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I removed my intake yesterday so I could install the PAW spacers between the intake and head as well as the throttle body to intake.

Upon inspection of the valves, after 37,000 miles, they look just as suspected. I wasn't planning on cleaning them but since it's tore down that's the correct thing to do....I suppose I'll be ordering a media blaster and do the ol vacuum trick that you guys showed here not too long ago.

A friend text me the attached picture of a 3D printed vacuum/media blaster tool that was made specifically for a BMW (I believe). I should check around to see if there are any such items made for our cars!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I forgot to mention that I followed the below video's instructions and seafoamed my intake less than 1,000 miles ago. After seeing the valves now I have to wonder if the seafoam did anything at all.....or maybe it did and they STILL look bad. Who's to know.

https://youtu.be/H4CqlmUGQ_s
@Sting Ya Thanks! I referenced one great thread in particular while removing my intake and for cleaning the valves. Always great information on these forums!
 

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@rob the elder Thanks for the offer Rob! What brand/model do you have? I'll need to look up what CFM requirements it needs. I have a crappy 21 gallon 2.5 HP Harbor Freight compressor that is listed as having:

5.8 CFM @ 40 PSI
4.7 CFM @ 90 PSI

Max 125 PSI

The first media blaster I saw on Amazon required 12 CFM. It's possible that my compressor just won't be able to perform with any media blaster. If that's the case then I may just try to use carb cleaner and manually scrap the build up off with a dental pick as Raygun suggests in a previous post.

Worst case scenario I just say screw it and don't clean anything. I'd prefer to do the "right thing" and clean them but if it's too much of a production....

I honestly haven't done much research into the media blasters. I feel like I saw an electric version that doesn't require a compressor but I'm not sure...
 

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I have not cleaned the GXP's valves but have cleaned valves on another DI engine.

I used the CRC cleaner, with intake manifold removed, on one cylinder at a time.. Soaked overnight and scraped with dental picks. Soaked some more and picked again. Finished up with a brass wire brush chucked into a die grinder. I used the kind of wire brush used to clean gun barrels with a long handle. You can use a drill if no die grinder.

Took a while but all four came out looking clean.

Will probably do the GXP soon. I have 28,000 miles on it and took a peek with a bore scope. The valves were not crusted up but from what I could see, they had a layer of dark "fuzz" on the stems and the intake tract. The borrowed scope was not a very good one so visibility was marginal.

We attempted to clean the first valve with walnut shells. Made a big mess and the back of the valves still had to be scraped.

In order for the media blasting to work well, an adapter made specifically for the engine is required to insert the blast wand, contain the spent shells and to suck it out with vacuum.. Otherwise there is leakage and shells everywhere. I have not been able to find an adapter for the Ecotec. I bought a spare intake manifold, which I'm looking at cutting up and modifying to use as a media blaster adapter. It will have ports for the wand and vacuum pick up. Being able to bolt this manifold/adapter to the head should reduce leakage and mess.

Will post pictures when I get around to that project. Its project #456 out 9,999 waiting projects.
 

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@syjos Thank you very much for the information!!

To be transparent I've only looked at the thread here:

https://www.solsticeforum.com/index.php?page=active_topics#/topics/78737?page=3

Post number 17 has good pictures of media blasting, the Raygun has good info to read on it as well.
That's the first method we used on the DI engine. Tough to hold the hose against the intake opening. The force of the blasting gun tend to lift the hose away from the head, causing media leakage. The adapter need to be fastened to the head. Not enough room for multiple hands holding the adapter, vacuum hose, wand.
 

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I've blasted my valves twice. I just use a shop vac and a cheap blaster I picked up at Harbor Freight. It's a pretty easy job and it goes pretty quickly but it is messy and loud. I do mine in the driveway so the mess isn't that big of a deal. You'll need a dust mask, ear and eye protection.
 

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As for rotating the engine between cylinders, we jacked up the back end, put the manual tranny' into gear and turned the wheel.

It took one day per cylinder to soak CRC overnight, scrape, soak again, scrape again, brush, blow clean and dry. Next cylinder.

We also used oven cleaner when we ran out of the CRC and it removed pretty well but not as good as the CRC.

Heating the valve and opening with a heat gun while soaking seemed to help but the heat evaporates the CRC too fast. Heating while scraping also seemed to work on stubborn build up. But not positive it helps.

The whole cleaning process whether using blast media or scraping is a tedious, messy, unpleasant process. I would pay someone to do the cleaning if I could find a shop that I could trust and or if the cleaning didn't cost so much.
 

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Has anyone used water injection and did it help at all with this? I've been wondering for a while about this.
 

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I've read that water and nitrous injection reduce the amount of carbon build up on DI valves. But those things are not on full time so not 100% effective. Lot of discussion about this subject on other forums.

Some manufacturers are installing an injector in the intake ports in addition to the injector in the cylinder. The second port injectors function is to wash the intake valve. I've read that the second fuel spray messes with the timing and causes a few side effects.
 

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I did considerable research. Found a purpose built blast probe from a BMW speed site that is long enough and nicely curved. I have three compressors. My shop air is more than adequate for blasting. I have the media. Crushed shells. And three shop vacs. I am planning on doing several cars over the next two years.
 

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I’ve read in other forums the potential damage of a piece of carbon that was picked off going through the cyclinder and exiting out the exhaust port and damaging the turbo. Speculative, but plausible.
 

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I’ve read in other forums the potential damage of a piece of carbon that was picked off going through the cyclinder and exiting out the exhaust port and damaging the turbo. Speculative, but plausible.
The manual cleaning of the valve and intake tract with either blasting or scraping is done with the valve closed, one valve at a time. With the valve closed, nothing will enter the cylinder. Carbon chunks are vacuumed or blown out prior to reassembly.

What you read was the cleaning of the valves using Seafoam or CRC Valve Cleaner sprayed into the manifold. That method entails spraying the cleaner into the intake with the engine running. The carbon does not dissolve. It comes off in chunks. That's where the piece of carbon, which is very hard and sharp, could lodge in the cylinder, turbo or cat.

There are several threads about this on the forum.
 

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My engine has about 35,000 miles on it and has had methanol injection for about the last 20,000. It's going to be tore down soon. I might have a little info about whether or not it helps later this spring.
That would be very informative.

And pictures.
 

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I'm going to rip mine apart over the next week or two. I have 84k on it and have never done this. I'll let everyone know what I find.
 

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"In the old days" we used to use water injection to cool the intake charge (advance the timing) with the side benefit of steam cleaning the cylinders. This was of course for carbs not direct injection.
 
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