Subject: Clean Engines And Culinary Delights

   by Larry Reynolds
   Why should you clean the engine compartment? Rust prevention, early
   oil/fluid leak detection, early belt wear detection and cosmetics are
   among the prime reasons.
   To soften the grease and grunge collected on your engine compartment,
   start the engine, let it warm up for a few minutes and shut it off.
   The proper cleaning temperature of the engine is warm but not hot. If
   you can just hold your hand to the engine without burning it, then it
   is warm enough to clean. As the engine cools to proper temperature,
   use the time to cover the few openings on a Porsche motor that dislike
   ingesting water. The air intake/air filter, the distributor, the coil
   and the oil dipstick/breather are among the few sensitive areas.
   Use plastic baggies and rubber bands to cover the air intake/ air
   filter(s) and the distributor/coil. Place a double layer of baggies
   over the air intake and secure with a couple of rubber bands. Use a
   pair of two gallon size baggies to cover the distributor and plug
   wires around the distributor cap. This may be difficult to seal, but
   the idea is to prevent significant amounts of water possibly shorting
   out the distributor. If the cap is in good condition, it will be
   "waterproof," so this is only a preventative measure. The coil is also
   "waterproof," so baggies are again a preventative measure. Check the
   tightness of the oil filler cap, the power steering filler cap,
   windshield washer fluid cap, oil dip stick, battery filler caps and
   all other engine compartment opening caps and secure baggies over them
   with rubber bands.
   One area on 1983 to 1988 944's that is often overlooked, is the timing
   belt inspection opening on the cam gear drive cover (the silver metal
   base beneath the distributor cap). There is a 3/8" inspection hole at
   the one o'clock position. There should be a rubber plug in this hole.
   About 40% of all 944's I have inspected are missing this plug. If
   yours is missing, place a couple of baggies over the cam gear cover
   and secure with rubber bands. (You could also plug it with your
   finger, but this will somewhat limit your reach.) The best bet is to
   order a new one (924S/ 944/944T - #944.105.131.00; 87-88 944S -
   #944.105.131.01) and pop it in.
   Now that your engine is warm and sealed, spray the entire
   engine/engine compartment with a quality non-petroleum based
   degreaser. Try to start from the bottom and work up. This way, you
   don't have the degreaser dropping on you as you clean the underside
   areas. My two favorite engine cleaners are P21S Total Auto Wash and
   Wurth Citrus Degreaser. I find that either of these two products will
   clean thoroughly, and not harm the paint or finish of the aluminum
   components. One note of caution, all degreasers will remove your nice
   coat of wax. If you get overspray on the waxed areas, plan on
   rewaxing. Allow the degreaser about 3-5 minutes to work and then use a
   100% cotton towel or a "SOFT" brush to "GENTLY" brush the heavily
   soiled areas. Respray and rebrush any areas that need additional
   Once the entire engine/engine compartment has been cleaned, rinse
   thoroughly with water. There is a debate as to the optimum force of
   spray to rinse the degreaser. Some say a gentle spray is all that is
   necessary, while others advocate the use of a high pressure spray. Use
   your common sense, the stronger the spray, the more likely you will
   get water in sensitive parts. If all areas are properly protected, you
   should have no problems with a stronger spray. If any areas need
   additional cleaning, repeat as necessary.
   Once the engine/engine compartment is clean, immediately remove all of
   your plastic baggies/rubber bands. Dry any "puddles" and aluminum
   parts with a soft 100% cotton towel. Use paper towels to thoroughly
   dry the battery (if it is in the engine compartment). Start the engine
   and allow it to warm up. This will dry the rest of the engine and
   evaporate any moisture that may have collected in sensitive
   Once everything is dry and has completely cooled, you may wish to
   apply a coating of rubber protectant to the rubber hoses, rubber
   wires, plastic shields and rubber gaskets. Meguiar #42 Rubber
   Treatment, Meguiar #40 Vinyl/Rubber Treatment, Sonax Rubber
   Maintenance Spray or Wurth Rubber Care Spray all work extremely well.
   I do not recommend treating the underside of the rubber belts, as this
   makes them reluctant to turn their respective pulleys, with somewhat
   interesting results (this is somewhat like waxing brake pads).
   The painted areas of your engine compartment should be waxed. If there
   are any areas that are difficult to reach, Sonax makes a spray wax
   that requires little buffing and offers excellent protection. Spray a
   light coat on these areas and buff as much as possible. Two thin coats
   are much better than one heavy coat.
   If the aluminum areas are dull or have whitish corrosion, a mild metal
   polish will help restore the finish. Two of my favorites are Wurth 21S
   Metal Finish Restorer Polish and Blue Magic Metal Polish. Use a soft
   100% cotton towel and work a small amount into the surface and buff
   out with another cotton towel.
   Check the battery terminals, to ensure that they are clean. If not,
   disconnect the cables and clean both the cable terminals and battery
   posts with a wire brush. Reconnect the terminals and re-tighten. Wurth
   makes a nifty Battery Terminal Spray that protects the terminals from
   corrosion and changes from yellow to pink if there is battery acid
   All of the hinges, throttle cables, cruise control cables and hood
   shocks should receive a thin coating of non-silicone lubricant such as
   Wurth HHS-2000 Spray Lube. Lastly, check all fluid levels, remove any
   stray baggies and you are finished!
   Now that your engine compartment is squeaky clean, it may be time to
   prepare some culinary delights. Some of my favorites from the
   "Official Road Kill Cookbook" include windshield wabbit, grilled
   grouse, manifold muskrat and, last but not least, phender pheasant
   roasted to perfection on the intercooler of a 930 Turbo.
   For any help and additonal information please contact me:
     Larry Reynolds also operates Car Care Specialties Inc.,
     Distributors of Quality Porsche Care Products,
     Post Office Box 535,
     Saddle Brook, NJ 07663-0535.
     Phone 201-796-8300, Fax 201-791-9743,