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Internal clean/flush a 1930 Nash engine

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I have purchased an antique Nash with an overhead valve 8 engine and about 22,000 miles.  I ran it shortly to load the car and it does run good.  It has no smoke or bad sounds either.  Supposedly, the engine has never been messed with from new.  I have determined that I should pull the valve cover for a good clean and then flush to try to get any sludge and grime moved to the pan.  Is it a good practice to use gasoline as a solvent or would a diesel/gas blend be better.  I have used gas before but on an engine that I did not care about as much and much cheaper to rebuild.  Should I be using pipe cleaners to push through the oil drain galleys?  I am concerned that I may push sludge into a port that I shouldn't.  Finally, I will remove the pan for a serious cleaning.  I suppose it is a good idea to use a light oil, after cleaning, to pre-lube the rod bearings and mains.  I do not plan to upset any bearings unless something looks wrong, based on the low mileage.  What material is recommended to cut new gaskets for the valve cover and pan gasket, rubber or cork?  Does anyone have tricks to make this job as rewarding and fun as possible.....other than just a greasy job while laying on ones back (I do not have a lift).

Al

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I don't know that I would do that.

You might end up getting carbon/sludge  and tiny specs of who knows what into the bearings and elsewhere.

You probably should pull the pan and clean it and the pick up  though.

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Guest

A couple of points in no particular order:

 

1) Olson's Gaskets can probably supply you with a complete set of gaskets.

2) "wax and grease remover"  as it is known in the auto painting trade - one brand name is "Prep-all" by Klean Strip - cleans well, evaporates very quickly and leaves no film. Realize it is flammable and expensive (around $20/gal) You might use diesel initially and then finish up with this product.

3)If you know/find out the route of various passages, compressed air can be useful to confirm they are clear.

4) Another option is to simply clean out the pan, and pull the valve cover and carefully dig/pick out/vacuum out whatever you can get. Then enjoy the car and perhaps change the oil very frequently for awhile. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. :)

 

If the LaSalle roadster in your avatar belongs to you, I am very envious.

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Do not put engine flush or other substance in the engine, other than motor oil. Taking the oil pan off and cleaning out the sludge manually is a good idea. Also the valve cover and side cover. Be careful you get ALL the loose sludge and dirt out. A shop vac is good for this. If you leave loose dirt it can clog up the oil pump screen and you will be worse off than if you left it alone.

 

Then fill the crankcase with 10W30, drive for a few miles and change the oil. I am thinking 50 miles or less. Do you have an oil filter? If you don't it may be possible to add one. If not you should change oil frequently, they used to say every 1000 miles. I am not sure it is necessary to change so often since today's paved roads are not as dusty as the dirt roads that were common when your car was built.

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My first move with any running engine new to me is to add a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil then let the engine idle for a half hour or so, shut it down and drain the oil immediately while the crud is in suspension.

As the engine is not smoking you might want to use a non-detergent oil off the bat until you're certain it's definitely not an oil burner.

Should it turn out to not burn oil you might consider switching to a detergent oil.

After owning a number of old tractors and 7 old cars I wouldn't use anything but detergent oils.

You don't mention where you live but unless you live in the Deep South I'd run 10W30.

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Thanks for the ideas on cleaning a long stored engine in prep for driving (or at least a parade).  I will try to attach a picture of the Nash, when I returned home and one of the engine for your evaluation.

Alan

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Looks like you're in luck. The horizontal can fwd of the dist. sure looks like a bypass filter. Bob's Automobilia makes repros of these. Inside they conceal a modern spin on/off filter. They work way better than the original. Now look , I think we all have used gasoline as a solvent to one degree or another. We are still here to tell you , and might even have to do it carefully in small applications in the future . But , seriously , don't use it in large scale projects. Fire extinguishers handy. Depending on your level of fanaticism , a full flow filter can also be added with a greater or lesser degree of difficulty. Machine work to fit one on an engine with an external oil pump is relatively simple. Other candidates might have to await an opportunity during major engine work. Clean the pan first thing. On an ancient engine laid up for many years on old oil , most guys do a bearing check while the pan is off. First pull a couple of rod caps and a main cap. Check condition and clearance. Old oil can be acidic because of moisture as combustion byproduct. Over a long time , the acid can be an electrolyte. Galvanic erosion can then take place between the dissimilar metals being lubricated. If the sample bearings show only minor pitting or wear , and are within spec , zip it back up. New filter , detergent oil , as mentioned above , and you are on your way. Mucking around with pipe cleaners may awaken the dogs you might want to stir only gradually. Your engine will slowly clean itself. Monitor your oil frequently. Change when it starts to go black. You may change the filter a couple hundred miles on , or much earlier at first sign of black oil. The bypas filter will be cleaning down to around one micron. ( That is small. Less than bearing clearance. ) Cleanable screen type full flow filters may go down to ten microns. But some initial mung cleaning may load 'em up soon. With 22k on the mill , you are probably on solid ground with the change recommendations here. I have cleaned up old engines this way with a lot more mileage. After a couple thousand miles , or a season or two use , whichever comes first , drop and clean pan and pickup again. You may have to this yet again , until the pan drippings are sludge free. I am one of those synthetic oil and grease freaks. The military and I have been using it for decades. Go down to your rural feed store , and ask the guys what kind of luck they have had with the longevity of their agricultural machinery after switching to synthetic grease. By tuning your oil pressure relief valve , and monitoring warm up and running oil pressure , your engine may tell you exactly what multi-viscosity oil it enjoys most. Alsfarms , I am sure I speak for everyone in wishing you best of luck with your big , impressive Nash. I hope we all live long enough to see it progress as you lovingly awaken it. What a magnificent find ! Please keep us in the loop ! - Carl

