Engine sludged... Options?

anthorcc

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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.
just did a test that seems to determine the condition of pcv, seems like the pcv is alright?


 

anthorcc

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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.
too bad my car was equipped with engine where the engineering department feel that dipstick was an outdated feature and removed it. Can i check the oil color thru the oil filter housing? coz it seems like its the only way with this bmw n52 engine, except opening the drain plug at oil pan.
 
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Just shorten your oil change interval in half. Vary among synthetic oils that meet the required specs. Don't bother with any additives or flushes. Keep driving. Stick with OE or quality aftermarket oil filters. Inspect filter contents at every oil change. I'd probably rebuild/replace the PCV valve since I have no faith in testing.

Teach mum to practice better oil change intervals.
 
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too bad my car was equipped with engine where the engineering department feel that dipstick was an outdated feature and removed it. Can i check the oil color thru the oil filter housing? coz it seems like its the only way with this bmw n52 engine, except opening the drain plug at oil pan.
So, open filter and check how oil looks. There will be plenty oil in housing.
 
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I 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.
Spin a bearing doing that.
 
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I didn't see this mentioned - I did go through the thread - there is a simple technique to get a lot of the valve train deposits out quickly. Then the cleaning oil can work much, much bettter.

Since you have the valve covers off, (?) use a very high quality brush and just "paint" the valve train with warm kerosene or even diesel fuel. You will be surprised how fast it will dissolve that. It will run down the oil journals, cleaning them, too. Do this with the drain plug out. Once it's clean, plug it and fill it with cheap oil, run it briefly to further remove any remaining fuel oil or loose particle (a quick rinse basically). Change the filter oil and put in your 0w-40 or other ester oil, and then do your OCI's as you wish. This is a time-tested, cheap, effective technique.
 
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^^ That's exactly what I would have done (and have done in the past) with excellent results. A few paint brushes of various sizes, coffee can full of diesel, 3-4 rolls of paper towels, and have at it. Once done spray it all down with a can or two of brake cleaner, then with a new brush 'paint' the valvetrain with fresh oil, and then do 2-3 short interval oil changes with a name brand non-synthetic. Once convinced its clean, I would then switch over to synthetic oil to help keep it clean.

But like someone else said, ask about problems like this and you'll get a bunch of different answers as to how to do it.
 
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Maybe? As others have said, choose a proper oil, perform some shorter intervals....

But isn't that Camaro one of the worst sludger engines ever made?

I think he said it ran fine for 3 seconds.

Not sure if he did the treatment again..
 
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But isn't that Camaro one of the worst sludger engines ever made?

I think he said it ran fine for 3 seconds.

Not sure if he did the treatment again..
He did a bunch of stuff after replacing the timing chains IIRC. No other issues with the engine. He's probably since sold it.
 
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He did a bunch of stuff after replacing the timing chains IIRC. No other issues with the engine. He's probably since sold it.

I enjoy WatchJRGo he is a great carflipper.

So he seems to have gotten the Camaro back good.

Yeah he probably sold it I agree!

Buy low sell cheap...
 
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I enjoy WatchJRGo he is a great carflipper.

So he seems to have gotten the Camaro back good.

Yeah he probably sold it I agree!

Buy low sell cheap...
Yeah, I am subscribed. He makes some good videos. He's also not scared to tackle some tough jobs like timing chains on a 3.6 gm.
 

anthorcc

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Hi guys, finally managed to get the oil filter housing opener and open it up at 1000km after the latest oil change, how does it look?

IMG_20210126_090900.jpg
IMG_20210126_090640.jpg
IMG_20210126_090635.jpg
 
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BMW may be recommending a 20,000+ Km oil change interval for that engine. The Oil Life Monitor (OLM) on my 528i (with an N52 engine) does anyway.

But I think that's really pushing it. When I was putting on more Km I changed the oil at 10,000 Km with a BMW LL-01 rated oil. And then did not reset the OLM. That kept the other maintenance intervals at the BMW recommended intervals.

Considering how sludged up your engine is/was I'd be changing the oil and filter at short intervals for a half dozen changes, then stick to a 10,000 km plan.
 
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Massachusetts
I wouldn’t expect anything to successfully clean that much sludge, except manual labor. I hope whoever had that valve cover off did you a favor and tried wiping all the major stuff off because I’d be worried about that sludge breaking off and doing some real damage.
 
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