Engine sludged... Options?

Messages
10
Hi guys, my mum just passed me her bmw e60 lci with a n52k engine (black cover) 1 year ago, and I have done 2 oil changes with ENOC full-syn oil 5w-30 with an OCI of 10k KM (roughly 6 months). The car has not been used much for the past 2 years before i started using the car.

Then on last week to my regular mechanic to fix a leaky VCG, saw this after the workshop pulled out the valve cover...

A few options came into mind:

1. Shorten OCI (to 5000 km) with good quality full-syn oil, no engine flush, pray for the best
2. Shorten OCI (to 2000 km) with HDEO (Rimula R6 or similar), repeat a few OCI and hope to clear out most of the sludge
3. Engine Flush right before my nxt oil change (liqui moly pro line engine flush) with cheap fresh lube after drain out the used oil, let idle for 10 mins, drain again, and refill with good lube.
4. Slow engine flush with short OCI (3000 km), like instead of doing a full engine flush to the recommended concentration (700ml for 7 quarts of engine oil), i will put in 100ml of liqui moly engine flush and let idle for 10 mins before drain and refill with good oil. Repeat until all sludge is gone...?

Please advice as i am planning to keep the car around for a few more years, and really do not wish to spend tons of cash for engine overhaul if the situation worsen.

Picture speaks a thousand words...
IMG_20210104_130154.jpg
IMG_20210104_125902.jpg
 
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23,379
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Before/after (front head). I had a machine shop hot tank the head.

I don’t think any amount of chemicals will clean the sludge you showed. If you want to fully clean it, you will need to have the valvetrain hot tanked.
 

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Last edited:

BlueOvalFitter

Site Donor 2021
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Cajun Country, La.
You're going to receive mega replies about how to solve this problem.
In the 70's my dad bought a few sludge monsters. His solution was to take a putty knife, a screwdriver, and a bucket of Varsol with a brush, and start removing the sludge manually. Then, he took a high pressure water hose to remove the rest. He would then drain the water and do several OCI's. The heads were then clean enough to eat off of.
Times have changed. I have seen many use PYB and an additive (KREEN, SeaFoam, MMO, etc.) with several 2-3K mile OCI's. YMMV.
 
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1,682
Location
South Carolina
My recommendation would be an oil with a good bit of ester to act as a solvent to dissolve the sludge. Red Line HP 5w-30 may be a good choice here at shorter 5k intervals. I do not recommend using any of the gimmick "flushes" off the shelf.
 
Messages
4,514
Location
Kuwait
From your post, I'm guessing you are in the United Arab Emirates.

Your best option is to start off with Shell Rimula R4 X, be it in 15W-40 or 20W-50 flavor, along with a Hengst branded filter, and drive the car for a week or roughly 250 km. At this point, run two cans of Liqui-Moly Pro-Line Engine Flush; this is the 500 ml stuff in the black and blue can. Don't go for Engine Flush Plus or anything else in the white can. Allow the engine to idle for 25 minutes and repeat the process at least four or five times before checking under the valve covers again for any progress.

Once everything is clean, avoid ANY engine oil sourced from the UAE or the Middle East in general; save for Shell brand lubricants sourced from Oman or the Q8 Oil brand sourced from Kuwait and the Netherlands. I wouldn't use the other stuff to lubricate door hinges, you've seen the results first hand. My suggestion would be to stick to a 15W-40 HDEO from a reputable brand, such as Fuchs or Liqui-Moly with a drain interval of 3,500 km. Extended drains do not produce the best results in this part of the world. Replace your oil filter every second oil change at 7,000 km and replace your air filter every 10,000 km; do not blow it out with compressed air.
 

anthorcc

Thread starter
Messages
10
Before/after (front head). I had a machine shop hot tank the head.

I don’t think any amount of chemicals will clean the sludge you showed. If you want to fully clean it, you will need to have the valvetrain hot tanked.
valvetrain hot tanked, is it the same with top overhaul?
 

anthorcc

Thread starter
Messages
10
Unless it is causing issues, is there even a need to clean this?
my car is having some idle vibration issue, so im trying to fix the issue. Anyway my main concern that the sludge worsen and needed to be completely overhauled in the near future, which i certainly want to avoid.
 

anthorcc

Thread starter
Messages
10
From your post, I'm guessing you are in the United Arab Emirates.

Your best option is to start off with Shell Rimula R4 X, be it in 15W-40 or 20W-50 flavor, along with a Hengst branded filter, and drive the car for a week or roughly 250 km. At this point, run two cans of Liqui-Moly Pro-Line Engine Flush; this is the 500 ml stuff in the black and blue can. Don't go for Engine Flush Plus or anything else in the white can. Allow the engine to idle for 25 minutes and repeat the process at least four or five times before checking under the valve covers again for any progress.

Once everything is clean, avoid ANY engine oil sourced from the UAE or the Middle East in general; save for Shell brand lubricants sourced from Oman or the Q8 Oil brand sourced from Kuwait and the Netherlands. I wouldn't use the other stuff to lubricate door hinges, you've seen the results first hand. My suggestion would be to stick to a 15W-40 HDEO from a reputable brand, such as Fuchs or Liqui-Moly with a drain interval of 3,500 km. Extended drains do not produce the best results in this part of the world. Replace your oil filter every second oil change at 7,000 km and replace your air filter every 10,000 km; do not blow it out with compressed air.
I'm actually from Malaysia! Tho also a Muslim country :giggle:

isn't Rimula R4X a lower grade oil compared to rimula r6? whats the main differences between the proline flush and other liqui moly flush?

My main concern is that after putting in a whole bottle of engine flush in one go, it might dislodge too much grime and clog the oil passages..
 
Messages
4,514
Location
Kuwait
I'm actually from Malaysia! Tho also a Muslim country :giggle:

isn't Rimula R4X a lower grade oil compared to rimula r6? whats the main differences between the proline flush and other liqui moly flush?

My main concern is that after putting in a whole bottle of engine flush in one go, it might dislodge too much grime and clog the oil passages..
ENOC stands for Emirates National Oil Company, I wasn't aware their exports were as far fetched as Malaysia.

That said, I'm not sure which variant of R6 you are referring to, there are many, but R4 X is a proven conventional formula for older diesels calling for CI-4/CH-4. For what you're doing, you don't need a fully synthetic oil.

As far as Pro-Line Engine Flush goes, I'm going to point you to this post in this thread.
 
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