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I don't like the idea of a modern oil filter. The modern full flow filter does not do as thorough a job as the old bypass type. Combining a bypass filter with a full flow element gives the worst of both worlds. I would rather use a bypass filter element, do they even make those in a screw on form? If not you may need to find an NOS filter or change to a slightly more modern looking cartridge type.

 

The Frantz filter would be ideal but I don't want to start that whole argument over again.

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Quite true . I stand corrected. Right. Just because it is in bypass position , doesn't make it filter down to one micron. It indeed will filter only as per spec same as in full flow capacity. Thank you. It will still work better than the original filter which had replacement recommended at 10,000 miles. You cut one of them open and it is like diapers stuffed in it. I better check the specs and see if there is one particular brand which stands out. Of course the Frantz could use the existing porting on the Nash. Now the ideal would be both full flow and bypass together. Cummins ( and maybe others ) offered some very comprehensive warranty protection on their new engines if so equipped. This included extended oil change frequency if their synthetic was used. I used to own 2 out of the 5 "Holly's Follies ". Guess you could call them "antiques" , as they were built in '69. On air , twin screw Gillig 743D chassis , Cummins NHH ( like a NTT , but horizontal - the beloved "pancake 262"). Fuller RTO-915. Gave me a slight curiosity about diesels. Seem to remember something about big stationary industrial deisels using both full flow and bypass. If memory serves , seems periodic oil analysis would be done , and if all was well , oil just wasn't changed. Ever. Is my memory correct ? Past bedtime. Tired. Good night , and Good morning. - Carl

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Hey , Rusty : I just noticed : I have just about 1% of the postings you have ! Wow ! You do very fine work here , and it implies a real good job with the wrench too. Can you still do it ? I have had to call in help here for what should be a simple job on the '24 Cad. Doc says the x-rays show serious bone on bone in my left shoulder. Hey , so be it . There's lot of other things I can't do anymore. In that , I am far from alone. Hope you fellow oldsters are relatively pain free. I am until I try to do something . NOW it is bedtime. - Carl

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Guest

NAPA 1320 and NAPA 1050 are both spin on bypass filters. NAPA 4755 is remote adapter for a bypass spin on filter, as is the now discontinued FRAM 108089.

Edited by Guest (see edit history)

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Bone on bone, if that means worn joints, there is only one thing I know of that will regrow worn joints and that is SAM E. I know it cured back pain and knee pain I suffered as the result of being overweight all my life. Vitamin C helps but will not cure worn joints by itself.

 

If it is a bypass it should have a dense filter medium. The Frantz uses a roll of toilet tissue and the oil passes through lengthways. I have a Frantz, have used it, and studied all the info I could find on the internet.

 

One user with a Dodge Cummins Diesel pickup, uses a Frantz and never changes his oil. He has it analysed every 5000 miles. It comes back the same every time - new oil, with a slight trace of iron. The lab that analyses the oil finally told him he is wasting his money because it is always the same, and he will need to change the oil when the additives get depleted at around 50,000 miles.

 

When replacing the filter every 1000 miles he has to top up the oil and this replenishes the additives.

 

There is no doubt the bypass type does a more thorough job of filtering and keeps the oil cleaner. The only drawback is that a speck of dirt can skip the filter and go through the engine. This was not a big deal until hydraulic lifters came in, then there was a chance that one speck of dirt could block the tiny hole in the lifter.

 

This was when the full flow filter came in, and they were mainly used on hydraulic lifter motors. Studebaker did not use a full flow filter until 1962 but all their motors had solid lifters.

 

A Studebaker expert who has examined and rebuilt a hundred of these motors, says there is no difference in engine life,  wear or cleanliness between the two and in his book, the people who pay a premium price for late motors with the full flow filter, are wasting their money.

