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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 02-28-2008, 04:42 PM   #1
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Cat glowing red after Seafoam treatment

Got back after driving about 6 miles following fuel up. When I stopped, I looked at my cat which is glowing red (its a dark night..).

Is this normal? I never noticed my cat glowing red like this.
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:45 PM   #2
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No. You should have read the negatives of the seafoam treatment. It is not just some miracle fix it all. I doubt if anything is messed up, but check your O2 sensor(s). Did you add it to the gas, oil, or brake line?
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:02 PM   #3
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Gas - the trucks been sitting for about a year and I need to get it inspected or the property owners association will give me fits. It's running rough and I hoped to clean up the injectors a bit and dry up any water that might have accumulated in the tank.

I got my oil test back from Blackstone Labs and it indicates glycol in the oil and metals associated with bearing wear. As such, I'm preparing to pull the motor and rebuild it but need to get the inspection sticker on it so I won't get harrassed..

I just never noticed the cat (any cat..) glow like that before..
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:47 PM   #4
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Wow, the magic elixer is spreading like a wildfire. Seafoam is basically diesel fuel with some doctoring. I'll catch he11 for this.

So why Seafoam? Pour it down an intake and what? To attempt to clean the back side of an intake valve, possibly carbon on a piston face and stress the CAT and O2? Not me.

Run Berrymans injector cleaner through your gas tank. For the money, the best injector cleaner period. Very strong solvent. May take two cans if really bad.

When I change my oil, I add a half quart of diesel fuel to the crankcase oil. Let the motor run for 10 minutes at idle. When possible, let it sit overnight. The diesel will start melting carbon and sludge on the piston rings and softening seals with no damage.

You are better off putting the Seafoam in the gas tank where it will dilute. Down the vacuum line only makes Seafoam happy and downstream parts unhappy.

My $0.02

Last edited by SEAIRESCUE; 02-28-2008 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:56 PM   #5
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if your cats glowing it means you have a clog somewhere
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Old 02-28-2008, 06:59 PM   #6
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question- did you notice the cat doing this before? Could just be, as ozzie said, clogged.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:30 PM   #7
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If the catalyst is glowing, your running to rich. Working for the dealer I have seen it on several occasions. 1st by sucking a cleaner through a vacuum line, 2nd a faulty ECM with bad parameters and 3rd an injector hanging open. If you want a good fuel treatment try a BG product called 44K which is added to the tank or try a cheaper alternative Chevron Techron. Fuel "induction" cleanings on a fuel injected vehicle do very little, but cost you you money. The cats probably fine however it could have damaged the 02.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:42 PM   #8
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has anyone tried any of the fuel system cleaner by Ever-Wear? supposed to work WAY better than seafoam, and its 59.99 an application.. anyone?
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Old 02-29-2008, 08:31 AM   #9
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Man, that cat was doing some serious work... If the engine was running rich (obviously due to this stuff..) it was doing a great job of clearing it up - there was no smoke of anykind. The cat is one of the high flow kind (I can't remember which mfr.).

I guess I'll not question the purpose of, or effeciveness of the cat ever again. I will, however, be much more cautious of where I park off-road, and what kind of stuff I put in the tank.

Hell, I could have lit my truck on fire... (or broiled a nice steak had I been more prepared) :o
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Old 02-29-2008, 08:36 AM   #10
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LOL Well this is a good way to prevent your cat from getting stolen... (At least in a parking lot right after you've driven it)

http://www.yotatech.com/f116/stolen-...verter-136161/

Anyway insiteful info about Seafoam vs other alternatives.
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:02 PM   #11
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I read this from a VERY knowledgeable person on another forum. Read it and draw your own conclusions. I'll never use Seafoam for what most of you guys do...

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Seafoam, as with many additives, consists of a solvent in a light oil carrier. Iirc in the case of Seafoam the solvent is naphtha. It works OK for dissolving fuel varnish because that's what it's designed to do. The problem with injecting it into your manifold is that 1) It's not very effective and 2) You end up burning the oil carrier. That's why it smokes so badly. Burning oil from any source isn't good for your engine and it especially isn't good for your catalytic converter if you have one.

I prefer using water for de-carbonization and using a top tier gasoline along with a PAE (polyetheramine) based fuel additive a couple of times a year. That'll keep everything including the injectors clean. Gumout Regane (the yellow stuff in the clear bottle), Redline SI-1, and Techron Concentrate are all PAE based.

I said what the consequences are in a recent thread. It was rebuked so I left it up to the members to decide. You have to remember I deal with this sort of stuff all the time so when I run into those who "know better" I back off.

