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I posted this in my "build" thread (aka "getting running) and thought I'd share here.

The UIM is such a large part of the engine bay, it's really a shame to have it look poorly. The problem is, being cast aluminum, it can be hard to clean and get good results.

I tried scrubbing with a homemade degreaser (dish soap and water) which did help...some. So, I fished around on YouTube and found this: MMO To Clean Aluminum

I already planned to use MMO in the crankcase, as I've done with many used cars I've bought over the years, due to an intermittent lifter noise. So, I grabbed a couple of quarts from Auto Zone and thought I'd try it on the UIM. Here's the results:

UIM Before
UIM After

I found applying MMO with a toothbrush works well. Agitate it a bit, especially in the crevices, and let it sit. Work slowly. Then dab/wipe off with a microfiber cloth and/or paper towel.

How long will it last? Unknown. Will it attract dust/dirt? Probably. Still, it looks tons better (I think) with 18 years of oxidation removed.

Short of powder coating, the best long term solution is probably painting it with engine paint...which I may well end up doing.
 

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Not a bad start!. Did you degrease again afterwards?

Another possibility is Bleach. I know it reacts with the Aluminum so you would have to be careful to limit the exposure. You wouldnt want to soak it overnight or anything like that, but it may do a good job exposing bare metal quickly.
 
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