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Old 12-05-2014, 10:18   #1
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Seafoam Review

I recently tested out SEA FOAM engine spray Sea Foam Spray - Sea Foam Sales Company on my Nissan 6HP 4 Stroke Outboard and figured I'd share the results. (and no I don't work for sea foam I just geek out on this kind of stuff)

Also I don't intend for this to be an argument over if it is necessary, or if I should have, or that it really only matters on 2 strokes.....and so on. I really just want to share what I found and hopefully answer any questions that may arise.

So as we all know gasoline engines get carbon build up in the cylinders over time. Sea foam sells a product that is supposed to help break that carbon up and remove it from the cylinders and valves. Now I know that on 4 strokes this isn't a huge concern compared to 2 strokes but I wanted to give the stuff a try.

I took a before picture and some after pictures of inside the cylinder through the spark plug hole. I know the pics aren't the best (I took them with a phone) but you can get a good idea of how the sea foam worked.

Essentially I just followed the instructions but for a quick overview.
I brought the engine up to operating temp. With the cover removed I sprayed the sea foam into the intake while keeping the engine a little above idle so it would not die. After spraying a copious amount into the intake which produces tons of smoke. I turned the engine off and sprayed a bunch into the cylinder directly. After spraying it in I pulled the start cord slowly to make sure the sea foam got into the whole cylinder and then I sprayed in some more. I let it sit in the hot engine for about 10 minutes and then started it and took it for a good run.

Below are the before and after pictures. Like I said the quality isn't the best but you can see there is a difference. Overall it did a very good job getting a lot of the carbon out. It is definitely a lot cleaner in the engine as can be told by looking through the spark plug hole. Hope this helps or proves interesting to somebody other then me.

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Old 12-05-2014, 10:29   #2
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Re: Seafoam Review

I've never used the spray.

I've used the fuel additive. Usually I regard any off the shelf additive as snake oil. However, two different mechanics both told me it is the best carb/injector cleaner on the market. Not quite as good as the professional stuff they use (which performed a miracle on my Mustang GT injectors!) but close enough.

I've tried it on a couple of gas engined cars and a diesel truck and in all cases, the engines ran noticeably smoother and fuel economy went up slightly. Each vehicle responded a little bit less or more, but all of them did have a noticeable improvement. I didn't follow the instructions properly, instead of one can per tankful, I added 1 can per 1/4 -1/3 tank on the cars and 2 cans per 1/3 tank on the truck.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:39   #3
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Re: Seafoam Review

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Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
I've never used the spray.

I've used the fuel additive. Usually I regard any off the shelf additive as snake oil. However, two different mechanics both told me it is the best carb/injector cleaner on the market. Not quite as good as the professional stuff they use (which performed a miracle on my Mustang GT injectors!) but close enough.

I've tried it on a couple of gas engined cars and a diesel truck and in all cases, the engines ran noticeably smoother and fuel economy went up slightly. Each vehicle responded a little bit less or more, but all of them did have a noticeable improvement. I didn't follow the instructions properly, instead of one can per tankful, I added 1 can per 1/4 -1/3 tank on the cars and 2 cans per 1/3 tank on the truck.
I used the fuel additive in my gas tank on my jeep. I get such bad gas mileage anyways I couldn't tell a difference but I'm glad to hear it has worked for you. I tend to be skeptical like you about these things but it was nice to find a way to actually test it and have it work.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:45   #4
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Re: Seafoam Review

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Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
I used the fuel additive in my gas tank on my jeep. I get such bad gas mileage anyways I couldn't tell a difference but I'm glad to hear it has worked for you. I tend to be skeptical like you about these things but it was nice to find a way to actually test it and have it work.
On a slight tangent, a USB borescope would have allowed you to take really nice pics inside of the combustion chamber, and other tight spots on the boat. I just bought an HD version (720p) with a 10m cable and video/photo capabilities over on Ebay for $35. It has 6 LEDs and it's only 7mm in diameter, so it should fit in some really tight spaces. I'll post up a review of it after it gets here in a couple of weeks.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:49   #5
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Re: Seafoam Review

I did not know those even exist. I know of the high end ones mechanics use but have never heard of those. Thanks!
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:57   #6
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Re: Seafoam Review

I'm mistaken, I was looking for one with 720p resolution, but I was misled by the name, it's a 640x480 camera. Oh well. They do sell them, I just clicked on the wrong one. Even at that resolution, I'll post up some pics, they're still bound to be helpful.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:01   #7
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Re: Seafoam Review

I forgot to mention. Sea foam engine spray should only be used in Gasoline engines, NOT diesel engines
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:18   #8
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Re: Seafoam Review

Anyone have experience with Seafoam in a small 4 stroke like a Tohatsu 3.5?


