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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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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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Discussion Starter #85
@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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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? :lol:
 

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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #91
@rob the elder

IF You're asking if I could come over THEN I'd be delighted to~

I'm putting my resignation in tomorrow for the hospital I work for. I've been recruited to start a new outpatient surgical center. With this being said I will be getting rid of my 120 hours of call that I take monthly in exchange for a 8-5 Mon-Fri job, all with a pay raise! Therefore my weeks should be opening up very soon!

The valve cleaning was by far the easiest part of the job for me. Removing the intake for my first time had a large learning curve...I believe now that I've done it once, I could do it again much more quickly.

I would bring my media blaster, walnut media, handful of tools, and some terrible jokes.

Would you want to change spark plugs at this time? Would you want to install a set of PAW intake/throttle body spacers at the same time? May as well ship your TCM to Dave to let him reconfigure it as well ?.

I don't have a bore scope but I think that's a great idea to see everything!

ELSE Good luck ::Grin::
 

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Saveaux,

Thanks for the pictures and description. I am rethinking whether I will walnut blast/vacuum or spray/scrape my GXP.

You make it seem easier than I recall cleaning BMW intake valves.

What does the PAW Intake/throttle body spacer do?
 

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@rob the elder

I'm putting my resignation in tomorrow for the hospital I work for. I've been recruited to start a new outpatient surgical center. With this being said I will be getting rid of my 120 hours of call that I take monthly in exchange for a 8-5 Mon-Fri job, all with a pay raise! Therefore my weeks should be opening up very soon!
Congrats on the job!
 

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@rob the elder

IF You're asking if I could come over THEN I'd be delighted to~

I'm putting my resignation in tomorrow for the hospital I work for. I've been recruited to start a new outpatient surgical center. With this being said I will be getting rid of my 120 hours of call that I take monthly in exchange for a 8-5 Mon-Fri job, all with a pay raise! Therefore my weeks should be opening up very soon!

The valve cleaning was by far the easiest part of the job for me. Removing the intake for my first time had a large learning curve...I believe now that I've done it once, I could do it again much more quickly.

I would bring my media blaster, walnut media, handful of tools, and some terrible jokes.

Would you want to change spark plugs at this time? Would you want to install a set of PAW intake/throttle body spacers at the same time? May as well ship your TCM to Dave to let him reconfigure it as well ?.

I don't have a bore scope but I think that's a great idea to see everything!

ELSE Good luck ::Grin::

I'm getting a borescope

The way that garage day is going, I will need lots of hands on help. My goal for the April event is to make sure all the cars are running and safe. Tires and brakes, oil changes, check the torque etc. Then if we have time we can schedule doing the more demanding tasks like media blasting. I have a larger shop compressor that should handle the job. I have (if I can find it) several pounds of media, a wand and I bought the sucker tool. You could bring yours as a backup. Would like to do the Dragon as a learning / demonstration because we have a backup car. >:)

We have probably ten? Maybe 15 cars that are well over 40k miles and could benefit from the blasting. We have one that is over 150k miles and I don't know that its ever been opened up.

For safety reasons I want to get as many cars with new brake fluid as we can in April and May before we start driving around.

It will be great to have you available to help out at garage day.
 

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Discussion Starter #95
@syjos - You're welcome for the write up! The PAW spacer set is basically a thick chunk of plastic that goes between the intake and head, and throttle body and intake. The spacer prevents metal to metal heat transfer. Dave told me at NASSAM that before the spacer set you wouldn't be able to touch the intake with your hand after running the car because the intake would be so hot. After spacer install he could keep a hand on the intake. Cold air is more dense meaning it carries more oxygen for detonation in the cylinder. I got the set for $100 on a "show special". If the 11whp claim is true, I'd gladly invest thousands of dollars at that return for investment. Dave's website describes them as:

This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 26 April, 2011.
In our continuing improvement of the GM LNF/LDK/LHU engine platform is the WERKSracing LNF/LDK/LHU Intake Manifold Spacer!!! The High Temp HDPE material lessens heat transfer between the cylinder head and the aluminum intake manifold. Our testing has shown a 73 degree (F) reduction in thermal heat transfer between the intake manifold and the cylinder head and an 11whp gain with the spacers installed!!!

http://www.performanceautowerks.com/catalog/product_info.php/werks-lnfldklhu-spacer-set-p-1880
@znaut Thanks!!

Prices on everything:

$100 PAW spacers
$35 Media Blaster on Amazon
$25 Walnut Media
$6 Two Harbor Freight blow gun extensions
$14 Four AC-Delco spark plugs
$8 Permatex Copper Spray Gasket
$5 Harbor Freight dental style pick set
One cut index finger, One Band-aid on said finger

@rob the elder I mentioned on our club email awhile back that I had a failed attempt at changing my brake fluid by myself. I've been planning on bringing my wife into the garage and just doing it the old fashioned two person way "I open bleed valve and tell her to press and hold brake, squirting fluid out the valve, then close valve and have her release brake" rinse and repeat a million times starting with right rear, then left rear, then right front, then left front. Hanging out with the guys (and maybe Jo) and doing it in your garage sounds way more fun though. I'll make plans to go to garage day on the 24th.

I work pretty quickly when I'm by myself, with no one to talk to; but should there be any concern that we may not have enough time to do everything in one day? I'm almost afraid that maybe we should keep the intake valve cleaning for a single day by itself? I'm thinking that it would take me 4-6 hours of straight work to disassemble clean everything, then reassemble. I'll have a better idea of reassembly time after this weekend. I bolted the intake/throttle body up in about 3-5 minutes, I'm hoping everything else will take less than an hour, although several of the bolts we're wooly boogers to deal with.

Do you have the intake insulation/cover on the dragon? Do you have a venom bar installed?
 

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Saveaux do spacers really work? I get how it can help with air temperature, but how long does air take to travel from the throttle body to the combustion chamber? is it enough to raise the air temperature?
 

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Discussion Starter #97
@SSolstice

Im not sure if it really helps to be completely honest. I had some extra money at NASSAM and Dave said "I wouldn't steer you wrong" about the purchase, so I believed him, hah!

There are a number of components on the engine that are susceptible to damage if over headed so even if I don't get 10 whp (which I doubt I could feel anyway) I like that things will be cooler.

In the event that the spacers do literally nothing.....well, it was only $100! In the event that I really do get 10whp AND things are cooler, all for $100....well, that's a huge win in my book!
 

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If you're going to change spark plugs after blasting & vacuuming, I would put a few miles on the old plugs before doing so. Then check the old plugs for speckles on the insulators with an otoscope or magnifying glass and bright light.
 

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Discussion Starter #99
If you're going to change spark plugs after blasting & vacuuming, I would put a few miles on the old plugs before doing so. Then check the old plugs for speckles on the insulators with an otoscope or magnifying glass and bright light.
Great idea!

Forgive my ignorance here....but sort of speckles are you suggesting that I should look for? What's the significance?
 

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Black or dark brown spots from the soot or media that were wedged in the upper part of the valve seats. No harm to the engine, but dirties up the spark plugs. I like "reading" my spark plugs. :nerd:
 
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