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Old February 15th, 2010, 11:04 AM
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Don Bunnell
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Oil Pan Sludge?

BACKGROUND: A couple of weeks ago I brought the 90 in to the local Euro garage to try and fix a leak that's been going on.

Before hand I ordered the cross / crucifix seals as I thought that could be the issue but as the garage looked at it they said it was the valley gasket so I gave them a green light to replace. As they got into it they pulled the valve covers and there was a ton of sludge buildup in the heads - enough that it covered all the bolts. Not knowing when the head gaskets were done last I bit the bullet and had them rebuild the heads and install new gaskets.

I asked about dropping the oil pan and replacing the cross seals but the price tag was getting high and the mechanic said to wait and see if the leak was caused from the top end. He was worried not to upset the pan if there was indeed no leak there.

QUESTION: So should I go with their recommendation or could there be just as much sludge in the pan? From what I've read the cross / crucifix seals aren't that tough to do while I'm down there but the shop was worried about snotting up the rear main seal. I bought a rubber pan seal from AB but it from some previous posts it sounds like Right Stuff will seal it like a duck's ass.

I also remember reading something from Evilfij Ron to run Mobil-1 0W-40 and swap the filter every 1,000. miles. Would that be an option to getting whatever other sludge in the motor out?

I'm attaching a pic of the new heads - didn't have a camera for the sludge fest heads.

Thanks in advance for any opinions or info.
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  #2  
Old February 15th, 2010, 11:21 AM
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Dropping the oil pan and removing the sludge was the first maintenance task that I did when I bought my truck. I was new to wrenching and it was easy. There was some sludge in the pan and I cleaned it all out with rags and brake parts cleaner. I took a razor blade and scraped the old gasket from the bottom of the block and top of the pan before reassembling with Right Stuff. I put a bead around the perimeter, being careful to go around both sides of the bolt holes and making sure that I didn't leave any gaps. I was careful not to put too much on; I didn't want any of it to squeeze inside of the pan and get pulled into the engine. It worked well and my pan doesn't leak five years later.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 11:40 AM
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Don Bunnell
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Thanks Chris for the post. Sounds like sludge does end up down there and it sounds like a straight forward process.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 12:31 PM
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And replace the cross seals and clean the oil pick up while you are at it.

BTW, make sure your PCV hoses and traps are all clean and functioning. Other than lack of oil changes (and running low on oil) that is the leading cause of sludge.

I would switch to synthetic and change the filter every 500-1000 miles until it is no longer "heavy" (you will be able to see what I mean when you actually do it).
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Old February 15th, 2010, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
And replace the cross seals and clean the oil pick up while you are at it.

BTW, make sure your PCV hoses and traps are all clean and functioning. Other than lack of oil changes (and running low on oil) that is the leading cause of sludge.

I would switch to synthetic and change the filter every 500-1000 miles until it is no longer "heavy" (you will be able to see what I mean when you actually do it).
Thanks Ron. From what I've read the seals are not too tough of a job (famous last words...) so I'll make a go at it.

Not sure what the oil change history was with my 90 but as soon as I got it 2 years ago, I started using Mobil 1 0W-40 based on my experience using it in my turbo'd Audis and the posts on here. I should have done the 500-1000 mile filter change - I'd only swap the filters during the oil change at 3-4k mile intervals.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 02:29 PM
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If you have been running 0w40 for 2 years it is as clean as it is going to get from synthetic you need to mechanically clean it by doing what you are doing. I would also suspect that you have a PCV issue check the hoses and traps. Does the oil get dark right away? On my trucks even after 3k miles the oil is only slightly dark (if fact, now I put in 1 or 2 quarts of royal purple so I can actually see the level of the oil on the dipstick).
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Old February 15th, 2010, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
If you have been running 0w40 for 2 years it is as clean as it is going to get from synthetic you need to mechanically clean it by doing what you are doing. I would also suspect that you have a PCV issue check the hoses and traps. Does the oil get dark right away? On my trucks even after 3k miles the oil is only slightly dark (if fact, now I put in 1 or 2 quarts of royal purple so I can actually see the level of the oil on the dipstick).
Thanks.

I'm almost certain the hoses and traps were cleaned when they put the top half back together but I will double check. On prior changes the oil got dark pretty quick. I haven't driven it that much since I got it back but will keep an eye on it. Would love to get it clean enough where it's hard to see the level.
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