The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Everyone's Elise's seem to have engines so clean that they hardly look used. Mine is starting to get nasty looking. I have never cared about a clean engine before but with this car, it's different.

How do you folks keep your engines so clean? Just a huge amount of paper towels and some degreaser and spend time wiping every last part you can reach? Is there a better way?

Thank you!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
1,511 Posts
Careful degreasers can cause a reaction on your aluminum if left too long. I spray carefully on warm not hot, use bottle brushes rags etc and rinse carefully. Make sure your bottom pans are all off. My first deep cleaning I actually used a pressure washer on the really bad spots avoiding all electrical connectors. Leaf blower, compressed air with wand, rags and more bottle brushes for drying and final wiping.
 

·
Premium Member
2005 Elise LSS Saffron Yellow
Joined
·
756 Posts
My favorite engine cleaner remains Gunk Engine Brite (or whatever they call it now). It's basically kerosene and a detergent in a spray can. Because everything in the engine bay is designed to be exposed to oil vapor, it's pretty nonviolent. Warm the engine, spray it on, scrub at anything especially nasty with a nylon brush (old toothbrushes work, too), then rinse off with a hose, ideally with warm water, then take it for a drive to dry everything out. You want to avoid all the electronics as much as possible, but it's pretty easy to do this on an Elige.

I would avoid aqueous caustic cleaners - they do indeed discolor alloy parts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
I use hand cleaners like gojo, goop, and fast orange to clean everything with greasy slop . Boat bilge also. Just take a hand full and start massaging everything by hand with whatever it takes to get into small tight spots like small paint and wire brushes. Engine doesn't have to be hot and rinses off with water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
While were on that subject; my engine is super clean but the bare sections of what appears to be lost foam method cast aluminum is turning dark. As it's a rough surface I can't use typical aluminum polish. Is there a spray and rinse product that will brighten these areas?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
1,511 Posts
You might try this product on a small test area.....https://www.amazon.com/Aluminox-Aluminum-Brightener-Gallon-Concentrate/dp/B00IAY71AA
 
  • Like
Reactions: Robocop305

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
You really have to be careful with the "aluminum brightener" products. They're strong acids that will attack metal quickly. Be sure you can flush the area with large amounts of water when done.

That said, the results can be really impressive. I find that cast aluminum doesn't brighten like mill plate or billet pieces do. Also, be careful about using this on anodized components. This is how you strip anodize from aluminum.

Here's a before and after for you. I removed the silicone before using the brightener.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Yes, it does seem that most of the "brighteners" can cause the metal to white out. Don't think I'll risk it.
 

·
Dreaming of Lotus
2005 Elise Sport Touring
Joined
·
112 Posts
Does anyone know if using a metal wire brush or rotary tool (dremel) with a steal head brush like this is a good idea?


Makes me nervous, but it makes a big visual difference.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,540 Posts
Grinding any metal surface with a wire wheel will allow oxidation much faster. If you do wire wheel metal parts you need to either paint it or spray on some type of clear coat in order for it not to oxidize quickly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DAaaMan64

·
Administrator
Joined
·
1,511 Posts
Brushes of all types just not metal, cleaner(s) and elbow grease.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,652 Posts
steel wire brushes can leave bits of steel behind causing ugly rust spots. Stainless or brass wire if required.

I have used one on my engine, unless it was apart being rebuilt
 

·
Dreaming of Lotus
2005 Elise Sport Touring
Joined
·
112 Posts
Grinding any metal surface with a wire wheel will allow oxidation much faster. If you do wire wheel metal parts you need to either paint it or spray on some type of clear coat in order for it not to oxidize quickly.
It seems crazy to me that such a big channel for detailing would recommend such a technique. Especially without complaints in the comments.
 

·
Registered
2006 Lotus Exige
Joined
·
57 Posts
I like Simple Green but I heard it is bad for aluminum so it may not be best for our cars.
 

·
Premium Member
2005 Elise LSS Saffron Yellow
Joined
·
756 Posts
Simple green is indeed corrosive to aluminum. There's a reason we keep recommending non-caustic cleaners... Oh and ferrous wire wheel very bad for several reasons. If you want to go that route, use one of the carbide sponge things.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top