Dust in Fuel Ports, 97 Suburban 5.7L 350

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by iq160plus, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. iq160plus

    iq160plus New Member

    Engine Mechanical problem
    1997 Chevy Suburban V8 Four Wheel Drive Automatic

    97 chevy 5.7L 350

    I needed to replace intake manifold gaskets. Removed it two years ago. I had thoroughly cleaned the intake manifold and its surfaces. I have no garage, live in the hot New Mexico sun. So I waited for a moderate day but hurt my back so two years went by.

    I had put a clean white towel over engine block and was laying the manifold back in place until the last day. Long story/short, some New Mexico windstorm had blown a little dust down into the fuel delivery ports (for lack of better term).

    This is a high mileage vehicle so I do not want to pull the heads but I need ideas how to get as much dust as possible back out of those ports even though there is very little.

    I plan to blow them out with air compressor. The perhaps shove some rags with carb cleaner on them and wipe around.

    Any other ideas? Or should I just give in and pull the heads? Even if I pull the heads will I be able to access those square ports entirely?

    Also, can I assume it is safe to dunk the whole fuel injector assembly and injectors in carb cleaner?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. stephan

    stephan Rockstar 4 Years 5000 Posts

    Hey iq160plus, Welcome to the GM Truck Club.
    Are you talking simple dust or are you talking sand? When I think about New Mexico I picture lots of sand? If it's dust it's not quite the issue as if it's sand.
    If you are going to blow them out with compressed air, then take the plugs out and blow from the spark plug holes into the cylinders & out through the ports backwards.
    If you blow down into the ports you will just blow the sand/dust farther into the ports & INTO the cylinders through the open valves and you'll never get it out, unless you R&I the heads and it will still be an issue getting the sand out from the rings, ring lands, and ring gaps etc.

    When you are blowing them out you will notice that some valves are closed & you are not getting any air comeing out of those ports. On those particular ports you will want to blow air down into the ports as it can't get past the closed valves and into the cylinders, and on those it will be the only way to get the dust/sand out. Also on those (closed valve ports) it would be more effective if you used a 3"-4" extension on your blow gun so you can get the air tip far inside so you will be starting at the far inside/bottom of the ports and actually blow it from the inside back out. If you were to blow from the port opening on these (closed valve ports) you might not get the dust/sand out as it might just circulate around at the bottom, as the air pressure would be blocking it's escape and just blowing it back inside. If there's not much of this dust or sand it shouldn't be too difficult, & your engine should be ok.

    ---------- Post added at 11:29 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:23 AM ----------
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  3. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Use a shop vac initially-with a long skinny nozzle attachment-I wouldn't try to blow it out-just suck out what you can-wipe out the rest.
    Then stuff some sort of rags down the intake runners and use a rag wet with gasoline, water, whatever-heck you could use dilute simple green- just wet the rags so the grit will stick to them- just wipe them out as well as possible making sure you don't push the grit farther down.

    To heck with pulling the heads-not on a high mile vehicle-lotta work-expensive gaskets.
    You can also wrap the damp rags over the top of a skinny stick or long screwdriver to get waaaay down the runners.Maybe use a wire coathanger etc
  4. iq160plus

    iq160plus New Member


    I like the blowing from the spark plug side idea. It is just a little dust, not sand.

    I appreciate both replies as they make sense.
  5. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    If it's just dust, I'm inclined to say you can just leave/ignore it. More damaging dust and dirt probably gets sucked into the engine during normal operation than could settle in there. It'll just get burnt out with the fuel. Sand, well that might be worth cleaning out.

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