An Insight Into BMW N54 Engine Walnut Blasting By PSI

Engines | September 21st, 2015 by 7
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When BMW introduced the N54B30 powerplant to the United States market in 2007, it was their first production turbocharged engine that utilized direct fuel injection …

When BMW introduced the N54B30 powerplant to the United States market in 2007, it was their first production turbocharged engine that utilized direct fuel injection technology. This meant that for the first time the air-fuel mixture wasn’t made in the intake manifold, but it was done inside the combustion chamber, next to the spark plug.

The injectors, previously added in the intake manifold, could now produce a fuel-air ‘myst’ that burned better, was more fuel efficient and also provided better engine management as well. While the technology did improve engine performance in a lot of areas, it also yielded some issues as well. In the few years after its introduction, there were several revisions for the high-pressure fuel pump, some dedicated sensors and electronics and finally, with the fuel system itself. To be fair, one of the more major issues was the intake port and valve carbon buildup, ushering performance loss and other potential problems later on. This is where Precision Sport Industries employs the walnut blasting technique, to resolve the carbon buildup and return the engine’s overall power to its OEM status.

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“The N54B30 has a crankcase ventilation system that is internally routed in the cylinder head. If you look down into the intake port, you’ll notice a hole on the top of the port that is used by the CCV for vacuum. The problem now is that oil that makes its way through the CCV will end up in the intake port of the cylinder head – which wouldn’t be an issue if there was an injector in each port cleaning it with fuel. Since the N54 doesn’t have any fuel injectors in the manifold, the oil residue builds up on the intake port and intake valves over time. Newer cars such as the Scion FR-S that are direct injected have a second set of injectors in the manifold to help prevent the issue of buildup that the N54 has. Fortunately BMW recognized the issue and at the very least they have provided us with a genuine BMW tool that can be used to “blast” the carbon buildup off the port and valves.”

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While it’s not a large procedure as far as engine work goes, it does clear the intake port and valves, allowing the powerplant to breathe better.

For a complete look into this engine maintenance procedure, take a look at the media gallery below.

7 responses to “An Insight Into BMW N54 Engine Walnut Blasting By PSI”

  1. worldbfree4me says:

    Wow this is a revelation to many I’m sure. I was looking to purchase an early LEXUS IS and those had a similar problem (carbon buildup) which resulted in a Not Recommended rating. Whats telling is how could BMW or Toyota not discover this problem during testing? People are buying used cars in droves and to know now or later that your power plant is anemic because of an oversight is disturbing.

  2. Luca says:

    “Newer cars such as the Scion FR-S that are direct injected have a second set of injectors in the manifold to help prevent the issue of buildup that the N54 has. ”

    Well, let’s make sure we take this the way it’s meant to be. Toyota DID NOT put port injection to prevent carbon buildup; they did it for a variety of other reason. As a “side effect” it may prevent the issue. However the issue should be prevented with proper oil separation in the CCV system.

  3. Dustin says:

    The real question is, now that it is a known issue, what has BMW changed to prevent this from occurring on the new engines?

  4. Michael Morrotta says:

    The oil gases is definitely a cause of the blocked intake ports. The vanos which is the variable valve time BMW uses. When the intake cam is in the retarded position it recycles exhaust gases back into the intake manifold which contains carbon. The carbon then sticks to the oil residue on the valves. If it was all oil build up from the CCV then it would be that black and crusty looking. Its a combination of internal exhaust gas re circulation and the CCV gases. BMW doesn’t have an external exhaust gas re circulation valve. Its all done with the variable valve timing. At idle the intake cam is in the Advanced position which means it opens later, preventing valve overlap thus preventing no exhaust being recycled back into the intake manifold which makes the idle very smooth. At around 1,500 rpm the intake cam shaft goes into the retarded position which opens earlier and then the internal exhaust gas re circulation takes place. Its not just the oil. Its a combination of oil residue and carbon.

  5. […] performance wouldn’t make sense. However, there’s been a lot about the potential the N54 BMW engine has and this is further proof. In the video posted below we get to see just how far that piece of […]

  6. […] wouldn’t make sense. However, there’s been a lot about the potential the N54 BMW engine has and this is further proof. In the video posted below we get to see just how far that piece of […]

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