Sludge In Oil Pan

Discussion in 'E9 General Discussion' started by JayWltrs, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. JayWltrs

    JayWltrs Active Member Site Donor

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    I assume there’s some sludge in most oil pans, but discovered what seems like a lot of sludge while probing around through the drain. Goo had an unfortunate amount of grey shine as well. Aside from needing full tune-up on the engine, do I just need to pull the oil pan and clean it out? Should I buy new hardware when I do that?

    PO had the filter installed wrong (perch was below the spring), and I replaced it that way in April with oil that probably was too thin. Realized my errors from old posts and was changing oil last night night (ordering the IR spinoff today, as I’m done with that nonsense) when I discovered the sludge. BTW, the old filter from PO looked older than my teenagers but probably wasn’t doing much given fitting.

    Thoughts appreciated. Reprimand already self-administered, but they’re OK, too, if entertaining.
     
  2. teahead

    teahead aka "Rob" Site Donor

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    Uh oh. Hopefully you don't have water in your oil. I.e. head gasket failure.

    You may want to pull your pan as the oil pickup screen (do M30s have them?) may start getting clogged to the point of no oil going through the engine.
     
  3. Markos

    Markos Parts Hoarder Staff Member Site Donor $$

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    Grey shine = spend more time in that B35 thread.
     
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  4. Wladek

    Wladek Active Member

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    If new oil filter now is mounted proper way - you also might consider engine oil flush additive & see how oil pan will look after draining.
     
  5. Gransin

    Gransin Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    Grey shine in the oil is never ever a positive thing, you could of course just pray and continue like you didn't see it, but even if there still isn't any knocking I'd check all main + rod bearings in the engine to prevent a real failure.
    They're relatively easy to replace before they get too worn and damage other parts.
    This is of course only if the greyish shine comes from the bearings, which is likely, but you never know.
    It's not an unreasonable thought that a bit of sludge got sucked up into the oil sprayer bar for the camshaft with a worn lobe as a result, but this is only speculation.
    Or it's just regular wear not related to the sludge.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  6. JayWltrs

    JayWltrs Active Member Site Donor

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    Thanks all. Found old filter in tub--2005 date on it. I recall the oil appeared comparably aged. I do believe it was stored for a large % of that time.

    Plan:
    Immediate: (1) Install IE spinoff; (2) flush as @Wladek suggests--any suggestions on a brand to use?
    Short-term: Pull/clean oil pan while the car is up for an extended time for suspension re-do (still a few parts away), and at least peek in engine enough to see what I can see.
    Post-suspension work: Take to knowledgeable regional mechanic to assess & do big tune-up and whatever they find re things @Gransin mentions.

    But to Markos' & Rob's points, pretty sure it'll be bad news. I've never done real engine work. From other clues, I'm guessing the head gasket, the rear main seal & similar need replacement. And they'll find more. They're probably pulling the engine at that point, and the bill with carb rebuild & things-to-be-discovered exceeds price of a 100k+ miles B35, but not near the price of an @sfdon primo swap. I'm not too, too far from MM, so I'll call to see what limb(s) they require these days. It would be embarrassing to stick a 100k+ mile engine in a car with 86k and wasn't the plan.

    Decisions, decisions . . .
     
  7. teahead

    teahead aka "Rob" Site Donor

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    If things do look dire in there after inspecting the engine thoroughly, find a low mileage (if you can) B35 motor. I got a complete running, smashed '89 535i w/98k on it for $350.
     
  8. 61porsche

    61porsche Active Member

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    Condensation.
     
  9. JayWltrs

    JayWltrs Active Member Site Donor

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    No doubt. But I don’t see the type of white stuff on oil filler cap or inside that cover area, or filter or check areas I’ve had trouble with motorcycles over winters. Seeing that white buildup on the fuel cap almost always tells me I’ve got to flush the lines and tank & maybe get it treated.
     
  10. Tony.dreamer

    Tony.dreamer Active Member Site Donor

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    Hello Jay
    don’t jump to conclusions yet. A lot of times when engine sits for a while with oil in it , it builds condensation. Oil is lighter than water so water sips to the bottom of the pan , and gets trapped. The cycle continues as temperature, moister level , and pressure changes.
    If the oil is not changed regularly (since the car wasn’t driven ) the condensation, entrapment of water cycle can continue specially if the car was not stored in climate control Enviroment. When you run the engine after a while that water mixed with slug at the buttom of the pan which has been deposited for years of usuage can look kinda nasty , becomes rather sticky, if you run the car for long enough for oil to get hot. The nasty slug water mix is hard for the oil pump to move. And can clog the oil passages. In my opinion the first that should go bad will be your cam shaft which you could tell by change in engine noise .. I can go on rambling on and on....... I am hopeful, I want to bet you $5 that you caught it just in time ...

    The question that I have is have you checked to see if you are loosing coolant ?

    Best wishes !

    Tony P.
     
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  11. Tony.dreamer

    Tony.dreamer Active Member Site Donor

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    If no coolant loss proceed with engine flush and after that remaoval of the pan....
     
  12. Tony.dreamer

    Tony.dreamer Active Member Site Donor

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    Liqui Moly Engine Flush

    I had great success with this product but have not used it on E9 yet! it is highly rated by many people . Do your own research !
     
