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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-05-2013, 11:32 AM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

So, today in New Jersey we finally don't have rain! It seemed like to the perfect day to walnut blast my N54. I was intimidated at first by the project of removing the intake manifold. However, having never even removed the cowl that hold the cabin filter, it's not that bad. Took me and my pop about 45 minutes. About 30 minutes of actual work and about 15 of figuring out how some clips where undone.
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I will upload proper photos of the before and after. My ****ty iPhone camera can't see the valve stem. So when I get ahold of computer ill upload pictures from a real camera with flood lights.

I do have a few questions, I noticed the carbon build up in my first three cylinders are more than my back three, why is that? Cylinder 5 is actually relatively clean? Is it because its burning hotter? And if so why? That cylinder shouldn't be burning that much hotter than the rest. You may be able to see what I'm talking about when I get the rest of the pictures.

EDIT: Car has 94,xxx miles

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  #2  
Old 07-05-2013, 11:43 AM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

Also how did you turn the crank to close of the cylinder heads? Rolling the car? Or is there an easy way to get to the crank that I'm not seeing?


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Old 07-05-2013, 11:53 AM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

Cylinder 1
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Cylinder 2
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Cylinder 3
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Cylinder 4
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Cylinder 5
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:54 AM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

This one is real ****ty quality picture

Cylinder 6
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:41 PM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

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Bagged and taped off, we are ready for lift off! I'm all kinds of excited to feel the difference.


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Old 07-05-2013, 03:20 PM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

Took a break to get a bronze wire brush from a gun cleaning kit from Dick's Sporting Goods

2/6 finished starting on the third now


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Old 07-05-2013, 04:03 PM
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Thanks for the post! Just out of interest...

What mileage has your car done? Does the engine burn oil between changes and what octane fuel do you use?
Looking forward to your after posts, good luck!
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:57 PM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

Quote:
Originally Posted by xxE92 View Post
Thanks for the post! Just out of interest...

What mileage has your car done? Does the engine burn oil between changes and what octane fuel do you use?
Looking forward to your after posts, good luck!
I put an edit in at the end of the first post. The car has 94,XXX miles on the clock. Yes it burns oil in-between changes, I've had the car 10k and I've had to add 2 quarts of oil. I have a BMS oil catch can that I am going to install. First ill let it to run a little while to get the sea-foam and the left over walnuts to mix with the dead oil or burn out, then oil change and then I'll install the catch can.


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Old 07-05-2013, 04:59 PM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

Please keep posting your progress and pics. Nice work!


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Old 07-05-2013, 05:01 PM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

So we've called it quits for today. 3/6 cylinders done. When I parked the car, the valves were shut and retaining Liquids for cylinder 2, 4, and 6. Some reason we are having trouble getting the others to shut. Plus, it was getting dark and it was time for some well deserved food


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Old 07-05-2013, 05:15 PM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

EDIT: added Some extra tips.

On my down-time I'll post some steps. Make sure to tape off the holes that lead to the cabin air! I forgot at first but once I realized it I stopped to tape over it. I taped over all the sensor heads and taped the bags around any open tube. If you see walnut shells on the rest of your car it's fine but please AVOID WIPING IT WITH YOU HAND OR BODY. They are an abrasive and will damage paint. Now ill pick up After removing the intake manifold and taping up and all that none sense...

To start we used WD-40 to see which cylinders would retain a puddle. We used this because its just a lubricant and can't cause any issues. Once we saw cylinder two valve stems were seated, (we were able to tell by the WD-40 puddle), we filled it with sea-foam. While it sat, we stuck a flat head in there to loosen up some surface crud. I read online to use a bronze wire brush. So that was the first break. We got the brush by hoopes and the arm that connects to it. It's really for cleaning a rifle, but this is perfect for this application. After we let it soak in sea-foam and brushed a little, stuck some paper towels in there to absorb the sea-foam. After it was all absorbed, we started the blaster. We did a round of blasting, then shot just air in there to get the extra shells out. After that, another round of sea-foam and brushing. We did one last round of walnuts and then air for the debris. They look spotless after two rounds! Repeat the last couple steps for cylinders 4 & 6. Cylinder 4 we needed an extra round of sea-foam because the valve stem base had some carbon build up stuck behind it. And if you're going to take the time to do this process, you might as well do it right.


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Old 07-05-2013, 06:07 PM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

Quote:
Originally Posted by xxE92 View Post
Thanks for the post! Just out of interest...

