopia (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/%5BURL=http://www.autopia-carcare.com/inf-engine.html%5DAutopia%5B/URL%5D) that one should do that, that it makes it easier to remove grease. Next time I will begin with the engine stone cold.

Murr1525
Mar 31st, 2009, 12:52 AM
Hard to say... warming the engine might loosen some stuff, but also quicken the drying times elsewhere.

RaskyR1
Mar 31st, 2009, 11:41 AM
Looks great Al!

Only thing I would suggest is to maybe take off the gold cover and make sure no water got down in the recessed area for the plugs.



Rasky

akimel
Mar 31st, 2009, 11:51 AM
Egads! Take off the gold cover? That's more intimidating for me than hosing the motor!! :nervous1

sudsbyhubbs
Mar 31st, 2009, 11:59 AM
Nice work Al :xyxthumbs

RaskyR1
Mar 31st, 2009, 12:04 PM
Egads! Take off the gold cover? That's more intimidating for me than hosing the motor!! :nervous1

I'm sure you are fine but on some older Honda/Acura motors I have seen water get down in there....of coarse we were using a pressure washer too. :D

akimel
Mar 31st, 2009, 04:16 PM
A question for the experienced engine bay detailers: Should I have covered up the battery? I did spray it with APC+ and I did subsequently rinse it with the hose. Was this wrong or dangerous?

02zx9r
Apr 15th, 2009, 08:53 AM
curious as well

roushstage2
Apr 15th, 2009, 10:01 AM
You may just want to watch the posts for any corrosion starting. If so, pick up a can of CRC Technician's Grade Battery Cleaner with Acid Indicator and spray the posts down, then just rinse with some water, ironically. Works quick and pretty dang well without any scrubbing too. Just did this on the Roush actually.

http://www.crcindustries.com/catalog/images/Cleaners%20and%20Degreasers/05023.jpg

stump
Apr 18th, 2009, 12:16 PM
i just love a clean engine! congratulations!

as for the dressing, i prefer hiper dressing for the engine and all exterior plastics, M40 is watter soluted and wont las as long on the engine as hiper dressing. i clean my engine twice a year and its the dressing is still there.

akimel
May 14th, 2009, 02:01 AM
For future reference, I want to register a correction to the process I outlined. After the application of the CD-2, I first allowed the engine to sit untouched for 20 minutes, per instructions, to allow the resins to penetrate and the solvents to evaporate. I then ran the engine 20 minutes. I misread the instructions at this point. I needed only to run the engine a few minutes (hood up). The directions then state that 20 minutes of normal driving will help the dressing to form a smooth uniform coating.

Alex C.
May 14th, 2009, 11:36 AM
Nothing wrong with cleaning and dressing the battery. Just try to not get any dressing on the posts. But as Tyler said, it can easily be removed with battery cleaner. They also make rubber covers that protect the posts.

xantonin
May 14th, 2009, 11:45 AM
That's odd, if you were so concerned with electrical parts, why didn't you disconnect the battery?

I know a lot about cars and I will disconnect my battery before detailing the engine. Then to be safe I cover the negative wire that connected to the battery in a plastic bag.

When I did my mothers car though I just covered the negative terminal with a paper bag but didn't disconnect it.

Alex C.
May 14th, 2009, 12:05 PM
That's odd, if you were so concerned with electrical parts, why didn't you disconnect the battery?

I know a lot about cars and I will disconnect my battery before detailing the engine. Then to be safe I cover the negative wire that connected to the battery in a plastic bag.

When I did my mothers car though I just covered the negative terminal with a paper bag but didn't disconnect it.


Disconnecting the ground is not entirely necessary. An extra precautionary step yes, but not a must. I've never felt the need to disconnect the ground anyways. But i do take the time to cover up the posts and cable ends with painters tape. Then i blast it with APC and dressing.

xantonin
May 14th, 2009, 12:13 PM
Oh I agree it's not necessary (hence why I didn't do it with my mothers car)

However if you're concerned over electrical issues the simplest way to avoid any problems is to eliminate the electrical source from conducting any electricity at all.

Just makes sense to me. You can wash a keyboard in the dishwasher and use it afterwards (assuming it's 100% dry and no soap remaining), however if you poor water on it while it's plugged in, you'll fry it. Same for your cell phone, if you remove the battery you can get it wet, if you allow it to dry it should still work (unless you have other water damage caused).