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Discussion Starter #1
My E's engine no longer looks as clean as when we bought it (used) a year ago. Thought I'd give it a birthday present by sprucing it up. Never having cleaned anything under the hood before (this is the first vehicle I've ever owned where "lookin' good" is high on my priority list), I hope someone can help with a bit of advice.
I've recently seen television ads for products like this portable steam cleaner. Would they do the job. and if so, has anyone used a particular model they liked? Thanks! :)
 

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you might want to look for the DIY thread on engine bay cleaning. EOC member Abulven as well as some others have done it, without a steam cleaner though.
 

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no way

Don't do it. Steam (if it is really high temp steam and not just hot water) will make all the wiring insulation brittle and the hoses etc. don't benefit from it. There is so much plastic under the hood nowadays you can warp or make most of it brittle.
 

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E-Watson...

First of all, your engine should be COLD before you start! Park your car in a place that you don't mind filthy water hitting the ground. Take some laundry detergent, Tide, etc. and sprinkle it on the ground under your engine compartment. This is for the ground clean up after you're done. You can actually clean your engine with a regular garden hose and an adjustable nozzle. Buy, or borrow an electric leaf blower.

Your next step is to take some Saran wrap, or the even those plastic bags that they wrap your clothes in when they come from the cleaners. Then take a pair of scissors, and cut plastic pieces to size, so that you can wrap and cover any, and all, electrical components, air intake, wiring, sensors, alternator, fan belt, etc. Then use a product like Gunk CITRUS Engine Bright Cleaner and Detailer, which you can buy in a spray can from most auto parts stores.

Generously apply the cleaner all over the engine, and spray even more on the dirtier areas. You're going to use almost three quarters of the can, or even more. Any over spray that gets on your fenders, wipe off immediately with a wet cloth. Take a half inch paint brush and go back and forth over the extra dirty areas and spray a little more. Let it sit and do it's thing for about 10 minutes.

Now take the garden hose, turn all the way on, adjudt your nozzle to a medium spray and thoroughly rinse the enging off. Immediately take the blower and completely blow out all the water. Now start the engine and just let it run for about 10 to 15 minutes. "DONE!!!" Your engine is totally clean, I go a step further and hand detail and polish mine, at this point, that's up to you! Lastly, move your car, then take the garden hose and rinse the laundry detergent off the ground. You wil notice that you have no stains on the ground from using this method.

Chief
 

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Hood Struts

Chief,

Are those aftermarket hood struts or did they come on the 05 models? If they are aftermarket let me know where you got them.
 

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Chief,

Are those aftermarket hood struts or did they come on the 05 models? If they are aftermarket let me know where you got them.
They are aftermarket Hood Dampers, and actually made for an Acura, but easily modified to fit an Element. They are from...

NRG Innovations
HD-130CF
Engine Hood Dampers (Carbon Fiber)
02+Acura RSX CF


Chief
 

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Hood Struts

Chief...thank you very much my friend. You have an interesting Avatar. I am guessing you are a Native American Vietnam Veteran. I am a Viet Nam era veteran as I never did get to go over there. Almost though. I originally had orders to HAL4 but for some reason they got cancelled. I have been retired from the Navy for over 20 years now...still kicken'
 

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A fellow EOC friend here, Spotman, uses this product called Purple Stuff (I think) he got at Wally World. Sprays down the engine compartment and hoses it off. I'm not sure if he runs the engine for a few mins to get it warm or if he does it cold. Says it gets great results.
 

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Chief...thank you very much my friend. You have an interesting Avatar. i am guessing you are a Native American Vietnam Veteran. I am a Viet Nam era veteran as I never did get to go over there. Almost though. I originally had orders to HAL4 but for some reason they got cancelled. I have been retired from the Navy for over 20 years now...still kicken'
You are quite welcome, glad I could help. You are correct, I am a Bayou-Lacombe Choctaw and I did two tours in Vietnam in the Brown Water Navy, on a Mark II PBR Gun Boat. It's always great to meet another veteran, especially a Navy man! There is a Military section on this forum also, you can find it under the quick links!

Stay strong,

Chief
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Don't do it. Steam (if it is really high temp steam and not just hot water) will make all the wiring insulation brittle and the hoses etc. don't benefit from it. There is so much plastic under the hood nowadays you can warp or make most of it brittle.
Thanks for the advice. Makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
...Now take the garden hose, turn all the way on, adjudt your nozzle to a medium spray and thoroughly rinse the enging off...
This is what I was hoping I could avoid by using a steam cleaner. I admit I'm a bit squeemish about spraying water on the engine :oops:, but you (and others) have obviously done this with great results - thanks for the photos. The only problem now is that the temperature here is well below freezing and I'm worried that I might end up with a big ice block. Oh well, I guess my E's going to have to wait till spring for a proper cleaning.
 

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This is what I was hoping I could avoid by using a steam cleaner. I admit I'm a bit squeemish about spraying water on the engine :oops:, but you (and others) have obviously done this with great results - thanks for the photos. The only problem now is that the temperature here is well below freezing and I'm worried that I might end up with a big ice block. Oh well, I guess my E's going to have to wait till spring for a proper cleaning.
GOOD MOVE!!!

Chief
 

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E-Watson...

First of all, your engine should be COLD before you start! Park your car in a place that you don't mind filthy water hitting the ground. Take some laundry detergent, Tide, etc. and sprinkle it on the ground under your engine compartment. This is for the ground clean up after you're done. You can actually clean your engine with a regular garden hose and an adjustable nozzle. Buy, or borrow an electric leaf blower.

Your next step is to take some Saran wrap, or the even those plastic bags that they wrap your clothes in when they come from the cleaners. Then take a pair of scissors, and cut plastic pieces to size, so that you can wrap and cover any, and all, electrical components, air intake, wiring, sensors, alternator, fan belt, etc. Then use a product like Gunk CITRUS Engine Bright Cleaner and Detailer, which you can buy in a spray can from most auto parts stores.

Generously apply the cleaner all over the engine, and spray even more on the dirtier areas. You're going to use almost three quarters of the can, or even more. Any over spray that gets on your fenders, wipe off immediately with a wet cloth. Take a half inch paint brush and go back and forth over the extra dirty areas and spray a little more. Let it sit and do it's thing for about 10 minutes.

Now take the garden hose, turn all the way on, adjudt your nozzle to a medium spray and thoroughly rinse the enging off. Immediately take the blower and completely blow out all the water. Now start the engine and just let it run for about 10 to 15 minutes. "DONE!!!" Your engine is totally clean, I go a step further and hand detail and polish mine, at this point, that's up to you! Lastly, move your car, then take the garden hose and rinse the laundry detergent off the ground. You wil notice that you have no stains on the ground from using this method.

Chief
Hi Chief,

What kind of a cold air intake do you have on your E?
 

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A fellow EOC friend here, Spotman, uses this product called Purple Stuff (I think) he got at Wally World. Sprays down the engine compartment and hoses it off. I'm not sure if he runs the engine for a few mins to get it warm or if he does it cold. Says it gets great results.
I need to clean my engine bay out too, it's filthy! I'll try the the Purple Stuff, Wally World here I come!
 

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Hi Chief,

What kind of a cold air intake do you have on your E?
It's the K&N Short Intake which is the only one that is currently approved in the State of California.

Chief
 

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