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Pelican Technical Article:

Intake Valve Cleaning

Steve Vernon

Time:

12 hours12 hrs

Tab:

$15 to $75

Talent:

****

Tools:

Rags, cleaner

Applicable Models:

VW GTI (2006-09)

Parts Required:

Cleaning Tools

Hot Tip:

Make sure each cylinder is at TDC when cleaning

Performance Gain:

Car runs like normal again

Complementary Modification:

Replace fuel injector seals

The direct port injection motors do not have fuel passing over the intake valves to keep them clean and have a reputation of building up a lot of deposits on the valves. The GTI MkV is no exception to the rule and can suffer from tremendous buildup on the intake valves. If you are planning on removing the intake manifold and or injectors for any reason you should set aside time to clean the intake valves.

Cleaning the valves is not difficult but you do need to use caution to make sure the valves are seated when working on them. You will only be able to do one cylinder at a time as the head needs to be at top dead center (TDC) for each cylinder in order to keep contaminates coming off the valves from falling into the combustion camber. Even with the valves sealed there will be leak by, especially if the valves are so covered that they are not closing all the way. You should be prepared to change the oil in the motor after cleaning the valves to get all of the cleaner that has leaked by out of the oil.

There is no set of tools made for cleaning the valves so it is up to your personal choice. I used long plastic trim removal tools as scrapers. No matter what you choose do not put anything metal into the valve area, plastic and wood are your best choices. Use of a solvent is also up to personal choice. While the arguments on what solvent to use are as long as the arguments on what oil to use I like to follow the advice of ex-Indy Lights driver Mark Hotchkis and use pain old gasoline. It is safe for the motor and seals, you are going to be changing the oil to remove any leak by contaminants after the job, and if it is good enough for Mark Hotchkis it is good enough for me.

With manifold and injectors off you can see the intake ports (red arrows) and the injector ports (yellow arrows).
Figure 1

With manifold and injectors off you can see the intake ports (red arrows) and the injector ports (yellow arrows).

There are two intake valves in each intake port along with a separation plate.
Figure 2

There are two intake valves in each intake port along with a separation plate. The separation plate will just pull straight back and out from the port (red arrow).

These plates get a tremendous amount of blow by oil on them (red arrow).
Figure 3

These plates get a tremendous amount of blow by oil on them (red arrow).

After just a few minutes with some gasoline and Scotch-Brite pad you can already see the difference (red arrow).
Figure 4

After just a few minutes with some gasoline and Scotch-Brite pad you can already see the difference (red arrow).

There is a good chance you have already set the motor at Top Dead Center when removing the manifold but if you have not please see our article on how to set your motor at TDC for additional assistance (red and yellow arrows).
Figure 5

There is a good chance you have already set the motor at Top Dead Center when removing the manifold but if you have not please see our article on how to set your motor at TDC for additional assistance (red and yellow arrows). This will set the valves closed for cylinder number one. You will need to rotate the engine when working on each cylinder to ensure that both intake valves are closed. This will prevent the contaminants coming off the valves from falling into the combustion chamber.

This photo illustrates the build up of blow by oil on the intake valves (red arrows).
Figure 6

This photo illustrates the build up of blow by oil on the intake valves (red arrows).

I like to start by using the plastic trim removal tool and scraping down the oil build up on the valve and stem (red arrow).
Figure 7

I like to start by using the plastic trim removal tool and scraping down the oil build up on the valve and stem (red arrow). You can use compressed air and blow the big pieces out. Note; do NOT use anything metal that could scratch the valves or port.

After you have scraped off the big pieces I pour a little gasoline in and let it soak.
Figure 8

After you have scraped off the big pieces I pour a little gasoline in and let it soak. You can put a Scotch-Brite pad on the end of your trim removal tool and work it around the valve and seat. Use a rag and soak up all the gasoline and have a look at you progress (red arrow). Nothing is going to get the valve and seats completely clean short of removing the head and valves but this will be a remarkable improvement over where you started. Reinstall the separators and move to the next cylinder. Don't forget to rotate the motor to close the next cylinders intake valves.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:37:33 AM