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Steam Engines and Cat Killers


Some old mechanic techniques work, like using a baseball bat to roll fenders.

My dad had a mechanic who liked to trickle water in to a running engine to clean valves. The guy blew out 3 exhaust systems in 3 years before we caught on.

Short of William Wallace technique, (WMD) if one has an engine running then is there any way of cleaning things without fubaring the engine?

BTW too much water creates a lot more steam volume than the exhaust is made to manage, I have seen the damage that can do.


I heard my B-I-L talk about this. He used tranny fluid though. He would poor it down the carb and keep the rpm's up. A few seconds later the car was smoking out the tail pipe. It looked really cool. I asked what he was doing and he said he was cleaning the valves. I tried it on my 83 escort and man it was cool as hell smoking up the parking lot.

Rob Ziehm
97 ES

They make upper valve train cleaning kits to do this right (Autozombie, NAPA, Advance Auto, ETC). It comes with a pressurized can of cleaner, hose, etc.. Works pretty good (we did this a lot when I was a service manager - part of a tune-up).

Dave Garber
Pittsburgh, PA
99 White

VEHICLES - John Stout

That will

1. Kill the cats. Like clogging arteries.
A. Make the car run like schyt until you change the cats ($$)
2. Load more crap on the top end due to current emission settings on these cars.
A. You just cannot mess with this like you could in '60s-'70s-'80s cars. 
1. Don't try to out think the manufacturers now. They try to squeeze every bit of power on performance cars while staying legal.
3. I used to use the same process in my '73 Vega, and '78 Thunderbird. Worked well then, suicide now. You are just asking for trouble.

Clean oil, clean gas. Fix the inherent problem in the intake of the V8, as well as the cams. I see the cleaning of the intake as a PM issue. Poor design and execution regardless of intentions.

My take.

My car makes the air cleaner than what it took in. What does you car do??
'99 SAAB 9-5
Former '98 TR
Former '91 White


Dave Garber's thoughts on this are correct in this day and age.

David Deines

OMG, he owned a Vega? And I used to respect you man! ;-)

Carter Fuji
Just another former customer that cost Ford millions of dollars
'97 ES Whoosh
Greenwood, AR.


I used to own an Opel AND a Chevette... do you still respect me? :)

Don Mallinson

yeah, well maybe he had a Cosworth and just doesn't want to hurt your feelins!!! 

Larry Eck

He did this once at an old job of his and a police person came running into the shop and asked if they got the fire out. I am not sure about cats. I will have to try it and see. I dislike cats.

Rob Ziehm

97 ES

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