SLUDGED!!!!!!!!

JT1

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Apr 14, 2009
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OH yeah, not what i expected to see when i replaced the VC gasket,but it is what it is. And was wondering if there is anything i Could/Should do. I already added some MMO but doubt that it can do much. This car was purchased in 07 with about 115k and now has about 134k on the ticker, the engine is in a 1988 mercury topaz and it is a 2.3 HSX. The oil is changed every 3k with a variety of oils including supertech syn,vavoline Maxlife Blend, Valv. durablend., Penn.YB, Pen.HM, All 5w30. The previous owner is a very nice older lady and i suspect that the car was maintained well, but can't be sure. It runs well has no knocks and does not smoke. Are these engines known sludgers?
 
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Hmmm, looks like a good build up of varnish. I'd like to see if there is anything that can be done about that also, maybe other than some AutoRX, which I have no experience with. That engine may be a sludger, or it could be from the older oils back in the late 80's and not being changed frequently.
 
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I'd give MMO a shot, run a pint for a full OCI, drain the oil, then run a quart for a full OCI. I almost certain you'll be happy with the results. You can also try a fast flush, but I like MMO better. AD
 
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Bummer, was hoping for carnage. Fell for that magic word. Run 3k OCI's with the cheapest oil along with a pint of MMO, Rislone, or Lubegard. And, retake pictures after 4-5 OCIs. Quit worrying.
 
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I was expecting allot worse! Like the pictures that someone submitted of that rental car Saturn Vue. That looked like it had tar inside after the valve cover was removed...
 
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Not too bad....seen much worse. A couple of rounds of auto rx should do the trick. Take some after pics when your done.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Pablo
You guys have pretty low standards. I imagine the rings are nasty. Modern conventional oil. Every 3K. OK.
I totally agree!!! i'd be p*ssed off if my engine looked like that!,but wait.......it don't i run a quality oil. swipe a finger how deep is it????
 
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No, don't wipe it off. It's the soundproofing and leak prevention. Don't want it to leak and be noisy, do we??? Engine is the perfect candidate for "insert brand here" picture before/after test. Toss in a compression test for the "ring" crowd too!
 
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JT1

Thread starter
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It's not that deep,more than i like though. I've tore quite a few engines down and have yet to see one with this much varnish and gunk built up.
 
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I agree it doesn't look that bad. Was it losing any coolant? Was the PCV valve changed regularly? I would think something with high detergent level like Pennzoil Platinum or Mobil 1 HM could help with that running a few short oil changes.
 
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I wouldn't call it "SLUDGED!!!!!!!!" I would call it "DIRTY!!!!!!!!" I would recommend Pennzoil Platinum and an ARX run for 5K miles, then a rinse phase with Pennzoil Platinum for another 5K miles, then resume your regular oil changes... Change the filter at 2.5K on the rinse cycle. Bet you it will be spotless after! These engines are tough, and I wouldn't worry about this too much, but do look after it.
 
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Since it's a 1988 vehicle, that engine was run on Group I based oils for a good 10+ years. That's the leftover gunk from those GI oils. You could run a Group II based SM 5W-30 7500 mile oil changes and you wouldn't get buildup like that. Find any brand name conventional 5W-30/10W-30 and run the vehicle 5k mile oil changes. Just make sure the oil stays topped up if the engine consumes any oil.
 
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I think Drivebelt is right. Those early oils are probably the cause. I'd run a round of arx through it. IIRC, you're supposed to do the clean phase with a good dino oil, and it didn't matter much what you used for the cleaning phase. Or you could just run a couple 5k runs of PP or M1, that would also help.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Drivebelt
Since it's a 1988 vehicle, that engine was run on Group I based oils for a good 10+ years. That's the leftover gunk from those GI oils. You could run a Group II based SM 5W-30 7500 mile oil changes and you wouldn't get buildup like that. Find any brand name conventional 5W-30/10W-30 and run the vehicle 5k mile oil changes. Just make sure the oil stays topped up if the engine consumes any oil.
While that might be true about the group I oils, I don't totally buy into it. I had an 85 E-150 4.9L that was used for work, 80% stop and go short hops that had about 150,000 miles when I had to change the VC gasket. It was run on 10W30 YB its whole life with occasional MMO doses. When I pulled that VC to change the gasket, the rockers, push rods, and inside of the VC were virtually spotless. I wouldn't be happy if I pulled a VC on one of my vehicles and saw that. JMO
 
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Kalifornia
 Originally Posted By: chevrofreak
That doesn't look bad at all.
+1 You could run a cleaner like seafoam in the oil a feww hundred miles before changing. You can also just change the oil more frequently and let the oil's detergents work on it.
 
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