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Carbon Build-Up Cleaning - The right way...

Carbon Build-Up Cleaning - The right way...

  #76  
Old 12-24-2013, 06:42 PM
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Battery have a good charge on it? I would make sure of that first. I'd pull the plugs and crank the engine, or I would just let is sit with the plugs out overnight just to make sure everything is dry. This will let you see the plugs too, if they are wet or what, would be a good clue. Then make sure you got it all back together the way it came apart - vacuum lines, wires and connectors. Throwing any codes?


Originally Posted by BC_Rob View Post
Well, my valves are now clean but the car won't start. Tries to turnover but it just won't go. Could I have screwed the timing by moving the crank clockwise with a wrench? I know the valves were closed while I was blasting with walnut shells.
Any thoughts?

Rob
 
  #77  
Old 12-25-2013, 03:40 AM
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Thanks, Mike.

Battery is good.
I did pull the plugs- they looked good but I changed them anyways. I'll take the manifold off again and check to see if an electrical connection is disconnected.
Unfortunately, I don't have an OBD tool to check for codes.

Rob
 
  #78  
Old 12-25-2013, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by BC_Rob View Post
Well, my valves are now clean but the car won't start. Tries to turnover but it just won't go. Could I have screwed the timing by moving the crank clockwise with a wrench? I know the valves were closed while I was blasting with walnut shells.
Any thoughts?

Rob
Same thing happened to me, cranked, but would not start. I had it towed to a local independent Mini shop. They said the cylinders had gas in them (flooded), they took the plugs out and dried up inside and it started right up. So just remove the plugs for a day to let it dry out and hopefully it should start up.
 
  #79  
Old 12-25-2013, 09:24 AM
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Just discovered a nightmare... one of the cylinders was filled with walnut shells! Blasted air in (via spark plug hole) with the vacuum going and looks like it is now cleared. I'd like to think that when the intake valves closed (almost finished closing when the shells snuck by) that's when I tried to start the the mini which means it jammed on a compression stroke. Hopefully I haven't screwed up a valve.
Any thoughts on how to proceed tomorrow?
 

Last edited by BC_Rob; 12-25-2013 at 09:29 AM.
  #80  
Old 12-25-2013, 09:28 AM
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Not sure Rob, but it may be a blessing it didn't start! You might do a compression check to see if you did valve damage. Double check all vacuum and wire connections and cross your fingers. I have mine crossed for you. Some help I am, huh?
 
  #81  
Old 12-25-2013, 10:12 AM
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Kind words and thoughts are always helpful!

Rob
 
  #82  
Old 12-26-2013, 05:59 AM
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Rob, It might be worthwhile to remove the spark plugs and attempt to crank by hand. If you find resistance in one position more than another, you may consider removing the head before proceeding. My concern is that a connecting rod could have been bent if there were enough shells to prevent a piston from passing TDC.

This is not something that I have any experience with. I wish you luck and will be following this to see what you find.
 
  #83  
Old 12-27-2013, 03:15 PM
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Hi Gramps & Mike,
I did as you said and the crankshaft rotated smoothly so I moved on.

I removed the manifold a second time and found a loose vacuum hose- this made me VERY happy. Once I put everything back together it took a number of tries but eventually started! Pretty rough at first and you could really smell the burnt walnut shells.
It's now running like a champ and it seems that no harm was done.
So, for everyone out there, don't get too down if a few walnut shells get into the cylinder... one of mine was completely full and the engine survived!

This was certainly the most extensive DIY job I've tackled on a car and although it was a little scary, I had so much fun!

Now, on to the next mod; it's time to install steel braided brake lines :-)

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and support!

Rob
 

Last edited by BC_Rob; 12-27-2013 at 03:25 PM.
  #84  
Old 12-27-2013, 03:20 PM
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Awesome! Glad it all worked out!
 
  #85  
Old 12-28-2013, 05:06 AM
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Rob, Hereafter, if anyone requires the definition of "breathe a sigh of relief", we'll refer them to you.

Congratulations, there's little more rewarding than success when trying something new!
 
