External debris into engine during maintenance

Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
533
Location
Australia
Hi guys, Just wondering when engines are opened up (or valve covers are taken off) how does external debris that gets in affect the motor? Notably: 1. Dust, pollen, airborne debris (I used glad wrap to cover it up to keep stuff out 2. Debris from tools (ie, shavings from screw drivers etc) Will these get filtered by the oil filter or could they cause issue?
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
13,796
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Depending on the size of the debris, yes it'll all get filtered but, on the way to the filter, will it do damage first??? Most small dust, pollen, airborne debris, the engine will never notice it! You'd need a lot more dirt in the engine than just opening up the valve cover will provide. Certainly be careful! Any large chunks(can't define size) can be harmful.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2002
Messages
43,672
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'Stralia
If you had an engine open in the big red dust storms of a few years ago, you really were in a world of possible hurt. If you are doing shadetree weekend jobs, you are probably all good.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
Messages
36,966
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ME
I was doing a head gasket and waited a week for mail order parts. Hood was closed but it was humid. Cam flash-rusted. Put it back together, ran it, all was good.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
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Hawkinsville Ga
If there's enough/large enough debris to see, I would remove it, aka picking it out with my fingers. Dust, shavings from tools, etc isn't going to hurt a thing. When an engine is running, it continually sheds metals, soot, carbon.....all of which are filtered out or settle in the bottom of the pan. No worries.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
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18,727
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NH
Originally Posted By: eljefino
I was doing a head gasket and waited a week for mail order parts. Hood was closed but it was humid. Cam flash-rusted. Put it back together, ran it, all was good.
What would be good to spray on to prevent that? I mean, something that you could leave on, and would just get washed away by the engine oil. I'd think a sap ray of WD40 would be sufficent, but not last too long.
 

hpb

Joined
Aug 28, 2014
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Tasmania, Australia
Nothing to worry about. When doing, for example, a headgasket, lots of little bits tend to fall into the water jackets and oil galleries when you're scraping the old bits of gasket off the block - they don't cause any problems. You'll be fine.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
Messages
36,966
Location
ME
Originally Posted By: supton
Originally Posted By: eljefino
I was doing a head gasket and waited a week for mail order parts. Hood was closed but it was humid. Cam flash-rusted. Put it back together, ran it, all was good.
What would be good to spray on to prevent that? I mean, something that you could leave on, and would just get washed away by the engine oil. I'd think a sap ray of WD40 would be sufficent, but not last too long.
It was already coated in motor oil. shrug It was just one of those weeks where the fog never left.
 
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