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  1. #1
    Coleroad's Avatar
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    Undercarriage detailing

    are there others out here that pay attention to the undercarriage too? I`m surprised by the lack of conversations about here. Twice a year I put each of my vehicles up on stands. Take off all four wheels, lay them on some polystyrene sheets. I start with doing a very thorough upper engine detailing. Then I go to each wheel well where I throughly clean what I can reach from there. Then I get on the creeper, and start cleaning underneath the car. Bucket with cleaner, and various brushes, cheap microfiber towels, Cheap microfiber wash mits. I get in every knook I possibly can. Then I go back and use 303 on every plastic and rubber piece from the engine to under the car. I spend about four to five hours on each car just doing that part. I`m chomping at the bit for winter to end so I can do this now. The first time is the hardest. After all the parts have had 303 or spry wax on them it gets easier. Vacuum hoses, rubber brake lines, etc, stay in much better shape. This spring I`ll have to take some pictures of my work. Just wondering if there`s others who take it to the same extremes, and not talking about show cars.

  2. #2
    LEDetailng's Avatar
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    Re: Undercarriage detailing

    Quote Originally Posted by Coleroad View Post
    are there others out here that pay attention to the undercarriage too? I`m surprised by the lack of conversations about here. Twice a year I put each of my vehicles up on stands. Take off all four wheels, lay them on some polystyrene sheets. I start with doing a very thorough upper engine detailing. Then I go to each wheel well where I throughly clean what I can reach from there. Then I get on the creeper, and start cleaning underneath the car. Bucket with cleaner, and various brushes, cheap microfiber towels, Cheap microfiber wash mits. I get in every knock I possibly can. Then I go back and use 303 on every plastic and rubber piece from the engine to under the car. I spend about four to five hours on each car just doing that part. I`m chomping at the bit for winter to end so I can do this now. The first time is the hardest. After all the parts have had 303 or spry wax on them it gets easier. Vacuum hoses, rubber brake lines, etc, stay in much better shape. This spring I`ll have to take some pictures of my work. Just wondering if there`s others who take it to the same extremes, and not talking about show cars.
    You’ve come to the right forum!

    This time of year almost everyone is more concerned about the appearance of their paint, but it is the under carriage that needs to be cleaned more often. I cannot stand dirty frames, if I had access to a lift I would clean more of my undercarriage.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Undercarriage detailing

    I don`t have the capability to get under our cars to clean the undercarriage so I built an undercarriage sprayer from PVC. Not perfect, but at least they get a good rinse every time I do a wash.
    "If your Personal Beliefs deny what`s objectively true about the world, then they`re more accurately called Personal Delusions" Neil deGrasse Tyson
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  4. #4

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    Re: Undercarriage detailing

    Since it is winter time, I was looking for info on this and what people do do clean that "salt" that gets UNDER the car, not just what gets on the paint.

  5. #5
    LEDetailng's Avatar
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    Re: Undercarriage detailing

    Quote Originally Posted by pwaug View Post
    I don`t have the capability to get under our cars to clean the undercarriage so I built an undercarriage sprayer from PVC. Not perfect, but at least they get a good rinse every time I do a wash.
    Built a PVC sprayer last year, just too cold this year to use it.

  6. #6
    LEDetailng's Avatar
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    Re: Undercarriage detailing

    Quote Originally Posted by JPGood View Post
    Since it is winter time, I was looking for info on this and what people do do clean that "salt" that gets UNDER the car, not just what gets on the paint.
    Depending on how much ground clearance your vehicle has, look at going to a self-service car wash and spray off the frame with their pressure washer. You can use the car wash’s pre-rinse soap as a detergent for the undercarriage. When we had our self-service car wash in town I would spend 5 minutes just pressure washing the underbody and wheel wells.

