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Old 04-12-2013, 11:27 PM   #1
intensifi

 
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DIY LFX Intake Manifold / Valve Cleaning

I didn't have a catch can on until 14K miles.

I had an upper induction cleaning done at the dealer to remove the initial oil and carbon buildup. That significantly helped smooth out the idle and improve my mileage.

However I felt more could be done to clean out the oil and carbon buildup in the intake manifold air pathways and on the valves themselves.

This DIY is the result of performing the GM documented procedure to remove and reinstall the intake manifold. In addition to the manifold remove/reinstall procedure I added instructions based on research and the suggestions of knowledgable camaro5 members/vendors to safely clean the valves.

After completing this procedure, my car runs very smoothly. My mileage has also increased (0.7 MPG - stop and go city driving).

After directly seeing what builds up without a catch can, I am a catch can believer.

I also now believe that if you do not have a clean intake manifold, associated air pathways and valves you WILL NOT obtain the full benefit of cold air intakes or ported throttle bodies.

Please feel free to critique or add suggestions that have worked for you. I welcome your input.
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File Type: pdf LFX Air Intake Removal:Cleaning:Reinstallation.pdf (931.2 KB, 1429 views)
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:49 AM   #2
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Jeff, this is a fantastic DIY! Anyone with a basic set of tools and an afternoon can save themselves a bunch of money and get their intakes clean themselves by using this guide. I plan to use it as soon as I get a catch can.

LFX owners, you should be downloading a copy of this ASAP! Especially if you don't run a catch can. Dealers charge ~$200 for a chemical intake cleaning, and I've seen ~$800+ quoted for actual physical cleaning (ie, walnut shell blasting). If you're comfortable working on your own car, this is pretty simple to do yourself.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 911medic View Post
Jeff, this is a fantastic DIY! Anyone with a basic set of tools and an afternoon can save themselves a bunch of money and get their intakes clean themselves by using this guide. I plan to use it as soon as I get a catch can.

LFX owners, you should be downloading a copy of this ASAP! Especially if you don't run a catch can. Dealers charge ~$200 for a chemical intake cleaning, and I've seen ~$800+ quoted for actual physical cleaning (ie, walnut shell blasting). If you're comfortable working on your own car, this is pretty simple to do yourself.
Yes, very well written and nicely done.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:38 PM   #4
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thanks!
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:04 AM   #5
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Now added to the DIY sticky: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60650
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:28 PM   #6
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nice instructions. im convinced that the first upgrade for me will be a catch can and CAI.

you should of done the same for installing the catch can.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:48 PM   #7
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Is the link now missing ?
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:06 PM   #8
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Very good info. Just make sure the upper induction cleaning is not done very often as the deris knocked loose some particles get pushed down between the pistons and cylinder walls causing scouring. Get a good catchcan on and then do it and your good to go. And ONLY one of the few brands that actually catch almost all the oil...not the majority.

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Old 05-21-2013, 10:39 PM   #9
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So I finally had an opportunity to follow this DIY, and wanted to chime in with some feedback/info that others may find useful.

First off, this guide was extremely easy to follow and made the removal/replacement of my IM to examine my intake valves very easy. I pulled my IM and replaced it in just a couple of hours, and that included time for cleaning various parts and taking pictures (see here).

I found oil in my air intake tube (from the "clean side" PCV tube), a dirty throttle body, oil in my IM "catch reservoir" (not a ton, but some), and oil coating the interior of my IM. I also found oil and grit/grime around each intake runner opening where the gasket seals the IM and block together, and yes, carbon on my valves--one was particularly bad. I now have an RX catch can and breather installed, so hopefully once things are clean, they'll stay that way.

Back to the DIY. Step 15 describes disconnecting the TB electrical connector by sliding the red slide lock out and wiggling the connector free. For me, no amount of wiggling would free the connector. I even tried some gentle prying with a flat blade screwdriver, to no avail. The only way I could get it to release was to depress the tab that the red slide lock slides behind, then it came off easily. The tab is circled in yellow in the following picture:



Jeff and I discussed this briefly, and he confirmed his does not require the tab to be depressed to remove his plug, but mine definitely does, so if you're having an issue at this step, try both techniques. For me, it seems like the slide lock prevents this tab from being depressed, unless it's slid out.

