Carbon Build-Up Cleaning - The right way... - North American Motoring

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

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

  #1  
Old 09-02-2011, 12:25 PM
texasmontego
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Carbon Build-Up Cleaning - The right way...

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!
 
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Last edited by texasmontego; 04-03-2013 at 05:55 AM. Reason: Update to instructions
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2011, 12:42 PM
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WOW, very detailed. I didn't read the entire thing, so is it as simple as it looks? Good work....
 
  #3  
Old 09-02-2011, 12:59 PM
texasmontego
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Yes very easy as long as you have all the proper tools. The most important tool is the air compressor. You need it to get all the crap out.
 
  #4  
Old 09-02-2011, 01:11 PM
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Very nice!

Thanks for posting this!

Dave
 
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:29 PM
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Too much work to clean only a few pieces. Did you do any after pictures?
 
  #6  
Old 09-02-2011, 02:11 PM
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Wow, thank you for this detailed write-up. Very nice.
 
  #7  
Old 09-02-2011, 04:44 PM
texasmontego
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Originally Posted by Porthos View Post
Too much work to clean only a few pieces. Did you do any after pictures?
It's not that bad. I couldn't handle the power loss and didn't want to pay the dealership $$$$$ to clean it.

I didn't take pictures. Well, I did, but I couldn't get any real clear photos that were worth a crap.
 
  #8  
Old 09-02-2011, 04:56 PM
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Excellent write-up. Appreciate your service to the community.

Was the $250 dealer method the glorified BMW-brand Seafoam soak, or was it the walnut blaster? If the latter, I'm somewhat surprised it was so ineffective (but probably not, as I think they charge quite a bit more for the walnut blaster service).
 

Last edited by Gil-galad; 09-02-2011 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 09-02-2011, 05:08 PM
///Mflossin
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I breezed through that fairly quickly. did I miss the section on the inlet valves?
 
  #10  
Old 09-02-2011, 05:40 PM
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This actually isn't too much work at all. I'd say taking everything apart would take about 30-45 minutes, and the cleaning would be the longest part depending on how much build up there is. Good write up & thank you!
 
  #11  
Old 09-03-2011, 05:57 AM
texasmontego
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Originally Posted by Gil-galad View Post
Excellent write-up. Appreciate your service to the community.

Was the $250 dealer method the glorified BMW-brand Seafoam soak, or was it the walnut blaster? If the latter, I'm somewhat surprised it was so ineffective (but probably not, as I think they charge quite a bit more for the walnut blaster service).
Yes, it was their version of seafoam. What a joke. My car ran marginally better for a day and that was it. Compared to how the car runs now after the cleaning i did, i knew i got robbed by the dealership. Just understand that just because the dealership is selling a service, its not always a benefit to the customer. $250 for seafoam, wow.
 
  #12  
Old 09-03-2011, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by ///Mflossin View Post
I breezed through that fairly quickly. did I miss the section on the inlet valves?
You breezed too quickly, and decided to only look at pictures. Its in there, page 8.

Excellent write up. Probably one of the best on the site, very detailed and thorough. You only forgot one part at the very beginning, "Buy 12 pack of beer".

Great Write up.
 
  #13  
Old 09-03-2011, 09:05 PM
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If I were to critique that PDF at all... The only thing I would say is always put "Caution" notes BEFORE the step it is cautioning, as it does no good to read you should put on safety glasses after blowing carb cleaner in your eyes. Lol. Not a big deal, and all I'm saying by that is that it's a very good PDF and DIY step by step that the only suggestion would be something as small as the location of the caution note. I only suggested it because I develop repairs and create technical documents for repairing jet engine components at work, so that is something in standard work, lol.

Nice job! I will look to tackle this at some point in the near future
 
  #14  
Old 09-04-2011, 12:21 PM
texasmontego
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Originally Posted by SooperCuperErik View Post
If I were to critique that PDF at all... The only thing I would say is always put "Caution" notes BEFORE the step it is cautioning, as it does no good to read you should put on safety glasses after blowing carb cleaner in your eyes. Lol. Not a big deal, and all I'm saying by that is that it's a very good PDF and DIY step by step that the only suggestion would be something as small as the location of the caution note. I only suggested it because I develop repairs and create technical documents for repairing jet engine components at work, so that is something in standard work, lol.

