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Sticky valves-Sea Foam?

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  • Sticky valves-Sea Foam?

    My 170 Champion engine (1950) has a couple cylinders with sub-par compression. Number four registers 90-95 Lbs. and #6 reads 75-85. According to the manual, they are supposed to have 125 Lbs. I am hoping that I just have some sticky or carboned valves.
    A couple guys have told me that Sea Foam would be worth a try. The instructions on the can say that you should pour about a third of a can down the throat of the carburetor while the engine is warm and running. Then shut the engine off, let it sit for five minutes, start it up and let it run a while. I am prepared for a huge smoke cloud. Has anybody tried this? Any cautions or warnings? Does anyone have any better ideas that don't involve removing the head? If this miracle cure doesn't work, is a valve job likely needed?

    1950 Champion 4 Dr.
    Holdrege NE
    1950 Champion
    W-3 4 Dr. Sedan
    Holdrege NE

  • #2
    I've used Sea Foam in my fuel injected car a few times a year by dumping in the whole contents with a full tank and presume it does the job. My trusted parts guy highly recommends it and says the taxi drivers swear by it. I've not put it right down the throat of a carb, though. Might be worth a try and if it doesn't work, then you'd probably be looking at pulling the engine for major work.
    Good luck!

    Western Washington, USA


    • #3
      ....the folks over at the Gravely forum(s) swear by this stuff.....I've bought 2 cans in the past year.....don't use it all the time......I can't see any appreciable difference in the way the unit runs, performs or continues to leave a less than presentable plug.....This is a fresh, complete rebuild which runs great....just don't see anything in the product....I say the same for Stabil.......doesn't seem to make much difference.....but I use them both since there's still some in the can.....Now Mystery oil does clean rocker covers....!


      • #4
        Lothar -
        Do it right.....think about it for just a second...where's all those big chunks of carbon gonna go?

        I wouldn't want them getting down and fouing a ring..or sticking to a seat and fouling that!

        While I've never heard of "Sea Foam", the injector cleaners do work. I've watched valves go from having deposits to clean in just a week of daily driving (80 miles a day).
        I use Lucas products most of the time.
        Put it in the gas tank like the instructions tell you, and drive the car like a car was ment to be driven. Let it work by cleaning things the chance of big chunks of garbage getting stuck somewhere are minimized.

        As for Stabil...yea, that works also...though it does have it's time limitations.



        • #5
          Around here we always used trans. fluid for sticky valves; warm up the engine, pull the air cleaner, bring the RPM up to around 2000 or so, and pour in the trans.fluid till it stalls the engine. We'd let it sit several hours, then start and take off down the road at 70 MPH or so. Talk about a thick, solid James Bond smoke trail!![:0] Keep on going till the smoke clears, so the neighbors won't know it was you that left that fog... I don't remember it ever failing. Dad had a friend who stored his Thunderbird winters, and that 460 would always have sticky valves in the Spring. The above treatment always left it purring like a kitten!

          Wonder what the neighbors would think if I tried that today......

          Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
          Parish, central NY 13131

          "Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

          "With your Lark you're on your own, free as a bird, alive as a Lark. You've suddenly discovered that happiness is a thing called Larking!"


          • #6
            Bob, I had a 1980 Buick 4 cylinder Skylark. I was using the Atlantic graphite oil and had some sticky valve problems. Your method with Dexron Automatic fluid worked several times. Later I 'heard' that the graphite oil was the problem. Switched oil and never had another problem.


            • #7
              Since it's been out, I've been partial to Techron. I pour a container in my tank every 5000 miles or so. If you fill up at a Chevron or Texaco, Techron is already in the fuel. Volvo and Mercedes-Benz use Techron for just this type of problem.

              Tom - Mulberry, FL

              1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2125.60)

              Tom - Bradenton, FL

              1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
              1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD