How to Prepare a Dirty Engine for Painting

One of the most impressive improvements you can do to your car is clean and paint your engine and surrounding engine compartment. No matter how good the car looks or sounds, what you see under the hood makes or breaks the over all impression of the car. Nothing looks better than opening the hood to show a nicely painted engine sitting inside a clean, detailed compartment.
1. Choose a place to clean your engine. All that grease, oil and grime has to go somewhere when it comes off. Lay plastic down to contain the wash off for disposal. Some places it is illegal to wash “engine cleaners and oils” into the storm drains. Use a commercial facility that properly processes the water.
2. Material needed: engine degreaser*, plastic bags, duct tape, paper towels, a hose with a hi-pressure nozzle or use a car wash facility.
3. Remove loose dirt and grease buildup first. Use a wire brush.
4. Disconnect battery cable.
5. Cover electrical components. Fuse & relay boxes, alternator*, engine computer. Use plastic bags and tape to hold them in place,
6. (Optional step) Remove distributor cap and rotor. Stuff paper towels inside cap and replace. This will help getting it to start afterwards.
7. Cover distributor. Use plastic bag and tape to hold in place.
8. (For carburetor engines) Remove air cleaner. Place paper towels on top and cover with plastic bag and tape to hold in place.
9. Spray on degreaser. Make sure you get into all nooks and crannies. Let soak for 10-15 minutes.
10. Use wire brush on heavy build up areas to help loosen it up.
11. Spray degreaser on again. Let soak for 10-15 minutes.
12. Wash off. Use hi-pressure stream.
13. Wait 15 minutes for water to drain off. Remove plastic and tape. Remove distributor cap, remove paper towel, dry cap with paper towels, install rotor and cap. Re-install air cleaner if removed.
14. Reattach battery cable.
15. Allow to dry completely before painting.






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