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PostSubject: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:19 pm

driving home from dealership after Lim gasket replacment and low oil light came on. I dropped pan and saw this mess.

What is hanging on the screen? any suggestions to get it out of motor whatever it is.
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:25 pm

Short of a complete teardown and cleaning, No I have no suggestions.
Maybe someone else does.
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:31 pm

you'll need to add details. How much mileage, oil change interval, oil type and weight. Do you change your own oil, if so, have you ever noticed anything that might point to a sludge problem ?

If you have time, remove the front valvecover and check that out.
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:37 pm

in progress ported Lim, Plywood UIM, electric PCV/crank evac
Early stages remote mount IHI/MHI bi-turbo

This is in your sig.
How far along are you with these mods.?
And why did you have dealer do LIM gaskets.?
Didn't they mention excessive sludge in oil valley.?
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:26 pm

this is indicative of a severely neglected motor. no offense. if i were you i would drain the oil, and then add the cheapest oil out there,and to that add a big can of gunk engine cleaner and run that to the gunk recommendations. drain and add fresh oil,filter. you should be good. hopefully the filter caught all that crap before it lodged in the engine....
ps all that crap haning from the screen could be the emulsification of a bunch of different engine additives added to the crankcase over the years....
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:46 pm

while the pan is off also (hot) steam clean the whole inside of the bottom of the motor, blow off excess moisture with compressed air then gunk off residue re fit the pan/oil filter and refill with the cheapest oil. run the engine till fan comes on then drain oil refill with good oil and new filter.

I had the same problem with a ford escort in the UK and it needed a right good clean. As stated above it does look like oil emulsification so once cleaned should be good to go..... unless you have a water leak into the engine.

Nigel
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:31 pm

oil change interval was every 3000 miles from about about 65k to 95k, 5w30 royal purple changed myself. mobil 1 filter. Oil was always fairly clean coming out. took valve cover of last summer to paint, and rockers looked clean then. No additives have been used for years. replaced Dexcool with Prestone about 2 1/2 years ago.

About a month ago had upper intake leak, oil didn't look like it coolant in it but white smoke out exhaust. had care towed to Ford dealer because it was below 0 at the time and all the local gm dealers are kinda shady. they replaced the upper intake and gasket but not the lower, took couple weeks to get car back. oil changed with motorcraft semi-synthetic 5w30 and mobil 1 filter.

had care back about a week before fwi sucked some water into the engine(been on awhile with out problem but drove through big rain storm Christmas eve), oil now looked like milkshake. Had lim gasket from zzp already purchased was going to get water out and put in myself, Grandfather insisted about talking to dealership first, grandfather then had car towed. Second time at dealer they used the quakerstate 5w30 and fram filter i had on front seat and they said the zzp gasket would not fit and order a different one, still aluminum frame.

Got care back a week later, only makes it a few miles before low pressure light is on, oil is full and looks clear. Get back in car and drive home no odd noise or vibration light goes off and comes back on right before driveway. i thought sender was bad so replaced with new one, now change so i hook up mechanical gauge and it reads 0. So i pull off pan to start looking for problem

few strands of stuff on windage tray, looked at engine from below all the the crank, rods, ect look clean, pulled a little bit of gunk off block just above where pan bolts on, bottom of oil pan had 1/8inch or so coating of sludge. the stuff hanging on pickup has fibers in it like oil soaked lint or paper pulp.

The car was only driven 7miles since oil was changed, dealer said they ran it 3hrs to check for problems. oil was still clear on side of road when light came on, but was darker then it normally is after 3000 miles when I dropped the pan. Maybe it hadn't had a chance to pick up the junk from the bottom of the pan yet?. I can't image the paper from the fram filter coming apart that fast but the stuff hanging from pickup does look like paper. the inside of the pickup was clean, the stuff was to big to go through the screen.

The mods in progress are not that far along, not ready to even test fit on car yet, on hold till spring.
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:43 pm

I gunk in the pan bottom was definitely an oil water emulsion, there where a couple veins spots with the milkshake look, most of the gunk was black though. I'll try to pull the front valve cover before work tomorrow to check for more sludge/paper. too cold and dark right now, car is parked in snow covered gravel driveway.
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:35 pm

if you took it to a "shady" dealer,then they most likely add liquid sealeant to the coolant in an attempt to seal a leak. dont know what to tell you now? maybe its nothing a good cleaning cant fix? does she overheat?
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:16 pm

went to Ford dealer that relatives have had good luck with, due to local GM dealers (almost all owned by same guy).

There was sealant (powder kind, left sediment in overflow and on the springs of the cap and thermostat) in the coolant when i bought it, changed anti-freeze several times to get it out, even made a filter housing to put in upper house(only had on about a month, sedament seems gone now). Had it run hot (higher then normal not into the red though) few times awhile ago due to leaks in hoses(took several tries to get bugs worked out of clear upper hose, kept spare stock upper and couple gallons of anti-freeze in trunk), and air pockets.

Have had no coolant overheat issues recently, besides the day the upper intake gave out it ran hot. I saw the white smoke when idling the motor to bleed the air out. It was little higher then normal day picked car up from dealer, but they replaced my 180 drilled thermostat with a 195, so that was probably all it was.
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:32 pm

RobboTennis, not sure if you where suggesting the Ford dealer was also shady or not.

I have only had the car in a shop twice both ford, well the first time it went to a local shop first, but they thought it was a had a Northstar after popping the hood so had it towed two blocks to the ford dealer.

