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Old 03-04-2005, 02:21 AM   #1
Three Fat Tigers
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Default Chinese Water Torture (a SeaFoam recipe)

Chinese Water Torture
a SeaFoam recipe

This procedure when properly administered has been proven effective at improving power, and for some, fuel economy and other various improvements. While these results are usually immediately evident, not everyone who has run this procedure has had results that they could measure or feel. Be prepared for lots of steam and clouds of smoke to accompany this. *click for pic* This procedure is routinely run on a wide variety of cars regardless of make, model or number of cylinders, including Turbos, all with no damage. It is ideal to do this procedure just before every oil change, or at least once a year. Changing your oil soon afterward is ideal, but is not mandatory. Properly administered this procedure will not significantly contaminate the oil or cause any change in oil consumption rates.


Ingredients:

2.5 to 3 cups distilled water
You can use tap or bottled water if that is not available, if you are working alone the ideal container will easily stand up on it's own, not a plastic soda/water bottle. Suggest: 1 qt mayo jar / Mason jar / spaghetti sauce jar.
1 can of SeaFoam (16 oz) *click for pic*
2 to 2.5 feet of small vacuum line, 4mm (5/32")


Procedure:

Preheat the oven: Always start with a fully warmed up engine that has been running, preferably driven, for at least 20 minutes. Then park where you will be up wind of the car's exhaust, leave it running, or turn it off, but dont leave it off for long.
Locate a suitable vacuum port and connect your vacuum line, this will be a small nipple, around 4mm in size with good vacuum at idle, where possible down stream of the throttle body. Do not use any large ports such as for the brake booster *click for pics*
(Assuming your are working by yourself) Place the jar of water where it will stand on it's own, hold the throttle around 3000 RPM, best guess, and with the other dip the vacuum hose into the water. Use a rhythm where the hose is submerged for 1/2 second, and lifted out of the fluid for 1/2 second, repeated until all of the water is used up, while at the same time regulate the throttle to keep the engine speed around 3000 RPM as it will run rough.
Repeat using the SeaFoam. I recommend using an entire can for this, others have reported good results using between 1/3 to 3/4 of a can, then putting the remainder in the gas tank. During this process, Turbo cars seem to like to leak at the manifold, either between the head and manifold or between the manifold/turbo junctions...don't worry...it will seal back up after you run the car for a while.
It is recommended, but not required, that toward the end of the process you allow the engine to stall. This is done by dropping the throttle, leaving the vacuum line submerged in the SeaFoam, and allowing the engine to stall. An alternative and possibly better method may be to drop the throttle and immediately pull the hot wire off the (+) #15 terminal of the ignition coil, or if you have a helper, switch off the ignition. Then let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then crank it up, and finish feeding in the remaining SeaFoam.
Then right away take the car out for a rev fest, here you want the tachometer to reach redline several times, stay in low gears. You should immediately notice the improvement in power.
Optionally you could run another can of SeaFoam in the tank, and then if you are planning to change the oil, wait until after the tank is run down, reason being most fuel injection cleaners run through the tank will tend to darken otherwise clean looking motor oil.


As for SeaFoam substitutes:
You want to use a product specifically designed to be fed through the intake manifold, they are commonly known as top engine cleaners, it must be oxygen sensor safe, which SeaFoam is. GM makes a top engine cleaner, Mazda does too, these are designed to be fed into the intake manifold just as this procedure describes and should produce similar results. Another alternative that I know of would be Lubro Moly "Ventil Sauber Valve Clean". I do not recommend using Barymans Chemtool (B12) or any other carburettor cleaner. I recommend using SeaFoam wherever possible.

Additional information can be found here: http://www.seafoamsales.com/

My initial experience with this procedure is documented in this post I archived from Miata.net:
Chinese Water Torture
(I'm Chemical Spill)
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Last edited by Three Fat Tigers; 08-24-2008 at 06:44 AM.. Reason: revision: 006
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Old 03-04-2005, 03:49 AM   #2
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as something to add that i have noticed being that i have foamed 7 bricks now

turbo cars seem to like to leak at the manifold, either between the head and manifold or between the manifold/turbo junctions...don't worry...it will seal back up after you run the car for a while...trust me! just make sure if you are under the hood that you can get nice fresh air...im sure all the smoke i inhaled this weekend couldnt have been too healthy for me