  #86  
Old 12-29-2013, 04:19 PM
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Quick clean

The nastiest motors with carbon buildup are 2 stroke marine. Try running marine gas (no ethanol) and running a bottle of Kwik Klean in a tankful. Available at Walmart or West Marine if they don't have it.
 
  #87  
Old 01-04-2014, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by texasmontego View Post
Update: 4-3-13.
gawannamini has put together a good write up on cleaning the valves with the Walnut Shell Method. I created these steps before the Walnut Shell method was created. If you don't mind spending about $100, you can build your own Walnut Shell Blaster (minus the compressor). Checkout his instructions in this thread: https://www.northamericanmotoring.com...ml#post3707859


This is a How-To on Removing the Carbon Build-up, the right way.

I couldn't take it anymore with the decreased performance. My car has 60K miles on it (I bought it with 50K a year ago) and I don't think the carbon build-up has ever been removed properly. The throttle was sticking, the performance was down and it just felt like the car was struggling.
I know there's a lot of people that swear by the Seafoam method, but I've run 2 bottles through my car in 4K miles and it's done nothing. I also got taken for $250 for a dealer method (while the car was in for other service) that was only a temporary fix (a few days and a warm fuzzy feeling).

So, I decided to tackle cleaning the intake ports/valves manually myself. I wasn't going to pay the dealership $$$$ without having some way of verifying it was done right and I just don't trust them. It's my car, if I want it to last, it's my responsibility.

After reading a few posts on cleaning the valves, I didn't see where anyone had done a full writeup on the procedure. I figured I would jump in and do the writeup, so others can do the maintenance, regain the lost performance and learn a thing or two about our cars.

The result? Amazing! I feel like my car runs brand new. The build-up on my car after 60K was extreme. I couldn't get a clear picture due to the location and lack of light, but trust me when I say it was extreme. After looking at it, I wasn't surprised it was running terrible. Now, the performance is back, the throttle works perfectly and it runs much smoother. I put in the BSH Oil Catch Can after I cleaned it which will definitely help reduce the buildup in the future.

Believe me when I tell you, you can do it. It's not major surgery and only takes a Saturday. I tried to lay out the steps as detailed as possible, for the inexperienced.

If you have any questions, shoot me a PM. Enjoy!
Awesome write up mate I did this yesterday on my r56 07 cooper s i only recently bought the car and have been on this forum for a few weeks now reading and learning as im installing an upgraded turbo in the next week and have also installed an evolve tune recently , I wanted to know myself what the condition of the valves were so after reading the write up i went for it after removing the intake and discovering mine was held by a lower bracket as well which i eventually figured how to undo once i got the throttle body out :P , what i found was not pretty :( i took pics !!! after about 6 hours of soaking and scrubbing and repeating on all the valves today i put it all back together and well now my smile is massive when my foot stomps the pedal to the floor and drive ability is better than ever also for any aussies out there looking for a product that replicates seafoam nulon have a product you can buy in supercheap and repco i ran this through my car today after my initial drive just to be sure and ill do it again in a week If your doubting yourself on this little DIY well dont its great and gives a super result and alot of satisfaction and peace of mind knowing that your minis valves are now all clean
 
  #88  
Old 01-05-2014, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by minimike1! View Post
The nastiest motors with carbon buildup are 2 stroke marine. Try running marine gas (no ethanol) and running a bottle of Kwik Klean in a tankful. Available at Walmart or West Marine if they don't have it.
With these direct injection engines the injectors spray the gas directly into the cylinders - downstream of the valves so no fuel additive can clean the valves.

This is a problem with most direct injection engines - not just MINI. MINIs may be worse than some makes due to variable valve timing.

Some manufacturers are now installing an injector in the intake manifold (like they used to be before direct injection) to spray occasionally to prevent buildup.
 
