Engine dress up kits.
"Get dressed for success"
Engine dress up kits are a simple modification that can typically be installed in an afternoon.
Car shows would not be what they are if people ignored the little details.
Something grabs your attention when you see a clean engine with brightly coloured hoses, polished surfaces and carbon fibre panels.
Without stripping the engine a simple engine dress up kit can completely transform the engine bay.
Even a dull standard engine can be made to look impressive with a few shiny and brightly coloured components. Keeping an engine clean can be a difficult task. The engine will often leak oil, grime and dirt from the road is thrown up into the engine bay.
This leaves the engine looking dull & grimy and all of your mates have immaculate engines so what can you do?
All hoses can be replaced with silicone hoses which have a longer life span and are easier to keep clean than rubber ones. Buy an engine dress up set of hoses from the same manufacturer as there can be a lot of variation in colour.
Keep the theme and colour of the engine consistent. Some use red dress up hoses to indicate coolant pipes and blue for air, some prefer to stick with one colour for all hoses and some will also paint key engine components like the exhaust, head and cam cover to compliment.
Braided hoses are more resistant to wear and look great so get braided hoses fitted to your brakes and to any other area of the engine bay.
Avoid the clip on hoses which work in a similar way to pipe lagging, these are generally made of cheap plastic and will not last very long, as with all styling mods the more effort you put in the better the end result will be.
When fitting new silicone water hoses always flush the engine through and fill it with new coolant afterwards - it is a false economy to put the old stuff back in.
Check for leaks after you finish, running the engine for 30 seconds and then after a short run. A coolant leak could be fatal for the engine so don't take chances.
Many new engines are fitted with plastic covers. After a while they start to discolour and the dirt and grime become embedded. You can protect the plastic covers with an engine cleaner which dissolves the dirt and oil allowing you to wash this off and then after allowing the engine to dry off a final application of the engine cleaner will add a protective coating.
Alternatively look for a polished engine cover or get a chromed plastic one - metal is much easier to keep clean and it looks really shiny. One show car that impressed us at TorqueCars had a gold plated engine, apparently gold is very resistant to corrosion and dirt so it was quite easy to keep clean but to be honest this might cost a little more than you were planning to spend.
As with all styling modifications keep it to a simple theme and plan first.
Things will always look messy when you start slapping on parts at random and turn a potentially stylish car into a cheap and tacky affair.
Neon lights can also be fitted to the engine bay and leds or strobes will create a favourable impression.
You need to be careful that these lights do not show through the front as you are driving along - the best solution is to fit a kill switch that turns them off when you are not parked up and posing!
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