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Deep Cleaning an Abandoned Eagle Talon TSi After 12 Years Is a Tough Job

Rejoice as a decade of crud is washed away.

If there’s one thing car enthusiasts love, it’s seeing an old decrepit car restored to its former glory. As this Eagle Talon TSi demonstrates, the right detailing techniques can take a car from filthy to fresher than you could believe possible.

The car was tackled by WD Detailing, which posted a video of its restoration to YouTube. The all-wheel-drive coupe had been sitting for 12 years, having lost its engine at some time in the past. Several exterior panels were also missing, with the paint buried under a thick layer of dirt and crud. Inside, the car hadn’t fared much better, with plenty of mold and dirt making it an inhospitable place to be.

Work first started on the wheels, which were heavily sprayed down with cleaning solutions before being power-washed clean. Some signs of damage were evident, and the wheel caps and several lug nuts looked to be missing. However, they’re good candidates for further restoration back to their former glory.

Detailing the body started with a power rinse just to remove as much of the bulk dirt buildup as possible. A touch of degreaser and a hearty brushing helped to clean out behind the gas cap, too. It’s an area commonly missed at the start of a detailing, which can ruin your work if the grime in there washes out later.

Following the rinse, the car got a full-body foam and a rub down with sponges to remove more stubborn buildup. In an unconventional technique, the team then used a clay pad on a power buffer to clay bar the car. The decision was made due to the poor state of the paint on the car. Using the buffer sped up the claying process considerably.

From there, a polish finished the exterior restoration. The front fenders and pop-up headlights were sadly beyond saving due to the clear coat having flaked off long ago. However, the rest of the car comes up acceptably shiny after being caked in dirt for so long.

Inside, the job involved vacuuming first and foremost, along with pulling out all the trim pieces that had been disassembled and dumped inside. In a particularly satisfying moment, the moldy seats, center console, and door cards were sprayed down and steam cleaned to bring them back to near-fresh condition. Sadly, the carpet wouldn’t release all of its stains, but heavy treatment with degreaser and a wet-and-dry vacuum made a big improvement.

It’s great to see this 1990s classic go from a filthy wreck to a workable project car. Here’s hoping it gets a fresh turbo heart transplant so it can drop some joyous four-wheel burnouts before long.

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