Neglected car- oil? Engine flush? valve cover pics

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
490
Location
Australia
Guess I stand corrected then grin Still, I reckon it will be best to avoid using flush additives and that sort of thing. The two posts above ring true. Use the vehicle (avoid short-tripping - use the vehicle for longer trips as much as possible), change the oil and keep everything in check. I'd also be interested to know if the vehicle is getting up to temperature? Perhaps the thermostat is sticking open and not letting the engine warm up?
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
2,008
Location
Jacksonville, FL
I want to start by saying I think the OP has found a really cool gem here. This body shell Chevy is the only police car so fantastic that police fleets had them refurbished instead of just replacing them. I really love these cars! Built like a tank, fantastic ride, easy to work on, reliable, and cheap to maintain. This one has been a little neglected, but it wouldn't scare me a bit. One thing I noticed is that the areas under the valve cover that get the most oil flow ( inside the rocker arms, and off the tip of the rocker where the oil flows over the spring ) aren't terrible. That would lead me to suspect that the crank case and oil pan aren't jam packed with sludge like the corners of the heads are. I would not bother with a flush if it were mine. I'd just drive it and enjoy it with reasonably short oil changes (personally I'd go 3,000) with whatever oil pleases you. I also wouldn't worry much about the UOA from the fill that was in it, I'd bet that this old 350 will still live a nice long life. I had a similar experience with a sludged up V-8 RWD car back in the late 90's. A friend of mine had inherited a Chrysler M body from his grand father with a lean burn 2bbl 318 in it. The valve covers were leaking so we replaced the gaskets in my garage, it was significantly worse than yours, probably from his grand fathers daily trips to the doughnut shop for coffee each morning. He left it idle in the parking lot every day for at least an hour year round while he got coffee and doughnuts and [censored]'d with his friends. Oil changes were done every 3,000 by a quick lube probably 2/year as he didn't drive it much outside his daily trips to the doughnut shop. There was at least 1/4-1/2" of gooey and some crusty oil covering everything under the valve covers and 1/8-1/4" of gooey sludge on the valve covers themselves. We cleaned the valve covers and got out what we could from the heads and buttoned it up with new gaskets. My friend drove it for the next two years working two jobs, both of which involved putting a ton of miles on his car, he ran a rural paper route each morning and delivered pizzas every night. About 40,000 miles later it was starting to show signs of leaking valve seals so he asked for my help replacing them. We opened it back up and we're both amazed by how incredibly clean it was inside. It was much better than when we put it back together two years prior, you could even see the cast iron castings of the cylinder heads and the casting numbers. The valve seals were all hard as a rock and most of them were at least cracked or completely missing. We installed new seals and buttoned it up with another set of valve cover gaskets. The new valve seals fixed the oil use and blue cloud on start up. He ran it for another three and a half years before a drunk driver hit him and totaled the car, when it got totaled it had 260,000 miles on the little old 318 that was still running fantastic. All he ever used for oil was VWB 10w30 with a Napa gold filter for the entire 6 ish years he owned it always serviced at 3,000 miles. He put between 20,000-40,000 hard miles per year on that car and even with the neglect and sludge prior to his ownership it was another car and not an engine failure that ended its life. I suspect that you'll have a similar experience with regular care on your LT1. Keep us posted! Good luck!
 

gallydif

Thread starter
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
966
Location
Orlando, FL
^ Thank you! I feel like I found a really cool gem as well. Just want to get the engine as clean as the exterior and interior of this vehicle and the story of your friends Chrysler M gives me hope. That's too bad she went to her demise by a drunk driver like that. Hopefully your friend was ok. That 2bbl 318 sounds like a tough engine. For this first OCI in which I'm running Havoline dino, I'm leaning towards just doing about 1k and getting another UOA done. Surely, there should be signs of improvements and I'll extend the interval from there.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
1,310
Location
Northern, NY
I would do multiple short oil change intervals with 10w-30 HDEO and just drive the car. A couple of tankfulls of premium gas and some injector cleaner probably won't hurt either.
 
