Here is the text of a post I made on the Mopar web board I use. I mentioned (I think) half of my regular readers in it… so I thought I would bring it here so you guys could see your names in lights…
The Sludge Strikes Back:
Several people on the Mopar web board responded and introduced me to the concept of “short-tripping,” and told me that it was likely that there was plenty of carbon goo up in the intake.
Today I spoke to Mike the Mechanic and he laughed and laughed and repeated some words back to me that I said when I was drooling over the Dart, like “It’s a gen-u-wine little old lady car! She barely drove it!” etc….
SO, I have been obsessing about how to get that goo out of there. Two suggestions (of several) have caught my attention:
1. the slow but sure method: Frequent oil changes for a while, new hotter plugs, some frequent long drives to get the heat up. Clean oil will gradually get some of the sludge out of the case and sound maintenance practices should wear away at some of the impaction.
2. the sorta goofy but kind of fun method: Two guys I respect suggested using steam- one said lift the air cleaner off, turn the idle screw until the motor is running at about 1800 rpm, then mist some water over the intake, it will suck in the water, combustion will turn it to steam and melt the carbon deposits away. (Hi, Fixer!) Seems reasonable. Here’s my favorite variation on that idea:
Mike said we should rinse out an antifreeze bottle, put about half a gallon of water in it, then drop one end of a vacuum hose in it with an aquarium aerator on the end. Place the bottle in front of the passenger seat. Cut a hole in the lid of the bottle, and slip the running end of the hose to it. Attach the running end of the hose to the main vacuum port on the back of the carb. Crimp the hose with a pair of tiny vice grips, and go for a drive. On downhills, where the accelerator is not needed (and vacuum is peaking), uncrimp the hose by releasing the vice grips. This will pull water into the combustion chamber, aerosolize it into tiny droplets, which will be converted to steam (lots of it, since the vacuum going downhill is plenty strong) and the steam will force the carbon out of the tail pipe. Repeat until water in the bottle is gone, or all the beverages in car are gone. Sounds like a pleasant enough way to spend this coming Sunday afternoon, right?
Other suggestions that came along were “Run 1/4 quart of Dextron ATF in with each of the oil changes. It has dispersants that will push some of that stuff along.” (Hi, Gordon!) You guys have any thoughts on that?
How would you de-carbon-ize your top end?
Everyone said something we already know- “You’re getting good advice from your buddies. Do what they tell you.”
Duh, I knew that.
A couple of guys suggested Sea Foam, too. Might do that after the steam to get the residuals out. I am running the 1/4 qt of Dextron today. I drove the 17 miles to work with it in there, and I will drive home, drop the old oil and put in fresh at lunch and put on fresh filters.
I am starting to daydream about finding myself a Plymouth Satellite and putting a performance package in it. 😉