Body: Washing the Underside

This weekend I began moving towards bodywork by cleaning off the underside of the “tub.” There was a lot of built-up dirt and road grime, along with grease, on the bottom of the body. It took a lot of effort to remove it, softening it up with water, spraying it with detergent, and then scrubbing with wire and bristle brushes. It wasn’t glamorous work, but I am trying to enjoy this (the best I can) last major cleaning effort of the project.

Here are a couple of pictures of the body from the front and side. The engine bay was pretty greasy to begin with.

Here is the engine bay and area under the right front fender, where a lot of dirt had accumulated.

And here are some shots of all of the dirt under the rear of the body.

Here is a final picture of the side from underneath. I began by spraying the whole thing down with the hose.

I sprayed the engine bay and then used my spray bottle to apply some Simple Green.

Then I used a scouring pad to clean up the engine bay and try to remove as much dirt and grease as I could, and then rinsed again.

I followed the same procedure on the area underneath the front fenders.

I wet down the transmission tunnel from the front and underneath the rear of the car and sprayed on Simple Green.

On the rear wheel wells, where the dirt was very thick, I perfected the technique I used on the rest of the car.

I wet the wheel well with the hose and then sprayed with Simple Green.

After allowing the detergent to soak in a bit, I went to work with a wire brush to loosen the dirt and scrape through in areas to the underlying metal.

Then I used my scrub-brush and more Simple Green to scrub the area thoroughly.

After the brushing I rinsed and repeated if/where necessary.

Here are before and after shots of the rear underside.

And the under-fender areas after cleaning.

Then I went to work on the front underside and tranny tunnel.

I removed the front drain plugs from the floor pans as well as those from the trunk recesses behind the wheel wells so the water would drain. I blotted up any pooling water using an old towel.

Then I wheeled the body back into the garage and ran my dehumidifier overnight on HIGH. The body was dry to the touch within a few hours. Then this morning I wheeled the body back outside for my scrubbing.

I went to work again on the underside with the scrub-brush.

I tried to clean out inside the cowl area the best I could and went over the engine bay again.

The transmission tunnel was difficult to clean.

Before moving the body back into the garage for drying, I lowered the front end on the body stand to facilitate water drainage.

That, a couple of hours air-drying in the record heat, and the dehumidifier in the garage have seemed to do an effective job drying up the water on the body.

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