Dirty Valves - Page 6 - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #76 of 102 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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I cleaned the valves, or at least attempted to clean them today. Here were some of my processes/take aways:

- Pulled Spark plugs (taped holes closed) & Venom Bar to make turning the crank easier (23mm socket and 1/2 ratchet - was effortless to turn)
- Taped all cylinders closed with 2" painters tape, then cut out cylinder 1 with a scalpel, walnut blasted it, then taped it closed and cut out cylinder 2, so forth and so on
- I started off with a plastic drop cloth covering the entire engine bay, with just a single hole cut out. Eventually this became a pain in the *** because the vacuum kept sucking the plastic into it.
- The suction adapter for a Mini cooper prevented any walnut media from getting into the engine bay.
- Instead of the suction adapter, I preferred simply sticking a vacuum attachment into the cylinder while blasting. I preferred this because I could actually see where I was blasting as opposed to being pretty blind with the mini adapter. Some walnut media got into the engine bay this way, but it was very minimal.
- Whether I was using the suction adapter or simply shoving a vacuum attachment in, the use of a long air blow gun was instrumental in my success.
- The dental style picks were very helpful in scraping off excess material. I didn't go crazy with this because I have a bad lower back and it was killing me to bend over.
- Some of the cylinders turned out better than others.
- I tried to spray carb cleaner in one of the cylinders but despite changing out nozzles, I couldn't get anything to come out of the aerosol can. I used WD-40 instead.....I'm not really sure this helped.
- I've never sandblasted or media blasted in my life, but it seemed to work best to pull the trigger and release, and then repeat a million times as opposed to pulling trigger and holding it in. When I simply held it in the vacuum couldn't keep up (at least with the mini cooper adapter in place and both valves filled completely up with walnut media)
- I would run the vacuum and media blaster then switch the media blaster for the air blow gun long nozzle to blow out the cylinder then would inspect with a flashlight, see where I needed to focus on next, then put the media blaster back on the air hose and go after it. It seemed like I would repeat this process anywhere from 10-15 times per cylinder.
- A 24lb bag of the same walnut media that @raygun listed from Amazon cost $24.99, I MAYBE used 2-3 pounds.
- At the end I taped the last cylinder up and took the blow gun and blew out the engine bay, there really wasn't much walnut media.
- I didn't use or need a mask to do the entire job.

The only reason I even pulled my intake off was to install a throttle body and intake spacer from Performance Auto Werks that I got at NASSAM 2018. I didn't get my cylinders as spic and span as some people may strive for, I just wanted to clean them up a little. Overall it was a very easy process, just time consuming.

My wife came home from work at the time that I was bolting the intake back up, this weekend I'll get everything hooked up and fire it up.

I bought new AC-Delco 42-108 spark plugs off eBay for $14.50, will use anti-seize on install. Does a 0.032 spark gap sound right?
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post #77 of 102 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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My engine bay once I was finished media blasting and blow gunning everything cleanish.
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post #78 of 102 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 08:22 PM
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Great job!

Spec on the plugs is 0.035", I think. Some have advised closing them up a bit, but I can't speak to the advisability of that. I tend to go with whatever the tuner tells me.

That's one of the cleanest engine bays I've seen. How many miles does your car have?

Blue-ish 2006 2.4, Werks stage 1 turbo, Borla cat-back, DDM braces, Spec aluminum flywheel, Spec stage 2 clutch, Werks aluminum radiator, some gauges, RKSport hood, Morimoto FX-Rs, GReddy Profec, Norm's fenders

'07 GXP, RPM Stage 2, Solocatless downpipe, TCE Wilwood 6 piston front brakes, 4-piston rears , Stainless brake lines, slotted/drilled rotors, BC Racing BR coilovers, Performance Autowerks intercooler, DDMWorks CAI, charge pipes and braces
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post #79 of 102 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 08:52 PM
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Well done!

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post #80 of 102 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 09:24 PM
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Adding dual injection with proper fuel management like some of the new cars have would be nice, or a remote electric crankcase evacuation pump. I love my gutless 2.4.
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post #81 of 102 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 11:07 AM
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I like NA driving dynamics as well.