  #89  
Old 01-05-2014, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by wozzaR56 View Post
as im installing an upgraded turbo in the next week and have also installed an evolve tune recently ...…........also for any aussies out there looking for a product that replicates seafoam nulon have a product you can buy in supercheap and repco i ran this through my car today after my initial drive just to be sure and ill do it again in a week
I also recently got tuned by Evolve the strong Aussie dollars certainly helped, surprised you didn't wait until you had your new turbo installed. I've also used that product to clean carbon buildup its called Nulon foaming air intake cleaner with good results but in the end decided to go with W/M injection for constant cleaning as well as other benefits.
 
  #90  
Old 12-24-2014, 09:23 AM
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Hey guys!

Sorry to revive an old thread but I just purchased a 08 S with JCW package on it. As you expected, I had to change the Valve cover and I went a head and cleaned the valves... I would like to thank for whoever did this write up, my valves where soooooooo dirty!

I'm sure that I might need to open up again soon and do a more cleaning, I think I might have missed a lot of stuff. I think my next step is to get that catch can in ASAP.
 
  #91  
Old 01-10-2015, 11:18 AM
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Just wanted to say thanks to this thread and the author of that helpful write up, it helped me do my own thing with a soda blaster very successfully. Turning the engine was definitely a big concern for me but someone had posted the exact size and how to get to it from the passenger side wheel well, saved me LOTS of time spent under the car trying to figure it out, lol.















Hardest part about the whole thing was dealing with the fact the intake valves are on THAT side of the engine, and getting to the intake manifold and taking it off. That being said anyone whose done it knows that it isn't too difficult for the typical layman who changes his own oil. Highly recommend taking a day (or a weekend) and DIY this to your mini. You'll both love the results!


This is what I used to get the job done. Spent around 100 on this 15lb soda blasting rig from Harbor Freight, bought 50 lbs (because I literally could not find anyone else who sells blasting soda and this was the only size they have) for 30 bucks. Saved hundreds from the dealer this time and every time thereafter, totally paid for itself.



In the shop we've got a kawasaki single cylinder generator that could be useful, if it had run. One of the guys said an electrician gave it to the shop 2 years ago and it's never run. Pulled the spark plug and shined a light in the cylinder and couldn't see anything. I thought it was really odd, rotated the cylinder thinking I should at least be able to see the cylinder wall or something... nope. I wish I had taken a before picture, this carbon make my coopers intake valves clean enough to eat with.



I'm totally glad I invested in this little guy. Thanks again to the thread for giving me the help needed to do it myself!
 
  #92  
Old 03-09-2015, 09:39 PM
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when are valves open closed?

Originally Posted by texasmontego View Post
Update: 4-3-13.
gawannamini has put together a good write up on cleaning the valves with the Walnut Shell Method. I created these steps before the Walnut Shell method was created. If you don't mind spending about $100, you can build your own Walnut Shell Blaster (minus the compressor). Checkout his instructions in this thread: https://www.northamericanmotoring.com...ml#post3707859


This is a How-To on Removing the Carbon Build-up, the right way.

I couldn't take it anymore with the decreased performance. My car has 60K miles on it (I bought it with 50K a year ago) and I don't think the carbon build-up has ever been removed properly. The throttle was sticking, the performance was down and it just felt like the car was struggling.
I know there's a lot of people that swear by the Seafoam method, but I've run 2 bottles through my car in 4K miles and it's done nothing. I also got taken for $250 for a dealer method (while the car was in for other service) that was only a temporary fix (a few days and a warm fuzzy feeling).

So, I decided to tackle cleaning the intake ports/valves manually myself. I wasn't going to pay the dealership $$$$ without having some way of verifying it was done right and I just don't trust them. It's my car, if I want it to last, it's my responsibility.

After reading a few posts on cleaning the valves, I didn't see where anyone had done a full writeup on the procedure. I figured I would jump in and do the writeup, so others can do the maintenance, regain the lost performance and learn a thing or two about our cars.

The result? Amazing! I feel like my car runs brand new. The build-up on my car after 60K was extreme. I couldn't get a clear picture due to the location and lack of light, but trust me when I say it was extreme. After looking at it, I wasn't surprised it was running terrible. Now, the performance is back, the throttle works perfectly and it runs much smoother. I put in the BSH Oil Catch Can after I cleaned it which will definitely help reduce the buildup in the future.

