Now we are coming to my favorite area to look at in older cars--the engine bay. Back then there weren\'t any giant plastic covers to cover up all sorts of messy electric wiring so engines were exposed in all of their functional glory. And, because engines were so simple, tinkering with them isn\'t so intimidating. I have a soft spot for polished aluminum valve covers and clean engine bays. They don\'t have to be super clean, however. A car that is driven a lot will inevitably have a build-up of crud and dust. This is what the engine bay of the Love Wagon looked like when we got her running again after five years of neglect.
Keen eyes will notice that the putty was used to smoothen out where the fenders attach to the unibody. This is a big no-no.
Here is the bay from another angle. It is really filthy. This is what happens when a car is neglected for five years. Surprisingly, the engine runs good, except for the leaking intake manifold.
I like this angle, because we can also see how rusted the front bumper is. I would open up the hood for friends and they are always amazed at how much space there is in the engine bay. Here\'s what the engine looks like today:
Some wires are still exposed but I will get around to tucking them in one day. I polished the valve cover myself, by the way. I highly recommend Autosol metal polish and a rotary buffer. I removed the valve cover first, of course.
Some purists prefer that the radiator top be painted black, but I enjoy polishing it in this state. It looks good to me.
I was fortunate that the original markings on the air cleaner remained intact. We preserved it. I love that it has Japanese \'Engrish\' on it.
Finally, we managed to free the VIN tag underneath a layer of putty and paint. It is no longer fresh, but it bears some really nice scars. Note that the Love Wagon was distributed by Chrysler Philippines. The challenge now is to keep the bay as clean as possible. More posts to come! Photos by Enrico Subido