How I Clean & Detail my RZR
All right...for those that keep asking how I keep my RZR so pristine, the following is my process and I will give up some of my "secret" methods!!!
Disclaimer: The following information will make some of you sick to the stomach, cause severe eye rolling, and even perhaps comments such as "this fricken' guy is crazy"!!!
First off, I remove the ancillary equipment, i.e., lock & ride trunk, gas and cooler mounts and occasionally the bench seat, 4 point harnesses, the rear bed and wheels.
I never use a pressure washer, just my hose and regular adjustable nozzle. I rinse the machine down; ensuring all of the loose dirt is removed, paying particular attention to under the fenders and all of the crooks and crannies that dirt and mud collects. This takes me approximately 10 minutes depending on how much dirt and mud I have been through.
I use any ‘ole kind of soap, whether it is laundry soap, dish soap, etc...I'm not worried about stripping wax like on a vehicle. I use lots of soap to keep the water as soapy as possible. The soapier it is, the more lubricated the water is, therefore helping to eliminate any potential scratching to the painted finish. I use a couple of small sponges, one for the upper surfaces that have less dirt and the other for the under carriage. I also have a long handle pots and pan scrub brush for reaching into the tight spots and getting in and around bolts, corners, etc. And yes, I even have an old toothbrush for the really tight spots.
Starting with the roof, I work my way down the machine, washing one section at a time…for example, the roof and roll bars, then the bed and rear fenders, the interior, etc.
As I finish each section, a thorough rinse follows. One of my special tools is a fine horse hair brush (looks like a larger toothbrush). I use this to wash around the body fasteners, the joints between the bed rails and the fenders, the crack between the fender flairs and fenders and so on. The horse hair brush will not damage the finish.
I am a very detail oriented type of guy, so I take the time to thoroughly clean every square inch of the RZR in great detail.
Washing the topside of the RZR may take me about an hour and a half, including the interior. Since I have the bench seat, I try not to soak it down too much…I don’t want to saturate the foam underneath the fabric (through the 4 point harness holes).
Once the topside is done, I move on to the rear underside. I use Simple Green cleaner that is slightly diluted. I use a spray bottle to coat the chassis, engine, fender wells, etc. I find Castrol Super Clean works well too, but will stain aluminum and chassis paint if left on too long. Every so often I will use the Super Clean to degrease the A-Arm mounts. If I do this part, I ensure I re-grease them when I’m done so the Super Clean doesn’t seep into the A-Arm bushings and break down the grease.
With sponge and brushes in hand, I tackle the one corner at a time. I wear the blue latex mechanics gloves when cleaning the under side, otherwise my knuckles are a bloody, scratched up mess from getting into all the tight spots! Again, another thorough rinse when I’m done each section. Quite often I use tweezers to get the hard to reach stones, pebbles, twigs and crap out of the places my paws just won’t reach!
I almost forgot, I stuff a rag into the CVT exhaust so I can rinse to my heart’s content underneath the bed...as well as an exhaust plug.
The four underside corners are very time consuming for me, I will estimate it takes me almost two hours to clean the underside, chassis, engine, wheels and suspension.
Once I’m done, the whole RZR gets one last thorough rinse. I then remove the CVT exhaust rag, exhaust plug and fire up the machine. I take it for a quick rip up and down my street to get rid of all the water that’s pooled up in the corners!!!
Using only clean micro fibre rags, I dry the machine up as much as possible.
At this point, it’s back into the garage and within a day or two when all is dry…this is when the detailing starts.
I use several products for this part. My favourite is Maxima SC1 Clear Coat Silicone Spray. Another is Lucas Slick Mist and Armor All “Ultra Shine” Protectant (not the regular Armor All product).
My roll bars take a lot of abuse from branches and therefore get tons of rub marks. I use two products to shine them up; 1. Mequiar’s Deep Crystal System Paint Cleaner followed up by a coat of wax, and 2. Nevr Dull Metal Polish again followed up by a coat of wax.
The exterior non-painted black plastic is subjected to a thorough spray of the Armor All “Ultra Shine” and then using a micro fibre cloth, is wiped down uniformly. The textured plastic will absorb the liquid, so a couple of coats is done. The Stealth Black painted body has a semi-gloss finish, so regular car waxes don’t really help here unless there is a rub mark that needs to be removed. This is where the SC1 comes in…I liberally spray the painted surfaces with this product, let it “soak” in for half a minute and using another clean micro fibre cloth, I polish the body. Another clean micro fibre cloth is used to buff the painted body to ensure an even sheen. If there is a nick in the OEM graphics, I use a small pointed tip, black Sharpie to cover it up...underneath the matt black graphics, the decal is white!!!
Using the first micro fibre cloth that polished the body (SC1), I use this cloth to blacken the miscellaneous parts such as the plastic shoulder “nets”, passenger grab handle and essentially everything else that needs to be detailed and blackened. Again, I use the horse hair brush to get into the cracks and crevices that residue dirt may have reared it’s ugly head during the time the RZR was drying.
Back to the chassis:
Depending on how much product I have left on the shelf, I will use either SC1 or the Armor All “Ultra Shine” for the underside. I will normally wipe down any excess dirt I may have missed during the washing. I purchase numerous cans of silicone lubricant spray from Canadian Tire. I will spray down the whole underside quite liberally with the silicone spray, all of the suspension, engine, wheel wells…everything!!! The silicone spray will blacken wiring, the plumbing lines, rubber components, etc, but at the same time, will keep these materials from hardening and cracking…i.e., engine mounts. The silicone spray will obviously help with the next round of cleaning since mud and water will bead off of silicone. The silicone spray dries relatively fast, but leaves a blotchy finish on metal. This is where the SC1 and/or Ultra Shine comes in. I will spray the whole underside with either product. If I use SC1, I will buff the main metal components with a micro fibre cloth to regain the factory sheen. The one nice thing about these two products is that if there is missed dirty areas that are impossible to get at, it will make it look like I have disassembled the whole machine to get it spotlessly clean.
If you use the Ultra Shine, just spray it on and leave it…avoid the temptation to wipe it down before it dries…there will be white Armor All puddles and drips everywhere. Trust me on this one….wait until the next morning and you will be amazed with what you see…hence all of the comments I constantly get saying I never drive my RZR!!!
Once the machine is spotless, I will use Tom’s Secret Formula environmentally friendly B-404 All-Purpose Lubricant to lube all of the moving parts….the shift linkage, tilt steering shock, brake and gas assemblies, u-joints, bushings, steering linkages, etc.
Yes, this whole process takes A LOT OF TIME…and it requires an eye for detail and tons of patience, but for me, it’s worth it. I feel at rest when my RZR is cleaned and detailed just waiting to get dirty again. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, this whole ritual is relaxing for me and I enjoy it…not as much as riding though!
In the long run, all of this cleaning and maintenance will pay off, it has on my other quads…gear lasts longer, less crap in bushings and bearings and the silicone sprays will also act as a rust inhibitor when metal parts have stone chips or nicks.
I hope this helps y’all out who are as anal as I am when it comes to cleaning your machine that you dumped your hard earned dough into!!!