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De-Carbon an Engine?


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#1 Paulgo OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2015 - 07:22 PM

I've seen comments about removing the head and scraping out the carbon. Is that something I need to do to my old Onans and Kohlers? If so, would anyone care to elaborate on the procedure?

 

Would the head gasket(s) be the only thing I have to replace? Are they readily available?

 

Grandpa used to water the engines on his tractors to keep carbon from building up. No idea if it actually worked...

 

Paul


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#2 bbuckler OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2015 - 07:37 PM

I use carb cleaner and a brass wire brush.


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#3 chieffan OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2015 - 07:49 PM

A good friend and Briggs tech man sprays warm water in through the carb with the engine running strong to remove carbon.  He told me this when I was having trouble with the paper air filter freezing shut when blowing snow.  Removed the filter and let it burn the snow as it goes into the carb.  Small quantities of course.  Don't think I would try it with a hand full.


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#4 Paulgo OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2015 - 08:06 PM

I use carb cleaner and a brass wire brush.

 

Do you mean inside on the piston and valve surfaces?


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#5 bbuckler OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2015 - 08:07 PM

Do you mean inside on the piston and valve surfaces?

yes
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#6 Paulgo OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2015 - 08:09 PM

A good friend and Briggs tech man sprays warm water in through the carb with the engine running strong to remove carbon.  He told me this when I was having trouble with the paper air filter freezing shut when blowing snow.  Removed the filter and let it burn the snow as it goes into the carb.  Small quantities of course.  Don't think I would try it with a hand full.

 

Grandpa would have the throttle wide open while squirting water down the carb. Just as much as it could handle without  stalling. The exhaust got nice and steamy.


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#7 bbuckler OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2015 - 08:12 PM

I started putting mmo in my gas every other fill up or so I haven't seen much carbon on my plug since
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#8 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2015 - 09:09 PM

Older mechanic in my area use to use transmission fluid in car and truck engines. He would rev the engine up some, pour transmission fluid in, but still keep the engine from stalling, then after a few minutes of doing that, he would pour in a lot to stall the engine. Then let it sit for a while, not sure how long, but I think about 15 minutes. Then take it out the road for a fast drive. You would see sparks coming out the exhaust pipe in the dark. I have heard of using water, but have never tryed it. Noel.

I mostly add some transmission fluid to all my gas cans, before I fill them up. Just doing what the doctor told me.
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#9 backyardtinker OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2015 - 09:13 PM

Water will work very well as described chieffan above. It is one of the benefits touted by the manufactures of those water injection units that are popular with high performance/ turbo charged engine builders. Basically steam cleans the inside of the cylinder, piston top, head and valves. Will not harm your engine.

 
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#10 stiemmy ONLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2015 - 09:15 PM

Water ingested into the carb while running engine Wot from a garden hose works for sticky rings, and light amounts of carbon. However, pulling the head is a sure way to ensure all of the carbon is removed.

The water method simply turns the water into steam. Good for the engine, not really, but it does work. Removing the head for carbon removal is the best way to get it done:) don't forget a new head gasket if you remove the head!!!!! Cheers

Edited by stiemmy, August 18, 2015 - 09:17 PM.

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#11 HANKG OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2015 - 09:18 PM

I started putting mmo in my gas every other fill up or so I haven't seen much carbon on my plug since

( Marvel mystery oil ) Paulgo, also water is an old trick sprayed in carb


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#12 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2015 - 09:22 PM

I use Marvel Mystery Oil(MMO) in my gas for all engines. The MMO is a 20w oil and I think most tranny fluids are too. MMO smells better and I worry about the additives in tranny fluid. I tested MMO 45 years ago. I was given a 283 in an Impala. It smoked and was carboned up bad. I poured an entire pint of MMO down the carb with the engine running. I shut it off and let it sit for a couple of days. I had to wait for a rainy day because I knew it was going to smoke. I ran it for 1/2 hour until the smoking stopped and pulled it into the shop. I pulled the engine out and apart. There was not much carbon left on the pistons and the heads.

 

I've found that prolonged use of MMO will free up piston rings and reduce oil consumption and increase compression. Try the easy way before pulling the engine. I have not tried the water trick but have heard of it. J. C. Whitney used to sell an automatic water injector.  Good Luck, Rick


Edited by boyscout862, August 18, 2015 - 09:24 PM.

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#13 JBRamsey ONLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2015 - 09:23 PM

If I remember correctly from my fire fighting days, water expand to 700x its volume when converted to steam. Inside a cylinder, the force it generates blows off the carbon. I've seen people do the Marvel Mystery Oil thing, too.
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#14 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2015 - 10:52 PM

A good friend and Briggs tech man sprays warm water in through the carb with the engine running strong to remove carbon.  He told me this when I was having trouble with the paper air filter freezing shut when blowing snow.  Removed the filter and let it burn the snow as it goes into the carb.  Small quantities of course.  Don't think I would try it with a hand full.


That works. If you have ever pulled the head off a liquid cooled engine with blown head gasket the cylinder that got liquid in them are slick as a whistle.
Like boy scout I put MMO in both my fuel and oil regularly and see no carbon buildup.
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#15 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2015 - 11:13 PM

That works. If you have ever pulled the head off a liquid cooled engine with blown head gasket the cylinder that got liquid in them are slick as a whistle.
Like boy scout I put MMO in both my fuel and oil regularly and see no carbon buildup.

 

JD, what proportions do you use?

 

 

I've found that prolonged use of MMO will free up piston rings and reduce oil consumption and increase compression. Try the easy way before pulling the engine. I have not tried the water trick but have heard of it. J. C. Whitney used to sell an automatic water injector.  Good Luck, Rick

 

 

 

Rick, same to you.  How do you use it regularly?  How much do you put where?

 

I ask you both, because I have only used Marvel's Mystery Oil as a lube in my fishing reels and on folding knives.  I've never used it on an engine.


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