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Old 12-05-2014, 12:27   #9
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Re: Seafoam Review

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Anyone have experience with Seafoam in a small 4 stroke like a Tohatsu 3.5?


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Tohatsu's are Nissan. Same engines you just have to pay extra for the nissan stickers. So it is almost identical to my engine just slightly smaller. The results on any gas powered outboard will be the same though. Even across different brands seafoam will work the same way.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:39   #10
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Re: Seafoam Review

Quicksilver's version of that is called "Power Tune" its excellent, been using it for 20 + years.
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Old 12-05-2014, 13:29   #11
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Re: Seafoam Review

Knowledge is a dangerous thing.

From the SeaFoam MSDS you will find that all it is, is:

Pale Oil 40.00 - 60.00%
Naphtha 25.00 - 35.00%
IPA 10.00 - 20.00 %
In simple English, a very sloppy mixture of about four parts light machine oil, two parts of gasoline base stock or paint thinner, one part of rubbing alcohol. (Isopropyl alcohol.)
The gasoline base stock is there to fuel the engine. The alcohol is there to scrub the carbon, and the oil is there to immediately lube the cylinder walls after the alcohol has harshly scoured them clean.
You could very easily mix up the same stuff by yourself at 1/4 of the price. There's no magic there, just a very old-school product at a magically delicious price.
Old school mechanics used to just pour the dregs of yesterday's coffee into an engine to do the same thing. The water superheats into steam, blows off the carbon, and enough oil leaks past the cylinder rings to relube them. Or you can toss in a little waste oil instead, that's good enough for the purpose.
Of course the spray can has a CO2 propellant charge, but a funnel and gravity will accomplish the same thing.
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Old 12-05-2014, 13:33   #12
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Re: Seafoam Review

"Tohatsu's are Nissan. Same engines you just have to pay extra for the nissan stickers. So it is almost identical to my engine just slightly smaller. The results on any gas powered outboard will be the same though. Even across different brands seafoam will work the same way."

Thanks for the reply. My question is really about the extremely small jets in the carburetor on these small engines that are susceptible to fouling from ethanol or varnishing. Does Seafoam help?


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Old 12-05-2014, 13:46   #13
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Re: Seafoam Review

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
"Tohatsu's are Nissan. Same engines you just have to pay extra for the nissan stickers. So it is almost identical to my engine just slightly smaller. The results on any gas powered outboard will be the same though. Even across different brands seafoam will work the same way."

Thanks for the reply. My question is really about the extremely small jets in the carburetor on these small engines that are susceptible to fouling from ethanol or varnishing. Does Seafoam help?


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The spray does not travel through the jets in the carb so that would not help with those fouling. I would recommend either putting Stabil in the gas or using the sea foam fuel additive to combat that problem. The biggest thing to help with that is prevention. It is much easier to use stabil and not have the gum up then trying to un-gunk them.

Edit: I think Stabil makes an ethanol treatment additive to help combat that problem. If not there are several companies that make an additive to counter the effects of ethanol. Any car parts store will have multitudes of things to choose from
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Old 12-05-2014, 13:59   #14
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Re: Seafoam Review

a. Seafoam is also very effective at combating corrosion in carburetors and gum build-up. I ran a bunch of ASTM tests for PS. Quicksilver did well too. They were 2 of the top 3 products (Bio Bor EB was also very good).

b. Please don't take ingredients from and MSDS as specifications or a recipe; manufacturers work hard to make that inaccurate. Let me explain. Manufacturers are only required to disclosed hazardous materials present at significant levels, are permitted to obscure proprietary information (I write them for some or my company's products), and why would I give away my tech? Makes no sense. Yes, the solvents have certain functions, but they are not the entire story. You will never find a label giving the the exact corrosion inhibitor mix.

However, if you like self-formulation from MSDS, mix water, glycol, and DEH (DECOOL MSDS, for example) and run that in your car. It won't last long, because they left several key things out.
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Old 12-05-2014, 15:20   #15
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Re: Seafoam Review

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Knowledge is a dangerous thing.

From the SeaFoam MSDS you will find that all it is, is:

Pale Oil 40.00 - 60.00%
Naphtha 25.00 - 35.00%
IPA 10.00 - 20.00 %
You could very easily mix up the same stuff by yourself at 1/4 of the price. There's no magic there, just a very old-school product at a magically delicious price.

hellosailor, I have been mixing my own for quite a few years. For my pale oil I use diesel fuel(60%),add Naptha(30%), and "Iso-Heet" brand alcohol product(10%).
I use it in my 2-stroke outboard and my autos. I'll do a de-carb every year and add a few ounces to fuel tank every once in a while. One thing I would suggest is to change or clean the spark plugs after you do a de-carb treatment.

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