Engine sludged... Options?

Messages
25,429
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
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.
While not quite as clean as tanking them this didn't take very long (after removing the covers) and anything left will be finished off with a few short OCI with Mobil 1 0w-40. No problems in over 100K after this was done, oil consumption, further deposits.

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Messages
11,670
Location
Colorado Springs
I am with Trav on this. M1 0W40 has huge additive pack plus some esters. That N52 was neglected and probably wrong oil was used as they should be clean as new all the time if right oil is used. They are not prone to sludge if right oil is used.
 
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4,710
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...
View attachment 40145 View attachment 40146

I hate to ask the obvious question, but does your engine run well? Or does it run like it has an issue. ?
 
Messages
46
Used any cheap full synthetic oil or M1 0w40 as Trav say and change as soon you see dipstick get light brown or dark 2-3 oci then 3k oci 2-5 oci ester base oil if it fit your budget.
 
Messages
4,686
Location
Southeast
The good news is the business end, deeper down in the pic where the springs and valve seals are seems pretty clean. In my experience the sludge comes from the bottom up, but the bottom looks cleaner than the top.

OP- just a thought but check the PCV system and make sure it’s breathing well. That’s strange to me to see the top caked up like that but the valleys ok. I hope the shop at least cleaned the top off with a rag, scraper and shop vac.
 
Messages
374
Location
Northeast Georgia
Here's what needs to be taken into consideration. If you leave it, a piece could break off and clog up an oil gallery....possibly starving a critical component of oil, which almost always ends in a catastrophic failure.

Happened to one of the trucks in our fleet just a month ago. One of the drivers didn't have it serviced in 50+K miles. I took the truck to be serviced. The engine locked up 2 days later. Truck was towed to a Peterbilt dealership. Upon the diagnostic teardown, the service advisor called and said it looked like the oil had never been changed.

We told him that it was just serviced 2 days prior and he said..."ah haaaa". So they dug further. Cylinder #4's rod was seized with a spun bearing and the crankshaft was ruined. Further digging uncovered the oil gallery that feeds that bearing was clogged. They determined the engine failure was a result of the detergents in the new oil dislodging sludge and circulating it to those critical areas.

Guess how much it cost to replace a Cummins engine in a 2007 Peterbilt 379. If you guess $48,668....you win.

Moral of the story...take caution in whichever route you choose.
 
Messages
5,849
Location
Suburban Washington DC
my car is having some idle vibration issue, so im trying to fix the issue.
Can't imagine that would be directly related to this. You could go another 100,000 miles like that if you do oil changes on time from now on. I'd just leave it alone myself, but if you want to tackle it, here are before and after pictures after about 12 hours hunched over the engine with q-tips, paper towels, brake cleaner, Gunk, tweezers and various picks of all shapes.

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Messages
25,551
Location
Upstate NY
Here's what needs to be taken into consideration. If you leave it, a piece could break off and clog up an oil gallery....possibly starving a critical component of oil, which almost always ends in a catastrophic failure.

Happened to one of the trucks in our fleet just a month ago. One of the drivers didn't have it serviced in 50+K miles. I took the truck to be serviced. The engine locked up 2 days later. Truck was towed to a Peterbilt dealership. Upon the diagnostic teardown, the service advisor called and said it looked like the oil had never been changed.

We told him that it was just serviced 2 days prior and he said..."ah haaaa". So they dug further. Cylinder #4's rod was seized with a spun bearing and the crankshaft was ruined. Further digging uncovered the oil gallery that feeds that bearing was clogged. They determined the engine failure was a result of the detergents in the new oil dislodging sludge and circulating it to those critical areas.

Guess how much it cost to replace a Cummins engine in a 2007 Peterbilt 379. If you guess $48,668....you win.

Moral of the story...take caution in whichever route you choose.

Around 1971 I bought a 1965 Mustang and got it home and changed the oil. Who knows what oil was in it when I bought it. Who knows what oil was in it and the maintenance history. Sludge in the oil pump loosened and jammed the oil pump and snapped the square shaft that drives the oil pump from the distributor. Knowing little my Dad helped me to rebuild the engine. Good learning experience for a guy not even 21 yr old. But obviously not enough of a learning experience as after the engine was rebuilt I did one too many sand start burnouts and snapped the output shaft in the transmission.
 
Messages
374
Location
Northeast Georgia
Sludge has the consistency of cake frosting. How did it snap anything?
Some of those shafts have nylon collars on the end and are easily broken due to age and enough stress on them. A hardened steel shaft is an upgrade for engines with high performance oil pumps since they give more resistance to operate. An oil pump trying to pump "sludge" through it yields a lot more resistance than it's components were designed for. They break easier than you think.
 

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Messages
45,335
Location
Ontario, Canada
Sludge has the consistency of cake frosting. How did it snap anything?

Guys have liquorice-sticked or snapped oil pump drives (hex) on the Windsor with 20w-50 because "thick is the best!". It was particularly common when they swapped in an HV oil pump so they could have ridiculous oil pressure. ARP made an upgraded shaft, so then you were just being insanely hard on the drive gear and pin 🤦‍♂️
 
Messages
25,551
Location
Upstate NY
Sludge has the consistency of cake frosting. How did it snap anything?
I am not sure of all the details but I changed the oil, started the engine and no oil pressure. Found the shaft that drives the oil pump snapped. Its is not much more than a shaft the size of a pencil. Oil pump gears filled with black goo. This was a 289 engine.
 

anthorcc

Thread starter
Messages
10

anthorcc

Thread starter
Messages
10
Just need to see if Mobil1 is available in Malaysia?
If it is, will it be the same formulation as the one in the US?
based my my observations, these are the 0w40 mobil 1 oil that can be purchased at my country

Which one is better in terms of cleaning?
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