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Old 11-25-2012, 02:19 AM   #1
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Engine full of sludge. What are my options?

Today I open my engine as I DIY valve cover gasket. But to my shock the engine are full f sludge.

What are my options?
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:25 AM   #2
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I say got Damn! I hope mind doesn't look like that. I still have original vanos seals at 200k. There is some stuff that cleans it out good but I don't remember the name.it's in another thread. But what I do remember other members saying is get as much sludge you see by hand and do the rest with auto rx.I think that's the name. One member engine was worse than yours and it cleaned up fine.

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Old 11-25-2012, 02:58 AM   #3
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Ok thanks. I will try that
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:39 AM   #4
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Probably should drop the oil pan first and see how much is truly in there. Try 1/4 can seafoam about 100-150 miles before your next oil change and that should take out most of it.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:44 AM   #5
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Can i get those at ace hardware?
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:13 AM   #6
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:33 AM   #7
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:37 AM   #8
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+1 on seafoam for sludge like that. What's the history with that engine? What oil is used and how often? Do you take short trips with the car?
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:41 AM   #9
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Also check the thermostat using the Hidden OBC Menu in the 3rd link below in my signature.

Have seen many problems with engines running slight cold and bad CCV causing this type of issue.
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Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299

Last edited by jfoj; 11-25-2012 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:51 AM   #10
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Something like that really needs to be done by hand. Lots of brake cleaner and lots of rags. You might even want to soak it in gasoline for a while to help persuade it out of there. GL!

Edit:

be careful theres NO debris left over. you really dont want that stuff clogging any oil passages or the lifters. Then you'll have bigger problems!
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:38 AM   #11
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Hey Mango. After he cleans all of that should he do another oil and filter change after 1000 miles or so?
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:43 AM   #12
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OP, I agree with Mango that you should start 'manually.' I'm actually wondering how bad it would be for a wet/dry vac, but if it was me, I'd care less about a cheap vac than an expensive engine.

You'd certainly need to change the oil again soon after...and frankly, the best solvent for sludge is oil. AutoRx, seafoam, etc. are so aggressive, I'd worry about dislodging so much so quickly that it does indeed get in places you don't want.

Maybe if you sprayed it all down with a parts cleaner than then blew it out with compressed air? You could rinse off the outside part of the engine later...just be careful with parts cleaner as you don't want it sitting on your paint too long.

I'm going to vote against using those magic formulas.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:56 AM   #13
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search user barneyhypen. He just did an engine that looked like that and it came out CHERRY. I think he said he used some oil eating bacteria (no ****), but it was done at a shop. assuming he didnt photoshop the picture, it looked amazing when he was done...
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:16 AM   #14
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I'd be pretty carefull using degreasers around the cam bearings. You don't want to remove all the lube from there.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:34 AM   #15
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most people on here will disagree but if you search the internet/forums (especially old american muscle car site) people will recommend that you use Automatic Transmission Fluid.

if you are cautions but still want to use ATF then try this:

-empty your car completely of oil. Fill ATF until it fills the entire crankcase/engine. Let it sit for a few days without starting the car. Drain ATF and open your Valve cover and it should be spotless

-if you are a risk taker (I have tried on my e46 many times already)...then change out your oil. Drop it a quart of ATF (do not overfill engine). Drive around for a few hundred miles or just let your car sit at idle for a few hours. after just drain the atf/oil mix.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:56 AM   #16
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So,flash, how much atf is that? You mean fill using about 3 gallons to get the oil all the way up into the cams?

As crazy as it sounds, I think it sounds like a pretty good idea! I'd maybe try using atf under the vc first and sacrificing a wet/dry vac first though.

What's remarkable to me, though, is that OP, evidently, hadn't had an issue because of this.

OP...I think you should do one early oil change, and then, probably another pretty soon thereafter...if you can't find any oil eating bacteria--which also sounds like a great idea.

GL!
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:43 AM   #17
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Start with a brush. Then high pressure on an air compressor with a blower nozzle
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmax View Post
So,flash, how much atf is that? You mean fill using about 3 gallons to get the oil all the way up into the cams?

As crazy as it sounds, I think it sounds like a pretty good idea! I'd maybe try using atf under the vc first and sacrificing a wet/dry vac first though.

What's remarkable to me, though, is that OP, evidently, hadn't had an issue because of this.

OP...I think you should do one early oil change, and then, probably another pretty soon thereafter...if you can't find any oil eating bacteria--which also sounds like a great idea.

GL!
Dmax,

I never tried the overfilling method since I don't have sludge but yes, that is what I have been told. Fill the car to the top until the cams are covered in ATF and just let it sits for a few days.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:01 AM   #19
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From Texaco's website:

Myth #12 - Adding a quart of ATF the day before an oil change will clean your engine. ATF added to the motor oil will clean the engine due to the high levels of detergent in ATF.

Fact: ATF does not contain detergent chemistry. ATF does contain dispersants, which have properties similar to detergents. But ATF is not formulated to withstand the combustion environment inside the engine. Havoline recommends that you keep the fluids where they belong: motor oil in the crankcase, and automatic transmission fluid in the transmission.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:20 AM   #20
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Poor half a can of sea foam in the crankcase. Drive for about 50 miles, then change your oil. Should be good after that.
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