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Old 07-16-2013, 02:12 AM   #1
ToMMyGuN
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DIY: TSI Valve Cleaning in detail (Get Rid of That Carbon!)

Valve Cleaning DIY - MK6 GTI (applicable to all TSI engines, probably FSI engines, and other Direct Injection motors with carbon build up on the intake valves)

Here is what my valves looked like after 16.5k miles:


(NOTE: there is no need to do this at 16.5k miles. I had a stuck injector, and cleaned the valves because I had access to them due to my stuck injector problem. This should be checked somewhere between 36k and 72k miles, and cleaned thereafter based on your specific car's buildup levels)

The zeroth step (assuming you have already removed the intake manifold) is to ensure the valves are closed before you start dosing them with cleaning compounds. Turn the serpentine belt by hand near the alternator to manually advance the cams to close the valves.

Here are the supplies you will need:

Carburetor Cleaner (I used BerryMan B-12 Chemtool from O'Rielly's)
C.L.R. (yes, the infomercial stuff, home depot has it in spades)
Paper towels (from a forest)
A pick (optional, I used a bent nail and a vice grip)
Pipe Cleaners (optional, I didn't really need them, but if your buildup is really caked on they would be handy. Get them at home depot in the plumbing section, by the pipe fittings)
6"-ish long, .125"-ish diameter rod (I used a long bolt)
A giant hammer (for backup)




Step 1:
Fill the closed valve cavity with the carb cleaner. make sure the entire stem is under the liquid level:



Step 2: Wait 10 Minutes. While waiting, soak your intake port flaps in a tub of carb cleaner. Let them soak for 10 minutes too.

Step 3: After 10 minutes, Roll up 2 paper towels and soak up the Carb cleaner with the paper towel roll (make sure you get both valve cavities in each cylinder):



Step 4: The valves will now look kind of soupy inside (like moist carbon goop):


Add the C.L.R. to the valve cavities, and make sure you fill it full again so the entire valve stem is under the liquid level.

Step 5: While waiting the 10 min C.L.R. period out, take the intake flaps out of the carb cleaner tub and polish them with a paper towel soaked in carb cleaner. They will clean up beautifully:


Step 6: After 10 minutes, use the same technique to soak up the C.L.R. as you used on the carb cleaner in step 3.

Step 7: Once the cavities no longer have liquid C.L.R. in them, tear small (~2" x 5") strips of paper towel and fold them into small squares. Spray both sides of the folded squares with carb cleaner and push them down the valve cavity with your finger. Only put one at a time in the valve cavity.

Step 8: Using the long, skinny rod, push the paper towel fold around inside the valve cavity, scrubbing the carbony goop off the valve/cavity:


When the paper towel fold gets full of carbon soup, fish it out (a pick can come in handy). They will be full of black goop:


Step 9: Repeat steps 7 and 8 until the valves look shiny. Repeat step 8 one last time with a clean towel (no carb cleaner sprayed on). All said and done, your valves will look peachy, and you will gain 20hp, 10mpg, and 3" on your... throttle body pipe:

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Old 07-16-2013, 10:14 AM   #2
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How long does this job take to complete from start to finish?
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:42 AM   #3
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Wow, nice DIY and easy cleaning too with the chemicals. Sure beats scrubbing until you pass out!
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by lilfleck View Post
How long does this job take to complete from start to finish?
Not counting the time to get the inyake manifold off, for me it took ~2 hours taking my time (I had other things to do during the soaking periods, so some were longer than 10 minutes). If your build up is really bad, let the chemicals sit for 20 min.

You can usually get 2 cylinders closed at the same time too, so you can cut down wait time by overlapping the soak periods of 2 cylinders.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merkle View Post
Any issues with the injectors?
Can you elaborate your question? As long as you don't dunk the injectors in CLR or carb cleaner they really shouldn't come into play for this DIY.

If they come out with the intake manifold, you should really replace the cylinder chamber seals at a minimum before reinstalling everything. Technically they are a one-time seal, but I have heard of people just putting them back in and having no problems. I replaced the two that popped out on mine to by safe (I don't want to get this back together to realize I need to take it back apart just to replace a damn seal)
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merkle View Post
I'm mainly concerned with removing the injectors and re installing the seals. But, I see you've done that. That was my question.

Nice DIY.
There is a special injector seal install kit that is really expensive, but you can just finagle the seal over the injector tip with your fingers and compress it with a zip tie, your fingers, and some elbow grease.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Merkle View Post
Really? I'd love to hear more about this method.
The seal is some kind of compliant plastic, teflon I think, and can be stretched over the tip of the injector by hand. The seal install tool comes with a conical ramp to do this, but it can easily be done by hand.

Once its on the injector and in its appropriate grove, you can place a zip tie over it and tighten it down tight. This helps with compressing the seal into the channel. Just be carefull not to wreck the seal surface. After the zip tie, smoosh it with a couple finger tips.

The reason the seal needs to be "smooshed" is so the leading edge of it can fit through the injector hole into the cylinder without tearing. The expensive tool kit does this with a tapered ID on a little rod/nipple, but you can get it close with your fingers and some gusto. It will push a bit harder into the injector hole, but as long as it fits and doesn't tear you are golden (it would be tough to tear too, as it's a relatively thick piece of ptfe)
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:46 PM   #8
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Nice definitely not looking forward to this though.

BTW did you ever get that backup camera to work?
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:12 PM   #9
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Nice definitely not looking forward to this though.

BTW did you ever get that backup camera to work?
I need to find a free weekend to do it yet (I am also going to do climatic and a uberstealth instalk at the same time). I will post about it in my build thread when I do it. Maybe this weekend, depending how things work out!
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:30 AM   #10
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Just a followup comment - I got some odd O2 sensor errors (sensor 2 and 3, inbetween and after the cats on my CBFA) after I had cleaned the valves this way. They seem to have gone away after ~150 miles of driving, which tells me that after you clean everything some of it gets blown through the exhaust. Luckily it doesn't foul the O2 sensors, it just messes with them for a short while.
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:18 PM   #11
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BTW did you ever get that backup camera to work?
I finally did it last weekend, its awesome! The c pillars on this car are pretty big, so the camera is actually quite useful in parking lots. Let me know If you have questions, I literally tore down the camera to the circuit board and back, so I think I could help you out with basic troubleshooting
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I finally did it last weekend, its awesome! The c pillars on this car are pretty big, so the camera is actually quite useful in parking lots. Let me know If you have questions, I literally tore down the camera to the circuit board and back, so I think I could help you out with basic troubleshooting
you can easily make that tapered/conical tool out of =

1) tip BIC pens
2) tap kit for drilling.. cut at where you want the taper to end.
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:55 PM   #13
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you can easily make that tapered/conical tool out of =

1) tip BIC pens
2) tap kit for drilling.. cut at where you want the taper to end.
Yep, really easy to replicate
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:06 AM   #14
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So... I just did this today to my car, BUT got a question perhaps someone could chime in...

I kept having cyl4 misfire so I just changed cyl4 injector and then did this cleaning procedure. All went well and put back together, however now I am having this 1 pronounced tick while idle. Car drives better, smoother and more power however that ticking noise worries me. It is more pronounced than the typical valve ticking. It sounds louder and sounds like a pacer.
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