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I would guess that's to the vacuum cleaner, to pull out the spent media.
Exactly, the vacuum sucked up all the spent media, very little to clean up. Just started it 2 minutes ago and now runs much better. The idle isn't as rough.
 

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Well done! I have the gun with a long probe I got from a BMW after market site and the shells. I'm ready!

Thanks for the great information.

For some reason this does not seem to work on my car. I'm confused.
 

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For the next person that tries this:

* When pulling the manifold, I went ahead and removed the two studs as well as the nuts. These require a female Torx socket, available at your favorite parts store. This is NOT a 12-point head. Using a normal 12-point socket will just strip the thing or break the head off. The exhaust manifold studs are identical.

* To remove a stud after you inevitable strip the head or break it off, put two nuts on the stud, leaving a little space between the nuts and the manifold, and tighten the two nuts against each other. Then, put your wrench on the nut closest to the head, use that to back the stud out. This works surprisingly well, and is much easier than cutting, drilling and cursing.

* The vacuum + blast gun combination shown in the pictures earlier in the thread works very well, and it's easy enough to put together.

* However, I'd recommend that you get a gun nozzle that's pretty long - say, 10" or more. Otherwise, you might not be able to get the media pointed in the correct direction, and you'll wind up cobbling something together.

* I finally just said "to hell with it," ditched the vacuum, got blast media all over the damn place, then went back and cleaned it up with the air compressor. (I did this in my back yard, so debris outside of the car wasn't really a concern.) (Fortunately, I remembered to roll up my windows first.)

* Rotating the engine to close the valves when you have DDM's Venom brace installed is a pain in the posterior. And, the crank pulley bolt is 21mm.

* Blasting won't get all of the deposits off of the back of the valves. Go ahead and grab some dentist-style picks (available at Harbor Freight or wherever) to scrape the back of the stems - carefully - and blow the resulting chunks out with compressed air. Or, make a smaller hose to attach to your shop-vac (duct tape or HVAC tape works well for the join) so you can reach way back in the head and pick up debris.

* A pancake-style compressor will NOT cut it for this job. (I already have a good-sized compressor, fortunately.)

Others have said that they have accomplished this in around an hour or two. It took me the better part of a day. I'm not the world's greatest mechanic, but I'm reasonably experienced. Plan accordingly.
 
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For the next person that tries this:

* To remove a stud after you inevitable strip the head or break it off, put two nuts on the stud, leaving a little space between the nuts and the manifold, and tighten the two nuts against each other. Then, put your wrench on the nut closest to the head, use that to back the stud out. This works surprisingly well, and is much easier than cutting, drilling and cursing.
For the person(s) that need new studs and/or a new intake bolt set, can those be found online? Or is ordering from a GM dealer the only option?
 

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For the person(s) that need new studs and/or a new intake bolt set, can those be found online? Or is ordering from a GM dealer the only option?
The studs can be had from AutoZone or wherever. Probably the bolts as well, but I haven't lost one yet. For misc. bolts, I usually go to my local industrial fastener store (Fastenal, etc.).
 

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@SARBlade
@raygun

What size compressor and gun did yall use?

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

I'm afraid that without a new compressor purchase I won't be able to do any walnut blasting.
 

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@Saveaux

I have this one:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-8G-150-PSI-Hotdog-Air-Compressor-0300816/302862402

It works well enough for most things. That's what I used to blast the valves and I didn't really have an issue. Bigger would be better, but this one worked for me. If your compressor is good enough to power, say, a framing nailer - this one is - then it'll be fine.

This one is listed as 1.8HP. Not sure about CFM, but it does about 150PSI. I'd wager that anything bigger than the little pancake types would be good enough, but YMMV.
 

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@Saveaux I think your compressor will be fine. It's not a big enough tank that you shouldn't have an issue. Also, if you have to stop periodically to let the compressor charge, it's not a big deal.

If you were painting a car, you'd need a huge compressor since the paint starts to dry as soon as it leaves the gun, and you don't want that. For media blasting, you should be fine with what you have.
 

