How to "heal" a sludge monster? Help please....

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Apr 20, 2003
NW Florida
Subtitle - Ignorance *was* bliss. Just discovered this site and it's great but I'm suffering just a bit from information overload... bear with me for some background. I've just completed a head replacement on an '89 Acura Legend C27A1 engine due to a cracked cam/galled head. The problem is the oil pressure is holding about 12 psi at idle vice a spec of 20. I am unsure as to the exact original cause of the cam failure but I know in general that the affected area did not get sufficient lubrication. I am now beginning to suspect that my ministrations did not cure the original problem. Any help/suggestions/opinions would be appreciated.... First let me say, I'm no mechanic but if this engine is not in the sludge monster category it was severely mistreated before my fiance acquired the car, she says the oil has been changed religiously since she's owned it the last 4 years but the inside of this 160K engine had me wondering how it flowed any oil at all. Once I got it apart I had both heads professionally redone (the rear head and cam were replaced), replaced the oil pump, cleaned the clogged (or very nearly so) pickup screen and reassembled everything. The engine runs well with no noise but an Autometer mechanical oil pressure gauge tells me the oil pressure is low after we get to operating temperature. Before I risk this thing eating any more cams I have some questions maybe you good folks can clear up for me. 1. Should I use some (newly discovered) Auto Rx to treat the short block now that the heads are nice and shiny? Will this help or hurt the oil pressure situation? 2. I'm using 10w-40 because it's Florida and summer is coming. Also because I'm assuming the main/rod bearing tolerances aren't what they were when they left the factory. Is this solid reasoning or should I switch to a lower viscosity oil? Will this change the oil pressure situation? 3. I know the oil pressure got below 7 psi before the failure (idiot light trigger point) but the crankcase was overfilled by at least a quart (foaming?). Did I goof by not replacing the rod and main bearings? Thanks...
I would give Auto rx a try. it sure cant hurt. I'm wondering if the pickup screen is partially blocked again. Are you consuming oil at all/ If yes then how much? i would run chevron or any other decent dino oil w/ Auto rx for a car with so many miles.
Hmmm - only got about 20 miles of run time since reassembly but it could be possible that a big chunk of something dropped out of a gallery and got in the pickup. Haven't run it far enough to know if it's consuming any yet. I cleaned everything I could reach and tried to make sure nothing fell into the motor but it's possible I missed something in the block return galleries. Wouldn't that show up as low pressure at all temps? This kind of falls off gradually as you drive... [ April 21, 2003, 02:50 PM: Message edited by: doodaa ]
Based on my experience, I would use Mobil 1. If you like 40 wt, go with the 0w40. It will clean up the engine over a long period but provide good lube to marginal areas in the meantime.
You could try an envirolution motor flush machine or a motorvac machine flush (both over $100 for the service). Supposed to do a good job on the lower oil galleries+ backflushes the oil p/u screen. Fred... [Smile]
You don't mention the service cycle, the ambient temps and climate, nor the type of oil you are currently using. All of those things need to be discussed before any recommendations can be made. If the engine never warms up, it's going to form sludge, regardless of any extra oil treatments or using the finest motor oil available.
Sorry, I should have read #2 in your post! But even in Florida, if the motor runs 5 miles to work, sits all day and runs 5 miles'll have a sludge problem.
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