I also removed the throttle body (step 19) before removing the manifold (step 18), though I don't think it matters. It was just easier for me to unbolt the TB while the IM was still mounted.

Jeff mentions the 6 IM manifold bolts (step 16), and how the rear one cannot be removed until the IM itself is slid out from under the cowl area. Something else to note is that the rear bolt is the only one that is different than the others. The other 5 appear identical, but the rear bolt is shorter, so when reinstalling, don't get it mixed up with the others:

Step 23 mentions the gasket between the IM and block sitting on a "rubberized spacer." Here is a picture of that spacer for informational purposes, and also a picture of it removed/replaced in it's position on the block:







I actually wonder if this part isn't some kind of acoustic foam, as it sits right over the fuel rails. Maybe helps deaden some noise?

Anyway, the guide was great, made it easy. Anyone with the basic required tools can do this! I cleaned my TB, air tube, and IM with some B12 Chemtool throttle body cleaner, and reassembled no problem. Next will be a Seafoam treatment, then possibly (well, probably) a manual valve cleaning using this guide again!
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:25 AM   #10
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Great addition to the thread.

I though "if it needed a catchcan GM would have equipped it with one"? LOL.

That foam is to deaden the sound of the injectors on DI engines as they are very loud operating above 2000 PSI.

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Old 05-22-2013, 10:41 AM   #11
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does anyone know if you can put a 2012 manifold on a 2010 v6? it would save some weight + maybe more power??
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:29 PM   #12
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No. Port shape is different and bolts are just slightly off.

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Old 11-03-2013, 10:55 AM   #13
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Old thread, new life!

So I'm planning on giving my intake a nice cleaning when I'm off work next week. I'm seriously considering getting a small blaster from harbor freight and some fine walnut media.
http://www.harborfreight.com/portabl...kit-37025.html

I was wondering if anybody had any input? Using scrub brushes and seafoam looks like it cleans the majority of the valves, but not as well near the outside sealing surface. I know the walnut process has been used before and thought it might be worth the investment. Anybody ever use this harbor freight one?
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:59 PM   #14
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That scares me just because I don't see how you'd ensure you get all the media back out . . . plus if your valve isn't completely closed then you're also going to get some in the cylinder. If you know what you're doing go for it, but for me it sounds more risky than using Techron or Seafoam with microfibers/hand tools.

Post your results when you do it!

Last edited by ChadG; 11-04-2013 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:02 AM   #15
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Well, my buddy just bought a new compressor. My plan was to enlist him and manually turn the motor over untill I can confirm the valves are closed and then erect a trash bag tent over the intake valves. I'd use a shop vac to get all the media out.

I'm kind of wary as well, but the brush seems like it may not clean quite as well. I don't know... Either way I'll post plenty of pics and such
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:00 PM   #16
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That scares me just because I don't see how you'd ensure you get all the media back out . . . plus if your valve isn't completely closed then you're also going to get some in the cylinder.
Make sure you close the valves when doing any cleaning on a given cylinder. The instructions discuss how to manually close the valves on a given cylinder.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:53 PM   #17
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I think one of the benefits of using the walnut shells for blasting is that any stray fibers/materials burn up if they make it into the cylinders.

BMW uses them to clean their intake valves, albeit with a special tool that blasts and extracts the debris simultaneously, IIRC.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 911medic View Post
I think one of the benefits of using the walnut shells for blasting is that any stray fibers/materials burn up if they make it into the cylinders.

BMW uses them to clean their intake valves, albeit with a special tool that blasts and extracts the debris simultaneously, IIRC.
So the debris won't scary the pistons or cylinder walls?