Nice job! I will look to tackle this at some point in the near future
Haha, now that you mention it, I said to myself, "duuu, why warn people after the fact." I will make the change. Thanks for the tip.
 
  #15  
Old 09-04-2011, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by texasmontego View Post
Haha, now that you mention it, I said to myself, "duuu, why warn people after the fact." I will make the change. Thanks for the tip.
People should read the steps before attempting to do it. But that never happens.
 
  #16  
Old 09-04-2011, 06:43 PM
patrick and faye
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Excellent, my gas mileage has slipped from 27 to 23 mpg and I'm sure this is the cause. I was going to do the proceedure before your article was posted. What a help this will be. Thanks, Patrick
 
  #17  
Old 09-04-2011, 06:55 PM
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Any gaskets that must be replaced? Thanks again, Patrick
 
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:44 PM
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awesome work mate.
 
  #19  
Old 09-06-2011, 07:51 AM
SooperCuperErik
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Originally Posted by ballandchain View Post
People should read the steps before attempting to do it. But that never happens.
Just like in 5rd grade when you were given a piece of paper with 10 steps of instructions on it. You are supposed to read all the instructions before starting, as thats what #1 says. But noone does that and just goes to step 2. By step 4 it tells you to rip off the bottom corner of the piece of paper. However, Step 9 says to skip step 4... WHOOPS too late to go back on that one! lol
 
  #20  
Old 09-06-2011, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by SooperCuperErik View Post
Just like in 5rd grade when you were given a piece of paper with 10 steps of instructions on it. You are supposed to read all the instructions before starting, as thats what #1 says. But noone does that and just goes to step 2. By step 4 it tells you to rip off the bottom corner of the piece of paper. However, Step 9 says to skip step 4... WHOOPS too late to go back on that one! lol
Yeah, when I was in culinary school people would start cooking without reading the entire recipe. They would be in the middle of cooking something and realized they needed to run into the walk-in to grab something else. They never had good food or grades.....
 
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by ballandchain View Post
Yeah, when I was in culinary school people would start cooking without reading the entire recipe. They would be in the middle of cooking something and realized they needed to run into the walk-in to grab something else. They never had good food or grades.....
Sounds like bad recipes to me, you should have your MEP listed before any of the MOP.
 
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:05 PM
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Isn't there a bottom support bracket for the intake manifold to remove as well? (part #5)
I've never been able to find it, then again, I've not removed the whole manifold... just pushed it back.

Also, that $250 cleaning service isn't really intended to removed hard-core carbon deposits. The MINI tech I spoke to said it was more of a light, routine maintenance thing (and is actually just 1 of 3 things they do for that service ... the others being fuel injector cleaning and a can of stuff in the gas tank, if I remember correctly). Still not worth what they charge, but also not intended to fix the issue you had brought it in for.

A while back when I was talking to the MINI tech., he told me about some fuel injector cleaner BMW has them use on some intake ports with serious carbon buildup issues. That's what I had him use, and it did exactly what he said it would; cleaned most everything except some stubborn chunks near the valves. The tech. said those would have to be manually removed.

And apparently, this is what the dealership will do now (for a 2 hours labor charge).
 

Last edited by fishbert; 09-07-2011 at 01:24 PM.
  #23  
Old 09-11-2011, 07:37 AM
countryboyshane
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Way to set the bar on NAM! This is a very organized and well documented procedure!
 
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:04 PM
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this is a very very nice write up man.. it make people like me who are semi mechanically inclined able to do things like this.. all i need is a detailed description of what everything is and i can do it.. I will probably be using this in the near future i think mine needs it
 
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:10 AM
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There are a couple of things that need to be added.
First there is a 10mm bolt on the bottom of the manifold that has to be removed before it can be taken out. The best way to get to it is to remove the pass side tire. This also allows access to the crank shaft bolt. Using a 18 mm socket the engine can be turned over with a ratchet instead of using the starter to bump the engine.
Second there are 3 wiring holders that need to be released before the intake can be removed.

Getting the correct brush to do the job will make job easier.
My throttle body didnt need to be cleaned.
If I had to do it again it would be much quicker the second time.
The hardest part was the 10mm bolt that i didnt know about. Once that was removed the intake came out easy.
The car seems to run better, pulls and revs better.
Thanks for the guide it helped alot.
 

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