I think it is sludge but not sure

Messages
3
Location
Louisville, KY
We had to replace my daughters 4.0 Explorer engine after hers failed at 133,000 miles. The engine we had it replaced with reportedly had 62,000 miles on it. I have always changed my oil on our cars 3 - 5,000 miles. Obviously I have no idea what the engine's PO did. BUT - when I check her oil , on the dip stick there is crud - like small particles. I have changed the oil pan and gasket to get the junk out. I ran Pennzoil reg based (non synthetic) oil for 3,000 miles and change it yesterday to Motorcraft syn blend. I use motorcraft syn blend in my focus with no issues. Still see a lot of little particles on the dip stick. I guess this is sludge? I do not think I ever saw this in my other cars before. Any advice as to whether it may be sludge and what should I do to hasten a clean up? Thanks - RD
 
Messages
993
Location
Wisconsin USA
Without knowing any more about the specifics, I'd recommend continuing what you are doing. Run short OCIs with an oil with good detergency, like the PYB you used. HDEOs (provided they are also gas engine rated) and some high mileage oils (like M1 HM) are also options for better detergency. I'd stay away from engine flushes at this point because you don't know the full extent of the problem, and if it is bad you don't want to bust chunks loose. You said you dropped the oil pan - how bad did it look?
 
Messages
18,168
Location
NH
Got any pics? Can use tinypic.com or whatever to upload pictures. Seems like a good idea to continue what you are doing. How does it run otherwise?
 

MolaKule

Staff member
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21,946
Location
Iowegia - USA
Since you do not know the history of the engine, it could be a little bit of white sludge from setting a long time (due to moisture) and a little bit of black sludge from infrequent oil changes. I would do 2.5k oil and filter changes with 1/2 bottle of engine cleaner like Rislone Engine Treatment.
 
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25,971
Location
Upstate NY
I would run Walmart brand full synthetic oil. Consider Auto-Rx. Cut open the oil filters. You really want to clean it slowly. Pull a valve cover to verify sludge. When the engine on my Jeep needed replacing I went for a reman. Given the labor cost, a reman seemed like a better investment. In my figuring, a replacement engine from salvage yard could end up with the same issue of cracked piston skirts. Yours will not have that exact same issue as a Jeep engine.
 
Messages
1,464
Location
Gulf Coast, MS
Short OCI with a good oil. You could also try MMO if you don't believe it works pour some in a cup and scrap some gunk off the side of the engine or off the dip stick and come back in a few days. Its meant to work slow. Might be a little overkill but iv know people in the past that threw in half a can of berrymans b12 and let the car run for 3-5 mins then changed the oil. Please keep in mind they did this a lot on cars that they knew (old mechanic) never seen any negative results either.
 

RobDlouisville

Thread starter
Messages
3
Location
Louisville, KY
I'll take some pic of the sludge. At 133k, my daughter was driving normally and apparently the rear chain in the engine jumped when the transmission skipped second gear, revved too high and the chain flew off. Apparently, this is rather common for this year (s) of engineered trannys in a ford. They are nick named "Exploders" for this reason. I had to replace the transmission as well. frown Other than the crud in the oil. it runs great. It is quiet and gives average gas mileage for it's size and age. I will continue on with frequent OCI. M1 or PP whichever is on sale sounds good. I also usually use motorcraft oil filters in my two fords. Sounds like I should stay with these filters too.
 
Messages
993
Location
Wisconsin USA
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
I would do 2.5k oil and filter changes with 1/2 bottle of engine cleaner like Rislone Engine Treatment.
Mola, what is it about the Rislone that you like so much? I've seen you recommend it on other threads too. I'm not challenging your recommendation, I just want to know your reasoning on this product. Thanks.
 
Messages
1,848
Location
FEMA Region 4
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
Since you do not know the history of the engine, it could be a little bit of white sludge from setting a long time (due to moisture) and a little bit of black sludge from infrequent oil changes. I would do 2.5k oil and filter changes with 1/2 bottle of engine cleaner like Rislone Engine Treatment.
+1. Riselone or MMO would be good cleaners for this application! I haven't found the old riselone quart cans, I think they are all concentrated now. Good luck!
 
Messages
407
Location
upstate NY
Id also try a HM or HDEO with short changes and some rislone or mmo. I had good luck getting oil light to stop coming on at highway speeds in a dirty 2.7 chrylser with the rislone. Kmart might have the qt bottles of it but not good price unless on sale, Wally has concentrate for $4 iirc.
 
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Messages
6,170
Location
North Coast
Originally Posted By: RobDlouisville
Any advice as to whether it may be sludge and what should I do to hasten a clean up? Thanks - RD
Just buy regular 5w30 oil at Walmart with a Fram orange can and change it every 3000 miles. Get one of those gallon bottles of MMO and add 8 ounces to the oil every change. Thats it. Then cut open one of the filters after ten OCIs and see what else is coming out. It will clean up.
 
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Messages
1,848
Location
FEMA Region 4
Originally Posted By: Doog
Originally Posted By: RobDlouisville
Any advice as to whether it may be sludge and what should I do to hasten a clean up? Thanks - RD
Just buy regular 5w30 oil at Walmart with a Fram orange can and change it every 3000 miles. Get one of those gallon bottles of MMO and add 8 ounces to the oil every change. Thats it. Then cut open one of the filters after ten OCIs and see what else is coming out. It will clean up.
I kind of sort of agree. The filter is irrelevant, just use short OCI, something like supertech 5w30 and 5 min motor flush before each change, then replace with 80% motor oil and 20% MMO. You may be surprised what comes out of that drain hole!
 
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