‘Elevating’ the engine bay of the Guru Mobile to new heights via a deep clean and some fresh bolt-ons.
Before any cleaning could take place there were a number of parts that needed pulling off to make way for new shiny ones. Tying the addition of some fresh bolt-ons in with a clean meant that I’d have access to areas of the engine bay that would normally be out of bounds so although it was a little extra work, it would allow me to perform a better quality job and hopefully produce a better quality, more unique video.
Despite the fact it wasn’t set to be replaced the unsightly sound deadening on the underside of the bonnet was also pulled off and ritually set alight in the back garden as what’s the point of soaking up the whooshes, burbles bangs created by the mods that you’ve just spent a pretty penny on?!
With the old bolt-ons gone the improved access was clear to see, as were the various gaping holes which would obviously need plugging and protecting prior to any pressurised water being introduced.
Where possible the larger orifices were carefully stuffed with a towel or in the case of the manifold, my smelly socks which seemed to fit perfectly, before being covered with plastic and secured with either elastic bands or tape, while any remaining exposed electrical components like the alternator, coil pack and ECU plugs were also wrapped, secured and covered in a similar fashion to prepare the engine bay for deep cleaning.
I decided to snow foam first and while it isn’t essential I wanted to do it here to help gently shift any initial loose dirt and allow the degreaser which was to be subsequently applied to attack the ingrained grime more effectively.
While that was soaking the edges of the underside of the bonnet were first degreased and agitated with some soft bristled brushes before being rinsed off to remove the potentially streaky residue.
There’s a multitude of capable degreasers out there, however after spending all my pocket money on shiny new engine bay parts I simply went with what I had to hand and to be be fair what I know works, which was good old Autosmart G101 diluted down somewhere between 1:4 and 1:10.
Once the underside of the bonnet and the snow foam had been thoroughly rinsed off the degreaser was then sprayed over the the uncovered areas of the engine bay and worked into its various nooks and crannies with a variety of shampoo-primed detailing brushes to extract the dirt.
This is probably the most important part of the engine cleaning process so it’s important you do a thorough job especially if you’ve gone to the trouble of stripping it down, which is why I took advantage of the fact I’d removed the under tray to give the bottom of the engine a quick clean as well using an old backup Karcher, a lance extension and a Mini Vario Power Jet attachment.
Once adequately degreased top and bottom it was time for one final thorough rinse with the proper pressure washer to remove any residual grime and prepare the area for a detailed dressing.
The towels and protective plastic was then carefully removed piece by piece to allow the bone dry parts hidden beneath to at least see some light cleaning action.
While dressing a wet engine bay using a water-based protectant is a great way to quickly achieve a uniform, all-encompassing finish, I wanted to blow some of the standing water out from certain crevices first just to ensure there were no pools of it left sitting there before the fresh parts were replaced, so got to work with my incredibly noisy but equally effective Sidekick.
I didn’t necessarily want to remove all of the water so once the main areas had been blown over and while it was still damp, the half empty engine bay was liberally sprayed with Autosmart Finish (which is a water-based dressing similar to 303 Aerospace Protectant and Meguiars Hyper dressing) before being left to soak in.
While the dressing was doing its thing the underside of the bonnet was dried off then spritzed, wiped and buffed over with a wax-based detail spray to add some simple shine and this was more than enough for me as the paintwork that had been hiding behind the insulation was pretty poor plus most of the focus will be on what’s underneath it anyway.
Everywhere was then given a final wipe down to remove any remaining dirt, excess product and bring everything up to a roughly uniform finish. If there’s any components like rubber hoses or discoloured plastics for instance that require more than a simple water-based protectant, once dry you can apply a more durable exterior dressing to rejuvenate them further if you fancy but I still feel it’s worth wet coating everything first just incase they don’t.
With most of the bolt-ons removed there was only the odd metal part that needed addressing with a bit of polish, elbow grease and a microfibre towel however I did take the opportunity to give the front face of the intercooler a once over with some wire wool while the bumper was out of the way.
And that was pretty much that for the cleaning and detailing so it was finally time to move on to the most satisfying part of the process (at least from my perspective), which was refitting the collection of new and freshly refinished parts to help bring it all together.
The colour-coded, machined and hand-brushed intake manifold was first fixed into place which included being mated to a new blue silicone intercooler hose, before a crisp looking trio of carbon-dipped plastic parts were added which despite being fake, still helped to smarten things up considerably.
Fresh from California, a new thermally coated intake and turbo pipe, complete with fat blue filter and powder coated ECU bracket were then progressively plumbed in, a new chunky strut brace was satisfactorily slotted into place and secured and the whole shebang was finally finished off with a simple billet aluminium oil filler cap.
And there we have it! A deeply cleaned, detailed, refreshed and upgraded T5 engine bay that finally does the Guru-Mobile daily driver the justice it deserves.
I’ll be periodically maintaining it all from here on in with a dry snow foam application, gentle pressure rinse and light re-dress every couple of months as well as giving a quick wipe down following every wash to help keep it looking as good as realistically possible.
The posh new parts probably won’t affect the performance a great deal as the T5 was already pushing its limits so their addition is more of an aesthetic thing, however I’d say the in depth detail was probably worth 50bhp at least!
All that was left to do now was fire it up and check for vacuum leaks of which, as far as I could tell, there were none.
It might not be the most exotic engine bay in the world but for a manufacturer generally considered to be pretty boring I think the deep clean and fresh bolt-ons certainly helped ‘Elevate’ it to new heights.