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@raygun Thank you very much for your input! Home depot lists your compressor at:

Air Delivery SCFM @ 40PSI 4.8
Air Delivery SCFM @ 90PSI 3.7

If you were able to do this then I believe you're correct....I should be able to as well! This is fantastic news!!!!

What media blaster did you utilize?
 

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@Saveaux

This one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LA5MOOI

However, I wish I had gotten one with a much longer wand. You want one that you can stick way down in the port to get behind the valves - figure 18" or so? I believe Harbor Fraught sells a longer wand, and I'm sure they have a gun that'll work. It's not like buying an HPLV paint gun, where the difference between the $30 version and the $300 version is the difference between a 1' and a 10' paint job.

The walnut I got is:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00162NTCW/

That worked, but finer grain might give a better end result. Get the highest grit that you can find. Or roast some walnuts and throw them in a blender that you don't like very much.
 

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@raygun Sorry for all the questions - thanks for all your help though!

Can the nozzle be removed from the media blaster you got from Amazon?

The below nozzle seems to be the cheapest I can find. I'm not sure that it would fit on the blaster you got.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/153278148394

A longer nozzle is recommended, however did you manage the job without?

How much walnut media did you go through for the job?

Do you have a water filter on your compressor?

Did you remove your spark plugs to make it easier to turn the crank? (I already ordered AC-Delco 41-108 x4)

I may remove my venom bar if you think it will help turn the crank.

Did it help to clean the valves in sequence of firing order? 1, 3, 4, 2
 

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@raygun Sorry for all the questions - thanks for all your help though!

Can the nozzle be removed from the media blaster you got from Amazon?

The below nozzle seems to be the cheapest I can find. I'm not sure that it would fit on the blaster you got.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/153278148394

A longer nozzle is recommended, however did you manage the job without?

How much walnut media did you go through for the job?

Do you have a water filter on your compressor?

Did you remove your spark plugs to make it easier to turn the crank? (I already ordered AC-Delco 41-108 x4)

I may remove my venom bar if you think it will help turn the crank.

Did it help to clean the valves in sequence of firing order? 1, 3, 4, 2
Saveaux,

When we did the DI BMW engine, the wand was too short so I lengthened it with a steel tube that fit over the end of the short tube. A little Red Green (duct) tape held them together.

Don't need an air drier.

To turn engine, if you have a stick, jack back wheels up, place in gear and tun the wheel.

Cleaning in firing order reduces the amount of engine turning.

We did reuse the media but gave up blasting after the first valve. It made too much of a mess and used too much media. Without a proper adapter that matches the intake passage, and can be fastened securely to the head, its tough to hold the adapter to prevent leaks. The force of the blasting tries to lift the adapter from the head creating openings for the media to escape. Need many hands to hold everything.

I bought a spare intake manifold for my GXP that I'm going to cut up and turn into a media blasting adapter. It will bolt to the head and have ports for the wand and vacuum. It will be a while till I get to it. My GXP only has 28,000 miles on it. This would be project number 799 out of 9,999 awaiting to be started.
 

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Oh, we finished cleaning the rest of the cylinders on the DI BMW with CRC Carbon Cleaner. Sprayed it on valve and passage, wait overnite. Pick with dental pick. Spray some more and scrape. I chucked a brass brush on a long handle, made for cleaning rifle barrels, into a die grinder and finished cleaning the valve and intake passage.

This method is less messy but it takes one day per cylinder.

I found that heating the valves with a heat gun, while the CRC was soaking, helped.
 

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@syjos

Thank you very much for the helpful information!

Sadly I don't have a manual transmission, so jacking the rear end up to spin the tires won't help, thanks for the tip though!

I like the idea of simply taping a metal tube onto the end of the media blaster. Harbor freight (0.4 miles from my house) has some angled long air compressor spray nozzles for less than $4. I can just cut the threads off with a hack saw and tape on, I believe.

I'll try putting a hole through my shop vac hose and inserting the long nozzle and see how that goes. I'll recruit my wife if I need a second hand.