I'll say it again: The product has it's uses but this isn't one of them. Using it this way only lightens your wallet and shortens the life of your cat without benefit. The product is mostly light oil. Where do you think all the smoke comes from? Since when is combusting oil in either the cylinders or converter good? Rich mixtures kill cats so oil won't? If it removes any carbon it'll only be a tiny amount. If all you have is a tiny amount you're doing more harm then good because a small amount works to protect the piston crown. Good thing it comes right back, which makes the "treatment" even more of a waste. If you want to clean excessive carbon use water injection, an overnight piston soak, walnut blasting, or any of the other *proven* methods. Once it's gone keep it at bay by regular use of a PEA based fuel additive.

Aside from all the other tests you could've done a simple way for verifying it's lack of effectiveness is to examine the motor, including the valves, before and after using a borescope. I have a surplus medical instrument I use for those jobs. It was originally designed for, well, lets just say it's been shoved inside far worse places than a motor. I would've suggested doing this except it's already been done by myself and many, many other people who aren't as gullible as most of the public. The results are always the same: it does squat. People who swear by it don't do science. They accept anecdotal evidence from others. Being ignorant is not the same as being a dumbass but imo anyone who uses something without understanding the science behind it, based on what others say who also don't, is.

At least you did some "research" even if it wasn't the best kind. And like most people you did it after the fact. Frankly, if I was going to rely on what others say about a product's effectiveness (and I never do) I'd sure as hell require a lot better than 50% odds before any cash came flying outta my wallet. And even if the product did work I'll point out injecting anything into the brake booster line results in a very poor distribution of it across cylinders. If you feel a need to dump stuff into your engine do it upstream of the plenum, through the throttle body for example.

As I said, the product has it's uses. It's popular with bikers for a reason. I ride also and used Seafoam in the fuel for years. The naphtha in Seafoam works well to clean fuel varnish in my Vulcan's carbs but after a bit of study and testing I found something that does a better job. Since you brought up Techron and I brought up PEA here ya go. It's the same stuff:

PEA is Polyether Amine. It's the active chemical in Techron and a few other aftermarket fuel cleaners. Chevron's Oronite Division is the inventor and world's largest supplier these days:

http://tinyurl.com/y8v5ad

PEA is used in varying amounts in almost every quality gasoline made. The problem is unless you use one from the day an engine is new or rebuilt it takes time to clean things up. That and the amount varies from one fuel brand to another. The way to overcome this is to use a PEA based cleaner a few times a year or with every oil change and a good quality fuel (www.toptiergas.com) in between.

Typical fuel cleaners are solvent based and therefore cheap. They don't do much other than make your idle nice and that isn't from any cleaning action. PEA cleaners cost more because PEA is expensive to produce compared to solvents but also far more effective. The leading PEA based cleaners are GumOut Regane (yellow stuff in clear bottle), Redline SI-1, and Techron Concentrate. Each of these products has any where from appx 30-50% PEA with RedLine SI-1 having a slight edge. The cheaper Techron ProGuard also contains PEA but at a lower concentration. Not a good value.

Gumout Large Vehicle Fuel System Cleaner in the gold bottle is also PEA based. It contains the same percentage of PEA as does Regane but in a different carrier. It's 20 oz size makes for a better value if you can find it. Be sure it says "fuel system cleaner" and not "fuel injector cleaner". The bottles look nearly identical but the fuel injector cleaner contains no PEA.
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Old 03-02-2008, 03:02 AM   #12
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Anyone ever heard of "MARVEL MYSTERY Oil"? It is supposed to basically do the same as seafoam. I used it on my 97 Saturn( which are well known for burning oil), anyway about 4oz. of "oil" down each cylinder, let sit overnight, stuff rags in holes the next morning(don't forget to mark your wires 1,2,3,etc.),turned it over a couple of times to get rid of any excess. Put the plugs back in fire it up, and Kill any misquito for miles. once the white smoke clears, drive for around 500 miles and do a normal oil change. Worked great on my saturn, ran smoother and got better gas mileage after that. Just thought it might be useful to someone.Cheers.
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Old 03-02-2008, 01:06 PM   #13
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^ also snake oil.
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Old 03-02-2008, 01:17 PM   #14
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Seafoam hasn't hurt my engine & under my cam covers was nice & clean, just an over all sweet honey color. Of course it could be that I'm a Mobil1 fanatic too. I add my seafoam to the tank & the oil about twice a year; when it's time for a fill up again I change the oil/seafoam & put in a fresh oil & filter change.

All things considered, it's just a solvent but it does what it's supposed to do.
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:15 PM   #15
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While I've had bad experiences with seafoam, I've had nothing but great success with Marvel Mystery oil. You can put that stuff in just about any orifice on your rig that you can think of. I wouldn't recommend it just anywhere, but add some to your gas, or ATF if it's shifting a little off.
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KC Daylighters, electric fan
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Tow pkg w/ lighthookups
Silverstar Headlights, Pioneer Deck w/XM
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:15 PM
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