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Old 07-19-2008, 12:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Engine gummed up with oil... how to flush?

I have an 88 Mustang 302 thats in the car and runs very well except recently I've noticed the oil pressure is fairly low. As in the needle gauge on the dash rises about 15-20% when I start the car and stays there, at the very bottom of the normal range.

The oil level is fine according to the dipstick, in fact its a little above the 'max' line so I know I'm not running low but I suspect I may have some gummed up deposits inside the engine galleys, the bottom of the pan and in the pump/pickup itself. The reason I suspect this is because two years ago I had a blown head gasket and when I went in I found all kinds of chocolate pudding coating the underside of the manifold.

So I'm going to do an oil and filter change this weekend and wondered if there was any way to flush out the engine's lubrication system. I've heard of people putting solvents like diesel into their oil and running the mixture a bit before draining the old oil out.

So it occurred to me to ask for advice before doing something potentially stupid. Does anyone have any recommendations or advice here?
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Engine gummed up with oil... how to flush?

as your local auto parts store they sell a hot oil flush can of stuff. the directions are on the bottle. You might want to check your gauge and oil sender or try a mechanical gauge so you know exactally where you are at.
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Engine gummed up with oil... how to flush?

A very long time ago, one old Ford mechanic told me he used to get the engine up to operating temperature then drain the oil and pull the filter. He would then out in five quarts of kerosene with a new filter and run the engine for one minute at high idle. Then he would shut it off and drain out the stuff that came out. Then he would put in five quarts of detergent oil (remember this was a long time ago) and a new filter. If it was still dirty, he would repeat the process in a week or so.

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Old 07-19-2008, 12:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Engine gummed up with oil... how to flush?

tx... I'm a born skeptic and tend to believe most of the potions sold at the local auto parts store are simply snake oil, I realize thats not always true however some folks are lead to believe they can fix a broken part with a bottle of magic goo poured into the engine.

in this case it might perhaps be true...

any other opinions? what about the diesel fuel thing? Is it just an old wives tale?
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Engine gummed up with oil... how to flush?

we use safety clean. Change filter and fill it up, let it run for a while and drain.
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Old 07-19-2008, 02:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Engine gummed up with oil... how to flush?

Hmmm, I'm also a skeptic about putting anything into the engine besides oil. I think that if i were to use anything to clean out the gum and Sludge is a highly reputable additive from a store. Ya ive also heard about using Kerosene, Transmission fluid, and diesel fuel. Seriously though, would you want anything that didn't have a lubricative properties in your ENGINE?

I think that ultimately the best way to clean out the valley is to pull the manifold. Yes thats a lot of work but the best way because you KNOW its "clean" when your done. If there is still sludge up there then that will hinder oil flow back to the pan where its needed! LOL.

Yes i understand that your not racing this engine and a few engines that ive seen were running "just fine" until they were torn down had crude oil stuck to everything. One i saw needed a scraping with a putty knife to start the cleaning process. UGH!!!

Id start by changing your oil and filter with a plain oil that you can afford to throw away fairly soon.( id really just use your normal oil, but in my case that would mean throwing $50 of Mobil 1 away in a 1000 miles) With that oil change try something like this. Rislone Engine Treatment
Then just check it around 500 miles and then see what you think? If its dirty then its doing the job. Change it (oil&filter) again, then do another 500 with another bottle of cleaner. Repeat till the oil stays clean and then go back to your "good" oil.

Ultimately if you don't get your oil pressure back ( assuming you have a good gage your checking with) then i think its time to pull the pan and install a melling High Volume oil pump. That should get your oil pressure back to normal.
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Engine gummed up with oil... how to flush?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 71hotrodpinto View Post
I think that ultimately the best way to clean out the valley is to pull the manifold. Yes thats a lot of work but the best way because you KNOW its "clean" when your done. If there is still sludge up there then that will hinder oil flow back to the pan where its needed! LOL.
tx... manifold is clean. I did that when I replaced the blown head gasket. Along with decking the heads and a new timing chain. Somehow it just seemed prudent since I have the top half of the engine apart.

The pan and pump however are probably full of crud. I'll check the local auto parts store!
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Old 07-19-2008, 06:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Engine gummed up with oil... how to flush?

Well, finally something I can contribute too.

I used to work at a diesel truck shop and we had this new customer and he had 4 f 600 trucks from the 70's all had 370's (460 based engine)

All of them had that horrible engine gunk, and there were three of us that worked at the shop and we all had a different opinion of how to get it cleaned out.

So the GM of the shop drained the crankcase put in 1/4 of the normal amount of oil then the rest of engine he put in kerosene..

The other guy at the shop did the stuff from autozone that cleans out the system he did a few different treatments.

