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Tuxedo black 2015 Focus ST2
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased a 2015 ST2 with 49k miles, and I’ve read a lot about the carbon buildup on the intake valves. I was just wondering if anyone knows of a place to get them walnut blasted? Will a ford dealer do it?
 

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You can do it yourself pretty cheap if you have access to a compressor, but the prices I've seen for shops around here are around $900. I've got about 140k and never cleaned them. I'd only know if it's any slower than new if I jumped into a new one to compare and I'm also getting about 28-30 mpg on winter blend fuel (a good 2 mpg better than last year!), so only worry about it if you notice an issue. In your case, you're not going to have an original baseline to compare any loss of performance or mileage over time, but that's not a lot of miles. Just keep general track of the car as you drive it and think about it if you notice issues related to carbon build up. Or not, it's your money.

I have an uncle who thinks it's 1965 and argued with me about still changing his oil with synthetic (which they didn't have in 1965) every 3k miles and the dude drives slower than grandma in a Corolla in the church parking lot. He hits 100k miles and credits the frequent oil changes. I consider 100k barely broken in and I do 10k synth oil changes. I could probably go more than that, but that's what the manual recommends and I do drive in traffic and with some bursts of heavy throttle, so I go with it. If you're a worrying kind of person that can't rest thinking there's black deposits smothering the valves and choking the very breath out of the engine, get it done as sleep is important, but if you're just reading stuff from other worriers or outlier heavy users or something about the woes of DI from VW/Audi forums, you'll be fine.
 

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^ i wonder why people clean intake valves and install catch cans. WMI costs about the same and has secondary benefits as well.
I've got two OCC's on my car. OCC's seem to be simpler to install and maintain. That said, if I were to do it over again, I'd install a WMI system rather than OCC's.

WMI seems to be better at cleaning the valves along with enabling for more horsepower. I agree with you, WMI seems like the way to go if you can understand how to implement and support it.
 
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2016 Focus ST1
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You can get your valves cleaned at home, by your own hands, without walnuts.
1. Remove intake manifold. Loosen 5 bolts and your intake manifold comes off, plus or minus some wires and tubes.
2. Spray CNC cleaner in the CLOSED valve bays, wait ten minutes and scrub vigorously with whatever brush seems to work. Don’t do anything to the open valve(s) when they’re open, or you will fill your cylinder with crap.
3. Vacuum out gunk with a shopvac. I duck taped a smaller (1/4 diameter) tube to the large vacuum hose and it did the trick.
3. Turn engine over using the bolt on the largest serpentine belt wheel (clockwise) to close the open valve(s) so you can scrub there too.
4. Rinse and repeat about 10 times.
5. Install intake manifold.
6. Done.

It’s a fairly simple procedure. My personal opinion is that the gunk on the valves has no bearing on performance at all. The concept of clean valves was just a marketing ploy by chevron to sell their Techron gas. Who cares if the valves are dirty? So what? Air will enter the cylinder regardless. I think that’s why car manufacturers don’t care about it too much and only recently due to public outcry have they switched over to dual port injection. As the valves open and close, my theory is that gunk can’t form on the outer edges due to friction, which is where it truly counts. But if you’re paranoid like I was, get these from the auto parts store and get ready to scrub. Or pay someone nice dollars to do it for you.


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I walnut blasted my own at 75k miles. The valves were pretty bad-looking, but to be honest I noticed absolutely no difference after blasting them squeaky clean. I left with a mental note that it was probably nice to do it, but it would have been unnecessary to do it any earlier than I did.
 

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I have 140k and have never done it. Maybe it's the frog in the slow-warming pot thing, but I haven't noticed anything that makes me believe it needs to be done. And, while not a turbo, my SE had over 200k and never had it done with the same unnoticeable change in performance or mileage.
 

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I'm anal with my engine.... I'd clean them but I wouldn't pay $900 to do so. The bigger concern than efficiency/performance for me would be LSPI. From what we know about it the cause is due to contamination (carbon deposits, oil ect..etc..) in the combustion chamber. Clean pistons/valves should help statistically minimize your chances of an LSPI event.
 

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I agree that it doesn't help much, if any with performance, but for me my ST idles and runs really poorly when cold under no/low throttle. Once it's warmed up it's fine, and I don't get engine knock, but the rough idles are awful, especially going up a hill in traffic
 

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You can get your valves cleaned at home, by your own hands, without walnuts.
1. Remove intake manifold. Loosen 5 bolts and your intake manifold comes off, plus or minus some wires and tubes.
2. Spray CNC cleaner in the CLOSED valve bays, wait ten minutes and scrub vigorously with whatever brush seems to work. Don’t do anything to the open valve(s) when they’re open, or you will fill your cylinder with crap.
3. Vacuum out gunk with a shopvac. I duck taped a smaller (1/4 diameter) tube to the large vacuum hose and it did the trick.
3. Turn engine over using the bolt on the largest serpentine belt wheel (clockwise) to close the open valve(s) so you can scrub there too.
4. Rinse and repeat about 10 times.
5. Install intake manifold.
6. Done.

It’s a fairly simple procedure. My personal opinion is that the gunk on the valves has no bearing on performance at all. The concept of clean valves was just a marketing ploy by chevron to sell their Techron gas. Who cares if the valves are dirty? So what? Air will enter the cylinder regardless. I think that’s why car manufacturers don’t care about it too much and only recently due to public outcry have they switched over to dual port injection. As the valves open and close, my theory is that gunk can’t form on the outer edges due to friction, which is where it truly counts. But if you’re paranoid like I was, get these from the auto parts store and get ready to scrub. Or pay someone nice dollars to do it for you.


View attachment 376296
This is exactly what I did a few weeks ago. Didn't get the valves back to their original gray color, but it removed the chunks from the stems, and most of the burned-on black stuff. I didn't repeat 10 times, and the brushes I bought were too large in diameter. Not perfect, but they look a lot better. My shop vac didn't explode like I was expecting, either, but I did fill it to the top with water and add an extension hose so it could run in the driveway. Installed OCC. Hopefully won't have to repeat.
 
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