Also how do you test that the valve is closed other than putting something like liquid seafoam in there to see if it puddles or not?
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:30 AM   #19
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Quote:
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So the debris won't scary the pistons or cylinder walls?

Also how do you test that the valve is closed other than putting something like liquid seafoam in there to see if it puddles or not?
Well, I'm not a service tech or engineer, so I guess I can't say for sure, but I believe that's the idea behind the walnut shell blasting. Abrasive enough under pressure to clean, but the natural fibers/bits burn up/flow through if they get in the cylinders.

BMW's direct injection engines suffer from the same issues ours do, and their dealerships do walnut shell blasting with a special tool.

Here are a couple of links to BMW user forums where the blasting is discussed:I know Harbor Freight has some walnut shell blasting media equipment for pretty cheap, IIRC, but I don't know how good it is.

As far as checking for valve closure, I don't know of a better way than seeing if an engine-friendly liquid will pool on top of the valve. That's what I did when i cleaned my valves (see post #73).
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:23 PM   #20
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I may be making a trip up to harbor freight tomorrow. Wow! Those are some clean valves!

So I guess it would be easiest to remove the spark plugs to rotate the motor and shut each set of valves, and then just hook up the blaster and a vacuum and go to town right?

Is there anything special about removing spark plugs?
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:07 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 911medic View Post
Well, I'm not a service tech or engineer, so I guess I can't say for sure, but I believe that's the idea behind the walnut shell blasting. Abrasive enough under pressure to clean, but the natural fibers/bits burn up/flow through if they get in the cylinders.

BMW's direct injection engines suffer from the same issues ours do, and their dealerships do walnut shell blasting with a special tool.

Here are a couple of links to BMW user forums where the blasting is discussed:I know Harbor Freight has some walnut shell blasting media equipment for pretty cheap, IIRC, but I don't know how good it is.

As far as checking for valve closure, I don't know of a better way than seeing if an engine-friendly liquid will pool on top of the valve. That's what I did when i cleaned my valves (see post #73).
That makes sense, but now I'm worried that if you check that the valve is closed with something like Seafoam then the walnut shells will get all wet and stick to things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry_b View Post
I may be making a trip up to harbor freight tomorrow. Wow! Those are some clean valves!

So I guess it would be easiest to remove the spark plugs to rotate the motor and shut each set of valves, and then just hook up the blaster and a vacuum and go to town right?

Is there anything special about removing spark plugs?
I think the spark plugs are pretty straight forward, what you said should work fine.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:32 PM   #22
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I'm actually thinking about doing the seafoam treatment AFTER I blast with the walnuts. That way I can just vacuum out the shells. I'm itching to dig in and see what the valves look like. Truthfully, I'll be a little disappointed if my valves are actually clean lol!
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:52 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by terry_b View Post
I may be making a trip up to harbor freight tomorrow. Wow! Those are some clean valves!

So I guess it would be easiest to remove the spark plugs to rotate the motor and shut each set of valves, and then just hook up the blaster and a vacuum and go to town right?

Is there anything special about removing spark plugs?
I was able to turn my crank bolt, slowly, without pulling plugs. But if you do pull them, just add a small dab of anti-seize to the threads before you replace them and torque them to spec and you should be fine.
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:53 PM   #24
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That makes sense, but now I'm worried that if you check that the valve is closed with something like Seafoam then the walnut shells will get all wet and stick to things?
Yeah, I suppose that may happen. Not sure what to tell you.
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:19 PM   #25
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Well I picked up the blaster and the walnut media earlier today... ran into some complications... I think the reason the bimmer guys were having such good luck is that little tool that fits into the port. I either sprayed walnut shells everywhere or didn't get enough in one place to do any good... I may give it another shot tomorrow and see how I do... one problem is that I have some really carbonized valves. Way worse than I thought, and I was having trouble with the walnut media just sticking to everything in the port. It did seem oily still, an my intake manifold was a mess! I never cleaned it after installing the catch can, so there's a chance its just residual oil, but I don't know. More to come...
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