 

I am not saying there is NO difference, I am saying the difference between a filter and no filter, is bigger than the difference between a bypass and full flow.

 

I will also say, that a motor that is set up for a bypass filter, can use a full flow filter but 1) the oil flow will have to be restricted in any case so as not to lose too much oil pressure and 2) the full flow filter is much coarser and does not trap all the dirt and sludge.

 

Therefore, if you have a bypass, by all means keep it bypass with the dense filter medium.

 

And I said I wouldn't get into this again lol.

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Thanks Caddy, I was not aware that such filters were available. They would be the answer for old cars with obsolete, unobtainable filters. If you are not concerned with original appearance, the convenience of a spin on filter you can buy at any parts store, is a great thing.

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I can still turn wrenches but got smart and quit. I may work on my own junk to pass the time but not for other people. Maybe if an interesting old car came along I would help out but luckily, nobody listens to me around here and there is no danger of having to go to work.

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Ditto on thanks , '31 Caddy. Yeah , I am 98% certain Bob's filters are equipped with NAPA 1320s. I'll open it up to confirm. These repros look just like the OEM , decal and all. If you know his inventory and catalog , you will be very pleased. Bob's Automobilia is in California between Atascadero and Paso Robles.

Al , give them a call . 805-434-2963. Their filter looks just like yours , inlet and outlet on same end , and of course can be used horizontally as your car , or vertically as on my '27 Cadillac. Lots of guys use them when they find out about them. Hey , what is the exact year of your " new" toy ? - Carl

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Thanks Caddy, I was not aware that such filters were available. They would be the answer for old cars with obsolete, unobtainable filters. If you are not concerned with original appearance, the convenience of a spin on filter you can buy at any parts store, is a great thing.

Hard to describe, but on my 31, I took an original sealed canister type filter and cut it in half right below the soldered seam. (The can was originally made where one half was slightly larger in diameter  than the other half. The larger half overlapped the smaller diameter half by about 1/4" and the seam was soldered.)  I then ground out the solder and 1/4' strip of metal left in the larger half. This allowed me to be able to put the two halves back together with the top half fitting snugly over the bottom/smaller half. I then installed the Fram 108089 adapter into the inside of the top half. This adapter is somewhat unique in that it has no cast - in mounting bracket, but the outside portion of the center outlet port has a  threaded stem that will accept a nut.

 To make a long story endless, :D the bottom line is that I have a spin on filter within an original canister, using original lines and fittings. The only thing not "correct"  is the nut on top below the outlet line fitting. (No one ever seems to notice that anyway) This is the previously mentioned nut that actually holds the filter adapter to the top half of the canister. The original mounting clamp and bracket are used around the bottom half of the canister. 

 I found the adapter on ebay for $12. There are some setups on the market that do the same thing - conceal a spin on filter within an original ( or original looking) canister. Several are quite nice, but also quite expensive. They consist of machined canisters where the two halves are actually threaded. There is one in particular that is popular with the Packard guys to replace the large Purolater sealed canisters with a stock appearing spin on setup.

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Edited by Guest (see edit history)

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Uh , yeah , I think in the case of Bob's it was not much more than $150 or so. Can't exactly remember. I don't know if that was expensive. I would sure do it again. Also , I ought to have read the header. 1930 . Yeah , it says 1930 Nash. Wake up , Carl ! By the way , '31 , what body style is (are) your Cadillac(s) ? I have a fellow standing in need of a good '30 5 Pass Sedan. Haven't seen one since Marty sold his Town Sedan (very attractive body style in great original shape) , over a year ago. Seems that body style was carried over another year. Maybe other body styles too. I wonder if he could widen his search to include '31. Any leads ? Thanks - Carl

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Uh , yeah , I think in the case of Bob's it was not much more than $150 or so. Can't exactly remember. I don't know if that was expensive. I would sure do it again. Also , I ought to have read the header. 1930 . Yeah , it says 1930 Nash. Wake up , Carl ! By the way , '31 , what body style is (are) your Cadillac(s) ? I have a fellow standing in need of a good '30 5 Pass Sedan. Haven't seen one since Marty sold his Town Sedan (very attractive body style in great original shape) , over a year ago. Seems that body style was carried over another year. Maybe other body styles too. I wonder if he could widen his search to include '31. Any leads ? Thanks - Carl

Hi Carl. I have a bottom of the totem pole '31 5 passenger sedan. pic attached. Also, if anyone else bothered to read my previous drivel, I messed up the P/N for the Fram adapter that I used. I have corrected the number. It has ben discontinued, but they can be found. I think the replacement P/N has a cast on mounting bracket that prevents it from being hid in a canister.

