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Well, I've always wanted under the hood the be shiny and look like new again.

I've read in some places to spray WD-40 let it sit, then wipe it off. But I see to bad things about this.

WD-40 is Flammable first of all, and second of all it's oil based, so won't it just attract more dirt and dust?

What should I use to clean under the hood?
 

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question right up my alley (I own my own professional detail shop)

First thing is first get rid of all the grease an build up. Let your engine warm up and then spray on some good degreaser (Simple green works well for over the counter products) soak it good and soak everything under the hood. Don't foget the underside of the hood itself.

Now your best option is a heated powerwasher. If you can't get ahold of one use a good PSI (cold I would go anywhere between 1400 and 2200 PSI anything more could actually damage stuff under the hood anything less and it's a fruitless effort really) Otherwise your in for the long route with a hand scrubbrush a bunch of terry towels and a garden hose. regardless of your path just make sure you get a clean engine bay (the long route could easily take up hours out of your day)

Then you have your choice on how to shine it. Vinyl Protectant (armor all) is ok for a low shine luster that makes it look close to new. For lots of shine you can use tire shine like dave said. Here's a quick before and after pic of a engine detail I did this summer.
 

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the big helper with that is definatly the heated power washer... some higher end self car washes offer heated power washers in the stalls..
 

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that one was actually quite easy. it's the older engine bays that are difficult with stuff that really can't get wet. New stuff can get soaked to the bone with no ill effects. Old trucks are the worst. We have a 68 impala come in a few weeks back for an engine clean. That was a PITA same with the 72 el-camino that came in. This new stuff with all the plastic is actually a breeze.
 

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jakerooni said:
that one was actually quite easy. it's the older engine bays that are difficult with stuff that really can't get wet. New stuff can get soaked to the bone with no ill effects. Old trucks are the worst. We have a 68 impala come in a few weeks back for an engine clean. That was a PITA same with the 72 el-camino that came in. This new stuff with all the plastic is actually a breeze.
Yah, I did my 78 Cougar when I first got it. .. plastic bag over the carb and the dizzy..

All it did was reveal fresh rust under flaky paint. The grease looked better, :lol:
 

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I helped Jake detail that vehicle in the picture. If memory serves me right we just soaked the engine in a citrus based degreaser (engine was warm already) and let it soak for a few minutes, then just hit it real well with the heated power washer. There was no need to cover or remove any components, they are built to take the water exposure. Then we just hit it with tire shine for the plastics (it was a dealer car, we were going for the shiny new look). Just let the dressing soak for a bit and then wipe the excess off, it seriously has no more than like 5 minutes of labor into that detail.
 

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You'll be fine, its mainly older engines with a carburator and distributors that have problems with being power washed. Just try not to spray the alternator or exposed wiring for extended periods of time, they are build to take water exposure, but not to be completely submersed in it
 

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Dont spray any water in the air filter or into the throttle (duh!) you can cover it with a plastic bag... also don't spray directly into the alternator.
 

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Black Magic makes a product called 2-In-1 Engine Shine. Its pretty decent but mostly on lightly soiled engines. I would go with the traditional heavy spray degreaser with a separate shine chemical when the engine is particularly dirty. Purple Power is a good degreaser for the engine compartment. Simple Green was good until it virtually disappeared off the market. I been using Advance Auto Parts Tire Shine for the post-cleaning dress in the engine. Seems to last a good long while in anything but the most severe dirty environments.

The Black Magic 2-In-1 Engine Shine does not have as much gloss as using a Tire Shine but there has been some argument that overglossing can be a visual problem. It is subjective. I placed in a major car show with the Eldorado using tire shine but the car is a low-mileage stock restored survivor.
 

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planetcadillac said:
Black Magic makes a product called 2-In-1 Engine Shine. Its pretty decent but mostly on lightly soiled engines. I would go with the traditional heavy spray degreaser with a separate shine chemical when the engine is particularly dirty. Purple Power is a good degreaser for the engine compartment. Simple Green was good until it virtually disappeared off the market. I been using Advance Auto Parts Tire Shine for the post-cleaning dress in the engine. Seems to last a good long while in anything but the most severe dirty environments.

The Black Magic 2-In-1 Engine Shine does not have as much gloss as using a Tire Shine but there has been some argument that overglossing can be a visual problem. It is subjective. I placed in a major car show with the Eldorado using tire shine but the car is a low-mileage stock restored survivor.
Black magic is not a very good product to use. It's full of pertrolium fillers. Basically it's a cheap cover up that's really not good for the enviorment if it gets washed off. Much better products out there sitting right next to black magic on the shelf.
 
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