Sludge buildup in old motor - Chevy Nova Forum
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Old 23rd-September-2013, 01:13 PM   #1
carbon_x

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Sludge buildup in old motor

Hey guys - first off, thanks for any help, it's appreciated!

I've got a '76 with the inline 6 motor that was once sitting for quite a few years in a field. I'm not sure of the entire history of maintenance, but it still runs and drives (after fixing a few things here and there). I bought it from my girlfriend's grandparents, and they owned it for 20 years, but it was sitting for 4 or 5 in a field after they couldn't drive anymore... The valves were chattering, so I took the valve cover off and went to fix it, and this was what it looked like:





What's the best way to clean that up? It runs strong, only 72,000 miles on the motor, but I have a feeling this would help quite a bit, as well as overhauling the carburetor, which is next. A few people have told me Seafoam in the crankcase, however I've read bad things about doing that - but what do you guys recommend to clean it up?

Thanks a ton for any help!
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Old 23rd-September-2013, 03:09 PM   #2
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i would change oil and filter and short iy one quart oil and add 2 cans of seafoam to oil. go out and drive it. then after some regular runs at operating temp change the filter and oil agian and add one can of sea foam to oil. then drive and change oil after a few hundred miles. keep doing this til sludge is gone. this process may take some time and several oil changes...

the faster way of this is to drain oil and change filter and fill with kerosene, add 1 more quart of kerosene then you would with oil... run engine for a few min no more then 5min. then let it sit over night. next day change filter and drain kerosene and fill with oil and drive it for a 100 miles then service it again..the kerosene will dissolve the sludge and when you drain it, it will be black and nasty... the reason you only run it a few min is kerosene will hurt the bearing if the engine runs to long...
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Old 23rd-September-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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I dont think your going to find a miracle cure for cleaning it, it took 40 years to get there, and will take a long time to clean out, I have used a quart of Transmission fluid in the crankcase, as it has very high detergent value, but keep in mind, anything you use, doesnt usually, dissolve the debries, it removes it from the metal, all the debries usually goes into the pan, or hopefully filter, I would change the oil or at least filter a few times right after any kind of additive. others may have better ideas in this also.
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Old 23rd-September-2013, 04:08 PM   #4
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I personally think you would be better off leaving the baked on deposits where they are rather than trying to dissolve them. You get all they crud circulating around the engine, some of it is going to get onto the oil and play hell with the bearings and such. Just change the oil and filter every few hundred miles for a few cycles and then just drive it normally.
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Old 23rd-September-2013, 05:14 PM   #5
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I personally think you would be better off leaving the baked on deposits where they are rather than trying to dissolve them. You get all they crud circulating around the engine, some of it is going to get onto the oil and play hell with the bearings and such. Just change the oil and filter every few hundred miles for a few cycles and then just drive it normally.
I have to agree here. anything that does not brake down 100% will end up getting stuck in the pick-up screen and then you will not have any oil flowing to the rest of the motor and have bigger problems. You can scrap off most of that and su*k it up with a shop vac. and leave the rest alone. is my2cents.
PS block off the oil return holes first.
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Old 23rd-September-2013, 05:22 PM   #6
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I have had a few customers bring in rigs like this that are all gummed up. My advice would be to leave it alone. You start breaking that stuff loose it is going to plug the pickup tube in the oil pan and then you start losing oil pressure. I personally have replaced a couple of engines where people have messed with it and destroyed the engine. I think the best you can hope for if you choose to mess with it removing the oil pan several times to clean the pickup screen until you finally get it all. So leave it alone...
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Old 23rd-September-2013, 10:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big dog ss View Post
i would change oil and filter and short iy one quart oil and add 2 cans of seafoam to oil. go out and drive it. then after some regular runs at operating temp change the filter and oil agian and add one can of sea foam to oil. then drive and change oil after a few hundred miles. keep doing this til sludge is gone. this process may take some time and several oil changes...

the faster way of this is to drain oil and change filter and fill with kerosene, add 1 more quart of kerosene then you would with oil... run engine for a few min no more then 5min. then let it sit over night. next day change filter and drain kerosene and fill with oil and drive it for a 100 miles then service it again..the kerosene will dissolve the sludge and when you drain it, it will be black and nasty... the reason you only run it a few min is kerosene will hurt the bearing if the engine runs to long...
Sorry but I don't think kerosene is a good idea. Have read bad things about this method.


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Old 23rd-September-2013, 10:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wskaiser View Post
I personally think you would be better off leaving the baked on deposits where they are rather than trying to dissolve them. You get all they crud circulating around the engine, some of it is going to get onto the oil and play hell with the bearings and such. Just change the oil and filter every few hundred miles for a few cycles and then just drive it normally.
I also agree
in the old days havoline motor used to slowly clean engines.
I don't know if this is true today with the additives nowdays.
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Old 24th-September-2013, 01:57 PM   #9
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Sorry but I don't think kerosene is a good idea. Have read bad things about this method.


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back in the day it was a common practice. i wouldn't try it on anything that didn't come with a factory carb..
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Old 24th-September-2013, 01:59 PM   #10
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back in the day it was a common practice. i wouldn't try it on anything that didn't come with a factory carb..
Interesting...


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Old 25th-September-2013, 12:26 AM   #11
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I would leave it alone. If its running strong like you say and has good oil pressure, don't disturb it. If too much of that buildup gets loose in the engine at once, the first thing it will take out is the oil pump if the pickup doesn't get plugged first..Going through and cleaning the carb out durring a rebuild would be a better choice and would make more of a difference in how it runs vs. cleaning the buildup shown on the cylinder head.
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Old 25th-September-2013, 01:17 AM   #12
carbon_x

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Thanks for all the advice! I'll leave the engine internals alone and work on a carb rebuild and hopefully that will get her running even better.
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