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  1. #1
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    So I walnut blasted today... a couple of things to add to the walkthrough and lessons learned....

    There is a great walkthrough for walnut blasting by "e90man" out there. It has excellent step by step instructions. A few things to add.

    1: drilling out the fittings only with a 7/16" bit WILL make them work with the BMW tool.

    2: If on a budget, only purchase the "optional" bent wand, Abrasive Blasting Wand for Mini (90° Bend)* - Part# 81 29 2 208 032. You can reach all the valves with both tools but the last cylinder is very tough, lots of things in the way. The bent tool is still tough to do a good job on that cylinder, but if you have to buy just one, it'll work on all cylinders.

    3: 25 lbs of walnut shells via harbor freight is enough to do a ton of cars. Probably used less than 3 lbs.

    4: The one bolt on the intake manifold/block (forward most) was binding and stripped. If this happens don't panic, just be patient, hit it with a liquid penetrant and above all, when removing, apply steady smooth torque for as long a turn as you can. I finally got it out, ran a tap through the threads, bought a new bolt, blew out the hole with compressed air and moved on, no drama. I put the new bolt in with anti-sieze.

    5: Maneuvering the intake manifold back in is a lot worse than taking it out. It may be worth making some notes when you remove it as to your sequence.

    6: Fastest way for my 80k mileage valves to get cleaned was to make sure they were closed, scrape off the giant parts with a screwdriver that I designed specifically for the application (i.e. bent the tip with pliers), vacuum out parts, THEN abrasive blast for about 60 seconds, then vacuum out extra leftover walnuts. I had to repeat this process for a few valves. Mine were nasty.

    7: Thinking you're going to do 2 cars in one day the first time you do this is somewhat optimistic.

    8: It's a good time to replace vacuum lines (at least some of them) while all this stuff is going out. Especially the lines that go behind your oil filter, mine were extremely brittle.

    9: An ecu reset is not necessary but useful when firing the car back up.

    10: We had access to limited electrical outlets, and didn't want to trip a breaker, so we pumped up the air tank to 125 lbs and ran it until about 75. No issues at 125 psi.

    11: I didn't take pictures but my valves were plain gross. Very very thick tar like build up, the car is much happier now. 80k on the odometer and I doubt it was done (I got the car at 50k).

    12: This is really a 2 person job. Yes, 1 person can do it, but it's so much nicer to tag team the problems. This is especially useful to ensuring valves are closed.

    13: If any of you guys are in the phoenix area and need help with this, or just want to borrow some of the blasting specific tools, let me know. I have everything to do it except the air compressor (my bud borrowed that for our project). I'm sure second time around it'll be easier -his car is next. I'm not so much looking to do this for cash, but rather thinking that if a few of us got together to help each other with stuff that is not overtly complicated and the dealers are ridiculous about, it'd be cool to have a few guys helping each other. The local dealer charges $1200 for this, and that's just plain stupid.
    Last edited by SCGT; 03-24-2013 at 01:23 AM.

  2. #2
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    nice write up!!
    I've done 4 cars in a day once! but I've done 20+ lol Click here to enlarge
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    $1200. They better be blasting it with gold.

    I got mines done and you do feel the difference right away when you fire up the car. Night and day!
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    Do u guys get some remains of walnuts that you can't blast out? And what do you use to stop the nuts from flying everywhere.

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    question: why use walnut shells when carby cleaner would literally melt it right off probably slightly more easily?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Flinchy Click here to enlarge
    question: why use walnut shells when carby cleaner would literally melt it right off probably slightly more easily?
    We used the carb cleaner afterwards and wiped. It wouldn't even come close to removing the built up sludge. Believe me, I would love it if we could make the process easier. Additionally, the amount you'd need to use to get the big chunks out would be far more than I'd be comfortable spraying in the area. Actually, I wasn't comfortable spraying in there anyway, I soaked a rag and wiped repeatedly. Again, the carb cleaner (which I did use) got its ass handed to it by this buildup. Just way too much sludge.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by SCGT Click here to enlarge
    We used the carb cleaner afterwards and wiped. It wouldn't even come close to removing the built up sludge. Believe me, I would love it if we could make the process easier. Additionally, the amount you'd need to use to get the big chunks out would be far more than I'd be comfortable spraying in the area. Actually, I wasn't comfortable spraying in there anyway, I soaked a rag and wiped repeatedly. Again, the carb cleaner (which I did use) got its ass handed to it by this buildup. Just way too much sludge.
    fair enough, should've known it would have been tried lol, i've used it on completely blocked EGR valves on other motors, and the carby cleaner got it shiny incredibly quickly

    your valves must be WAY worse than the other pics i've seen, if you're talking about 'chunks' and 'sludge' :O. should've taken pics haha

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by pits200 Click here to enlarge
    Do u guys get some remains of walnuts that you can't blast out? And what do you use to stop the nuts from flying everywhere.
    Yes! It was the cause of great discussions. We decided that pretty much anything we did, looked at, thought about, or hoped would void our warranty with BMW NA. This was one of them. I could imagine explaining the burning walnut smell to the service advisor. Anyway, there were a few flakes here and there stuck to small pieces of carbon or wedged around. Going from memory, I'd say probably half a dozen or so tops per cylinder. I mutiliated a different vacuum attachment to really be able to get in there and vacuum them out, as there will be a pile of them after blasting - you need to vacuum out seperately afterwards. Also, there are some passageways that will fill with the shells (tiny passageways) and bottom line is that it doesn't matter. I *thought* I smelled something immediately after startup but it may have just been in my head. No big deal, just make it look good and move on. Now don't get me wrong, filling your cylinder with walnut shells is by all accounts a bad idea, and will probably result in death, bald tires and hepatitis before you wreck your engine via a very pleasant smelling walnuty fire.

