Tag Archives: blasting
Cleaning of intake valves with walnut shell blasting tool - review
By: Mike Ngo and Eurowise
Modern engines are often direct injection, as this process allows for advantages in fuel consumption as compared to conventional fuel injection, as well as yielding more power with an engine of identical displacement. The N54 engine of the BMW 335i and 135i also are direct injection; this means in particular that the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber of each cylinder and not in the intake tract. As a consequence thereof, the fuel injectors are no more placed before the intake valve, but directly in the cylinder itself.
The disadvantage of this is that the regular bathing and therefor cleaning of the intake valves by way of the fuel that they are exposed to does not happen anymore. The intake valves are only in contact with air or rather blow by gases from the crankcase breathing circuit, in which substantial quantities of fuel and oil can be found. Over time, these lead to deposits of carbonized fuel and oil in the intake tract as well as on the intake valves themselves; this is also referred to as carbonizing. This is not immediately bad for the engine, but over time can have a detrimental effect on its efficiency. If the valves are heavily carbonized, they may not close properly anymore, and symptoms such as a bumpy idle, vibrations and diminished throttle response can be observed; it may also contribute to increased oil consumption.
As unfortunately this carbonizing effect is an inevitable byproduct of direct injection, it cannot be prevented. The use of additives in the fuel itself is useless, as (see above) the fuel does not come into contact with the intake tract or the valves at all; the use of water/methanol injection may slow down the carbonizing somewhat (depending on where the methanol is injected and provided it is not yet completely vaporized when it reaches the valves), but cannot prevent it either. A cleaning of the intake valves by using Sea foam or similar products which are injected directly into the charge pipe has been discussed extensively, but in my opinion this method is not very efficient as the carbonizing is usually too persistent to be removed by this method.
In principle there are a few methods to clean the intake valves and intake tracts of the BMW N54 engine (and any other direct injection engine). A very elaborate and consequently expensive method is to completely take off the cylinder head and to have the valves lie in a very aggressive cleaning solution for at least 48 hours, after which they have to be cleaned manually as well in order to remove any remaining carbonizing.
The method I chose in the end and that I'm going to describe here is the cleaning of the intake tract and valve of each cylinder with the Eastwood Small Job Media Blasting Kit. We chose to have them mix up a small batch of walnut shell granules to blast the intake tract with. These granules hit the carbon at high speed and remove it entirely, while at the same time this material is soft enough not to damage the metal of the intake tract and the valves.
Here are the basic steps to cleaning your intake ports and valves:
1. Remove intake manifold
2. Put engine valves on the cylinders being worked on at TDC so the valves are closed
3. Tape off all the cylinders not being cleaned.
4. Using a pick, break loose all the cylinders that have large chunks of carbon first and blow them out
5. Prepare the Eastwood Small Job Blasting Kit and cover the engine bay of all walnuts that may go into items you don’t want them to go acess
6. Start blasting
7. After each cylinder blow or vacuum out the material left inside and repeat if necessary
For the past two years we've been sponsoring the Street Rodder Road Tour and our Eastwood Summer Classic has been the kickoff event for the eastern leg of the tour. Recently we just inked the deal to once again become the official tools sponsor of the 2013 Street Road Tour build. This year the guys at Honesty Charley's Garage will be building the 2013 road tour car. The base car this year is a 1951 Ford that's in less than ideal shape.
While at the 2012 SEMA show Brian Brennan of Street Rodder Magazine and Street Rodder Radio interviewed myself about last year's road tour car and we covered what's going into the 2013 car. We've already sent a large care package down south to Honesty Charley's Garage for the 51 Ford, and I'm sure more will be on its way soon. They'll be fabricating patch panels and performing some custom metal work on the car with our Pro Hammer and Dolly Kit, Economy Bead Roller, Versa Bend Metal Brake, Panel Beater Sandbag, and Plastic Metal Forming Mallets, and much more.
Even though we're "officially" the tools sponsor of this car, the team asked our help in the fight against rust. Since they need to treat and seal many rusty areas on the car, they asked us to send them some of our innovative paints and chemicals. We were happy to oblige. They'll be sealing up and protecting hidden and boxed areas of the '51 Ford with our Internal Frame Coating, and treating just about the entire car and chassis with our famous line of Rust Encapsulator. You can be sure that the car will be free of ANY rust or corrosion; these guys mean business!
Once the crew gets a little further along on the build they'll need to reassemble the car and turn it back into a roadworthy vehicle. For those mechanical projects they'll be using the full line of Eastwood Hand Tools. They'll be some of the first professionals to get their hands on our new ratchets, sockets, screwdrivers, ratcheting wrenches, aviation metal snips, and anything else a serious "wrencher" needs in their toolbox!
Check out the full interview at SEMA at the link below. Some of the great personalities in the classic car and hot rod community today stopped by to visit Brian Brennan including Troy Ladd from Hollywood Hot Rods, Corky Coker of Coker Tires, and Brian Downard of Lokar Performance, so it's definitely worth the listen!
Watch this space as the build really is just getting started for the 2013 Road Tour Car. We'll be sure to give you some insider information on this years car as things progress!
Media blasting is a job that can be quite messy and expensive. Most blasting systems are great if you plan to use it often, but the cost definitely can be overwhelming if you only use it once or twice. Normally you would need a cabinet or a stand-up pressure blaster that requires a large compressor, an efficient air drying system, and loads of media; even if you are just doing a couple small items like valve covers, intake manifolds, etc.
Here at Eastwood we recently released a kit that will allow you to get blasting quicker than ever before. With our new Small Job Media Blasting Kits you can be up and running in no time without the need to invest in a large media blaster or cabinet. If you want to strip and recoat your old parts we suggest coupling the new small job blasting kit with one of our HotCoat Powder Coating Kits. Using the two kits together will get you restoring and coating parts quicker, and more affordably then ever!
As always keep your suggestions coming with your ideas for new products to help you do the job right!