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Dirty Cobalt SS 2.0L LSJ Engine

Cleaning the Cobalt's Go Parts

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

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Day three: I've almost finished cleaning the engine.

I love bright, warm summer days — but not when I'm cleaning a black car.

The water spots are near impossible for me to manage.

Because of the incompatibility of the sun and cleaning the Cobalt, I'm forced to wait until the sun is heading down before I can get started — and that leaves me with limited time. In this case, another three hours.

If you're counting, that's nine so far.

It's been so long since I've done anything hands-on on any of the cars that I had nearly forgotten how much I enjoy the sublime Zen of patiently working my way through a project.

I can't say I can remember finding that experience while washing and detailing, though, because it's always been a task I've done racing against the clock. This time, I'm not and it's particularly satisfying — if not slow.

Today, I got the underside of the hood and 3/4 of the engine compartment cleaned just using GreaseMaster, some Scott's Shop Towels, and a collection of brushes. I still need to finish cleaning a portion of the compartment and rinse off the bay.

That's on the agenda for tomorrow. If all goes exceptionally well, I'll get to move on to washing the body with Mothers California Gold Car Wash, cleaning and polishing the glass with Sprayway foaming Glass Cleaner and Mothers California Gold Chrome Polish (it works great on glass), and removing the hazing on the plastic housings for the headlights and reverse lights — they've gotten pretty cloudy over the last five years.

As for what I will use on the plastic lights, I may give Mothers' Plastic Polish a try and/or use the their NuLens Headlight Renewal Kit. Due to the dramatically different shapes of the headlights and reverse lights, they're going to require very different approaches.

All right, that's it for today. Stay tuned, I'll have another update for you as I continue to bring back the Cobalt's pretty.


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