    If you are really ambitious, you can bring your own hot water from home in 5 gallon “gamma sealed” buckets. Gamma seals allow you to do a proper 2 bucket wash in the middle of winter.
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  7. #7
    Coleroad's Avatar
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    Re: Undercarriage detailing

    IMG_0058.JPGMyself for rinsing off the salt and brine in the winter I bought one of these. The Underwasher :: Hose accessory that lets you clean under your car, RV, boat or ATV!. Made in the good ole USA. Wheel to help move it around. Not expensive, but yes costs more than making a pvc version. Plus with this you can add a soap dispenser. I add purple power boat and car wash, not PP degreaser. This makes for good maintenance washing. This picture is from the bottom of my 03 Lexus. It`s a bit dirty at the moment, but as you can see no rust going on. I chose this car of mine because it`s my oldest at the moment.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  8. #8
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    Re: Undercarriage detailing

    Where are you at in Colorado?
    Reflective Impressions
    www.instagram.com/reflectiveimpressions
    Authorized Feynlab Installer

  9. #9
    Coleroad's Avatar
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    Re: Undercarriage detailing

    Monument

  10. #10
    LEDetailng's Avatar
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    Re: Undercarriage detailing

    Coleroad:

    that 03 SC430 looks great. My next car I’m looking down south to find something that has zero surface rust underneath. I hear some states out west do not use salt on the roads.

  11. #11
    Coleroad's Avatar
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    Re: Undercarriage detailing

    I lived in Michigan most of my life, so I know what you`re talking about. Here in Colorado I`ve seen sand, brine, and salt used. It`s trust there`s a lot less rust on the southern cars, but they all aren`t rust free. Dirt plus high humidity is like holding a wet sponge against the metal.
    .
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  12. #12

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    Re: Undercarriage detailing

    Every vehicle, every wash, every time, pretty much every square centimeter. As I`ve often posted, the first and last hours (if I work really, really fast) of every wash are spent on such areas. In many ways, I consider the undercarriage and engine compartment detailing a *LOT* more important than the obvious parts. Who cares if your hood`s nice and shiny if something functionally essential has issues? And anyhow, IMO it`s downright disrespectful to ask a Tech to work on something that`s not nice and clean.
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  13. #13
    LEDetailng's Avatar
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    Re: Undercarriage detailing

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    Every vehicle, every wash, every time, pretty much every square centimeter. As I`ve often posted, the first and last hours (if I work really, really fast) of every wash are spent on such areas. In many ways, I consider the undercarriage and engine compartment detailing a *LOT* more important than the obvious parts. Who cares if your hood`s nice and shiny if something functionally essential has issues. And anyhow, IMO it`s downright disrespectful to ask a Tech to work on something that`s not nice and clean.
    What does your maintenance wash of the undercarriage consist of? I’m curious, that is impressive to wash the undercarriage every wash. I’d use a pressure washer broom every “winter” wash if I had a PW and a heated garage. No luck on either.

  14. #14

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    Re: Undercarriage detailing

    LEDetailing- Heh heh, "impressive" is a nice polite way to describe it Sounds better than "obsessive"...

    Heh heh#2, maybe your not having a heated garage means that, unlike me, you don`t let your Detailing Tail wag your Real Estate Dog

    Eh, this is gonna burn bandwidth, I oughta write it up properly sometime, but here`s a thumbnail sketch:

    The Tahoe is high enough that I can slide under on the creeper, the others get jacked up (yeah..with stands too) in two stages- front/back halves, always keeping both front/rear wheels off the ground so I can spin them regardless of the differential(s),which makes cleaning the wheels much easier. I do that set of wheels/wells and then do that half of the undercarriage (and redo/touch up the back sides of the wheels to get `em better).

    Surprisingly enough, I hardly *EVER* use the pressure washer for this! Like...I virtually never get under there with it. I do start with a thorough rinse using my Undercar Wand from American WaterBroom.

    Goggles on for eye protection, I slide underneath with my spraybottle of wheel/wells shampoo mix (same ratio as my foamgun mix- 7:121 ratio). Spray everything with that and slide back out, letting it dwell. Grab the appropriate brush (usually BH but plastic is OK for driveshafts/etc. and the Tahoe`s surface-rusted frame rails). Clean/rinse/repeat as needed, usually using three different brushes. When everything`s nice and clean I lower it back down and repeat for the other half.

