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first64riv

Should I clean out the oil pan on a 1964?

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Hello all,

 

My Riviera runs fine right now but I am concerned with sludge in the oil pan.  Is there a way to tell if there is an issue with sludge build up without removing the pan?  I know the engine needs to be lifted a bit for the pan to clear and that's why i hesitate to do it.  If I decide to change the engine mounts and the transmission mount, would there be a lot more steps involved to dropping the pan?  Will any of this involve removing the transmission cooler lines from the radiator?

 

Thank you in advance.

Chris

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1 hour ago, first64riv said:

Hello all,

 

My Riviera runs fine right now but I am concerned with sludge in the oil pan.  Is there a way to tell if there is an issue with sludge build up without removing the pan?  I know the engine needs to be lifted a bit for the pan to clear and that's why i hesitate to do it.  If I decide to change the engine mounts and the transmission mount, would there be a lot more steps involved to dropping the pan?  Will any of this involve removing the transmission cooler lines from the radiator?

 

Thank you in advance.

Chris

I was told (by an old timer) that if you are worried about sludge remove a valve cover and look. If there is sludge under the cover you will have sludge in the pan and visa versa.

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buy a boroscope  on ebay: they even have some that hook up to your phone so you can get live video

 

You engine could of had the heads rebuilt  ( no sludge) and still have sludge (or not) in the pan if bottom end is still original

 

When you change the oil and filter and add 5 qts how high is the oil past the mark on the "full" on the dipstick?


If its where it should be then the pan is at the right capacity. and its not full of sludge. (Unlesss there's lots of dents on the pan)

 

I think changing the engine mounts requires less lift than the pan remove.

 

Are you just randomly worried about sludge? Or is there a evidence of a concern?

 

ANYWAY, BOROSCOPE.. steve

 

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1 minute ago, gungeey said:

buy a boroscope  on ebay: they even have some that hook up to your phone so you can get live video

 

You engine could of had the heads rebuilt  ( no sludge) and still have sludge (or not) in the pan if bottom end is still original

 

When you change the oil and filter and add 5 qts how high is the oil past the mark on the "full" on the dipstick?


If its where it should be then the pan is at the right capacity. and its not full of sludge. (Unlesss there's lots of dents on the pan)

 

I think changing the engine mounts requires less lift than the pan remove.

 

Are you just randomly worried about sludge? Or is there a evidence of a concern?

 

ANYWAY, BOROSCOPE.. steve

 

 

I'm just randomly worried about sludge.  The car runs fine and the dipstick reads true.  I always try to live by the motto: "If it ain't broke...".  I'll still change out the mounts.  Thank yoU!

 

12 minutes ago, Bdad said:

I was told (by an old timer) that if you are worried about sludge remove a valve cover and look. If there is sludge under the cover you will have sludge in the pan and visa versa.

 

I was planning on doing the valve cover gaskets and maybe some new covers so I'll go this route first.

 

Chris

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13 hours ago, first64riv said:

I'm just randomly worried about sludge.

 

If you are acting random worries one of the best worries is the rear end lube. It seems to be one of the last items addressed by a lot of car owners. When they do check it they generally limit their action to adding enough to top it off. I would recommend doing a good 2X flush with a 30 miles drive in between.

 

THEN think about dropping the pan. Its not that bad a job and you get to look over other parts at the same time, like the tie rod ends and center link. 50 year old motor mounts can cause other problems. I serviced a '53 Caddy one time. When I showed him the imprint of his fan in the radiator the light came on. "I remember this awful sound that came out when I hit the brakes hard." "Yeah, 750 pounds of engine and transmission lunging with inertia." Easy sell on the motor mounts.

 

You have a lot of 50 year old integrated systems there.

Bernie

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Don't worry about what's in the pan........if you aren't having a symptom, keep your oil changed

and leave it alone. Surely there is something on your car that needs attention that you  know for sure needs

to be fixed. Keeping up an old car is hard enough work without digging for imaginary problems.If your

car is a low mileage original with an untouched engine, you should be concerned with changing the timing chain and gears.

That's something the engine definitely needs. On my 65 the 55,000 mile timing chain was extremely loose and about to jump.

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, Seafoam65 said:

Don't worry about what's in the pan........if you aren't having a symptom, keep your oil changed

and leave it alone. Surely there is something on your car that needs attention that you  know for sure needs

to be fixed. Keeping up an old car is hard enough work without digging for imaginary problems.If your

car is a low mileage original with an untouched engine, you should be concerned with changing the timing chain and gears.

That's something the engine definitely needs. On my 65 the 55,000 mile timing chain was extremely loose and about to jump.

I fully concur.  My car's odometer has flipped once I'm sure.  Does that mean the timing chain may have been taken care of?  Again, the car runs beautifully but i want to catch up on the maintenance, if that's even possible!

 

Thank you

Chris

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Chris, it may not have been done yet. To check for slack in the chain, rotate the crank pulley first one direction, then the next and see how much

you can move the crank pulley when you change direction before the distributor rotor starts to turn. If there is any lag, the chain is loose.

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If your oil looks dirty relatively fast like under 1000 miles then there is likely sludge in the pan/engine and/or you have  worn piston rings causing excessive crankcase blow-by. I had a 72 Cutlass Supreme with 150k miles that I KNEW was virtually sludge free and burned no oil Between changes every 4 to 5k miles. The oil always looked clean enough  to read the dipstick markings through the oil. Conversely, I also had a 72 Olds 442 with 90k miles that WAS Sludge City. Had that crusty crystallized sludge all over the rockers in the valve covers. That oil would look dirty in a few hundred miles. 

Edited by Paul K. (see edit history)

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On 10/16/2018 at 2:01 PM, first64riv said:

I fully concur.  My car's odometer has flipped once I'm sure.  Does that mean the timing chain may have been taken care of?  Again, the car runs beautifully but i want to catch up on the maintenance, if that's even possible!

 

Thank you

Chris

Not necessarily.  I was working on my 64 and let a guy in the shop drive it.  When he got back he was telling me how powerful he thought it was. (He was a small block Mustang guy)  I didn't think much about it because I was used to it.  When I finally got around to tearing the engine down, I noticed a lot of slack in the timing chain.  A closer look revealed that the nylon covering the cam gear teeth was non existent. Presently it's still "being reassembled" with a new solid steel cam gear.  I'm wondering what improvements are awaiting me.  So just because your car has "flipped" is no sign the timing gear has been taken care of. 

 

In a previous post someone has written out how to move the crank back and forth and watch the rotor on the distributor.  If there's no play, your gear is okay.  If the crank will turn without the rotor turning, then the gear needs replacing.  Read it.  Then you get into removing iron bolts from the aluminum front cover.  Something else to be aware of.

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