What mileage has your car done? Does the engine burn oil between changes and what octane fuel do you use?
Looking forward to your after posts, good luck!
Sorry I only answered one question, but I've only owned the car since 85,534 miles. Since I've only used premium gas. A lot of the time, I used gas from Wawa, strictly because of convenience. However in the last 3k I've used MOSTLY Sunoco Super 93 octane


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Old 07-06-2013, 08:23 AM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

I thought I'd start my second day off with a post of the cleaning products used in this project.

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I already explained what some of these are used for, but ill reiterate.

WD-40: To see which valves were properly seated.
Seafoam: it's the liquid product used to loosen up the carbon buildup.
Seafoam spray: used to get the oil that is stuck in the intake manifold and I think it's called the charge pipe? The tube closer to the drivers side. I think it was connect to the throttle body or the MAF. Sorry I don't really remember. Ill edit this when I re-assemble.
3M throttle Body Cleaner: pretty self explanatory. Might as well clean that too while its out.
NAPA engine cleaner and degreaser: when we are done there is a lot of left over debris. So we are going to used a pressure washer at low to hose down the engine bay. And we are going to use some of that to get the engine bay sparkling.


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Old 07-06-2013, 08:40 AM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

Well we figured out why we couldn't get cylinders 1,3, & 6 to shut. We were trying to remote start it from the starter solenoid. And it wouldn't turn! So we figured when doing the WD-40 test we probably got some fluid in the engine, which is causing a hydraulic lock up and the engine won't spin. The solution is the take out the spark plugs. Ill let you know when we are done.


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Old 07-06-2013, 08:49 AM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

Okay so now that that is done. We were right! Once we took the spark plugs and tried again, WD-40 came flying out of where the spark plugs were. Quite humorous if you ask me! Good thing we had to go through this extra process because we realized that not only WD-40 made it through but walnut shells as well. So we choose to put the spark plugs back in to close off the cylinder, but we left the coils out. After we are done we will clean it out with compressed air. No harm, no foul!


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Old 07-06-2013, 09:37 AM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

A sneak peek at cylinder #3

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I can see the valve stem shining!!!


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Old 07-06-2013, 10:42 AM
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wow looks so clean now. can't wait to hear the feedback of any noticeable difference in performance when you are done.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:53 AM
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I take it you didnt get the tool that you are suppose to use, the one that you attach a vacuum to in order to suck the walnut shells out as you blast the intake. IMO you will be lucky if you didnt do any damage to your engine, it only takes one revolution with fluid in a cylinder to bend something. And if you got walnut dust in the cylinders you could possibly score the walls and then you will be burning oil.

I hope you didnt destroy your engine
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:13 AM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

We didn't bend anything because the started doesn't have enough torque to bend anything. It just locks up. And as for the shells they are completely harmless. It ideal to get out as many as possible, but you don't need to get them all. The purpose of using this media is that it won't pit metal and burns up and shoots out the exhaust after start up


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Old 07-06-2013, 11:17 AM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

Quote:
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wow looks so clean now. can't wait to hear the feedback of any noticeable difference in performance when you are done.
I've never driven the car at the beginning of its life, but ill make sure to tell you the difference between before and after


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Old 07-06-2013, 11:47 AM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

Just finished a lunch break.

Im posting some more equipment used.

This is the tank we used to hold the media. We got it for cheap at Harbor Freight.

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This is the compressor we used, it's 125 psi 1HP 4 gal. It's a little small for the job, my pop suggested that a 3 HP compressor would be better fit for this. This is just the compressor we had at the time.

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Lastly the Walnut Shell media used. Cost 24 bucks at Harbor Freight.

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Old 07-06-2013, 11:55 AM
harooni harooni is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheyCallMeNun View Post
I've never driven the car at the beginning of its life, but ill make sure to tell you the difference between before and after


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yeah thats what i meant , dirty and then clean difference. because mine has 60k miles just curious if you feel a differnce when its all said and done. thanks for the updates
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:58 AM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

Forgot to mention 5/6 done


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Old 07-06-2013, 12:51 PM
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Well the car looks terrible and like its been inoperable for months, but its done!


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Old 07-06-2013, 01:08 PM
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Walnut blasting on the N54

Before the finale I'd like to take a minute and explain the last steps. After we had to do three cycle with cylinder 5, the carbon was really baked on. After that we air hosed the shells out of the bay into the undercarriage pan. Which will allow them to fly out onto the road web we move. When air hosing, be cautious of the alternator because of its opening. And even though we bagged off all the open tubes we still see some inside. Just do your best to remove them with a rag or towel. After that we had changed the spark plugs. We had previously changed them on this car about 2k ago and had the old ones laying around. We popped them back in and cleaned out the holes for the coils. We will switch them back out after we restart the car and let it run for about 5 or 10 minutes. Just for them to take the brunt of any debris. So now we are going to put her back together and give her a pressure washed bath!


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