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Motor sludge clean or leave?

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Old 10-17-2018, 04:35 PM
Billy Anderson
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Motor sludge clean or leave?

I took off my intake manifold to swap it to carb and i found a ton of sludge build up should i clean it or leave it?
 
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Old 10-17-2018, 05:11 PM
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Clean it out! Easy for me to say.

How many miles? Is this a motor you know the history on? If so, what kind of oil and what kind of oil change schedule? Is the PCV connected and working?

I remember pulling a valve cover off the 283 in my dad's El Camino--man, that thing had a ton stuff in it. It probably had 2 or 3 times the miles on it than was represented when we bought it.

It did pitch sideways in the rain nicely though....
 
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Old 10-17-2018, 05:14 PM
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Remove what you can with a vacuum and scraper. Then consider a few runs of AutoRx.
 
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Old 10-17-2018, 05:24 PM
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Clean it up.
 
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Old 10-17-2018, 05:27 PM
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It has around 110,000 mileage or at least what last Owners claimed. I got some of it vacuum off but there still alot sludge on rods, i dont know if thats ok to leave or not.

The way i looks right now that someone was lazy to do there oil change and thats how some of the sludge is there but it also a dry powdery sludge and i dont know what would cause that.
What should i use to clean it with or should i just flush the oil and add seafoam?
 
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Old 10-17-2018, 05:44 PM
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This is what it look like now
 
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Old 10-17-2018, 05:45 PM
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Look at my post above I mentioned AutoRx for the cleaning aspect. I wouldn't use seafoam.
 
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Old 10-17-2018, 05:59 PM
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Chunks that might block return passages, anything easily picked out of there I suppose. Then try the AutoRx as suggested.

How does it run? Is it a mosquito fogger?
 
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Old 10-17-2018, 06:15 PM
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It did have some blowby but i think the pcv system was clog on it, when i took out the pcv value it was gunk up bad like no one ever change it before.

i got some of the gunk clean now im hoping it runs better with the carb on it since the fuel injecton was shot lol, the suprising thing is i doesnt burn oil with all that sludge that was in it so im hoping im lucky and i dont need a rebuild.
 
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:36 PM
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Might wanna see if there is a thermostat present
 
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Old 10-17-2018, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Billy Anderson View Post
I took off my intake manifold to swap it to carb and i found a ton of sludge build up should i clean it or leave it?
Are you allergic to any common tranquilizers? The moderators have given me permission to use the forum tranquilizer dart gun in an emergency. This is one of those times. Trust me, you will thank me later.

i vote to leave that sludge alone! I've also hired a crack team of Russian operatives to help skew the vote in my favor.

That ugly, icky sludge? It's safely caked on in such a way as to cause absolutely no harm. As in zero. Nada. Zilch. Even on the pushrods? No sludge is built up on any critical surfaces. It's just going along harmlessly for a ride, not causing any trouble.

Break it loose trying to clean things up? That's when things get ugly. No matter how careful you are, some newly loosened crud will get recirculated. If lucky, the oil filter will catch most of it. But in practice, the oil pickup screen may get clogged. Or debris will get trapped in the oil pump.

Look at your risk to reward ratio. Your possible reward? A warm fuzzy feeling knowing the engine is a little cleaner inside, but with zero gain otherwise. The engine won't run any better. The risk, for the other side of the equation? Oil starvation, clogged filter, scored bearings, leaky seals, wife running off with another guy, and so on. The math looks pretty compelling to me.

Stay away from treatments designed to clean sludge as you drive. Remember, despite how ugly it may seem, that sludge is safely caked on out of the way, not bothering anything but your sense of aesthetics. I have personally seen several engines ruined by clean as you drive treatments. An old acquaintance had a previously good car he could have sold to the county for use as a mosquito fogger when the treatment was done. Or the highway department may have wanted it for oiling gravel roads.

The best cleaning option is to run some good quality detergent oil ( practically anything not labeled "non-detergent" ) and change the oil and filter frequently. That will SLOWLY (Key word) dissolve the sludge at such a rate that the filter can keep up.
 
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Old 10-18-2018, 07:58 AM
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I was also thinking the same thing KR was I just did not want to type out a story LOL.
Good oil and change more often with filter will be the best way to clean it.
Dave - - - -
 
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Old 10-18-2018, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by kr98664 View Post
Are you allergic to any common tranquilizers? The moderators have given me permission to use the forum tranquilizer dart gun in an emergency. This is one of those times. Trust me, you will thank me later.

i vote to leave that sludge alone!
I fully agree with kr98664! The following is a l-o-n-g thread, from another forum, which details what can happen even 10 years later, when one attempts to clean an engine which suffered from poorly maintained oil change intervals. Please forgive the length, but it does address this topic.

On 9/14/17, my 1986 F150 was being called upon to drive ~570 miles to Skiatook, OK, for the 2017 OK GTG. It has made this trip 3 times before.