great writeup TFT!
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Old 03-04-2005, 04:31 AM   #3
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Added ↑↑ thanks
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Old 03-04-2005, 12:55 PM   #4
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Great write up. So you can let it stall and have no detrimental effects. i knew I had heard that correctly somewhere.
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Old 03-04-2005, 05:48 PM   #5
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I did this last night on my 740. I can't find Seafoam in Calgary, and from what I've gathered, no one else can either. I opted for the GM 'Cleener' or something like that. The instructions were for a carb engine, so I'm not sure if it's 100% safe with my O2 sensor. It did work quite well though. Gave my street a little smoke show. I ended up pulling off the vacum line that feeds the turbo gauge. There was a little connection just before it went in to the firewall. It was the perfect length and then I just added a bendy straw on to the end of it and stuck it in to the glass of water. I followed this up with an oil change after running it through the gears for an hour or so.

Thanks for the great write up.

Last edited by Eakin; 03-04-2005 at 05:54 PM..
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Old 03-05-2005, 07:38 AM   #6
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Great write up! Way to go TFT!
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Old 03-05-2005, 12:06 PM   #7
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Default Where's the smoke?

How important is it to reach redline on the drive after? I did the procedure as directed above, with not so much water, and during, I accomplished the manifold smoke. But I have no resulting smoke on the higway. Is it because I didn't let the Tach go over 4,000?
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Old 03-05-2005, 11:46 PM   #8
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Awesome, I think my car is a great candidate for this... Can't wait to test it out.

Just need to find a neighborhood I don't like where I can park for the duration of the procedure

I'll edit any input I can afford after I do this, into this post.
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Old 03-06-2005, 12:19 AM   #9
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i think chemical spill sounds way cooler than TFT
thanks for the article!
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Old 03-06-2005, 04:00 PM   #10
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I've done this quite a few times, and it works very well. I have dont it with B12 Chemtool as well (listed as a fuel injector cleaner as well as a top engine cleaner) and it worked somewhat well on my '29 242 and my g/f's '93 940. It DID NOT work well, initially, on my friend's '98 S70. The S70 chugged and choked and didn't rev right for about 3 days and my friend almost kicked my @$$ for convincing him to do this, but after 3 days it started to clear up and ran better (slightly, but not much) than initially.

This MAY be due to an oil change that we did afterward. (Turns out he was running 1 1/2 quarts low as well. :-O)

Stay away from the B12 Chemtool as a Seafoam substitute though.
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Old 03-08-2005, 01:25 PM   #11
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Absolutely great write up TFT!

I just have one question.

I just changed the oil on my '92 940 about 1,000 miles ago. I used Mobil 1 15w50 and usually go 5k before each change. Do you think I'm safe using Seafoam and not changing the oil for another 3,500-4,000 miles afterwards?

Thanks.
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanie
How important is it to reach redline on the drive after? I did the procedure as directed above, with not so much water, and during, I accomplished the manifold smoke. But I have no resulting smoke on the higway. Is it because I didn't let the Tach go over 4,000?
I've not personally observed smoke from the exhaust after a minute or two of completing the procedure. It's not critical to see redline, it is ideal though, and easily achievable at slow speeds if you keep it in lower gears.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleV
I just changed the oil on my '92 940 about 1,000 miles ago. I used Mobil 1 15w50 and usually go 5k before each change. Do you think I'm safe using Seafoam and not changing the oil for another 3,500-4,000 miles afterwards?
Yes, but you might want to skip the stalling & soak part. I've run this procedure both with and without the stalling part on the same car, and for me, either way the car ran notably better after. Between the two methods, I don't think the seat of my pants could quantify a difference in performance, but then they are low mileage cars that have seen this procedure before.
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Old 06-30-2005, 02:40 AM   #13
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Default foam the cat

just wondering -

I just did this tonight and yep much smoother and more responsive. but has anyone, especially those of you who have been Foaming the same car for a while now, noticed/suspected any damage to the cat converter from this procedure?

thanks for the tip -

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Old 06-30-2005, 05:27 AM   #14
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I've been doing this to my cars for 6 years, no damage to any cat or other component of any car.
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Old 06-30-2005, 05:54 AM   #15
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any of the brits done this?

if so, what did you use instead of seaform.
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Old 06-30-2005, 10:46 AM   #16
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i've done with just water, a large jug of water, smoked to start with but soon stopped.
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Old 06-30-2005, 03:21 PM   #17
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Default my cat smokes

I tried this today.
My idle cleared up very well, however(yes that evil word), since my cat is original, and most likely partially clogged (its a smoker, and the temp after it was above the temp in front by 45* F), no copius amounts of smoke exited my tailpipe. I did get the smoke from my manifold/turbo junction as per normal, but like i said no copious smokeout. Bad clogged cat! Bad!

