Cleaning Intake Ports

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raiderfan247365

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2019
523
298
63
Western Oregon
So I have my manifold off and was looking at my intake ports, they look pretty dirty/gross to me but I don't have a ton of experience with engines. Looking for opinions on if these really are dirty enough that I should clean them out? If so, how do you all go about cleaning them. And yes I vacuumed out all the debris right after taking the picture lol.

1663869936808.png
 

Action

Junior Member
Aug 12, 2005
1,703
838
113
Phoenix, AZ 85008-1418
Yeah they have a good coating of carbon.
Based on the dead seed pod, it appears you are doing this outside.

Run a vacuum and knock off (scrape off) that debris stuck to the sides of the intake runners. When done vacuum again. Then wipe out with a solvent. Maybe vacuum a last time. Some of that is crusty and some will be sticky. This is unburned hydrocarbons. Likley oil from crankcase venting.

Getting a small amount of that debris into the cylinder won't do much damage as it will just blow through and out the exhaust. Maybe get stuck in the cat converter and burn. The issue is getting any of that stuck on a valve face or valve seat such that it prevents teh valve from closing all of the way. Many valves are closed. However some of those may be open.

On restart, I would run some fuel cleaner poured into the tank.
Change fuel filter after that tank has been run through the engine
Then change oil and filter in the next 500 to 1000 miles

How many miles on the odometer?

Action
 

raiderfan247365

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2019
523
298
63
Western Oregon
Yeah they have a good coating of carbon.
Based on the dead seed pod, it appears you are doing this outside.

Run a vacuum and knock off (scrape off) that debris stuck to the sides of the intake runners. When done vacuum again. Then wipe out with a solvent. Maybe vacuum a last time. Some of that is crusty and some will be sticky. This is unburned hydrocarbons. Likley oil from crankcase venting.

Getting a small amount of that debris into the cylinder won't do much damage as it will just blow through and out the exhaust. Maybe get stuck in the cat converter and burn. The issue is getting any of that stuck on a valve face or valve seat such that it prevents teh valve from closing all of the way. Many valves are closed. However some of those may be open.

On restart, I would run some fuel cleaner poured into the tank.
Change fuel filter after that tank has been run through the engine
Then change oil and filter in the next 500 to 1000 miles

How many miles on the odometer?

Action
Thanks @Action, yea I guess my biggest concern is getting too much debris in my engine, I will heed your advice here, and I will take it slow. The car has almost 200,000 on it.
 

Action

Junior Member
Aug 12, 2005
1,703
838
113
Phoenix, AZ 85008-1418
Block off everything else except the hole you are working on.
Turn vacuum on first.

With that said, a small piece of debris does not have a high chance of causing damage.
On my 5.4l 3V engine somewhere around 140,000 miles it started running poor. I thought it was rather early for a spark plug change as I had chnaged them at 110,000 miles. The engine had a distinct miss fire under certain circumstances. I got very worried about other issues like a worn cam follower or some other thing.

I pulled the plugs and #2 was missing the metal ground tip. (The out side conductor that wraps around to come close to the inner tip) Totally gone. I was kind of floored. The engine injested that piece of metal and it went out the exhaust.

Installed a fresh set of spark plugs, and it ran extremely smooth. That was a new one on me and I have owned about 3 dozen vehicles. I talked to a tech and he said, it isn;t common and it happens. Generally whatever it is just blows right out of the cylinder head and into the exhaust.

I would not encourage you to test that. And most of the time is not the end of the world.

Action
______________________________
 

wolf_walker

Junior Member
Dec 11, 2017
844
556
93
If you have compressed air you can spin the motor over by hand to close the valve and operate with relative impunity, small wire brush, carb cleaner, etc. Suck/blow it out good on each one after. I wouldn't kill myself though tbh. On the newer GDI cars they seem to often be doing that to an extreme degree, think they are blasting the ports with ground walnut shells or some such to clean them.
 
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