Chantilly, VA

R32 Nissan Skyline


Engine Bay detailing and cleanliness can really improve the appearance of your vehicle and show how much you care your vehicle. It can extend the longevity of parts, makes working under the hood more enjoyable and will aid in resale. At Tabula Rasa Fine Auto Detailing in Chantilly, Virginia we had the chance to do a cleaning of the engine bay of a R32 Nissan Skyline.

Below is a picture the customer sent me when the engine was being swapped. In hindsight I should have tackled this when the engine was out.

First step to getting this engine bay back in shape was to thoroughly clean the entire area to remove as much surface dirt and any oils that have leaked from the car over the years. First I used a degreaser, in this case Meguiars Super Degreaser, let it soak for a few minutes to loosen up as much of the heavy buildup.

Try not to get this in the exterior painted panels or windows and if it does spill over onto these areas rinse them right away. Once it has dwelled for a few minutes use a large boars hair brush to agitate all the surfaces before thoroughly rinsing the entire area. Once that has been done use compressed air to blow all standing water off of the engine bay components.

After the engine bay is dry you can try to further enhance the look of the engine bay with polishing of any paint or metal. I did a test spot on the shock tower to ensure the results would meet the customer’s standards. Using a Rupes Ibrid Nano one inch rotary, Blue Rupes Cutting Pad and Chemical Guys V32 Compound the improvement was drastic on this 25 year old paint.

With the engine in the car and the keeping the customers budget in mind I picked the areas that would need enhancement to improve the overall look of the engine bay. I tackled the shock towers with the Rupes Nano but when It can to the upper firewall, the brake lines posed a bit of a road block.

This was working ok at best. But at size of the foam and area I was working on needed something faster to knock out the bigger sections and save the foam for more intricate areas.

As you can see these little foam swabs did there jobs in the smaller areas such as this dimple in the fire wall and around any edge or mounting hardware.

In search for a solution I had some old cutting pads in my locker so I grabbed a razor and cut it into small strips I could squeeze behind the brakes lines and the master cylinder.

Here is what I came up with. It worked very well and was long enough to actually cover the entire upper ledge of the firewall. Just added a couple drops of compound and went to town.

Here it is behind the brake lines. Fit nice and snug but wasnt wide enough to excessively move the lines. If you notice in the background I released the mount holding them onto the firewall so the 25 year old plastic wouldn’t break.

Working left to right you can see the transformation is drastic.. This is not a show car so it didn’t need to spend a lot of time focusing on perfection, just improvement. A compound and some elbow grease got this area looking much better.

When it was all said and done these were the results of restoring the upper areas of the engine bay. Remember this project was done based on the customer’s budget and desired results.. I removed the weather stripping on the radiator support and the battery tie down. This allowed me to keep the natural line going around the engine bay and that is what the customer desired. The end result was an amazing improvement and really enhanced the look of the engine bay.


To learn more about how we can transform your vehicle, view our services. Whether you are from Reston, VA or in the Chantilly area, I look forward to the opportunity to detail your vehicle.

Save up to $250 on a custom detailing package


To learn more about how we might be able to help clean up your car before your next lease turn in, contact us.