Joined
May 21, 2012
Messages
6,762
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Originally Posted By: meborder
Remind me why we need to clean it. Is it not running well? Oil pressure low? Seriously ... Just Frickin' drive the car and change the oil at a reasonable OCI. Anything else is asking for trouble. HDEO is fine. Synthetic or high mileage is fine. Supertech is fine. Just doing that will ensure as long as life as what is possible at this point.
Over the years, I have found a disturbing trend of finding really unusual component failure in engines with low mileage (less than 80k) on sludged out engines. Shattered timing chains, jumped pushrods, bent rockers, stripped timing/distro gears, etc. Just the kind of things that you don't see in an engine with twice the mileage.
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
2,008
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Originally Posted By: gallydif
^ Thank you! I feel like I found a really cool gem as well. Just want to get the engine as clean as the exterior and interior of this vehicle and the story of your friends Chrysler M gives me hope. That's too bad she went to her demise by a drunk driver like that. Hopefully your friend was ok. That 2bbl 318 sounds like a tough engine. For this first OCI in which I'm running Havoline dino, I'm leaning towards just doing about 1k and getting another UOA done. Surely, there should be signs of improvements and I'll extend the interval from there.
The 318 is a fantastic engine with a long long history of being a tough engine. However it's no more sturdy than your 350 is. I'd skip the UOA for a few oil changes. All you will do is worry yourself. Save the money you'd spend on another UOA and use it to pay for oil and filters instead as that will actually benefit you. I'd check back in another 5-10k with a UOA after several short OCI runs to see how it's doing. Like I said before I suspect it will live a long life for you, it's really not that bad and I've personally worked on one like I mentioned above that was far far worse.
 

JC1

Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
6,739
Location
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
As others have mentioned, change the oil and filter with a brand and don't worry about it. Just make sure you check the oil level. Cut open the filters if you want to see if any of the sludge is getting trapped in the filter.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
6,092
Location
DFW
It's funny how styling preferences change. In 1991 I met a guy whose actions were typical of older folks right at the point in time of the Caprice redesign. In 1991 the Caprice changed body styles from the older squarish design to the "beached whale" design. Since this model was a favorite of older folks a number of them bought new ones in 1990 to beat the discontinuation of the old style. The worst version of the redesigned full sized GM vehicles, to me, was the Buick Roadmaster. The front end looked like it would be comfortable at home in the sea filtering plankton from the water.
 
Joined
May 21, 2012
Messages
6,762
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Originally Posted By: DBMaster
It's funny how styling preferences change. In 1991 I met a guy whose actions were typical of older folks right at the point in time of the Caprice redesign. In 1991 the Caprice changed body styles from the older squarish design to the "beached whale" design. Since this model was a favorite of older folks a number of them bought new ones in 1990 to beat the discontinuation of the old style. The worst version of the redesigned full sized GM vehicles, to me, was the Buick Roadmaster. The front end looked like it would be comfortable at home in the sea filtering plankton from the water.
People these days tell me it's a "beautiful car" and try to purchase it from me even when I refuse.
 

gallydif

Thread starter
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
966
Location
Orlando, FL
Originally Posted By: DoubleWasp
Originally Posted By: DBMaster
It's funny how styling preferences change. In 1991 I met a guy whose actions were typical of older folks right at the point in time of the Caprice redesign. In 1991 the Caprice changed body styles from the older squarish design to the "beached whale" design. Since this model was a favorite of older folks a number of them bought new ones in 1990 to beat the discontinuation of the old style. The worst version of the redesigned full sized GM vehicles, to me, was the Buick Roadmaster. The front end looked like it would be comfortable at home in the sea filtering plankton from the water.
People these days tell me it's a "beautiful car" and try to purchase it from me even when I refuse.
Sounds more of a personal thing towards me. Reason being he doesn't mention just 1, but both cars that just so happen to be in my signature and that I own. Have we crossed paths before DBMaster?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
6,092
Location
DFW
Originally Posted By: gallydif
Originally Posted By: DoubleWasp
Originally Posted By: DBMaster
It's funny how styling preferences change. In 1991 I met a guy whose actions were typical of older folks right at the point in time of the Caprice redesign. In 1991 the Caprice changed body styles from the older squarish design to the "beached whale" design. Since this model was a favorite of older folks a number of them bought new ones in 1990 to beat the discontinuation of the old style. The worst version of the redesigned full sized GM vehicles, to me, was the Buick Roadmaster. The front end looked like it would be comfortable at home in the sea filtering plankton from the water.
People these days tell me it's a "beautiful car" and try to purchase it from me even when I refuse.
Sounds more of a personal thing towards me. Reason being he doesn't mention just 1, but both cars that just so happen to be in my signature and that I own. Have we crossed paths before DBMaster?
It is most certainly NOT a personal thing. People on this forum seem to take too many things personally. What are we, in eighth grade? I just thought it was funny that when these cars were new their appearance was almost universally panned and GM alienated its primary customer base by adopting the style. They said the same thing about the Edsel in the 50's and that car still has a cult following. My own car, a 2012 Mazda3 has a hideous "manic clown" front end. I didn't buy it for its looks. Should I feel that I am personally attacking myself?
 
