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Generation III Internal Engine
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:57 PM   #1
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Default best internal engine cleaner?

What's your opinion on the best additive for internally cleaning your engine?
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:15 PM   #2
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I use to like 1 can Seafoam 50mi before an oil change, It's one of the few additives that says right on the can "compatible with synthetic oils". l lost the stock oil pump @ 167k pulled the engine apart really clean and I'm conviced just running a quality oil (Shell Rottella syn, but will be running Valvoline in new LS6) and regular oil changes always @ 5k is what did the job keeping the engine clean not the Seafoam treatments. Just change your oil regularly and run that LS.
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:09 PM   #3
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Seafoam does ok. I've seen it clear up mysterious knock retard before. However the proper way to administer it is through BOTH the front and the back of the intake. Going through 1 or the other will only get the 4 closest cylinders. I've found the best results when doing half the can through the booster hose, and the other half my slowly pouring it through the TB and letting the engine "sip" on it until gone. A few things to keep in mind when doing a seafoam treatment:

-An oil change needs to be done immediately after
-It's good practice to do seafoam treatments right before a plug change, then change in fresh plugs
-I don't recommend doing a treatment more than once a year.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:09 PM   #4
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Agree with seafoam, good for fuel and oil parts, but not in the intake so much. Pleanty of threds about upper chamber cleaning on the site, but I have found that the Mopar upper cleaner works great, and I have used it before. So I use seafoam in some parts, but use Mopar stuff in the top end. I have also been using the Zmax stuff as well to see what it does. One day I am planning to do my heads and get away from stock, so that will give me a chance to see some of the good or bad that my mixing of things do for me.

Oh yea, I also use a little bit of Lucas after each oil change just to top it off. I just go by the saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but I may just be building a ticking time bomb also, lol.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Damian View Post
Seafoam does ok. I've seen it clear up mysterious knock retard before. However the proper way to administer it is through BOTH the front and the back of the intake. Going through 1 or the other will only get the 4 closest cylinders. I've found the best results when doing half the can through the booster hose, and the other half my slowly pouring it through the TB and letting the engine "sip" on it until gone. A few things to keep in mind when doing a seafoam treatment:

-An oil change needs to be done immediately after
-It's good practice to do seafoam treatments right before a plug change, then change in fresh plugs
-I don't recommend doing a treatment more than once a year.


^ Thats how I roll. Did it on the Z and left a MONSTER freakin cloud for about 1/2 mile down the road. I let it sit on the cylinders overnight though, so it had some serious time to set in. About to do it to the Acura.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:16 PM   #6
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Oh yea, I also use a little bit of Lucas after each oil change just to top it off. I just go by the saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but I may just be building a ticking time bomb also, lol.
Really though, what you are doing is mixing the improper balance of detergents. Lucas doesnt know what oil you are running. Notice they only have 1 or 2 kinds. There is what 6,703,389,280,554 types and brands of oil out there. They all have a different viscosity and have different...well everything. I would advise against running any additive to your oil unless its seafoam or something of the like for a "cleaning" and not for more than 50-75 miles before changing oil.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:20 AM   #7
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the bg stuff is good imo...we use it at the shop and have looked in the cylinders with a bore scope afterwards and it does great for cleaning the pistons. The 44k and induction system cleaner is a good idea. They also make some stuff for the oil. If anyone is familiar with stock miata motors, they always tick when running. My boss is big into them and weve bought and fixed plenty of wrecked ones and they have all ticked, including his freshly built dd and his sons dd. The bg stuff cured it
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:27 AM   #8
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Seafoam imho, I use it between oil changes running it like Damin said. I just broke down my motor and there was very carbon on my valves. Pistons had alittle. Seafom work best if its allowed to sit. I sponge some on the pistons to clean them and left them over inght, and boom that **** came off with a shop towel.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:37 AM   #9
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You need to ask this question over at bobistheoilguy.com
That being said I am a member and have used AUTO-Rx with great success in the past. It is not a solvent based internal engine cleaner like Sea-Foam or BG. It is ester based. Takes longer but it cleans ring packs better than anything out there that I have tired. Auto-rx.com .

If you are wanting to also address the piston carbon issue, I would recommend using GMs top engine cleaner. When applied as directed this stuff really works well.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:47 AM   #10
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I've always used Marvels Mystery Oil. It's petroleum based (acts as a 5W oil I believe) which makes me more comfortable that dumping a solvent in my crankcase...

I also like the idea of a slow, gradual cleaning, as opposed to a rapid, clean all the **** out immediately cleaning.

