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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-31-2000, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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TR - Cleaning the engine, part II

OK, so TR went into great detail on how to clean out the fuel train on an engine, and rather than extend the "running backwards" theme, I figured I'd start another.

So, what's the best way to clean out the sludge and buildup from the inside of the engine block? I've seen a lot of "cleaners" out there, what's the best way?

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-31-2000, 10:31 AM
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Re: TR - Cleaning the engine, part II

Best way is a hot tank or jet spray tank.........GOT-YA........didn't say w/out disasembly !

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-31-2000, 01:51 PM
 
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Re: TR - Cleaning the engine, part II

That is quite a bit more difficult.

Lot's of guys will tell you to add Automatic Transmission Fluid to the oil... DON'T DO IT!
ATF is a Hydraulic oil, not a lubricating oil, and it is much to thin to do the job in your bearings.
Besides, ATF's ability to clean the sludge is questionable at best.
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There are some commercially available internal cleaners.
Use one with a brand name you know, like Valvoline or Penzoil.
Most of you guys are no strangers to the parts stores, so you should know the brand names when you see them.
---------------------------------

There really is no 'Miracle' cure for engine sludge like carbon in the chambers.
It's an entirely different problem, and much more complicated to handle.

Your oil breaks down over time, and the sludge is the product.
When you add water, acids, dirt, anti-freeze and combustion waste, combined with heat and pressure, you get the sludge.
It's corrosive, it's adhesive, and it's a pain in the butt to remove.
The best way to stop it is proper oil changes and proper filter changes, and not just the oil filter...
All Filters!!

I know some people fill the crank case with a solvent, let it set, then drain it.
Repeat....
And then fill the engine with engine oil, and use a pre-oiler to force the solvent out of the bearings...
After changing the oil for or five times WITH OUT CRANKING THE ENGINE... IT's ready to start again.

I understand this works well, but it's a pretty involved process, and I'm always leery of putting solvents in the engines.
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I've seen the hillbilly diesel guys pour the engines full of diesel and let then soak before they work on them, and I've seen gas engine 'mechanics' pour engines full of kerosine and let them soak.
This will remove LOTS of crap, but I have not done any studies on how much it will knock loose, or how long you should 'soak' the engine.
Besides, the waste in that process was always drained out on the ground, something I WILL NOT do.
I'm not real sure the disposal of the 'solvent' wouldn't cost more than the disassembly of the engine and a real hot tank.

(If a guy knew someone that had a waste oil heater that could burn the diesel or kerosine afterwards....)
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Just like you and I both know, oil sludge is tenacious! To bad they don't make paint that holds on that well!
And every thing I've seen that will take it off in short order goes straight to bare metal, so I can't imagine anything that would take it off without doing harm to bearings....
There are a lot of solvents that will raise the thin layers of bearing material before they touched the sludge, so I don't know what to use.
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The sludge is usually two or three components.
The first layer is gooey oil based components. This stuff is good for plugging up oil filters and causing the oil pressure by pass to stay open all the time, circulating unfiltered oil through your engine.

The middle layer seems to be the most adhesive, and it's full of acids, moisture, dirt and hard carbon. It's often gray, and has the consistency of vinyl.
It's also death to lifters, oil pump by pass pistons, and likes to plug up small holes in the oil passages.

The third layer is almost pure carbon, and it's stuck like paint or rust to the bare metal parts.
It's hard, black or sometimes brown next to the metal where the acids in it have eaten away at the metal while there was still oxygen in it, and it's a killer to cylinder walls, rings, valve seats, lifters and their bores, and cam shaft wear surfaces...

So are you REALLY sure you want to knock the stuff loose in the engine?
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My advice is, since most of it is hanging (Evaporated into place) you pull your valve covers, and intake, and clean or replace them.
The AMC V-8 used a one piece steel shim intake gasket, and that gasket should be discarded.
Clean under the heat shield on the intake manifold when you clean the manifold.

Clean out the valve covers, and as much of the gunk off the heads as you can get by manually removing it.
You just don't find a lot of the heavy 'Gunk' you spoke of anywhere else in the engine.
Nothing like what's under the intake and valve covers.

The intake has extra heat from the exhaust cross over, and the valve covers are cool, so the stuff will condense there way more than the rest of the engine.
(Half full glass only sweats on the outside where the liquid is on the inside, Same thing here, the valve covers are much cooler than the rest of the engine, and the hot gasses, oil vapor, vaporized antifreeze, water and acids rise to meet cold valve covers-- condensation/ accumulation/ problem area)

The inside of the intake have the same problem in reverse, it gets hot way quicker than the rest of the engine, so the stuff collects there, plus it's as hot as the exhaust manifold, so oil and debris bake on to it.
That hard carbon collects, flakes off, and falls right onto the camshaft/ lifter interface too....
The valley of a high mileage engine is always full of carbon chunks, and you know most of it gets washed back into the lower engine, right over the cam & lifters, and right into the crankshaft interfaces with it's bearings, then into the oil system to plug up the filter...
When the filter plugs, it gets to by-pass the filter and circulate through the oil system....
And there is a reason we call it 'HARD CARBON', because it's hard, sharp, and very destructive.

Take a magnifying glass (around 10X) some time and really look at bearing shells or lifter sides, or cam lobes on a used engine.
Doesn't have to be high milage...
You will never miss an oil change again!!
--------------------------------

Sorry I couldn't be more of a help on this one...
Sometimes there is no 'quick fix', or at least I don't know about one.
Aaron.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-31-2000, 02:21 PM
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Re: TR - Cleaning the engine, part II

Aaron which solvent is most widely used in the letting it sit procedure? Is there a big downside to it? I mean if your really careful... fill with solvent sit... drain fill with more solvent ... drain then add oil and let it drain like a few times.. then put a new oil filter on.. new oil and crank? I think that would help alot?

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-31-2000, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: TR - Cleaning the engine, part II

<font color=blue>I know some people fill the crank case with a solvent, let it set, then drain it.
Repeat....
And then fill the engine with engine oil, and use a pre-oiler to force the solvent out of the bearings...
After changing the oil for or five times WITH OUT CRANKING THE ENGINE... IT's ready to start again.</font color=blue>

From this post, it's my understanding the Pre-Oiler is a must. Also the changing of oil four of five times.

TR, thanks for the post. I understand sometimes there are no quick and dirty fixes, and that's fine, I know now not to go looking for one.

I always routinely change the oil and filter at 2K, but I have a newer model Isuzu Trooper (115K on it). Apparently they are prone to ticking, which is caused by buildup on the hydraulic lifters. Never been into this engine (or any newer engine), and was curious about cleaning it. I have tried a few methods, but without great success. I do find that Rislone or Marvel's Mystery oil will gunk up the oil at 2K, which is why I change it at that interval. I can see it in the oil and feel it in the weight of the filter.


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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-01-2001, 11:03 AM
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Re: TR - Cleaning the engine, part II

I hate to bring it up, but a few changes of synthetic oil will go a long way to cleaning out a lot of sludge. You MUST use a good filter and change the oil every 2,000, at least for the first couple of changes.

Karl
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