2nd Gen R56 Cooper S Taking a peek through the intake manifold!

Discussion in '2nd Generation: 2007+ R55 through R61' started by genik, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. genik

    genik Member

    Feb 20, 2012
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    Is it true that when disassembling the intake manifold and taking a look inside the engine, carbon is gonna be all over the place blocking the pipes (i think thats what its called).
    Well a couple of auto-shops i have been to, are certain that after 80.000 klm there needs to be a cleaning from carbon, and the only way to make sure fo this is to disassemble the intake manifold and take a look!
    Personally, i think that they just want to make money out of this. So im trying to gather info if this (intake manifold disassembly) is really needed to be done. So i was wondering if we could gather here photos from how it usually looks inside the intake manifold and decide if this is really needed to be done!
     
  2. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    What year is your 2nd gen car again? (2007-2010) I would say yes with 80,000 klm / 49,7097 miles on it and depending on what fuel you use you need it done if you car is running like crap.

    Only way to be 100% sure is to open it up and look.
     
  3. genik

    genik Member

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    Cant i put a camera to see?
     
  4. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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  5. genik

    genik Member

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    When seeing through the intake manifold hole (after disassembly) what exactly will be in view?
     
  6. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    I don't think there's any way to see the valves without pulling the intake manifold back away from the head. It's only held on with 5 bolts, so it's not hard to pull it back far enough to see down in there....

    Contrary to popular belief most shops are not just trying to rip you off....
     
  7. 05r50

    05r50 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    This is what you see before cleaning. My JCW with 99,000 miles. First cleaning.

    [​IMG]

    And this is after a walnut blasting.
     
  8. genik

    genik Member

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    All of you that have done the carbon cleaning, please tell me what are the differences that you have actually felt while driving, when comparing the before and after state of cleaning?
     
  9. mrntd

    mrntd Well-Known Member
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    Just an FYI. This is an issue with all DI cars not just MINIs. Oil from the recirculation goes back into the intake and coats the intake and valves. It get hot and cooks. On port inject cars the fuel going into the manifold cleans it and the valves.

    As you see in Jeff's pics the port diameter in front of the valve is smaller restricting air flow and power. Also the entire surface is rough creating turbulent air flow reducing power and economy.
     
  10. 05r50

    05r50 Well-Known Member

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    So, it's like carbon monoxide poisoning. You can't smell it or taste it and you don't know it's there. It just slows you down and then you don't wake up any more.

    In my case, I was the 2nd owner of a very well cared for JCW and thought the performance was awesome. I didn't have a point of reference other than that car.

    Immediately after the cleaning, the engine response was noticeable and so was the power.

    Carbon buildup is something that comes with a direct injected motor. MINI, Ford, VW, are all using these motors. Maybe some have buildup occur slower than others but it is a maintenance item that should be performed during its lifetime. It does cost a bit but you don't do it yearly. My first cleaning was at 99,000 miles. I had Helix do it at MINIS on the Dragon. Depending on driving style and weather conditions where you are impacts how soon and how much buildup you get.

    Safe guess is every 30,000-50,000 miles. Average price is about $350 at independent shop. Easily an item that an owner can budget for over time.
     
  11. Eric@Helix

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    If the carbon build-up is bad enough, you can feel and hear it. The car idles more smoothly, and accelerates better. If you have a DI car, you will need it done every 50k or so. Don't even bother having somebody remove the intake manifold if you have that many miles or more without cleaning it: you'll need the service done. Don't bother with chemical remedies, or fancy catch-cans. None of them work. You just have to bite the bullet and get the service done. We charge $350 for the service and use the factory tools. Git-R-Done!:Thumbsup:
     
  12. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Nope... Nope.... Nope... Not all DI engines...

    Some DI engines are designed correctly don't have the issue (or greatly reduced)...

    As an example Subaru / Scion twins.... Maybe one of the Volvo engines...

    [​IMG]
     
  13. genik

    genik Member

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    It would be very interesting if you could post a video of doing this work on a mini in you shop. It would be good to see what you guys actually do :wink:
     
  14. 05r50

    05r50 Well-Known Member

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    This is Mikey from Helix doing mine a couple a year ago. This was not in their shop but rather at the Dragon working from a tent.

    https://vimeo.com/65613419

    Hope this helps to convince folks of the reality of carbon buildup.
     
  15. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    It's like an oil change, don't be cheap just get it done.
     

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