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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 09-25-2010, 07:50 PM
fltstone fltstone is offline
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Seafoam or BG-K44 Users

Has anyone used Seafoam or K44 on their high mileage E34? If so where you able to see any change in performance or mileage? I heard that Seafoam clears out the built up carbon. And K44 cleans out built up gunk. I'd like any first hand accounts prior to trying them myself. I plan on doing a compression check before and after.
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2010, 08:54 PM
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I don't have an account for either product when used from the can as directed. However, from first-hand experience breaking down an M30 motor, I can't determine how much benefit that style of treatment would be for our in-line six package.

The lion's share of engine contamination was a thick, filthy coating along the entire inner surface of the intake manifold with significant buildup near, but not on, the injector pintle caps. This was all from crankcase emission recovery. I had the manifold cleaned ultrasonically.

The other mess was a very stubborn crusty desposit that had built up on the piston crowns and around the valve seats. With the head removed, the pistons were soaked with GM top-end cleaner over night, and the heads scraped with an old credit card and touched-up with Amrep carb cleaner.

As to be expected, I don't see either of these products attaining this level of cleanliness without removing specific components. I've never done the "soak-from-a-can" process because frankly I've never owned a vehicle that ran crappy enough to warrant it's use without requiring some other form of major maintenance. I had awesome results with the top-end cleaner, but I was clearly not using the product as directed. Sea Foam and especially the GM top-end cleaner do have a solid lineage of good press none the less.

P.S.- The last pic is of the #1 and #2 piston tops. #1 was clean, and yes, #2 is so contaminated you can't even see it in the picture from the exposure. All of the cylinders were like this. The engine would ping quite a bit during full throttle roll-ons. I could clearly see why.
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Last edited by Radian; 09-25-2010 at 08:56 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-25-2010, 10:25 PM
rednatasha rednatasha is offline
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Mein Auto: 1989 BMW 535i
Quote:
Originally Posted by fltstone View Post
Has anyone used Seafoam or K44 on their high mileage E34? If so where you able to see any change in performance or mileage? I heard that Seafoam clears out the built up carbon. And K44 cleans out built up gunk. I'd like any first hand accounts prior to trying them myself. I plan on doing a compression check before and after.
Hello
I used seafoam on my 89 535i w/ 221xxx miles and I definetly saw imrpovemnt from better idleing to mpg. Good stuff
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  #4  
Old 09-25-2010, 10:33 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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both are great for decarboning the combustion chambers, and removing intake deposits. i have used both via a vacuum bleed and actual shop set ups (when i was a tech).

as for engine sludge buildup in the crankcase, it may remove the buildup, but nothing will repair the damage caused from the neglect of infrequent oil changes/abuse. once the oil rings are gone, it's teardown time.


df
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  #5  
Old 09-26-2010, 12:14 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radian View Post
I
I had awesome results with the top-end cleaner, but I was clearly not using the product as directed. Sea Foam and especially the GM top-end cleaner do have a solid lineage of good press none the less.
:
Hi Radian,

How were you using the GM top end cleaner? Please give us full exhaustive details.
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  #6  
Old 09-26-2010, 12:38 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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I've used STP carb cleaner through the brake booster line. I've also done decarbonisation with water (5 quarts at a time), and decarbonisation with a 50/50 mix of water and methanol....these were through a long clear plastic tube (the kind used in fish tanks) inserted into a jerry can of the stuff, at 1500rpm. [ 2 small holes were cut at different points of the long plastic tube to ensure that plenty of air gets mixed with the water being sucked in - this way there's no need to fast dip and remove the tube from the water which is very bothersome.] I've also done direct carb cleaning of the intake valves using a carb cleaner when my intake manifold was removed.

2 weeks ago, I did a piston soak using marvel mystery oil over 24 hours. Last year, i did a piston soak with carb cleaner and ethanol over 3 hours.

My verdict?

1. The first time you do this intensively, it helps, especially the carb cleaner/water decarb through the brake booster fitting. Engine feels more responsive. After that there's no real improvement.

2. Any water that gets into the engine through blowback gases while doing water decarb will be naturally vapourised and expelled through the EGR system over the course of 1 hour's total driving. This can be at one instance or over a few days. Yellow emulsion-like oil will turn back to black/brown. There's no risk to the system. While the water is in the system, the engine will feel artificially smoother, this is a false positive.

