If you make this, please post a picture!
I'm still printing these for people. If you do not have a 3D printer, contact me and I can ship you one for cheap. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks!
This is an adapter to make carbon blasting the intake valves on a Mini Cooper R56 / N14 much easier. Normally you have to custom make you own, and that can be very difficult. This replaces a $90 adapter made by mini.
I designed this for the N14 engine (The R56 turbo), but it may fit other engines.
Designed for a 1-1/4" vac connection.
If I designed this as one part with 4 mounting holes it would not have fit on the intake ports on the far left and right. Thus, you need two versions. A normal one and a mirrored one.
I made this to fit a cheap homemade blaster. Directions on how to make the blaster are below.
Why carbon clean?
On the N14 engine (and many others) pressure from the crankcase is vented directly into the intake. This pressure includes gasses like oil vapor. This is called the PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) system. The PCV system does a poor job getting rid of the oil vapor before it is vented into the intake. In fact, if you take apart the intake ducting you will often find oil lining the pipes. As a result, these oil droplets hit the hot intake valves and quickly bake on and turn to carbon. In the direct injection engine the gas is injected directly into the cylinder, so nothing ever cleans the intake valves. Over time the carbon builds up on the intake valves and slowly chokes the engine resulting in poor overall performance, misfires, low MPG, and poor idling performance. It can even cause catastrophic failure by allowing the valves to heat up more than normal causing the valve to have a hole burned into the edge resulting in a loss of compression.
If you Mini is over 40K miles, chances are you need it done.
The procedure is done often by Mini, but you are looking at around $600 for that. You save a ton of money by doing it yourself, especially because you will likely have to do this every 40K miles or so to keep it clean and you will already have all of the tools and knowledge from the first time. The first time I did this took me a day because I didn’t know all of the tricks and had a TON of carbon to remove, but I have done it again recently and it only took a few hours.
This is a fairly advanced project. However, it is perfectly doable and many have done it themselves without a problem. When doing work on your car there is always a risk of breaking something while you are in there. I am not responsible if you break something or damage your engine or car while using my guide. I have included as much information as possible to reduce the chances of something being forgotten or you getting stuck. If you don't feel comfortable changing your wheel, serpentine belt, oil, or coolant this is definitely not the project for you.
What you need
Total cost for the whole project should be around $50 assuming you have an air compressor and shop vac. If you don't have an air compressor I bought this one and it worked perfectly. The blaster and media can be used for other projects. This should just take a trip to harbor freight and home depot/lowes.
If you are a DIY’er or someone mechanically savvy then this is a fairly straightforward project. Set aside one day for it, but it should only take an afternoon, especially if you have remove the intake manifold before.
(1. Make the blasting tool.
This is fairly easy. Download this guide and it shows how to make the tool. Here are some pictures of mine that shows how everything fits together. Test and make sure it works before use.
(2. Disconnect the battery.
(3. Remove the intake manifold.
This is the guide I use for removing the intake manifold. Here are some tips:
- When removing the noise maker from the firewall (step 8) don’t worry about about breaking it. It’s tough. Just yank it off by hand.
- When removing the ducting from the throttle housing (step 12), I leave the ducting connected to the throttle housing. It doesn’t get in the way when removing the manifold. I just remove the ducting connected to the angled ducting going into the throttle housing. This is much easier. The red line shows where I disconnect it.
- When removing the purge solenoid tubing (step 13) don’t squeeze both sides of the connector. Only squeeze the top half of it. I use a set of pliers and a long flathead screwdriver to pop it off.
- When removing the 10mm bolt bracing the manifold (step 14) I find it easiest to just remove the passenger tire and get to the bolt from that side instead of coming under the car. This is fairly easy so don’t over think it. You will have to remove the wheel later anyway. Here it is
- Make sure when putting everything back together that both hoses are connected to EPPC solenoid (seen in step 21). They can fall off easily and you will have no boost if that happens.
(4. Check each intake port by eye or using a mirror to find what valves are closed. It is very important that you do NOT blast into a port that has valves that are open. Stuff a rag into all of the port except the one you are working on.
(5. Attach the 3D printed adapter to the engine head using one or two of the nuts you removed earlier. Make sure not to lose the nuts. Attach the vacuumed and blast for 10 seconds. I used 100 PSI. If there is a ton of carbon I found it helpful to stop blasting after a bit and then use a metal stick or similar to pick off big chunks of the carbon. This gave the walnut shell a better surface to attack. Before removing the wand pinch the media feeding hose so that you can just use the air pressure to blow away remaining walnut shell. Keep it pinched until it is removed so that the vacuumed doesn’t pull more walnut shell out.
(6. Once you have cleaned all of the ports with closed valves, you need to rotate the engine to close the other valves. The easiest / safest way to do this is to turn it by hand. Remove the passenger wheel as well as one of the expanding rivets holding the carpet wheel well liner so that you can get to the engine from inside the wheel well. You should see the serpentine belt attached to a pulley with a big bolt in it (16mm if my memory is correct.) Turn the bolt CLOCKWISE a few rounds. Do NOT turn it counterclockwise. This could lessen the bolt and then your timing will be off. This should not take much effort.
(7. Clean the remaining ports.
(8. Put everything back together. 14.7 ft/lbs for the intake manifold nuts and 100 ft/lbs for the wheel.
(9. When you start the engine. It will likely run rough or may take a while to turn over at all. This is because the engine ECU has slowly adjusted to running with the carbon, so now that it can breathe easier it is not used to that and has to adjust. Disconnecting and reconnecting the battery sometimes helps prevent this. It should run normal after 5 min or so, and then after a while should run much better than before the carbon cleaning.
Good luck and have fun saving around $500!
I copied some of this from this guide. I recommend reading it as well.