This truck is powered by the 4.9L engine [Duraspark conversion]. The engine has 205K miles and has always run great. My beautiful wife was with me and as we approached Memphis, TN [~100 miles into the trip], the factory oil pressure gauge began to drop. I quickly looked at the fuel and temperature gauges to see if the ICVR was acting up. The temperature gauge was a little lower than normal, but the fuel gauge was about where I would expect it to be. I continued and began to hear tapping. I pulled to the side of the road and listened. The sound was like that of a sticking lifter. I opened the oil fill, with engine idling, and could see oil flowing and the ticking sound stopped. I tried again and as I got up to highway speed [65 mph], the sound returned and worsened. I did a gut check and a small voice told me to head back home. You have to realize that there are parts of Memphis where one does not want to break down with your loving wife of 34 years!

The further I drove [longest 100 miles of my life], the worse it sounded. The oil pressure gauge was steady with the "N" of NORMAL. I checked the oil level and it was full and clean. The higher the RPMs, the lower the oil pressure. I slowed to 50 mph and when going up hills it normally easily "torques" @ that speed, I would have to down shift which caused the RPMs to increase and the oil pressure would bottom out. There were hills [small, normally] where the engine would begin to drop cylinders as the clattering increased. I would nervously keep an eye on the pressure gauge and pray that I soon would crest the hill so a shift to O.D. could be made, lowering the engine speed. By the time I drove into our driveway, the engine was missing and sounded like a number of people were hitting it with small hammers. OUCH!!! I was sick, but the truck got us home before giving up its life [or so I thought].

Unfortunately, our area does not have machine shops which the local reputable mechanics can trust. Consideration was being made into installing a remanufactured long block, but was not necessary, after all. A good friend [local FORD trained Diesel mechanic] agreed to work on the truck and I had it towed to his shop. I did not try to start it after returning from OK [we drove my wife's car] because I did not want to hear it "scream in pain", again. Several days later, my friend said he had started the engine and let it idle for some time and the initial lifter clicking abated after a while. He said it still showed extremely low oil pressure but otherwise sounded good. The oil pan was dropped and the pick-up screen was clogged.

Now, let me provide some history. I purchased this truck about 9 years ago, with ~121K miles, from the elderly original owner. It had never been abused, but had not had regular maintenance. The oil was black with a Fram oil filter and the engine still had the original spark plug wires, radiator hoses, heater hoses, etc. Many vacuum hoses were missing or cracked. The engine bucked and the first 2 tanks of gasoline returned 8 - 11 mpg. When looking into the valve cover after removing the oil fill cap, one could see much sludge on the rockers. I began to reclaim the truck and did numerous "short interval" oil and filter changes using Rotella Diesel rated oil for its high detergent and high Zinc properties. The rockers are now clean and have been for a long time [years]. Earlier this year, when replacing the pushrod inspection cover gasket, I observed that that part of the engine was quite clean. So, in my mind, the engine internals must have been cleaned by the normal oil change intervals with good oil and filter [Motorcraft FL1A]. Apparently, WRONG!

Just before the tow truck arrived, I checked the oil level, which had just been changed before the trip and was on the "calibrated by me" oil mark. It now was ~1/2 quart above the line???

A close inspection of the fuel pump looks like it has just begun to leak internally to the crankcase.

The bottom of the oil pan had more crud than I would like to have seen. I am theorizing that sludge as seen on internal engine parts must have some "carbonized" part that does not dissolve with the detergents in the oil and just settles to the bottom of the pan and not flow out with hot oil changes. Anyway, the screen is covered with a metal baffle and maybe a 1/4 - 1/3 open area with no baffle. Looking under the baffle, it was full of black crud and there was some blockage of the non-covered screen.

Maybe the leaking gasoline thinned the oil and introduced unwanted solvents which loosened the pan bottom crud. As engine speed increased [I normally go put-put; ask Gary], the loosened and softened sludge was sucked up and blocked the only open area of the oil pick-up screen, thereby blocking the oil flow?

The oil pump has been replaced along with a new pick-up screen and tubing. The fuel pump has been replaced as well. While the pan was off, the raised areas which encircle the securing bolts, locating the original cork gasket, were ground smooth. This is a neat trick which enables one to install the 1 piece oil gasket, which Ford used on the later 4.9L engines, updating the 4 piece [leak prone] original.

6 quarts of 10W30 and a new FL1A oil filter and the engine sounds great and the oil pressure is back to normal.

I will change the oil again in about 300 - 500 miles and have to regain my confidence by taking longer and faster trips, but as of the 24 hours I have had it back, all is well.

Sorry for the very long post, but maybe this will help someone else.

 
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:22 PM
Billy Anderson
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I didnt clean any off the rods yet lol, i watch somewhere on youtube that its bad to get rid of sludge because in some cases sludge maybe holding the motor together how true that is i dont know. I did vacuum so junk up that fell off the intake but that all i did lol

i did manage to put the carb intake on yesterday but im trying to figure out how to do the Hei distributor swap, i dont know if i just go buy a chevy small block distributor or what so thats where im at now.

also im not allergic to tranquilizers lmao
 
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:12 PM
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Clean it NOW! use Lacquer thinner , Ya can fill the whole engine and let it soak till it disolved the sludge. Lead free gass has eliminated a lot of the sludge these days. Drain and repeat. HOLMAN.
 


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