Believe me when I tell you, you can do it. It's not major surgery and only takes a Saturday. I tried to lay out the steps as detailed as possible, for the inexperienced.

If you have any questions, shoot me a PM. Enjoy!
Having a tough time determining when valves are closed. You said that the two outer ports are opposite of the two inner ports, but this is not what I see. When cylinder number one is closed (solvent pooling inside), cylinder 4 is open (no pooling of solvent). I checked the other ports to see 3 is open and 2 pools up but after a few minutes one of the valves has drained and the other still pooled. What's going on here?
 
  #93  
Old 03-15-2015, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by shanksamillion View Post
Having a tough time determining when valves are closed. You said that the two outer ports are opposite of the two inner ports, but this is not what I see. When cylinder number one is closed (solvent pooling inside), cylinder 4 is open (no pooling of solvent). I checked the other ports to see 3 is open and 2 pools up but after a few minutes one of the valves has drained and the other still pooled. What's going on here?
I grabbed a few (unused) bamboo skewers out of the kitchen and set them onto the pistons through the spark plug holes. You can easily see when the Pistons are each up or down using the basic Mark 1 Eyeball.
 
  #94  
Old 03-15-2015, 01:36 PM
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^^^huh. Literally would have never thought of that. The plugs are in a really advantagous location though. You could take them all out and shine a decent flashlight in the cylinder, should definitely see which valves are open then.
 
  #95  
Old 12-29-2015, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by bratling View Post
I grabbed a few (unused) bamboo skewers out of the kitchen and set them onto the pistons through the spark plug holes. You can easily see when the Pistons are each up or down using the basic Mark 1 Eyeball.
I was wondering why nobody has entertained this thought yet.
 
  #96  
Old 01-04-2016, 03:37 PM
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Justa carbon

My eyes and brain hurt from searching and reading and question still remains: do the justas have the same carbon issues as the S?
I assume yes for all direct injection, but keep finding things that make me unsure.
 
  #97  
Old 01-04-2016, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MINIsean View Post
My eyes and brain hurt from searching and reading and question still remains: do the justas have the same carbon issues as the S?
I assume yes for all direct injection, but keep finding things that make me unsure.
Of course I find the answer by accident using different search phrases. Justas are port injected and not subjected to the same carbon build up issues...unless this post is incorrect:
https://www.northamericanmotoring.com/forums/stock-problems-issues/199907-2010-mini-cooper-non-turbo-engine-port-injection-or-direct-injection.html
 
  #98  
Old 01-05-2016, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by MINIsean View Post
Of course I find the answer by accident using different search phrases. Justas are port injected and not subjected to the same carbon build up issues...unless this post is incorrect:
https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...injection.html
You keep typing "Justas" which I'm assuming is JCW. If that's correct, I have a JCW and my motor has carbon buildup due to direct injection. Hope that answers your question.
 
  #99  
Old 01-05-2016, 05:29 AM
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Justa as in Just a regular Mini, not an S or JCW.
 
  #100  
Old 01-10-2016, 01:35 PM
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I picked up the media blaster kit from Bavauto and took care of mine this weekend. 78K miles, 3rd owner, and carbon was never cleaned before. Boy, did it show. The Titanic looks better than those pistons did when I opened her up. Pics below.

Took my time, disassembled 2 hours on Saturday, cleaned an reassembled 3-4 hours on Sunday. Probably a 3-4 hour job total next time. Less, if I had another hand.

One thing I did notice after reading both guides I found on here was to rotate the crankshaft, I did not have to drill a hole; I just pulled the fender a bit out of the way and accessed it. 18mm socket. For those who had trouble with the 10mm bolt on the lower part of the manifold, I was able to snake my hand in there and put it in place. Then, I worked the socket through and tightened it that way.

If you get the Bavauto kit, don't skimp for the plastic hose attachment. Get the metal OEM one. The plastic cracked as soon as I attached it to my shopvac. Duct tape fixes everything.
 
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Last edited by TroyAndEddie; 01-10-2016 at 01:41 PM.

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