Cleaning the engine bay is not hard. Get you a gallon of good purple power or similar, mix it with some water, soak the engine with it, let soak, rinse, repeat as needed....Overly simplified, but you get the idea. To help out use a putty knife or screw driver to help remove the thick build ups.
NOTE: before you waste to much money on chrome, be sure everything is in good working order. You may even want to do a complete tune-up. No one will see your pretty engine bay, if it's broke down in your drive way.