I really have only used an oil additive in my higher mileage, 100K Daily Drivers. Most all modern synthetic oils have detergents in them already so as long as you change your oil regularly with a quality oil/filter, you're engine will stay nice and clean.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:17 AM   #11
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Most all modern synthetic oils have detergents in them already so as long as you change your oil regularly with a quality oil/filter, you're engine will stay nice and clean.
Yeah, but usually the additive manufacture has no idea how much YOUR oil already contains.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:27 AM   #12
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All modern, current spec conventionals also have detergents to keep internals clean. Where they (most conventionals and synthetics) fall short is in the piston ring packs. These get full of carbon and stick. Causes loss of compression in an otherwise sound engine.. Also remember that most people will confuse varnish with sludge. Two very different formations. Many top over the counter Group III synthetics do keep engines very clean although they to leave some varnish. It is merely cosmetic and has no impact on your engines longevity or operation whatsoever.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tg580 View Post
What's your opinion on the best additive for internally cleaning your engine?
A good synthetic oil.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:47 AM   #14
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AutoRX is a great treatment, but it requires time and mileage to do the job. It does, however, recondition seals without swelling them. If I need a quicker option, I use Amsoil Engine Flush. It's not aggressive like the off the shelf products, and has done an outstanding job every time I've used it. For induction cleaning, I use Amsoil Power Foam. It is safe to use in a plastic intake, and has also done a great job on the induction system. If it goes in the fuel tank, I use Amsoil PI fuel treatment. Some store bought cleaners are either too aggressive or just a mixture of kerosene and colorants.

The "old time" way of cleaning a crankcase was to run some ATF in the oil just before the change. ATF has a lot of detergency, and still enough lubricity to not cause problems in the engine. I don't know if I'd drive around with it in the crankcase, though.

Considering the LS intake is plastic, I'd be wary of what cleaner goes into it.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:22 AM   #15
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On the oil side I have had good luck with the Amsoil engine cleaner. Seems to do a good job cleaning up the passages in VVT engines,cam phaser actuators are prone to sludge build up. On the intake side of things I use BG's induction kit.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:16 AM   #16
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AutoRX is a great treatment, but it requires time and mileage to do the job. It does, however, recondition seals without swelling them. If I need a quicker option, I use Amsoil Engine Flush. It's not aggressive like the off the shelf products, and has done an outstanding job every time I've used it. For induction cleaning, I use Amsoil Power Foam. It is safe to use in a plastic intake, and has also done a great job on the induction system. If it goes in the fuel tank, I use Amsoil PI fuel treatment. Some store bought cleaners are either too aggressive or just a mixture of kerosene and colorants.

The "old time" way of cleaning a crankcase was to run some ATF in the oil just before the change. ATF has a lot of detergency, and still enough lubricity to not cause problems in the engine. I don't know if I'd drive around with it in the crankcase, though.

Considering the LS intake is plastic, I'd be wary of what cleaner goes into it.
This old procedure was only thought to work because ATF if a 20wt and gives the impression that it is doing a super cleaning of the inside of your engine(increases flow a bit). ATF actually does not have half of the detergents of a leading PCMO(passenger car motor oils). Motor oils have more detergents than pretty much any lubricant as long as they are not a racing oil. This practice should be discontinued as ATF has no place inside of an engine. Gentle, slow cleaning is exaclty what you want from an engine cleaner. Filters don't get clogged, seals don't get damaged and lubrication is not compromised by some "solvent".
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:49 PM   #17
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OK. OP here. I bought the car used 3 years ago. It had 72000 miles on it. I ran a couple of cans of seafoam through it right away. I've changed the oil 3 times using mobil 1 full synthetic. Car now has 77,000 on it and I just tore it down to do some mods. The rockers had so much varnish on them that I had to soak them in brake cleaner overnight then use a wire wheel on a dremel to get the **** off. I changed the heads and the old ones were covered in varnish too. My problem is that every once in awhile after running it hard, I lose oil pressure and the motor starts ticking. It did it before the mods and one of the mods was a new oil pump. I have a couple of people thinking that the oil return may be slightly blocked. I can pull the car over and shut it down when it is doing it and within a half hour the problem has went away. I just put Auto/RX into it last night. The only problem is that they say to run it for 3000 miles. I'll be lucky to see 3000 miles in two years.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:00 PM   #18
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Sea foam can be bad in really dirty engines, my auto shop teacher had a bad experience with bent valves from the product working too well. I guess chunks of debris bent the valves.

I just run synthetic (mobil 1) and change it around 5k every time, ive not had any problems with my 01 z28 got it with 75k miles 2 years ago it now has 113k. It is driven hard if I want to drive an economy car that's what the $800 escort I have is for lol
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:59 AM   #19
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ive had alot of people come to autozone where i work and purchase seafoam
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:55 AM   #20
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Sea foam can be bad in really dirty engines, my auto shop teacher had a bad experience with bent valves from the product working too well. I guess chunks of debris bent the valves.

I just run synthetic (mobil 1) and change it around 5k every time, ive not had any problems with my 01 z28 got it with 75k miles 2 years ago it now has 113k. It is driven hard if I want to drive an economy car that's what the $800 escort I have is for lol
Thats kind of unlikely.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:55 AM
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