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Discussion Starter #1
I spent my day off from work opening my manifold and manually cleaning my valves. It was a great learning experience and I'm pretty happy with the results. I used GM Top Engine Cleaner to soak the valves, but the best method by far was to scrape with picks and suck with a shop vac. I also found spraying carb cleaner and vacuuming it out worked well, kind of like at the dentist when they spray off your teeth and suck out the water.

Before:





After (I admit my patience level waned, but I'm happy):





I'm happy knowing my valves are clean and that I was up to the task. If you asked me to clean your valves I'd tell you I wouldn't get out of bed for anything less than $300.

*Thanks to Staulkor for his writeup and Stasis for their manifold removal PDF*
 

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ah the benifits of FSI...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all! It was a bear of a project, but as long as you take your time the results can be good.

The vehicle in question had 74K on the clock. I use a BSH block off plate and am a "moderate" driver I guess. I have a 44 mile round trip commute to work.

@el semental it's possible your valves look like this, how many miles do you have and have you ever had them cleaned?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I didn't buy any new parts. Non of my injectors popped out when I took off the manifold. I maybe should have gotten a new manifold gasket, but I never made it to the parts store.

Tools are a different story. I needed a special triple square bit, bought myself a shop vac, purchased a set of double sided pics, GM Top Engine Cleaner, and three cans of carb cleaner.
 

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WOW. Very cool. I'm curious, as far as the "scraping" goes, from your experience did the carbon come off relatively easily, or was it like abrading granite off a cliff? Can't help but wonder what this same, un-scraped engine might look like at, say, 200K miles!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
WOW. Very cool. I'm curious, as far as the "scraping" goes, from your experience did the carbon come off relatively easily, or was it like abrading granite off a cliff? Can't help but wonder what this same, un-scraped engine might look like at, say, 200K miles!
Here is the scraping in action. The carbon comes off in chunks, bits, and pieces. Once you start using chemicals it turns into basically a tar-like substance.

MY theory is this would eventually get to a point where the engine chokes itself out. There are already reports of misfires due to carbon buildup.
 

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@el semental it's possible your valves look like this, how many miles do you have and have you ever had them cleaned?[/QUOTE]

my car has 80k and it never had the injectors cleaned, btw i need the timing belt and the rubber boots on the axles are torn.:(
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It looks like you're in for some serious maintenance! Safety first! Get those boots repacked, replaced if you've been driving around with them like that for a while. An easy way to clean the injectors is a product called BG 44K. It goes in your gas tank, but if you're not having misfires or poor gas mileage than your injectors shouldn't be too much of a worry.
 

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Is that considered a normal amount of buildup on the valves? What brand and grade of gasoline have you been using?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It seems to be about the same amount of carbon as others have been experiencing. I only use Shell V-Power, but grade of gasoline doesn't make a difference.
 

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I had my 2010 2.0T wagon walnut-blasted at 80K miles. It was transformative - went from occasional stutter and 2-3 seconds to start to smooth engine running at both idle and WOT, and starts instantly when I push in the key.
 
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