    If I find something really nasty I use some APC, but that only happens when something`s sprung a leak.

    After I`ve finished the rest of the wash and dried things off, I repeat the front/rear jacking so I can go back under and dry everything with a Drying Aid, often using a spray wax.

    (The good cars have proper LSPs on various undercar stuff, but mostly the SprayWax/etc. is sufficient.)

    After a few years of such treatment, it seems to get a LOT easiser, I guess the SprayWax/etc. builds up. I used to need APC all the time, but hardly ever do now.

    I`ve lost count of the times a Tech has said "good thing you spotted that stray drop of lube near your [whatever], another xx miles and it would`ve been serious!" It`s easy to see anything amiss when it`s clean, and even if you`re kinda ignorant you get used to how things usually look and notice anything that`s different.

    (Repeat all that for under the hood.)

    I`m looking forward to trying out my new Lonn Cleaning gun (siphon-feed, compressor-powered), might make things quicker/easier.
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  15. #15
    Coleroad's Avatar
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    Re: Undercarriage detailing

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    LEDetailing- Heh heh, "impressive" is a nice polite way to describe it Sounds better than "obsessive"...

    Heh heh#2, maybe your not having a heated garage means that, unlike me, you don`t let your Detailing Tail wag your Real Estate Dog

    Eh, this is gonna burn bandwidth, I oughta write it up properly sometime, but here`s a thumbnail sketch:

    The Tahoe is high enough that I can slide under on the creeper, the others get jacked up (yeah..with stands too) in two stages- front/back halves, always keeping both front/rear wheels off the ground so I can spin them regardless of the differential(s),which makes cleaning the wheels much easier. I do that set of wheels/wells and then do that half of the undercarriage (and redo/touch up the back sides of the wheels to get `em better).

    Surprisingly enough, I hardly *EVER* use the pressure washer for this! Like...I virtually never get under there with it. I do start with a thorough rinse using my Undercar Wand from American WaterBroom.

    Goggles on for eye protection, I slide underneath with my spraybottle of wheel/wells shampoo mix (same ratio as my foamgun mix- 7:121 ratio). Spray everything with that and slide back out, letting it dwell. Grab the appropriate brush (usually BH but plastic is OK for driveshafts/etc. and the Tahoe`s surface-rusted frame rails). Clean/rinse/repeat as needed, usually using three different brushes. When everything`s nice and clean I lower it back down and repeat for the other half.

    If I find something really nasty I use some APC, but that only happens when something`s sprung a leak.

    After I`ve finished the rest of the wash and dried things off, I repeat the front/rear jacking so I can go back under and dry everything with a Drying Aid, often using a spray wax.

    (The good cars have proper LSPs on various undercar stuff, but mostly the SprayWax/etc. is sufficient.)

    After a few years of such treatment, it seems to get a LOT easiser, I guess the SprayWax/etc. builds up. I used to need APC all the time, but hardly ever do now.

    I`ve lost count of the times a Tech has said "good thing you spotted that stray drop of lube near your [whatever], another xx miles and it would`ve been serious!" It`s easy to see anything amiss when it`s clean, and even if you`re kinda ignorant you get used to how things usually look and notice anything that`s different.

    (Repeat all that for under the hood.)

    I`m looking forward to trying out my new Lonn Cleaning gun (siphon-feed, compressor-powered), might make things quicker/easier.
    Sounds a like what I do too, except I put it up on all four jackstands. I have never used my pressure washer to clean the cars. One exception is the Land Rover lr3. If I`ve been off-roading, it`s the only way to clean it from top to bottom. You are absolutely right it cleans easier after using the spray wax, 303 etc. on them.
    I`m glad I`m not the only one who has gotten so OCD about how I take care of my cars.

 

 
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