*when i say my cat's a smoker, i mean literally aftern shutting the car down you can look underneath and see smoke rising from the outside of the cat. never seen this before...and am very confused. oh well 3" pipes here i come.
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Old 07-01-2005, 01:07 AM   #18
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I tortured my 245 today, not much of any smoke, but a decided performance improvement. The only car that I've ever had put out tons of smoke was my Miata, my Volvos just dont , this is not a cat issue.

Poor 245 mothballed till September
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Old 07-01-2005, 11:19 PM   #19
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Just to clarify, all this seafoam/water does is remove carbon buildup on the back of valves/in combustion chamber.

Therefore it will prove most benifit to a older car with lots of mile driven by a granny who never goes past 3k.

It will benefit least to a car that dosnt have as many miles and sees redline often.
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Old 07-02-2005, 12:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karl_760ti
It will benefit least to a car that dosnt have as many miles and sees redline often.
Logically I agree, but my real world experience disagrees. I run this procedure on my Miata at each oil change, and every time I can feel a notable seat of the pants improvement, and this is a car that sees redline nearly every single shift where traffic allows, and also sees sustained high RPM every day. This is also a car that is driven very often but rarely for only short periods, say less than 30 minutes. If I can reach that 7400 rpm rev limiter I'm in heaven, I trigger it on purpose as the sound of the engine cutting off and then back on again is amazing in that car.

All¹ of my every day cars see redline quite regularly, and all² are low mileage, and all³ respond to this treatment with performance where I can feel the difference ever time I run this procedure.

Last edited by Three Fat Tigers; 07-02-2005 at 12:54 PM..
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Old 12-18-2005, 04:30 PM   #21
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dont mean to bring this back from so long ago....
but i just did this today to my '85 740t...
started with the water. no smoke...
then the seafoam. i look, no smoke. look again, no smoke. look again, GOOD LOWD!!! THE FOG ROLLED IN!!! couldnt see a thing. thought for sure someone would call the fire department... tons of smoke. everywhere. i was a wee bit down wind of the exhaust exit (like a 1/2mph current).... just enough to surround me.
i let it stall out with the seafoam...
minue later, start it up again. MORE smoke than before....

smoke burns off a bit... take it out for a rev-fest.
right off the bat, my boost hits 16psi... when it was hitting 14 yesterday. had to actually turn-down the MBC.
notice the idle... where it was pretty good before... is now silky smooth. it pulls a bit harder, spools quicker (14psi by 3k rpm, now... didnt hit 14 until 3400rpm, before)... and all around just runs better.

it's got about 150k on the clock, the PO drove it 1 mile to work each day... hadnt been on the freeway for 5+ years until i bought it last month. so, it's reasonable to say it had a wee bit of carbon buildup.

gone now.

Three Fat Tigers- thanks for the writeup... i'd not have thought to getting around to this, if it wasnt for this article...

best bang for the buck on this car, so far...
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Old 12-19-2005, 12:18 AM   #22
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i've considered this, but do you think it's something that will benefit ohv engines as much as non?
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Old 12-19-2005, 01:16 AM   #23
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Quote:
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i've considered this, but do you think it's something that will benefit ohv engines as much as non?
It doesn't make a difference what it is, so yes...
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Old 12-19-2005, 04:35 PM   #24
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Why is this article still in Composition?
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Old 12-27-2005, 07:40 PM   #25
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Hey, I just did this procedure today and I had a different sort of experience. It did put out a little bit of smoke at the rear, but not nearly as much as I expected or as much as that pic in the original write-up had. My cat was rattling for a while right when the engine passed about 1000 RPM, but lately, I haven't noticed it and just kind of forgot about it. Also, if I gun it while standing still and let it get up to about 4000 RPM then let it drop back to idle, it has some pretty loud pops that you can hear coming from the exhaust. Further, theres some off idle hesitation that's always been there, so I'm thinking maybe a clogged cat creating more back pressure? Is that a reasonable speculation? The main reason that made me think this was the very little amount of smoke the car put out. Could that be normal that mine didn't put out much? Thanks.
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