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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > USA - Southwest > Valve Cleaning at 83k (Walnut Blasting)



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      01-25-2013, 09:29 PM   #1
n54door
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Valve Cleaning at 83k (Walnut Blasting)

I've seen some cases here on the forums of others showing large amounts of carbon deposites with as little as 20k miles on the engine. I assume those with harder miles have more build-up.

At 83k miles, to say my valve cleaning was overdue would be an understatement.

Personally, I think cleaning the valves on the N54/N55 engine should be a regular maintenance job every 50k miles (at the least). It really is unbeleivable how much carbon gets caked onto these valves in little time. The degradation of performance is equally surprising. BMW seems to be pretty silent about the issue.

IMO, the only practical method to cleaning the valves is walnut shell blasting, which can be anywhere from $400-$1000 to get it done (dealers are obviously more $ - this is not an easy DIY procedure to shop around). Some have manually scrubbed the carbon off, and then 8hrs later they collapsed from inhaling the chemicals and scrubbing all day. I made that up, but seriously, this shit does not come off easy. Just pay a shop and get it over with.. you'll thank me later.

On that note, thanks to UltimateBimmerService in Dallas. Brent and Ryan are classy guys and very professional; it felt like they were treating my car as if it were they're own.

After looking at these pictures and seeing what the shop removed, I completely understand why my car no longer feels like I'm pulling a Boat behind me. That's no exagerration. The car feels amazing now! It sounds like it's breathing better as I can hear the turbos and never could before, and the rasp at the top of the powerband is so much more pronounced.

The workmanship and level of detail are better explained in the photos - what a difference!


Getting started...




Before












After.














They also resurfaced the deck for the new Intake gasket. Top notch.


Last edited by n54door; 01-27-2013 at 08:47 PM.
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      01-25-2013, 09:33 PM   #2
GOTMH8N
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wow that looked so awful

I need to do this to mine badly
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      01-25-2013, 11:02 PM   #3
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+1 for a worthy service.

I had mine done by Classic BMW this week. It was in for other service, and I didn't want to buy a walnut blaster this week. I believe it was $636 for the service. 38k miles on the car, I didn't bother inspecting it before hand, just figured with the previous owner's Dinan tune on the car and age that it probably wouldn't hurt. Especially now that I have a Procede on it.

My car runs quite a bit better. I'm curious to see how much better once all the adaptations are in place.

I'll check out Ulitmate Bimmer Service at some point. I tend to do it all DIY, but every now and then my schedule doesn't allow for it. Classic messed some stuff up with the car. I have to take it in tomorrow and see how they handle it. I expect they will take care of me, as I spent nearly $3k in parts & labor when it was in. They only broke a $35.00 part and neglected to perform my oil change and brake fluid flush. Minor details, but does beg me to go borrow a bore scope and check out the intake valves.
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      01-26-2013, 02:01 AM   #4
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Not sure I'd be so happy about being able to hear the turbos all of a sudden :O.

That said, it's certainly a service that's well worth looking into if you've got >50k miles on your car. and at the prices that people on this forum have been getting from UBS it's almost a no brainer.

I did my own blasting when I had my coupe because I couldn't stomach paying $600+ to a dealer or indy for what's basically some nut shells and a bunch of labor. After doing the job though, I think I'd charge more than $250 if I was to open my own shop, so in my mind that makes their service a heck of a deal.

I may have to drop off my car sometime and let them blast away!
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      01-26-2013, 10:03 AM   #5
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I had mine done last month at 44k and they looked almost identical to yours. This should be a mandatory service every 30k miles for those of us who are tuned, IMHO. Not only did I notice the car acting generally "happier," my gas mileage has improved by around 1mpg which was unexpected. And it also took care of the little rpm flutters and hiccups under load.
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      01-26-2013, 06:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmt View Post
Not sure I'd be so happy about being able to hear the turbos all of a sudden :O.

That said, it's certainly a service that's well worth looking into if you've got >50k miles on your car. and at the prices that people on this forum have been getting from UBS it's almost a no brainer.

I did my own blasting when I had my coupe because I couldn't stomach paying $600+ to a dealer or indy for what's basically some nut shells and a bunch of labor. After doing the job though, I think I'd charge more than $250 if I was to open my own shop, so in my mind that makes their service a heck of a deal.

I may have to drop off my car sometime and let them blast away!
Yea, I was flirting with the idea of doing it myself. It's quite a task to take on, props to you for doing it all yourself.

As far as the sounds coming from the turbo, the 'whoosh' is what i'm referring to. She' breathing with healthy lungs now. I've always owned turbo cars, this one is now alive again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmyk View Post
I had mine done last month at 44k and they looked almost identical to yours. This should be a mandatory service every 30k miles for those of us who are tuned, IMHO. Not only did I notice the car acting generally "happier," my gas mileage has improved by around 1mpg which was unexpected. And it also took care of the little rpm flutters and hiccups under load.
Agreed! I'm looking forward to the MPG improvement too. I do mosly city driving.
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      02-01-2013, 08:23 PM   #7
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I'm getting this done in 3 weeks. Thanks for setting it up
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      02-07-2013, 10:04 PM   #8
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^ No worries!

So I finally got a JB4 installed now that I got the maintenance out of the way. I did a couple of pulls on map 5 with a little E85 - wow! Couldn't be happier!

I pulled codes after a little drive, and not one code was stored. It seems my misfires are officially gone since the valve cleaning, and the car is running healthy as ever!
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