Calyx Manifold/Turbo Dressing? aka How to make your car smell funny.

Discussion in 'General Diesel Discussion' started by afterthisnap, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. afterthisnap

    afterthisnap New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Car:
    jetta/2003
    Has anyone else used this?
    I just bought a northeast 2002 Jetta wagon and there are spots of developing rust on the body and in the engine bay.
    While I had the intake manifold out for cleaning the exhaust manifold and turbo were easily accessible, so I decided to tackle the rust/corrosion on them.

    Normal cast iron surface rust:
    [​IMG]
    The turbo was a little scaly/crusty:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I've only had poor results using spray-on manifold paint in the past, and removing the exhaust manifold for this project was overkill for my needs. My hot-rod and jeep buddies have used Calyx manifold dressing on some of their engines, so I decided to give it a shot on the TDI.

    The instructions claim the best results come from a thorough cleaning, but I didn't find that necessary. I just scraped off any big rust flakes or burnt oil with a screwdriver and some steel wool.

    Calyx- yes, it actually does smell vaguely "minty", which is a welcome change from all the other automotive chemicals I've been using lately. It's supposed to be non-toxic, which is good since it gets everywhere.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It looks like grease, but the consistency is like a rubbery chapstick or a puck of hair pomade. The website suggests using a rag, brush, or fingertip to apply it to metal. I used a gloved fingertip and smeared a tiny amount on the top of the manifold. The metal quickly soaked up the dressing, and I just applied more with my entire palm until the surface had an even coat and the metal quit feeling "thirsty".

    I did the same for the underside and the turbo, but if you're not as flexible it may be difficult to get full coverage using your hands. Additionally, there are nooks and crannies that are impossible to reach with something as blunt as a fingertip- i.e. underneath the manifold bolts:
    [​IMG]

    For those areas, I used an old toothbrush. I also gave everything a once over with the brush to knock off excess dressing and to make sure the dressing was in the pores of the cast iron.
    [​IMG]
    The final result looks pretty even (the sun went down so the lighting is different):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After I had the intake manifold and EGR back on I drove to the store to get everything to operating temperature. It became evident that the fresh minty smell of Calyx was temporary, as the store parking lot was heavy with the scent of my engine's new manifold stink. It's hard to describe, but the smell is something between the lines of hot (not burning) plastic and boiling play-dough.
    On the way back I had a few spirited accelerations to spool the turbo, and the smell was mostly gone by the time I returned home.
    At no point did the dressing smoke or burn.

    Though you don't normally see the components they do look better- MUCH moreso than manifold paint. And though it's improbable that a turbo/manifold would rust through, they are now protected against any future corrosion.
    Some have claimed seeing minor drops in engine compartment temps after using the product which may be attributed to the metallic/reflective surface, but those anecdotes are all from V8 guys with a lot more exposed manifold area. Perhaps it may keep a little radiant heat from reaching the intake manifold?

    For me, the benefit was getting to kill some time familiarizing myself with the back of the engine while my intake manifold was drying out. It's also part of a more comprehensive rust eradication program.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2012
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  2. Ol'Rattler

    Ol'Rattler Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    529
    Car:
    06 TDI Jetta
    Awesome write-up. Were you live you probably need all the corrosion proofing you can get.

    Even here on the Left Coast, I think I would use it if I ever have my turbo or manifold off.
  3. afterthisnap

    afterthisnap New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Car:
    jetta/2003
    Thanks.
    Today the engine bay smelled like wet bread, but it's getting better.

    I think I really like the dressing. The jar was about $17 shipped on Ebay and I still have enough left over to do 3-4 more manifolds. I'll probably hit the entire exhaust with the remainder.
    It's not ceramic coat, but it's less than $20 and from what people are reporting, the finish lasts longer without discoloration (and touchups are easy).

    I'm going to do a 3k mile roadtrip at the end of the month, I'll update with pics to show how its holding up.
  4. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    22,048
    Car:
    2006 Jetta TDI
    Location:
    CT
    I would do something like that but the exhaust manifold is way in there...nothing to admire if you open the hood! Yeah, it'll take a loooong time for it to rust through and a regularly driven car will cook any moisture out anyways. I just checked their website and it's not even half done. Lots of placeholder or 404 pages so I would be wary of buying direct from the manufacturer.
  5. afterthisnap

    afterthisnap New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Car:
    jetta/2003
    Yea, it's a pretty terrible website. I think they've mostly been distributed through eastwood and other hotrod/musclecar type companies over the years.

    I guess the Japanese import guys are already trying it too:
    http://www.importtuner.com/tech/impp_1109_rust_free_manifold_restoration/

    I found the MSDS on the Eastwood site. It's just graphite paste:
    http://www.eastwood.com/images/pdf/11171z_msds.pdf

    My cv shafts are incredibly corroded (flaking off quarter sized chunks of rust), I'll scrape them down and try this out on them as well.

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