3. From what I've read and pondered over, I don't think these methods are practical to remove thick layers of piston-top carbon, at least with the chemicals mentioned above. ANd, i don't think water decarb results in steam cleaning of the combustion chamber as there's probably too litle sustained steam at high pressure. HOWEVER, following a top overhaul, these methods are EXCELLENT ways to keep the piston tops clean (especially the overnight piston soak) if done regularly i.e. once every 6 months. This removes carbon when its thin enough to be dislodged easily by these on-engine methods.

4. The next thing to try would be to use high pressure compressed air or a water jet injected through the spark plug holes after piston soaking has been done. This would dislodge alot more of the loosened carbon. Merely restarting the engine may cause some loose specks to bake onto the piston top yet again due to the high heat. Unfortunately i neither have shop air or a water jet to try this with at the present time.

Let me know what you'd like to do. Its certainly worth a try.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 09-26-2010 at 12:47 AM.
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  #7  
Old 09-26-2010, 08:11 AM
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Radian Radian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20
How were you using the GM top end cleaner? Please give us full exhaustive details.

Sure thing...it's a technique I picked up from other mechanics online.

With the cylinder head removed from the engine block, I parked the pistons so that they were all somewhere down into their bores a bit. I then poured enough Top-End Cleaner (TEC) into each cylinder to just cover the tops of the pistons.

Then I just let it sit for about 24 hours. Every 4 hours or so, I'd check up on progress and give the solution a stir with an acid brush. The next day I gave one good last swish with the acid brush to make sure I got the valve relief cut-outs cleaned, then I sucked out all the nasty solution and floating chunks of garbage with a large syringe.

Next I would place the piston at bottom dead center. I then took my syrnige, and squirted fresh motor oil around the perimeter of the piston (not a whole lot, just an even bead enough to get down into the rings). I then slowly brought the piston to top dead center, then back down again. This would deposit the crap-load of junk from the rings, now entrapped in the oil, along the upper surface of the cylinder walls.

You'd be impressed just how much junk can fit in between the piston and the cylinder. So then I'd wipe that off, and repeat the process a couple more times until no more significant deposits were evident, then I moved onto the next cylinder.

This technique involves very little effort in comparison to trying to decarb the pistons with spray cleaner and a rag.

As for the cylinder heads. If found I could literally chisel off the encrusted deposits around the combustion chamber with the corner of an old credit card. Anything left behind was easily dissolved with the wipe of some carb cleaner and a rag. The intake port crud was also wiped out with just a rag soaked in carb cleaner. The deposits were the worst along the lower surfaces of the ports.
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  #8  
Old 09-26-2010, 10:02 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Thanks Radian. Now, I would like you to guess how the GM Top engine cleaner + oil method you used above can be adapted to on-engine cleaning, without the head removed. Please give it a try conceptually and lets see how that might look like. If you come up with something workable, then you've done us all (and yourself too) a big favour.

Secondly, would you say the GM's top engine cleaner is just the same as any other carburetor cleaner? Would you mind have a look at the lable and seeing if the same chemicals are used in both ? Thanks.


Roberto
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  #9  
Old 09-26-2010, 12:06 PM
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Radian Radian is offline
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Well, to answer the second question carb cleaner and the GM TEC product are entirely two different animals.

The TEC is freaking pungent stuff and a dark cloudy grey in color right from the bottle. It doesn't evaporate and is more viscous than carb cleaner. It's also considerably more expensive. FYI - The bottle pictured below has been superseded by a newer product called Upper Engine & Fuel Injector Cleaner. GM claims to have made some improvements to the formula. If so, that's gotta be some pretty effective cleaner.

As for developing an on-engine procedure...I think following the directions on the product is about as good as it's gonna get without dissecting the engine. The location of our sparkplug holes and the slanted block don't lend themselves well to pouring the stuff into the cylinder and getting it back out again. In addition, the treatment wouldn't touch the valve seats, intake ports, or the vast interior of the plenum this way. Given the nature of the deposits and where they occur, there's only so much one could hope to do in terms solvent cleaning and sending the junk out the exhaust pipe.
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  #10  
Old 10-01-2010, 08:55 PM
complex5150 complex5150 is offline
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seafoam: Just bought it, tried it and it works. I was a skeptic. my car runs smoother
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  #11  
Old 10-02-2010, 05:35 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Originally Posted by complex5150 View Post
seafoam: Just bought it, tried it and it works. I was a skeptic. my car runs smoother

It it possible that the seafoam was blown into the crankcase and thinned the oil when it mixed into it?

Try water decarb, or use denatured alcohol (at least 1 quart there), through the same brake booster. See if there's any difference.
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