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Oceans10
06-11-2012, 09:10 PM
Had my intake valves walnut blasted today.
Figured with 75k miles on the car it was due.

For those who mod their 535s the following was interesting. The rear intakes towards the cabin were faily clean, then quite dirty in the center and pretty bad in front (heavy build up on the valves). The reason was that my methanol injection kit cleans the gunk and hits the innermost pair of valves harder. Pretty cool and very apparent effect.

Afterwards the car was much more responsive. Huge improvement in pedal feel at low to moderate rpms. The car felt stronger overall, now runs the best it ever has while I have owned it. Very pleased with this decision.

The entire procedure took 3 hours and was a little over $300. Money well spent. :thumbup:

burnie35
06-11-2012, 09:32 PM
Car's with the dealer today, mainly for the battery cable recall ... but also asked them to check a bit of rough running especially at start-up. SA said he'll probably have the valves checked along with the plugs. When I mentioned walnut blasting, he said that's what they do at their shop (BMW dealer in Orlando).

Still under warranty, but don't know if walnut blasiting is covered ... but I really was hoping to get the plugs changed (40k miles) before I did a bit of "tuning". At any rate, after 3 Bimmers from them I've been treated pretty well.

Glad to know the blasting got your car back in shape ... and that the cost was not outrageous.

Belfast4473
06-11-2012, 10:23 PM
Hi there, I just joined the forum. Need some help, got an 04 545i with only 60k miles, just got the error code 2761 secondary air bank. They (dealership)want to replace the vacuum pump, but everything indicates this will be a waste of money and that the underlying problem is due to carbon build up. Anyone have any links or information on,
- walnut shell blasting, will it work, anyone know someone in Vancouver, bc who can do it, dealership want to remove heads and clean for 6k
- a garage in bc or information on changing from us to euro spec to avoid error code and ses light for emissions passing

Thanks in advance

Oceans10
06-12-2012, 05:15 AM
Walnut blasting is for turbo cars, yours is a regular V8. Find a good local independent with the Autologic diagnostic tool. I am actually visiting Vancouver tomorrow but don't know anything about services there. Maybe another local will chime in.

TLO03
06-12-2012, 05:52 AM
Oceans, dealer do it or Indy?

Oceans10
06-12-2012, 05:59 AM
Indy. AKMotorwerk in Hillsborough, NJ. Highly recommended. Taking my wagon there next. They do lots of tuning and mod work on BMWs from a barn in the boonies.

terrystu
06-12-2012, 06:07 AM
And they apparently can do this without removal of the head?

Oceans10
06-12-2012, 06:32 AM
Just take off the valve cover, the big black plastic box you see in the center of the engine. See pics.
They use a wet vac to suck out the debris and compressed air to blast with walnut shells. They pour it into an expansion tank and blast through a small hole in the wet vac attachment that fits the valve opening. Pretty clean procedure. Any residual just gets burned up and expelled when you fire up the engine afterwards.

HPIA4v2
06-12-2012, 07:19 AM
Just take off the valve cover, the big black plastic box you see in the center of the engine. See pics.
They use a wet vac to suck out the debris and compressed air to blast with walnut shells. They pour it into an expansion tank and blast through a small hole in the wet vac attachment that fits the valve opening. Pretty clean procedure. Any residual just gets burned up and expelled when you fire up the engine afterwards.

Interesting.
But don't they need to make sure the intake valves are in close position when blasting; to make sure no walnut dust end up in combustion chamber whatsoever. Cause the timing is different for each cylinder not all in close position when engine off. Just wonder.

Oceans10
06-12-2012, 07:22 AM
Yes, they are moved to closed position before being blasted. Done by hand turning the crank or hitting the starter button with coils off.

HPIA4v2
06-12-2012, 07:33 AM
Yes, they are moved to closed position before being blasted. Done by hand turning the crank or hitting the starter button with coils off.
Good to know.

One more thing I think (not 100% sure but guessing from typical cost structure) BMW dealer is switching to faster (less effective) chemical procedure now, cause my SA says to de-carbon it cost $350 now (down from $700 cause BMWNA gets alot of complain from customers of the cost on <40k-mile cars).

As far as I can tell all BMW indy shops around my area charge only 20% less than dealer so $300 is surely bargain for walnut blasting.

terrystu
06-12-2012, 08:09 AM
OK, I'm ready to do this on my own. What could possibly go wrong?

Oceans10
06-12-2012, 08:36 AM
Nothing I can think of if you make sure the valves are closed.
Some guys use shot gun cleaning fluid and wire bottle brushes.
I am happy to let the pros do it. Works for me.

