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Discussion Starter #1
A co-worker just used SeaFoam in the tank of his 1.9liter Ford Escort on Sunday. Monday, it dropped a valve seat into a cylinder.

A: This engine IS known for this problem

B: He found a warning online that the SeaFoam-thru-vacuum-line procedure should ONLY be done on a cold engine due to - CAUSING VALVE SEATS TO FAIL.


Now, we all know it could have been a coincidence, but, how could SF in the gas tank cause this problem? Was the valve seat being held in place by carbon? Anyone ever hear of this issue before?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
links in the following go to info on the Ford engines that drop valve seats;

Seafoam - Mechanical Database

...snip...Certain engines that are more prone to dropping valve seats should be cold when undertaking this procedure. This will help reduce the amount of stress on engine components from temperature differences and expansion. However this also reduces the effectiveness of Seafoam, because carbon and other contaminants in the combustion chamber are best cleaned when hot.


Start the engine and locate the most accessible vacuum line. This is usually the brake booster line. Take the line off and put it up to the can of Seafoam.
The engine's vacuum will begin to draw the seafoam out of the can. While doing so the engine will want to stall, so reving the throttle is required. Usually this is easiest with a friend inside the car but can be done by using one hand to hold the bottle and hose and the other to rev the throttle body.
The engine may vibrate and shake during the intake but this is normal.
Seafoam can also be used by pouring small amounts into the cylinders while changing the spark plugs. However pouring too much can hydrolock the engine and cause damage. Usually no more than 20 ml is recommended per cylinder.
Once the entire can of Seafoam is empty the engine should be turned off and left to sit for 5 minutes. During this time Seafoam will soak into and weaken the carbon and oil deposits inside the cylinders.
Turn on the engine, which may require some extra throttle the first time. Once the engine is on, lots of thick white smoke will come out of the exhaust. This is normal, the smoke is the Seafoam along with deposits being burned out of the engine. The dirtier the engine the more smoke will come out, it serves as a good sign of the treatment working.
Typically new engines with less than 50,000 miles will barely smoke at all, and will not see as much of an improvement from the Seafoam engine treatment due to lack of deposits buildup.
Drive the car until all of the smoke is gone. If the white smoke dissapears and blue smoke begins to come out at the end, this is fine as it will dissapear in 5-10 minutes of driving. ...snip...

I think there's a good possibility that , even in the tank, the SF cleaned enough carbon or varnish from the CC that the (likey already compromised) valve seat dropped.

My coworker contacted SF and they are supposedly interested in sending someone to look at the damage. I'll update if any new info comes along. I can't imagine anything will come of this, but perhaps some additional warnings should be on the can???

As said, this is a Ford engine-type with a known propensity for dropping valve seats - and this one has 140,000 miles on it.
 

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I've used it in nearly every car I've ever owned, with the exception of our OB since it's only got 13k miles on it, but I've had nothing but good luck with it.
 

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It's more likely to me that the SF helped loosen an already defective part.

I've seen instances where people changed 15 year old brake fluid and brake fluid starts leaking all over. Same goes for power steering fluid. They of course rationalize it would have been better to just do nothing. The truth is that if you "clean" something and it breaks it is more likely than not it would break on it's own anyway very soon.

My position on this has always been I'd rather have it break in my garage than out in the world.
 

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I used in my 240sx before and idle when down and soon after one of the sensor stop working (forgot which one cause it was 5 years ago).

I would not say they works or not but your choose and I do see there is happy customer using SF
 

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Discussion Starter #7
oh - I think the vast majority of people would have either no problems, or a distinct benefit after using seafoam.

so far, he's confirmed 0 compression in cylinder 4 (the most common cylinder to drop a seat on this particular Ford engine)
 
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