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Here is what I have heard. I haven't tried it, but is sounds like it might work.
5 Steps to Detailing a Engine - With Professional Results
Windex (3-4 bottles)
Armor All (or some other tire/rubber protectant 3-4 lg bottles)
A couple of old socks
Water hose and low pressure nozzle
Buy extra, you can always use it somewhere else. Naturally stay away from any potentially sensitive areas that are not water resistant. On my car I had a cone intake filter and the distributor but everywhere else was good to go, on the coach there was a couple of areas with fuse blocks and I just stayed away from there. Don't forget the genny if it's an open design.
Step 1: Liberally spray Armor All EVERYWHERE you can, don't be stingy. It'll act as a penetrating agent and is safe for every surface i can think of. You want it to cut the grime.
Step 2: Close the compartment then Start and run the engine to warm it up. The heat will help the Armor All penetrate the accumulated grime. Apply more ArmorAll anywhere you see soaking up and drying out. After 5 minutes of running warm (doesn't need to get to full temp). Turn it off.
Step 3: Apply the Windex EVERYWHERE. This will cut (dilute) the Armor All. Start and run for 5 more minutes (close the hood you want it to be steamy if possible).
Step 4: Take the water hose and gently wash away the grime and stuff from years gone by. There's not much thats not waterproof on a engine but stay away from high pressure.
If you still have pockets of heavy grime you can spot treat directly, scrape it away, etc... or repeat 1-4 again.
Now you can stop here if you want and the results will actually be quite good. Subsequent Windex treatments are needed if you are going to touch up the paint anywhere, as the Windex doesn't totally remove all of the ArmorAll. But to take it to the next level try the socks and a little more ArmorAll.
Step 5: With the socks on your hands spray a little more Armor All lightly and wipe down everything in sight. This will even out the protectant and get rid of dry spots on the hoses. They will look ,ike NEW. Be careful of sharp edges. The results generally will make the engine, hoses, paintwork look FACTORY FRESH. Better results than any I have ever seen from a "Detailer".
One last note: Don't do this in the driveway. The road grime coming off is disgusting and will stain your concrete and possibly garner the DW's wrath. Do it at the curb if possible
2000; F250; 7.3; 2wd; manual tranny; extended cab; 121k miles