Nube1kenobi
06-12-2012, 10:40 AM
OK, I'm ready to do this on my own. What could possibly go wrong?

If you do by chemical (fluids) be careful you do not flood and hydro lock that cylinder.

core22
06-12-2012, 02:35 PM
Brought my car in for sluggishness at 49,500 miles. They spent 2 weeks swapping out plugs, injectors, other parts, reflashing software, updating the Dinan tune, etc. After 2 weeks they were scratching their heads and the sluggishness persisted - but I had a bunch of new parts :) BMWNA then told them to proceed with the intake blasting and it was covered under warranty. They took the heads off though, and the process from when BMWNA told them to proceed to when they called me to pick up the car took 2 or 3 days.

Oceans10
06-12-2012, 06:58 PM
Core, is there an outcome to this report? Maybe a punch line? Come back and finish the story so we hear the ending. :-)

core22
06-13-2012, 06:36 AM
You mean you can't read between the lines? :) Folks were questioning whether it would be covered under warranty, and if the head comes off or not. Sharing what happened with me - hopefully others who are still under warranty can use this info. After this process it drove like a new car. I find it interesting that many higher mileage N54's are now sharing these symptoms - hopefully BMWNA will release an official SB that dealers can work from under warranty.

ARX3
06-13-2012, 08:41 AM
Car's with the dealer today, mainly for the battery cable recall ... but also asked them to check a bit of rough running especially at start-up. SA said he'll probably have the valves checked along with the plugs. When I mentioned walnut blasting, he said that's what they do at their shop (BMW dealer in Orlando).

Still under warranty, but don't know if walnut blasiting is covered ... but I really was hoping to get the plugs changed (40k miles) before I did a bit of "tuning".

There is no question - plugs must be changed at 40k miles per maintenance schedule. I've had that done a month ago. It's not going to fix the rough idle. Now at 48k miles my car is at the dealer for the same rough running at startup you're experiencing. It was at the dealer last week for the recall and I mentioned the rough starts and they cleared the adaptive memory and fault codes. Obviously that's not going to fix the problem. This time I will insist that they decarbon the valves. Stay tuned.

ARX3
06-13-2012, 01:23 PM
Dealer just called. They claim that per BMWNA rough idle is normal on this engine during cold start due to 'condensation'. :rofl: when I asked him why the 335xi loaner I got is not exhibiting this problem, he couldn't answer and wasn't even sure if they have the same engine! I think it's time to find a new dealer.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=624426

HPIA4v2
06-14-2012, 07:04 AM
Dealer just called. They claim that per BMWNA rough idle is normal on this engine during cold start due to 'condensation'. :rofl: when I asked him why the 335xi loaner I got is not exhibiting this problem, he couldn't answer and wasn't even sure if they have the same engine! I think it's time to find a new dealer.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=624426
The problem nowadays with BMWNA and dealers, if there is no code, NO PROBLEM. Unless you want them to investigate and pay the cost yourself.

As far as 335ix, it most likely has N55 engine (2nd generation modern BMW turbo engine) instead of N54, and BMW has put some improvement on pump and injectors. My 335 never has hesitation during cold start (or long crank). Not sure if BMW also fix the "carbon" build up on N55 but one thing I notice (though it's rather stupid to do), when I try to add oil with engine running, I can do it on N54 (almost zero crank pressure) but on N55 once you open the oil filler with engine running; watch out, oil mist start coming out all over (more crank pressure).

ARX3
06-14-2012, 07:18 AM
As far as 335ix, it most likely has N55 engine (2nd generation modern BMW turbo engine) instead of N54, and BMW has put some improvement on pump and injectors.
I believe N55 came to 3-serie in 2011. My loaner is a '10 335xi with N54 engine - same as my '08 535xi.

BMWFAN275
06-14-2012, 09:49 PM
So is the walnut blast a repair or maintenance? :dunno:

HPIA4v2
06-15-2012, 08:32 AM
So is the walnut blast a repair or maintenance? :dunno:
Hard to say, but rule of thumbs part failure is repair and part cleaning is maintenance.

ARX3
06-15-2012, 09:14 AM
My dealer just authorized valve de-carbon. (I assume that means walnut blasting) Hope that fixes my idle. :)

NoQuarter
06-16-2012, 09:44 PM
My dealer just authorized valve de-carbon. (I assume that means walnut blasting) Hope that fixes my idle. :)

You need to ask. Dealers also have a chemical process they sell that won't do the same as a walnut shell cleaning.