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want to clean up my engine compartment but
I'm concerned I am going to destroy some electrical component.  First, I bought some degreaser spray.  Second, I live in a townhome complex and can't really send a wash of degreaser and dirty water down the courtyard area.  so that means I need to do this at the self-service carwash using the hand sprayer.  I know the force of water coming out of these spray guns, but I'm thinking if I stand back far enough and only use an indirect spray, it might be ok.  I plan to: bag and tape the battery area, distributer, and alternator.  my car is a barn find, and whats holding me back is the idea that too much spray is going to dislodge some wire that is ancient, or get water into some place it shouldn't be.  any tips on things I need to be careful about? thanks
Use a spray on engine degreaser to loosen the crud and the car wash spray to rinse it off. The two biggest areas to avoid direct high pressure spray are the distributor and carburetor.

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
All of the spray washes by me, have signs warning against the use of spraying chemicals then washing.
It may foul up the water reclaim system if they use one
Ask at a local service station if you can use/rent one of their bays for a short period of time? You may create a good relationship where you can do other things there as well. I'm in eastern PA and we have a few of those types of stations left. Soon it will only be mini-marts and gas pump islands. In the bad old days (late 1970's / early 1980's) I used to do this in front of my parent's house, but not very often. Used to also do the carb cleaners where the entire street would be full of smoke. I'm sure the neighbors loved that. lol
I just did my Mach 1 that sat for 37 years in barn, lol.
I did not use pressure washer either. Car has not had running water on it in 37 years.
I took front fenders off, hood, tail lights, rear bumper, interior down to bare floor, dash out and rebuilt AC and heater box. I also pulled the engine, transmission and suspension to clean and detail.
I went to K-Mart and got a plastic kids swimming pool that I put on the floor to catch the run off. I just got in there with brush and used Dawn floor washing soap. The main part of the floor under the car was not dirty so did nothing there. 
It is my opinion it is quicker and easier to pull the engine and not try to work around it. Also the core plugs are probably about rusted through and may need changing. 
I wiped down all the wiring with cloth and lacquer thinner. Car now sits in MOM, Mustang Owner's Museum in Concord, N.C..
I would suggest you pull the transmission and engine, put down tarp and get you a kids swimming pool and just get in there and clean by hand. Pressure washer or car wash forces water into places you do not want water to go. I never wash a car with running water just wipe it down. The car in picture has not been buffed and has not had running water on it in 37 almost 38 years now. It just makes people feel good to squirt their car with a hose and feed the rust in all the wrong places. 
I did this entire car in 10 weeks, working so days 12 hours and some days not at all. I am 71. I did not track hours but really was not that many. 
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When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??
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