Cleaning chassis, suspension, engine bay, etc - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Cleaning chassis, suspension, engine bay, etc

My 2006 Elise has 18k miles on it now. The paintwork, star shield and interior are all in nice shape and clean. I went to change the air filter yesterday (speaking of, how the hell to you access it? I had to abort the operation when I couldn't figure out how to get the air box opened wide enough to remove the filter) and while I had the wheel off and the wheel well liner removed, I really got a good look at the engine bay, suspension, under trays and chassis. They are really really dirty and I can't stand it. I live in a city and don't have running water where I park. It's a conundrum because I can't figure out how to do a thorough wheels off detail of the areas I mentioned above.

My real question though is what process would be effective for this type of cleaning, without damaging anything. Is it safe to get the area behind the wheel well liner wet with moderately pressurized water? What about the engine bay? I'm nervous to spray around the electrical components and I'm worried about spraying degreaser or other cleaners on the suspension, brakes, etc.

What I'd like to do, is removed the wheels, well liners and under trays and just blast all those areas with water, followed by a degreaser/cleaner, then rinse, then use a leaf blower to dry everything. I've seen really clean engine bays on this forum. How do people do this? The not having water thing is really challenging, although I did recently purchase Worx Hydroshot, which works very well.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 11:28 AM
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I just started tackling this. Mine is pretty rough and down for the winter anyways, so I just pulled the rear clam to get to everything easily. I am using a squirt bottle with pontoon boat cleaner from Amazon, and that stuff is miraculous. And caustic. Gloves are a must. All I do is squirt that on, it bubbles up nicely, agitate with a bristled brush, then wipe it off with a shop towel. I also ordered some dremel brushes to help out, but it works great as it is.

In the picture, you can see where I have cleaned the transmission and where I haven't for a before and after.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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How difficult is it to remove the rear clam?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 12:44 PM
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Simple Green makes an aviation safe cleaner (safe for all aluminum) and I use that on my Porsche flat six.....does a nice job and not aggressive with alloy's as most cleaners are.

I've never liked a pressure washer on just about anything automotive....it can work water past seals and electrical connectors....the cleaner should do the job unless you have years of grime...just hose rinse for me...
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 01:38 PM
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Since you already have the wheel and wheel liner off, your air filter box is easy to get to now -- through the wheel well. You just undo the clips and wiggle it opened and your filter can be removed. If you want to remove it from above, through the trunk, you need to take off the intake tubing. Both ways are a PITA.


Here's a tutorial on HowTune
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verichai View Post
How difficult is it to remove the rear clam?
Super easy, especially if you do some tricks after the first time. The first time you remove it, you’ll need to remove a seat and the plastic trim behind the seats to get to some bolts, but take some tips from the BOE clam hinge install and you won’t have to anymore. Had I not forgotten about a bolt or two here and there, I could’ve had it off in less than half an hour this past time.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 04:33 PM
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what I did today (it's what I do)....

the before and after pics (sorry about the orientation)

super degreaser, a little scrubbing, rinsed with a hose and dressed with CarPro PERL

this was on a client's car, a 2004 Honda Element with 165,000 miles

for my Elise (2011 that I bought new and has 55,000 miles on it now), basically the same treatment but I have steam cleaned her on occasion

any questions, PM me anytime!
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2011 Persian Blue Elise RS

Last edited by O LEE O; 11-29-2017 at 05:33 PM. Reason: typos
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 08:56 PM
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Any tips on the best way to clean the suspension arms?

2012 Porsche 991.1S white
2007 Exige S arctic silver (project)
2005 Elise magnetic blue/biscuit
2014 Audi Q5 3.0T scuba blue
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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O LEE O...Wow, those are the results I am after. I'm going to PM you some Qs. Thanks!
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