    Walnut shells were contained by using the BMW blast tool. Basically a vacuum cleaner attachment that fits into each opening perfectly, and has a hole to insert the wand for blasting. Shells still got all over the place, but not a big deal. Obviously cover up all open piping, etc.
    Last edited by SCGT; 03-24-2013 at 03:47 AM.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Flinchy Click here to enlarge
    fair enough, should've known it would have been tried lol, i've used it on completely blocked EGR valves on other motors, and the carby cleaner got it shiny incredibly quickly

    your valves must be WAY worse than the other pics i've seen, if you're talking about 'chunks' and 'sludge' :O. should've taken pics haha
    Yes, but even my bud who helped said "jeeze... that looks terrible, I don't even want to look at it, it grosses me out". We're talking about tar buildup like on those pictures of lungs from a 50 year smoker. It was bad. I'm actually suprised that the engine ran as well as it did. On some of the valves it was almost 1/8" radial reduction at the worst spots. That's huge.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by AltecBX Click here to enlarge
    $1200. They better be blasting it with gold.

    I got mines done and you do feel the difference right away when you fire up the car. Night and day!
    Maybe I'm a little out of line, but for $1200 I fully expect the car to be done, detailed, a hot dinner date, and a hell of a lot more than just a happy ending. I may, however, be slightly inappropriate.

  11. #11
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    For $1200 I got walnut blasted as well as valve cover gasket and oil filter housing gasket replaced at my indy.
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    Now the alternative is the "chemical" in the gas. We checked before and after and we did the "treatment", it got about 40-50% of it off. Than followed behind it with a brush and scrubbed. But obviously it is a lot cheaper.

    (cost $99)

    The car was having a hard time "running" when we where flowing the chemical through the system because of all the buildup. (obviously not too good for it) But after it smoked and passed some of it through, car ran better than ever.




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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by E90SoFlo Click here to enlarge
    Now the alternative is the "chemical" in the gas. We checked before and after and we did the "treatment", it got about 40-50% of it off. Than followed behind it with a brush and scrubbed. But obviously it is a lot cheaper.

    (cost $99)

    The car was having a hard time "running" when we where flowing the chemical through the system because of all the buildup. (obviously not too good for it) But after it smoked and passed some of it through, car ran better than ever.
    How does this help a DI engine?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ajsalida Click here to enlarge
    How does this help a DI engine?
    im not sure on the details. But I can tell you it worked. I have some photos if anyone is interested.




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    ugh, i would rather pay the $375 at the local shop to do this than even try to learn the process. Kuddos for doing it yourself.
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    I do intake valve cleaning at work ALL the time(a lot different engines/procedure though) and i can guarantee that carb/brake cleaner isn't going to cut it. At work i use high pressure diesel fuel(~90psi) then alkaline cleaner and then a pressure washer. Unfortunately, none of that will work here lol
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by E90SoFlo Click here to enlarge
    im not sure on the details. But I can tell you it worked. I have some photos if anyone is interested.
    What I meant was I can see brush and scrub part helping but anything in the gas, none of that reaches the intake runners or valves in a DI engine (since injector is in the CC). Which is why DI engines' intakes have so much carbon gunk build up in the first place.

  18. #18
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ajsalida Click here to enlarge
    What I meant was I can see brush and scrub part helping but anything in the gas, none of that reaches the intake runners or valves in a DI engine (since injector is in the CC). Which is why DI engines' intakes have so much carbon gunk build up in the first place.
    Well the point is valid, but I can tell you that we looked at them before we did the chemical treatment, and after, and they were MUCH cleaner (they where still very black) but they were cleaner.

    Ill ask the shop about that.




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    Wouldn't this be the perfect time to change our the oil filter housing gasket too? Seems once the manifold is off that you would have good access to the housing...

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fun2drive Click here to enlarge
    Wouldn't this be the perfect time to change our the oil filter housing gasket too? Seems once the manifold is off that you would have good access to the housing...
    Yep. Mine had just been changed under warranty a few weeks prior. Of course they couldn't have offered to do the blasting cheaply then... I didn't even know they were going to replace the gasket, they just told me after I picked the car up. I normally like doing my own work but the car came with maintenance paid for so I let them do the oil changes/etc.

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    0 out of 1 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    What about using sea foam?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ezec63 Click here to enlarge
    What about using sea foam?
    Doesn't work.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ezec63 Click here to enlarge
    What about using sea foam?
    You can use seafoam if you have the setup that allows it to be sucked in via the vacuum nipple on the intake manifold (not put in the fuel tank), but its still the equivalent of pouring a cup of water on a burning house. Its better to use seafoam (via intake nipple) after getting the walnut blasting done to help mitigate future buildup.
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    Any noticeable changes in drivability/throttle response after blasting? I'm only at 42k but want to get this done soon.

  25. #25
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by gary88 Click here to enlarge
    Any noticeable changes in drivability/throttle response after blasting? I'm only at 42k but want to get this done soon.
    Yes, big change in throttle response.




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