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post #82 of 102 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 12:48 PM
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From the pics I see it looks like it's rather difficult to get to the opposite side of the valves. Does it matter if the valve is slightly off balance, and also is it likely that the opposite side is clean due to how fuel is spent? Wondering if anybody would be willing to clean my valves for a fee. I'll be at NASSAM. How much would one charge?
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post #83 of 102 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 12:54 PM
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BTW I would want my valves cleaner than Saveaux's. I'm sure something is better than nothing, but I would want mine to be as close to original as possible. I say this so that if anyone is interested in cleaning my valves they know upfront what I expect and price it accordingly. Fair?
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post #84 of 102 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 04:30 PM
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I have seen shops listing prices of $700 to $1500. But having a shop do it can get you a warrantee on the work. I warrantee my work for myself only LOL

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post #85 of 102 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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@raygun Thanks for the wonderful compliments as well as the spark plug gap! The GXP has 37,100 miles on it. I've always kept the valve cover insulation and cover on.....so it just looks clean~
@rob the elder Thanks for the great compliment!! You're welcome to borrow my gun, media, or suction adapter for as long as you'd like!
@yellowsol It's possible that my valves could have gotten cleaner with a lower grit walnut media. I felt like my blaster got valves clean to a certain point, but no further; and that's when manually scraping came in. Maybe if I opened the media blaster valve to allow more media to come through, or the opposite, let less through but more air, it would have done better? I honestly don't know. Perhaps I could have sprayed carb cleaner in there and let it soak. I use a "bore snake" which is a rope with copper bristles on it to clean my shotgun after shooting, I considered buying one of these for say a .22 and pulling it around the back of the valve stem, but decided I was "okay" with the valves not being perfect. After all, the cleaning was more of a fun project since my intake was off rather than the focus of my work. For my purposes I'm happy with the way things turned out. That doesn't mean that you wouldn't deserve to have a better job done if they were paying for it. In that case you're not just paying for the time and tools to be used but the mechanics experience in the matter as well, of which I had zero experience! I called two GM dealers today and they were clueless what walnut blasting on the valves was. One even said that I would need to call a machine shop! I called a BMW dealer and they suggested $600-$1500 without knowing anything about our little engines. How many miles do you have on your engine?
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post #86 of 102 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 08:43 PM
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I like how the valves cleaned up. Great job Saveaux! I wonder when Rob will up grade his LS engine to a direct injected LT1?
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post #87 of 102 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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@jeff465 Thanks for the kind words Jeff!!
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post #88 of 102 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 05:43 AM
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I have 85,000 on her. This is my second Solstice. I also have a N/A red automatic with 105,000 which I'll be selling in the spring. If I understand correctly the GXPs are more prone to this type of buildup so I haven't been as worried about the N/A. I understand exactly where you're coming from as I mentioned in my earlier post. The valves look AMAZING compared to what they were. I was stating my preference while also kind of asking the question "How much extra work is involved in getting things super clean, or is it even possible with this method?" I am 54 and a gear head, but I am just not as fond of the real dirty stuff anymore. I don't know when that happened because I used to look for an excuse tear into an engine. I'm mostly weighing whether it's worth paying someone or doing it myself. Cheers! BTW I have been lurking on the forum since 2015 and have found it to be fun, entertaining and a wealth of information. I decided I need to support this valuable resource and say thanks to all you fellow Kappa fans out there
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post #89 of 102 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsol View Post
If I understand correctly the GXPs are more prone to this type of buildup so I haven't been as worried about the N/A.
The NAs don't have this problem at all. In port injection engines like the 2.4L, the fuel is injected behind the valves. That washes the valves constantly, preventing any carbon buildup.

On direct injection engines like the 2.0L, the fuel is injected directly into the cylinder, bypassing the valves completely. Since the fuel never touches the back of the valves, there's no opportunity for the gas - or any additive or treatment that you'd put in your gas tank - to clean the carbon off. Some additive vendors will claim that their product will clean the valves. But, again: nothing that you can add to the gas tank will ever touch the buildup on the valves, so they cannot possibly affect it.

I would expect all gasoline direct-injection engines to have this issue unless they have some other mechanism in place to clean the valves (like an extra injector in the intake manifold) or something to filter the carbon out before it gets to the valves. Given how common this configuration has become over the past few years, I'm somewhat surprised that the GM techs mentioned earlier in the thread weren't aware of the procedure. Based on anecdotes here and on the Cobalt forums, this should probably be performed every ~50k miles or so. (I'm just making that number up. Someone else here may have a more-informed estimate.)

For cleaning the backs of the valves, I just spent a lot of time wiggling the gun around to get at every possible angle. I used my bore scope to look at the back of the valves and they are as clean as the front. YMMV.
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'07 GXP, RPM Stage 2, Solocatless downpipe, TCE Wilwood 6 piston front brakes, 4-piston rears , Stainless brake lines, slotted/drilled rotors, BC Racing BR coilovers, Performance Autowerks intercooler, DDMWorks CAI, charge pipes and braces
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post #90 of 102 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 09:16 AM
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You got time to come up and do the Dragon? I'm not looking forward to it. She sits at about 45000 miles so its getting due. Though I have not observed any changes in performance, but of course its hard to tell when I get from the PunisheR into the Dragon. The Dragon always feels kind of anemic.
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