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Sludge in old engines


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If you are rebuilding a large old engine (1920's) but not removing the crankcase and crankshaft --- leaving the crankcase in the car --- what would you do about the accumulated oil sludge which coats everything in the crankcase? Wipe it off as best you can with kerosene and a cloth, or just leave it alone and let detergent oil gradually clean it off?

I hate putting the engine back together with all the sludge inside, but some people have warned that it you disturb it, what you can't remove could come off in chuncks which would be bad.

--Scott

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If your not doing a full rebuild, with a disassembled block, and a pressure wash from the machine shop, then all I would do is take the oil pan down and clean it out.

that would give you a good idea of what the rest of the engine is like.

Let the new oil do the cleaning slowly, over time.

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Always drop the pan, at the very least, and clean out as much of this old Sludge & Muck as you can!!! Also be sure to clean out the oil pump pick-up screen. The More you can remove NOW the less there is to cause you trouble if and WHEN it breaks loose!!!

While you are at it ...it's also a good time to plasti-gauge & inspect the Main & Rod bearings to see what you have got!!!

What engine are you working on ???

Good Luck!!!

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I'm working on a 1926 Packard Eight.

I posted to this group (probably the Packard or Classic group) before on this engine. I've rebabbitted all eight rods, checked the mains and they are all good with 0.002" clearance, I'm having the cylinders bored and new pistons installed, a couple new valves, a handfull of new guides....etc. Since the mains are all good, I don't want to pull the crankcase out --- too much for me to handle in my garage. So, I'll remove of as much sludge as I conveniently can.

All this started with a subtle knock that went away when oil pressure built up.

I'm glad I paid attention to that knock. I found so much loose and amiss in that engine, even though I bought the car with the understanding that the engine had been rebuilt. Somebody did have it apart, but they did a truly half-assed job. It's a testament to these old iron L-heads that they will run as well as they do with so much wrong inside.

--Scott

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I did this and it worked well for me. I dropped the pan and sprayed grill cleaner (oven cleaner) all around and then used a hose and washed it all out, it was as clean as new I let it dyy out and sprayed it down with WD-40 then forced oil thru all the oil lines. replaced the pan, new oil and started it up. drained oil after susequent 1000 mi.

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