Tag Archives: walnut blast

How To Walnut Blast Your BMW N54 / 335i / 135i

Walnut blasting is one of the most common maintenance tasks for the N54 engine to remove carbon buildup from the intake valves. Some shops or dealerships charge an arm and a leg for this service, but it can be done at home for much less!

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You’ll need the following parts & tools:


For a complete kit, ready to go (minus compressor), you can get the walnut blasting DIY kit shipped to you straight from BavAuto.

Let’s get started. First you will need to remove the intake manifold. Read this step-by-step process to complete this step.

Once the intake manifold is removed, you should watch my DIY video that will walk you through the rest of the steps!

I took some photos along the way if you need something to reference.

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And the finished results…

Before:

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After:

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BMW 135i – Walnut Blast Intake Valves (N54)

Since I bought the car with about 81,000 miles and the intake valves had never been cleaned, I knew it was due for a walnut blasting. After a brief search through the forums, I found many Midwest N54’ers were happy with A-Spec Tuning in Schaumburg, Illinois. I found their Facebook page and sent them a message. Sean quickly responded and we set up an appointment to get it done for only $300! Considering the local dealership wanted $900, I had no problem making the drive.

My girlfriend and I set out at about 7:30 AM on Thursday morning, filled up with gas, and arrived right on time for my 10:30 AM appointment.  Not a bad 3 hour drive. Sean greeted me as I pulled up and we chatted for a bit. I asked him if he could drop us off at the local Starbucks while they worked on the car because they didn’t have a waiting area. After taking advantage of Starbucks’ free Wi-Fi and overpriced lattes, Sean picked us up about 3 hours later.

We got back to their shop and an E92 335i was on the dyno getting baseline numbers before getting its valves media blasted. Sean said I could get some before/after numbers on the dyno for an additional $100, but I decided not to. It would have been nice to see the power gains from the walnut blast, but I plan on putting that $100 towards JB4 and a pair of downpipes. Sean and I chatted for a while again and he knocked off $25 because it took a little longer than expected.

Brad (who used to work at VS Motorsports) did the walnut blast and took some before/after pictures of the valves. He sent them to me a couple days later and I couldn’t believe what I saw!

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Wow! What a difference. Best $275 I’ve ever spent on maintenance. The car feels smoother and seems to have a little more torque.

Sean and Brad are great, honest guys. Sean was always making sure that I was a happy customer throughout the whole process. I would definitely recommend them if your direct-injection motor is in need of valve cleaning. I would have done this myself, but don’t have the special equipment and couldn’t pass up the price. I know I’ll be heading back for anything else that I can’t tackle myself (hint: LSD).