Surprise, it’s not a Kranzle! This is not the most extravagant set up, nor is it the best or the prettiest out there. But you will get a lot of value for your money. For this build, we ended up just using extra wood that we found in our shed, and shelving arms from one of our closets. This is not the cheapest option, nor is it the most expensive, but it is highly adaptable, and upgrading in the future will be as simple as purchasing a new pressure washer. While piecing together our set up, we had to keep in mind that although we prep cars, we are not a car wash. Equipment is expensive, and I much rather spend our hard earned money on equipment that we spend more time using. The prewash and rinse is probably the shortest time that we spend on a vehicle in the prep stage.
For car washing, flow (GPM) is most important. The volume of water coming out at a given rate, i.e. more water = more rinsing power. Ideal pressure for washing cars is around 1200 - 1400 PSI. That said, the SunJoe 9004-Pro is rated at 1300 PSI Max and 2.0 GPM, but we know that they’re overrated. The reality is closer to 1.7GPM and 1000 PSI, which is just fine for the purpose that we use it for. There are scientific tests done by some other detailers out there on what produces the best foam cannon suds, but honestly in my opinion, either way you’ve already got it better than a foam gun. It is more important of your wash process than it is the amount of suds your gun spits out. Does Schick or Gillette make better shaving cream?
Do note that the SunJoe SPX 9004-Pro kit comes fully fitted with its own gun and hose, but we found it to be quite flimsy and plastic, and the hose (25ft) is not long enough to go around the car. Depending how far you will be mounting this, we recommend having at least a 50 feet hose. The unit is quite heavy, about 40lbs, so it’s not the easiest to maneuver either.
For this DIY, which is mainly for the hose and reel set up, you can swap out the pressure washer to any other of your choice. Do keep in mind that Sunjoe units have a special pressure out fitting, it is not the standard M22-14, but rather a M22-15. Generally, the pressure hose threads are National Pipe Thread “NPT” syyle.
Tools and materials used for this project:
Sunjoe SPX 9004-Pro
We did a lot of research on the parts used, and for the components, we wanted to stick with parts that will last. The PW, not so much. It’s an equipment with a pump. Pumps fail all the time.
We chose Hannay reels after much research (Titan was the other option) as they are built to last, and have a much better reputation than comparable (in price) options; like the Coxreel, or General Pump options. The one pictured is a manual reel, which actually doesn’t take all that long to reel back up. But we actually scored a Hannay N718-19-20-10.5G (Spring rewind — self retracting) reel on eBay for a really good deal, but we will install that once we get set up in a shop setting.
Regarding the spray gun, the SGS28 is a very stoutly built gun and feels great in the hand. You will definitely want the underlined S version, which comes with a swivel connector on the bottom. This will reduce you instances of kinked hoses since it can spin freely. Pair this up with a MTM Kobrajet hose; which has a swivel on one end (use at opposite end), and a non-swiveling side (connect to gun), that way you have swiveling ends on both sides.
You can add as many quick connects as you want to make this more modular for your needs. However do keep in mind that most leaks happen at connections, so the less adapters and connections you have, the better. One thing to keep in mind are the types of metals that you are using. Brass is most common and economical, but stainless is much more corrosion resistant. When transitioning between brass and stainless, keep in mind that there may be a slight galvanic reaction between the two, and so try to make those transitions at connectors where you use teflon tape to separate the two material types.
Lastly, one of the drawbacks of the 9004-Pro is that it does not have a built in auto-shut off. Not an issue in most cases, but if you plan to idle the pressure washer for more than two minutes (as to not generate too much heat cycling the water at the pump), the added wireless remote stuck to the top of your gun will make it convenient for you to turn off wherever you are.
Get’cho foam on!
Approximate Cost of project: $500
Time: 2-3 Hours
Difficulty: Easy to Medium
Want to save a buck, or get a little more fancy?