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  13. Tony.dreamer

    Tony.dreamer Active Member Site Donor

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    When doing the engine flush I remove the oil filter ! Again that is what I do . I make no garantees, representation , or claim . I am simply stating my preference . Please do your own research as there may be other views or opinions. In my opinion proper engine flush is one of the best thing anyone can do for longivity of their engine only second to frequent oil changes !
     
  14. Tony.dreamer

    Tony.dreamer Active Member Site Donor

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    I responded with my opinions above! This is Just to make sure you get an alert on your forum home page !
     
  15. JayWltrs

    JayWltrs Active Member Site Donor

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    Thanks, Tony. Your thoughts are confirmed by my research this evening. No coolant loss! Car's running cold (never thought I'd say that), which apparently prevents breaking up the sludge, but I know what that is (for another thread), and I'll tend to that before the engine flush.

    Thanks again.
     
  16. Wladek

    Wladek Active Member

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    Never do that again!
    When you add oil flush, you make old oil very thin (that's how it works).
    When old oil is not touched some metal peaces might be glued to the engine walls because of density, so when you thin the oil, they break away and if there is no filter (even old one) - they will go everywhere: camshaft, crankshaft, cylinders/pistons, oil pump, bearings etc, & after you add new oil they still be there, until new oil filter will catch them.

    If the engine is very dirt:
    First flush you make with old oil, with old oil filter + flush additive - 10-15 minutes on idle (no riding, no pedal to the floor even on idle - 1-1,5k rmp max), draining.
    Second flush you make with new cheap oil (semi-synthetic or mineral, doesn't much matter), with new oil filter + flush additive - 15 minutes on idle (no riding, no pedal to the floor even on idle - 1,5-2k rpm max), draining.
    look at the oil colour after draining, if still dirt - continue/repeat flushing as described in second step; if colour is more like dark honey & no metal peaces are noticeable - you can add good quality/target oil + new oil filter - you will be good to go.

    I use Liqui Moly Pro-Line flush (use it every year before oil change in my daily-driver car) - my M54 engine oil appetite decreased after i started using this additive.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
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  17. Tony.dreamer

    Tony.dreamer Active Member Site Donor

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    W
    Jay ,
    The sludge that you see is very normal for a car that has been neglected some . I have seen it many times on older engines . It is believed to be years of running gas with lead in it , dirt , condensation , perhaps some normal engine wear and infrequent oil change . If your engine is not making odd noises I wouldn’t worry much about it. Thankfully the car found a loving owner that is now taking care of it pamperly! :)
    I am curious to know what thread you refered to by the way. Aside from taking the pan off and inspecting the oil pump , and the mesh strainer and looking around I wouldn’t pull any other parts off yet.
    Taking the oil pan off first is not a bad idea ! It can tell you a lot about the engine condition. But make sure you wear good gloves and don’t let the sludge touch your skin. The lead content is very high and can easily be obsurbed through skin.
    Liqui Moly is very safe in my opinion , do your own research on it.
    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
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  18. Tony.dreamer

    Tony.dreamer Active Member Site Donor

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    Waldek, appreciate your response ! There are two school of thoughts about removing the old filter ... yours is more common than my approach of removing it. That is why I wrote “to do your own Reseach ! “ and not the metal canister type filters.
    To have the best of both worlds it is best to replace the old filter with a new before the flush (according to one mechanic)! I have talked to mechanics that worked on older cars with two schools of thoughts . Engine flush loosen dirt even those that are captured by the filter. Also sludge does not pass through filter and clog the filter, warping the filter elements making it useless , clogging , and causing low oil pressure potentially. Which can cause much more serious damage to upper end of the engine during engine flush .
    Aside from newer car which I drive daily ,I have done this on 4 of my old classic cars which I didn’t have complete history of service. I was determined to pull the pan if I was doing engine flush. Engine flush was meant to loosen the sludge also . I left it longer in the engine after the engine was shut off. Pulling the pan can tell you a lot about health of the engine.
    Three out of 4 cars had plenty of sludge . Some I had to take a knife and scrape off . On 1952 Cadillac that ran great before the flush , I was the most surprised with amount of sludge. I let the engine warm up at idle and then I let it sit for another hour before pulling the pan . Put new filter and change the oil fresh with cheap oil. Then drain and put in the good quality oil.
    Getting back to your comment about loosened metal pieces (already damaged engine ) since we are not driving the car , and the metal piece may travel to filter or may not but better oil flow is much more important during this process.
    So in short I don’t disagree or agree with your approach vs mine . Everyone should do their own research and based on the facts such as engine history , age , engine noise etc. determine to take the filter out or leave it. Again most say leave it in as you believe . I make my judgement call based on type of filter and other circumstances...
    Thank you for your input !
    Best wishes
     
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  19. Wladek

    Wladek Active Member

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    Actually, the old oil if owner don't know much of it (specs, for how long it is there etc.) - it's not the best option even to use it as a flush.
    Drain old oil, put cheapest new filter & new cheapest oil, add engine flush, after 15 mins. drain it - it will be probably the best choice for the start.
     
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  20. Tony.dreamer

    Tony.dreamer Active Member Site Donor

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    I Agree with you very much !
    I always like to rinse the engine that may have some of the flushing fluid in it. So after Newfie flush run the engine with cheap oil again and drain it ... so the engine will get three oil changes!
     

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