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Major Sludge Found Under Valve Cover

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Old 04-04-2017, 05:29 PM   #1
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Default Major Sludge Found Under Valve Cover

In the process of slowly replacing timing kit/phasers/VCT's/plugs and upon pulling LH valve cover, found what I would say is quite a bit of sludge. Pics attached.

Attempted at manually cleaning by hand with nitrile glove and a little carb cleaner sprayed.

Any recommendations on if I should continue cleaning by hand including the oil pan/pickup screen and put back together or pull heads and have it tanked?

Have read about running short OCI's with Rotella or equiv. and see how it goes.




Sludge



After some cleaning
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Old 04-04-2017, 05:37 PM   #2
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GOOD GOD! I really doubt if any oil is getting to the cam phasers. Did this engine run? Was the oil ever changed? IMO no this is a case in which you are in need of a reman! I personally not put the time and effort into this engine. The ports that allow oil to flow to all parts of the engine are already very small. I don't now if those ports will even be open at all. The sludge looks pretty dry as if there hasn't been oil to those cams in a while.
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:14 PM   #3
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It hasn't run in a couple years. I picked it up last year where it had been sitting on a dealer's lot for at least a year - customer didn't pay bill.

SM at the dealer said it was running quite well before being parked.

Tried starting it at first and it would just backfire through the intake. Was told by 3 mechanics it was the timing and to replace the chain etc.
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:20 PM   #4
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If you do some reading the ultimate cause of timing issues with the 5.4 3v is lack of oil pressure. The ports that the oil travels through are small. There is only one symptom that most people on here (very wise and knowledgeable people) will tell you to get a new engine and that reason is too much sludge. Almost all other issues with timing can be rebuilt but lots of sludge is a killer of these engines. Hope you got it for about 5k to 7k below what it's worth because that's what a reman engine is going to cost usually.
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:37 PM   #5
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I did get it for a good price. Was hoping to get elbows greasy but may have to rethink.

You think too much trouble if I pulled the heads myself and had a shop tank them and possibly refresh lash adjusters etc?
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:49 PM   #6
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A reman will probably come with heads but if you want spares you could. The oil passages are more than just in the heads.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:53 PM   #7
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That is very bad.

If you want to take your chances you can replace the parts, clean as best as possible and begin doing quick oil changes with standard oil, not synthetic. The standard oil has more detergents in it and can help clean things up. Run at high temp, like a long highway run. Dump the oil and repeat. Slowly stretch out the oil changes, days to weeks until it start to come out looking clean still. When you think you have it cleaned up, switch back to synthetic.

My guess is that this engine is in a bad way but up to you if the price was good enough to take a chance on it.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:11 PM   #8
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Decisions. I don't mind putting in the time and am pretty mechanically inclined but it would be a shame to do that and still have issues.

Those oil galleys are obviously what the major concern would be.

Will look at reman'd/rebuilt engine prices and go from there.

Appreciate your insight StephenG & Dirttracker18.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:53 PM   #9
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How many miles on that motor? What's the body of the truck like? How do you plan on keeping it? I think that all matters on your next move
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:58 PM   #10
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I have to agree with the others, don't throw good money after bad. You need to seriously consider a new engine. The next time a salesman tells you something like that, ask them to put in writing and then watch them back-peddle.
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