Joined
May 21, 2012
Messages
6,762
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
The difference being that the B-Bodies were very popular, where the Edsel was not. The Edsel was a failure, and the B-Body was not. The only thing to stop the B-Body was GM deciding to cash in on the SUV craze.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
6,092
Location
DFW
OK, guys, whatever. I thought they were ugly when they came out and still think they're ugly. That has no bearing on what I think of either of you. I do not know you.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2016
Messages
37
Location
Canada
Originally Posted By: gallydif
Originally Posted By: B320i
Evidently the OP wanted a cheap car that could get him by for a short time, well, don't overthink this. Treat it with respect and hopefully it will return the favour.
Actually I plan to keep this car for a very long time. This is the car I had wanted for quite awhile now ('94-'96 Caprice with the 5.7L lt1).
I don't know what diagnostics you've done, but seeing as how this is a sludged-up "keeper", I would suggest doing a dry compression test. If the test results warrant it, follow up with a wet compression test and a leak down test. Also, checking the timing chain for stretch/wear is a good idea too. Having an insight into the mechanical condition of a used engine really helps when diagnosing future issues. And there always are future issues. Hopefully, the sludge is a result of previous driving habits and not blow by.
 
Joined
May 21, 2012
Messages
6,762
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Originally Posted By: DBMaster
OK, guys, whatever. I thought they were ugly when they came out and still think they're ugly. That has no bearing on what I think of either of you. I do not know you.
I'm just having a rational discussion. I took nothing personally.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
6,092
Location
DFW
Originally Posted By: DoubleWasp
Originally Posted By: DBMaster
OK, guys, whatever. I thought they were ugly when they came out and still think they're ugly. That has no bearing on what I think of either of you. I do not know you.
I'm just having a rational discussion. I took nothing personally.
Seemed like gallydif thought I was attacking him. I'm not. That is not what I do. I will learn to keep my opinions to myself more.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2016
Messages
37
Location
Canada
Originally Posted By: DBMaster
OK, guys, whatever. I thought they were ugly when they came out and still think they're ugly. That has no bearing on what I think of either of you. I do not know you.
Well, at least the OP's car has the re-contoured rear wheel wells. Significantly less ugly than the original fat-arsed wheel wells. But you're right. Pretty they ain't, not even after a six pack. Kinda like a hefty trailer park princess with stretchy jeans, cowboy boots, big hair and too much makeup.
 

gallydif

Thread starter
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
966
Location
Orlando, FL
Originally Posted By: DBMaster
Originally Posted By: DoubleWasp
Originally Posted By: DBMaster
OK, guys, whatever. I thought they were ugly when they came out and still think they're ugly. That has no bearing on what I think of either of you. I do not know you.
I'm just having a rational discussion. I took nothing personally.
Seemed like gallydif thought I was attacking him. I'm not. That is not what I do. I will learn to keep my opinions to myself more.
Fair enough. I apologize then. I just felt that since you mentioned two cars that you really dislike, and those same two are the ones in my signature it was more towards me. Water under the bridge now.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top