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Thanks for all the conversation about filters and filtration.  I thought I knew a little and I guess that is all I know....a little.  I will call and see if I can get a replacement filter for my bypass filter.  Nice looking car 31 Caddy!  My favorite Cad./LaS is 1930-31.  Which wheelbase is under your Cad.  Is it one size longer than the LaSalle (134")?  Do you happen to have any spare trunk hardware?  I just about have all I need to mount a Low-Boy trunk on the back of the '30 LaSalle.  Back to the Nash.  I just located and purchased a proper size trunk to mount on the trunk rack of the '30 Nash.  Do any of you fellows have a handle on any Nash parts cars, 1929-30-31, Special 6 Advanced 6, 490 or 890?  The drivers side front fender, of the coupe, is not good and the passenger side is not much better.  Tomorrow I will call Olsen Gasket and see what they have available, for the 490 Nash.  I know the Nash runs good I just will not run it further until I verify that it is clean!

Al

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Ok, While I am at the engine internal clean-out, what is a good approach to servicing the water side.  In the past I have dug out the sludge and back flushed etc.  Not only should we have a clean engine internally but also an engine that runs the proper temp. without running hot.  I am hesitant to use any caustic compound in the radiator.

Al

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You could flush with a garden hose on the heater hose if there is one. Let the engine run and the water overflow until it runs clear.

 

You could also try a bottle of CLR (calcium lime and rust remover) in the rad, with water, and drive around for a few days then flush.

 

There are infra red temp gauges that will give you an idea of the temp of various parts of the engine, and will tell you if the engine is cooling evenly and the rad is not plugged up.

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Al, Please do not try to flush and clean topside with gasoline or mix, if you must clean it, use only a shop vac to pick up any crust while dislodging it. Flushing with gasoline or any cleaner that dries quickly takes all the protective oil film off everything. If it gets in any bearings for the cam and crank, you can easily fail the bearings on startup. Pulling the oil pan and doing a clean up is almost risk free as long as you don't spray any cleaner up inside.

 

Remember, without a full flow oil filter, any crust and sludge that is broken loose and falls into oil pan will be picked up and sucked into the oil pump and goes straight to the bearings. You can cause alot of damage in a short time. A bypass filter will not save it from destruction. 

 

As for cooling system flushing, plain water is good. If it has a heater, you can stick a garden hose in each one with radiator drain plug out and fill system then start it up with hose turned on full. Alternate between the hoses to reverse flow until it runs clear. You CANNOT get all the rust, scale and sediment out by flushing. The best way is to remove all the core plugs and dig it out first and stick a nozzle in there to flush it out. After new plugs are put in then you can do a running flush with drain and radiator cap open. To get maximum flow and cleaning, you need to remove thermostat while flushing.

Edited by TexasJohn55 (see edit history)

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" I am 98% certain Bob's filters are equipped with NAPA 1320s. I'll open it up to confirm." Huh , so much for near certainty. Turns out these high quality repros use 1060s. 1320s and 1050s have a different thread pitch. I have been told that 1060s filter at 21 microns. More I think about it , that seems real good for initial clean up. There is a "Platinum" version which has 150% the filtering capacity of the standard "Gold" 1060. Still awaiting confirmation that it cleans down to somewhere in the single digits of microns. More research coming. Now my tenuous memory questions the full flow K&N I put on the '24 many years ago. In my confusion , I am thinking it came with a 40. Seems a 10 was an available option. Time to go to 10 now. First oil change using 20w/50 synthetic at 2-300 miles trapped 3-4 oz. of dirt. Next change at maybe 500 more miles , a couple thimbles full of dirt . Subsequent changes a lot less. Yeah , time to put in a finer screen. This took place at around 60,000 miles. Previous owner drove 212 miles in 13 years. Changed to 40 wt Kendall detergent early , and then again late in his ownership. You have to figure it spent most of its life on non-detergent. Pan and screen were totally clean when I first opened it up about 300 miles after I got it. Oil turns very black quickly now , and in 3-4000 miles deposited about 1/8" of beautiful , creamy uncontaminated pure black sludge when I pulled the pan again. The '27 with maybe 1/2 the miles is another story . A work in its early stages running VERY clean at 400 miles with aforementioned bypass filtered 20w/50 synthetic. Well I hope there is some useful info in this trivial soliloquy. In any case someone had to say it. I would cover more , including heaping praise on '31 Caddys '31Caddy. It may simply be a standard 5 pass sedan , but what a stately , elegant Classic , in the real sense of the term ! I think my '24 and '27 in a more literal universe might be called "Pre-Classic".

Got to hit the sack. Sonny himself is coming tomorrow to help with the '24. - Carl

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