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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > USA - Rockies / Midwest > Walnut blast - my experience and pics



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      01-06-2019, 08:41 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IN54NITY View Post
First: a shout out to Wes and JamesM3M5 who is a forum member. This post isn't a DIY, the DIY on bimmerhelp is plenty good enough. (Don't know if there is also an e90post DIY, but I found the other one first.)

I noticed about 10k miles ago that the car wasn't running as fast as it did when new and I had been getting "silent" limp modes (no codes thrown). After reading this thread http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=726481 I was motivated to do a walnut blast. Good thing I did. The "after" car is like driving the car new. Butt dyno says 40hp and I don't think I am exaggerating. The cleaning was tedious: walnut blast, soak with carb cleaner, scrub and now repeat about 3 times, now repeat for the other 5 cylinders! Cylinders 4, 5, and 6 were pretty bad, especially #5, where some of the sludge was 4mm thick. It drastically affected air flow.

You owe it to yourself to get this done if your car has 45k+ miles without a walnut intake cleaning!

The cool side of the N54 (with the black electronics hub - what the DIY calls the "evil box" - at bottom center):
Attachment 1083657

Detail of the bottom of the intake manifold. I had a bitch of a time detaching the "evil box" (which is just an electrical hub of connections) from the manifold. (Edit: Be sure to detach this hub off the manifold before you take the manifold off the head!) You can see that I very mildly sanded the edges of the top of the lips on the two tabs so it won't be such a bitch to take the hub off it next time.
Attachment 1083648

Throttle body, which I had to clean as well.
Attachment 1083649

This is the actual top of the throttle body (after cleaning - sorry forgot to take pic of it dirty)
Attachment 1083650

Cyl #1 intake
Attachment 1083651

Cyl #5 intake - friggin gross
Attachment 1083652

Cyle #4 with a couple blow-suck cycles, pretty clean but I gave it another blow suck.
Attachment 1083653

15 Amp switch from AutoZone with wire and alligator clips. I was too lazy to jack up the car because I don't think you can turn the crank bolt from top. Edit: If you have an oil cooler you can't because there are too many hoses in the way, if you don't have an oil cooler, you can. If you take off the electric fan and its shroud - which slides up, you can get to the crank from the bottom of the car. Having a lift would make it easy. Important: For those 6MT DIYers who are about to rock, don't forget to put tranny in neutral!
Attachment 1083658

Broken vacuum adapter after 4 cylinders while wiggling it out (thankfully duct tape worked for the final 2 cylinders). Wes is sending me a new one though! Thanks man!
Attachment 1083655

One final note about the sand blaster kit: after getting the "40lb" pressurized sand blaster kit from Harbor Freight (i.e. the "red" media blaster kit), I found it was using waaaaay too much walnut media and I stopped using it and got the smaller "gray" portable kit that is mentioned in the original DIY link above and here: https://www.harborfreight.com/portab...kit-37025.html (kit also comes with a gun). The portable one works by pulling walnut media simply by pressure drop/bernoulli's principle of the pressurized air flow from your air compressor. I also used the "fine" walnut media which is also mentioned in the DIY.


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      12-04-2023, 12:21 AM   #90
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Nearly 10 years and 70k miles later (car now has ~108k miles total) I am doing it again because I am replacing the HPFP.. I'll take some pics and post up soon. I do have an oil catch can. I last emptied it about 2 years ago, but I don't drive as much any more - about 5k a year. Just emptied it and it had about 30mL of oil. So about 10-15 mL per 5000 miles. 15mL is a about a tablespoon.

I had my HPFP replaced by warranty in first 5k back in 09, almost exactly 100k later, the replacement went bad. From what I have read, it's like right on schedule. Ha ha. They seem to last 100k miles.

https://www.e90post.com/forums/showt...7#post30710207
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      12-27-2023, 06:11 PM   #91
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@IN54NITY I see from an earlier post that you are/were in Louisville, are you still there? If you haven't done yours yet, I could help you do yours, and then we work on mine ?
I'm in Louisville, too.

Last edited by earlster; 12-27-2023 at 09:01 PM.. Reason: Added mention
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      01-01-2024, 11:47 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IN54NITY View Post
Nearly 10 years and 70k miles later (car now has ~108k miles total) I am doing it again because I am replacing the HPFP.. I'll take some pics and post up soon. I do have an oil catch can. I last emptied it about 2 years ago, but I don't drive as much any more - about 5k a year. Just emptied it and it had about 30mL of oil. So about 10-15 mL per 5000 miles. 15mL is a about a tablespoon.

I had my HPFP replaced by warranty in first 5k back in 09, almost exactly 100k later, the replacement went bad. From what I have read, it's like right on schedule. Ha ha. They seem to last 100k miles.

https://www.e90post.com/forums/showt...7#post30710207
Finished. Pics are of #1 & #2 at start / extremely filthy, #6 at 40% done, at 90% done, and HPFP install. #5 And #6 were difficult. Just those two cylinders took almost an entire can of carb cleaner and three hours of work alone until I was satisfied.
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      01-01-2024, 11:52 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earlster View Post
@IN54NITY I see from an earlier post that you are/were in Louisville, are you still there? If you haven't done yours yet, I could help you do yours, and then we work on mine ?
I'm in Louisville, too.
Hi. Yep, still in Louisville. Give me a text or WhatsApp.... Seven two oh - three four three-0340.
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      01-02-2024, 06:04 PM   #94
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Wow that is a great improvement.
I just completed walnut blasting on an N55 engine (while replacing the HPFP) and even after 130,000 miles, it wasn't that bad. Seems the N55 has a better PCV system which carbons the valve less than the N54.

After the work, I kept researching valve cleaning and found this video to be informative:

It compares scraping to soaking in brake fluid to even starting with zip-ties in a drill. Based on that video, if I were to do it again, I would start with zip-ties, proceed to scraping with hooked tools and then blasting.

There are several videos showing how useless the products are which you spray into the intake while the engine is running. Several take pictures of the valves before, reassemble the engine, do the spraying and then disassemble to show the result. In short, it takes a microscope to notice any difference. I do wonder if the better products might be useful to use e.g. every 3000 miles after a thorough physical cleaning.

Here is one video showing how useless they are:
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