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Engine Detailing

edited March 2013 in Projects
I'm going to be starting a project that's very small in comparison to the other ones in this area but thought I might as well document it and contribute to the forum. I want to clean up, detail and polish the engine bay of my new to me Miata. I would love to have the end result look like some of the engines in this post here. http://www.forevermx5.com/site/2009/08/detailing-and-dressing-up-your-miatas-engine-bay/

I'll do some the initial cleaning this week before I need to move to my new apartment. I was wondering if anyone had ideas on how to get the valve cover, manifold and heat shield polished like in the pictures in the post. Does anyone have equipment to accomplish such a job? I'd be willing to pay if you could help me take off the part, polish then get it back in. Was thinking I would do this in April.

I'm also thinking I'll install a polished air intake in the near future to add to the look (and some performance) and may do some color accenting like these guys did.

I've got the "before" pictures already taken and will post soon - hopefully I'll have some satisfactory "after cleaning" shots within a week since right now it's pretty grimy. This process should also familiarize me with most of the engine parts as I'm relatively new to getting under the hood.

Cheers!
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Comments

  • have you considered painting it instead of polishing? might save you some time while still giving you the look you want.
  • Haven't considered that - I guess I imagine burning paint smell at high temp's - not sure if that would happen though...
  • You shouldn't be generating temps high enough on the valve cover and intake to burn paint, as for the heat shield i wouldn't try painting it. now that that stock intake appears to be cast aluminum its going to bit harder to get paint to adhere that. although polishing is always a classic look.
  • ive used some of the "high temp" paint on manifolds and charge pipes before and had pretty good results with them. I forget the exact brand name I used but orielly's has some decent high temp paint
  • VHT makes great quality paints and they have an exhaust paint that can supposedly withstand 2000F.

    The bays you posted were very nice and definitely a good goal. The best way to start would be removal of components then media blasting them. Once blasted some sanding will need to be done. If your stock intake manifold is casted then it will have that natural bumpy feeling to it, those bumps will need to be knocked down which is a huge project. I think it would be a good idea to source another valve covet and intake manifold so that you can clean, shave and polish them at your leisure. It will cost more but will take the time crunch out of it. I wish I had more time, polishing that valve cover would t be hard for me. We have a media cabinet and now will have a bench top polisher. I polish a lot of aluminum on my motorcycles and soon on the dubs.
  • Here are the before pictures. Should have the after pictures in a week or so. Also, got inspired by clean engines today at the MN Auto Show in Minneapolis :)

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  • Pretty damn clean to begin with!
  • I was gonna say, cleaner than all my cars.

    Actaully the WRX had a very clean bay when we bought it, I should try to maintain that
  • And now I did my first cleaning; overall it turned out decent and there were no electrical issues after which was one of my main worries while spraying the hose in the engine bay (I taped up wires and plugs and covered the alternator in aluminum foil). I think next time I'll do the final scrubbing with a headlamp or flashlight so I can get in some of the nooks and crannies a little better. Overall though I'm content for a first cleaning; I'll probably do another in a couple weeks.

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  • Purdy! I wouldn't spray the engine bay too often, I can't imagine it's a good thing for some electrical components





    Edit: goddamnit i can't type coherent thoughts today. I meant "wouldn't spray..."
  • I always thought it couldn't be that had, I mean, I have a hood scoop and my motor/bay is constantly getting wet and it's no problem...Granted pressure washing is kinda another story tho.

    Looks good!
  • Yeah, I think that the whole spray down is only needed every once in a while; otherwise you can get by with just some minor spraying and wiping. I didn't have any problems with just covering the electronic bits I could see with painters tape.
  • Grayguy" said:
    I always thought it couldn't be that had, I mean, I have a hood scoop and my motor/bay is constantly getting wet and it's no problem...Granted pressure washing is kinda another story tho.

    Looks good!
    Yea....an engine bay is not water proof.



    I've gone to the coin-op with a can of engine degreaser a few times. Do the engine first, then do the rest of the car, that's plenty of time to let things dry off if they need to. First time I did it was in high school, and we through a t shirt over the disty of my buddy's jeep, but I think that was overkill.
  • Jake" said:
    VHT makes great quality paints and they have an exhaust paint that can supposedly withstand 2000F.
    They stack on my diesel is painted with VHT matt black and see's over 1000 degree air daily. It doesn't phase it.
  • Mirror shine polishing is pretty labor intensive, im a fan of powdercoating... makes for the shiny
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