I'll pickup some dental picks and do some light scraping if needed.

Good call on the carbon spray cleaner!
 

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@raygun Sorry for all the questions - thanks for all your help though!
That's what the forum is for!

Can the nozzle be removed from the media blaster you got from Amazon?
Yes, but I'm not sure of the thread pitch, etc. so I can't say if the other wands online are going to fit.

A longer nozzle is recommended, however did you manage the job without?
Sheer determination. I pretty much jammed the thing into the ports as far as it would go and wiggled it around like crazy.

How much walnut media did you go through for the job?
I have about 30% of the container that I linked to earlier left over. With the vacuum method, you can reuse the media, anyway. It doesn't take that much; it's not like etching glass or using a waterjet.

Do you have a water filter on your compressor?
Nope. Not necessary for this.

Did you remove your spark plugs to make it easier to turn the crank? (I already ordered AC-Delco 41-108 x4)


I may remove my venom bar if you think it will help turn the crank.

Did it help to clean the valves in sequence of firing order? 1, 3, 4, 2
I didn't remove the venom brace, but that could have saved me a few minutes of cursing up front at the expense of a few minutes of cursing at the end, when reinstalling the brace.

I used a three foot, 1/2" breaker bar with a socket to turn the motor. Doing it with the plugs removed would no doubt have been much easier - it just didn't occur to me at the time. If you remove the plugs - which seems like a good idea in retrospect - take steps to block off the spark plug wells as you don't want stray media getting into the cylinder that way. A few strips of the ~2.5" frog tape, running front to back so that each single strip of tape covers part of all four holes - should do it.

Another option, simpler and therefore better in my opinion, would be to pull the plugs, then reinsert the ignition coils and snug up the 10mm bolts that hold them down. They'll form a really good seal, and they're easy enough to loosen, if necessary, when turning the engine. Or, remove the plugs, turn the engine, then reinstall the plugs. Use compressed air to blow any media out of the spark plug wells before removing any plugs. With the plugs removed and the coils in place, you should be able to turn the engine relatively easily. (I think, though I haven't tried it.)

The order wasn't important. I started at #1 and worked my way back.

Last bit of advice: if at all possible, do this outside rather than in the garage. Yes, it's cold in a lot of places, but you really don't want to be cleaning this stuff out of nooks and crannies for the next 50 years.

WEAR A MASK! I started off with the typical "I don't need no flippin mask! I'm a man!" stupidity and I was coughing up walnut dust within about 10 minutes. I promptly bought a dual-cartridge respirator typically used for painting.
 

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...A little Red Green (duct) tape held them together.
Now THAT brings back some memories!


Without a proper adapter that matches the intake passage, and can be fastened securely to the head, its tough to hold the adapter to prevent leaks. The force of the blasting tries to lift the adapter from the head creating openings for the media to escape. Need many hands to hold everything.
I used one of the small shop vacs; the blue one with about a 1-2 gallon bucket and about a 1.25-1.5" hose. I cut a very small "X" in the shop vac hose close to the end where I inserted the wand. I used metal HVAC tape to secure it to the head and cover up the rest of the port. So, I only needed two hands: one to keep the vacuum hose from squirming all over the place, and the other to wiggle the gun around. I also had issues running the vacuum and the compressor on the same circuit at the same time as it kept flipping the breaker. Workarounds are either plug them into separate circuits, though your typical garage has all outlets on the same circuit, or just stop blasting whenever the compressor kicks on and wait for it to finish.
 

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As far as adapters go, one could just use a piece of plywood and some PVC. Basically, two small pieces of PVC, side-by-side that fit snugly into the port. Glue or epoxy them into a piece of ply that acts as flash or a flange that covers up the rest of the port. Jam it into the port; friction with the PVC will hold it in place. Insert your vacuum hose over or in one of the PVC sides. Insert your gun wand into the other. Tape off the other ports. Vacuum and blast away.

Update

I knew I saw that somewhere before:

 
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