I did massive amounts of of seafoam since its normally only 1/3 of a can to a system but these engines have alot of oil I did a full can with full oil then did it a few more times.

Over the course of a few weeks he would always come by on friday because he had lots of stuff to fix. And we didn't have to pay for oil or filters at our shop so always doing the oil was not a problem.


Anyways I dont have pics of it wish I did, kerosene cleaned the engine but only where there was no buildup it made the metal clean but didnt do much aside from that and the fact its not a lubricant always worried me(we didnt let them leave with it in there we ran it for a few and drained it all out and cleaned the system)

The second truck with the stuff from autozone did well but I dont know what he used but it did seem to work really well and the filters were really really nasty I would suggest replacing them a bit more then often while doing this.

The seafoam also worked from what I did research on seafoam is like 150+ octane race fuel is what it works out too so I think for 15 quarts of oil in the crankcase I put in 2 cans of seafoam but for a car I normally only put in 1/2 a can.


In the end the seafoam and the cleaner stuff from autozone did well kerosene not much, as far as the oil with the detergent, we just added in a quart or two of tranny fluid to each oil change in the 4th truck and all the others after we decided what one was better.

Tranny fluid from what I have been told and read up on has like really great cleansing proporties so a little in the oil wont hurt and will help keep things clean.

As far as not trusting snake oils well, if not using additives and other stuff has got you where you are at now maybe its time to try something new?


Also always do the filters more often because it lossens up alot of crap in the system.
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Old 07-19-2008, 06:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Engine gummed up with oil... how to flush?

Low oil pressure is probley from worn main rod or cam bearings. I dont recommend fast flush. What I have used many times in a slow clean out over time. About 500 miles before you change oil add one quart of transmission fluid to oil. Run the next 500 miles then change your oil. Do this with every oil change till engine cleans up. If you break it loose in one step it MAY plug the pick up screen and starve oil pump and blow your engine. Transmission fluid is hi detergent and will clean the engine. Dont race engine with trans fluid in oil because it does thin out oil. I Did this to a 1979 351 wagon which was real bad. I pulled the engine and replaced the crank and bearings. Engine was not worth fixing but 2 small kids and no money ( already spent last money I had on crank kit). After cleaning out the pan with a puddy knife and letting all the chunks fall on floor over night I put pan back on and installed engine. It ran fine and made some noise from scuffed pistons . It burnt 4 quarts of oil in 2000 miles. After doing the trans fluid thing over the period of a little more than a year it cut the oil down to one quart in 2000 miles. Started a Saturn on this plan yesterday.
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Engine gummed up with oil... how to flush?

Good points all around...

I'm inclined to think we more likely have crud buildup affecting pressure over worn bearings. The engine is low mileage and light street use but did have the overheat/pudding problem. I could well be wrong but I'll go with my gut, clean it out.

I do change the oil twice a year which is only a few thousand miles so I dont believe straight oil changes are gonna do the trick. I'll try a cleaner product and then do the tranny fluid trick. I'll also replace the press sending unit as they're only a few bucks. If it doesnt clear up with this type of program I'll resign myself to bigger problems.
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Engine gummed up with oil... how to flush?

Just to let you know sludge build up will not decrease oil pressure. Unless the sludge is in the oil pick up screen already. If you had sludge in your bearings they would be wiped by now. As bearings wear the allow the oil to slip past and into the oil pan. If it was a low mileage well maintained engine it would not have sludge unless you are using some real bad oil. Good luck
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Engine gummed up with oil... how to flush?

actually if sludge is building up in the heads may not let it flow back down to the pan properly and filling up his valve cover area
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Engine gummed up with oil... how to flush?

If that is the case then it would smoke and lose oil pressure very fast.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Engine gummed up with oil... how to flush?

Never seen it happen just heard about it *shrugs* could it be possible its built up enough to slow oil flow but not smoke just wondering
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:17 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Engine gummed up with oil... how to flush?

Auto-Rx Engine Cleaner

That's what I use. First read about it on here: Bob Is The Oil Guy That would be the place to go to do more research on it.


Edit: It occurs to me that one might be struck by my lack of cheerleading for Auto-RX. I figure the people on BITOG can do a far better job of talking it up than I can. I also don't want to come across as an ad, because that crap annoys me. I've used it twice now and I'm perfectly happy with it so far. I'd like to think I even gained a couple inches of vacuum at idle on my Mark VII's treatment. ('89, around 100k miles at the time) Still on the cleaning cycle for my '83 Fairmont.

We shall see, in the long term, what effect it has had. I don't want to say it was a raging success only to have my engine die a flaming death next week. I'll judge it ultimate success or failure when it comes time to pull the engine and see just how bad it looks in there after 20-ish years in the heat of the South.

Last edited by Inline6Lover; 07-20-2008 at 09:45 AM.
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