The Ford dealer replaced the gaskets they say because I can see the edges between the parts. The old black nylon lim gasket is now aluminum and the whole upper intake is new and shiny. There was alot of black rtv sealant squeezed out at corners of Lim, but the stuff on pickup and pan bottom didn't look anything like rtv.


Last edited by Its a car part now on Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:33 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:00 am

face it buddy you got a monster in your engine somewhere and he left his beard on the screen while escaping during the pan removal? thats the best i could come up with..really!
clean her drive her be happy!
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:06 am

"left beard on the screen" that is an awesome way to describe the appearance.

I can't steam clean it, looks clean now anyway after cleaning all parts below windage tray. Would it be safe to spray the rotating assembly with brake cleaner followed by spraying oil at it with spray bottle of 5w30? I wouldn't think so ,but then again i wouldn't of thought steam cleaning the inside of the engine was safe either.
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:14 am

the rotating assembly? you mean the crank shaft? don't use solvent there. spot cleaning with a rag soaked with brake cleaner is OK. don't spray . change the oil and button her up.
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:32 am

I said rotating assembly because if sprayed it would hit crank, rods, piston ,and also the cam. Normally I clean almost every thing with brake cleaner(had friend that took it to far, CDs melt and get spiderweb cracks). Didn't when i was under motor because of mental image of cleaner eating seals and wicking in to bearings. I'll pick up some lint free rags(only have shop towels at moment, don't need more paper in motor) and clean off the parts I can reach that way.
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:41 am

great job friend. download pics of your whip....
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:04 am

I'd be concerned that the sludge you see on the pickup screen would also be in the oil pump and some of the oil passages after the pump. That's probably why your oil light came on. What does that sludge feel like? Metallic? It looks like it could be caused by a mix of water/antifreeze and foaming, but I've never seen a buildup like that.

I'd do a couple of oil changes with some flushing agents, then run a high detergent oil for a run.

Personally, I would not use Royal Purple oil in these motors. The high Zinc content is unnecessary (we have roller lifters) and bad for the catalytic converter. It's a very expensive oil to experiment with.

You probably already have this feeling, but a teardown may be in your near future, if the inside of your oil passages looks anything like the pickup.

Here's an interesting factoid - most of your oil does NOT pass through the oil filter every time it gets picked up and pumped. Most of the oil gets pumped right through the system, with some oil passing through the filter. Eventually it all gets filtered, but in general the oil pump just pushes most everything right through the motor.
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:03 pm

The stuff on the pickup wasn't metallic more like paper or cloth, no shiny dust or anything.

I knew about the oil bypassing the filter, that was the reason i put on the larger remote mount truck filter, maybe 3-4 times the size of stock(3.65x5.7in compared to 2.98x3.75in). It should bypass less then the smaller filter.

I was going to unhook the lines for the remote filter to see if there is anything in them, the inside of the pickup was clean, the stuff may have been stopped by screen it clogged(fingers crossed there).

I was using royal purple for its higher film strength they say is from proprietary additive Synerlec. I know the zinc was for old flat tappet lifters and was bad for the o2 and cat but wasn't real concerned since the amount of oil going into the tailpipe should be tiny, unless something else goes wrong. I had basically figured the zinc wouldn't matter much either way. Not much price difference compared to Mobil One and Castrol Syntec.

I'll pick up some of the motor flush stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:30 pm

The only other source for paper to get in there would be if an oil filter disintegrated for some reason. Do you have any of your old filters? You could hacksaw one open and see how it looks inside.
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:26 pm

I have Mobil 1 filter from oil change in fall, and fram that was on when problem pickup clogged, don't have the 2 Mobil 1 filters from in between.

I pulled of the front valve cover, it looks pretty clean under cover. the top of cover itself has the yellow milkshake stuck to it, none on valves or head, just on top of cover, feels like butter.

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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:42 pm

The 'Yellow Milkshake' definitely indicates coolant in the oil. Fixing the coolant source, and a few oil changes later it should be gone. But that stalactite still scares me. Hopefully you don't have long-term issues from this.

The good news is that you can get 3800 short blocks used for pretty darn cheap. No need to rebuild yours unless you are after a performance buildup. In general, the 3800 bottom end is good for at least 200K miles with only basic care, many have much more than that.
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:52 pm

maybe the mechanic,having stuffed paper towels down the piston holes to prevent crap from gettin into engine while scraping old gasket,forgot to take some out,and it wound up embedded to your oil screen??a bit of it would have to have travelled through your engine and into the pan. it could happen?
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:55 pm

Are you trying to make this more complicated or what.?
Although that is plausible.!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:01 am

the oil on dipstick looked like milkshake when i had it towed to dealer after fwi sucked up rain water. The stuff on top of valve cover was probably left from that. Was already planning to do couple oil changes to flush it out before that the pickup clogged.

all gaskets from lim gasket up are where replaced so there should be no more coolant leak. They said they did a compression check and the day the light came on, so I assume the head gasket, heads and block are not leaking.

In morning I'm going to finish cleaning bottom of engine with acetone(it evaporates fast with no residue, used to clean circuit boards) on lint free rag, what i can reach at least. New filter, valvoline(was on sale for less then store brand) and seafoam(only store still open was walmart, sea foam is the closest they had to a flush).
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PostSubject: Re: Low oilpressure, Oil pickup Stalactite   Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:23 am

Its a car part now wrote:
I have Mobil 1 filter from oil change in fall, and fram that was on when problem pickup clogged, don't have the 2 Mobil 1 filters from in between.

I pulled of the front valve cover, it looks pretty clean under cover. the top of cover itself has the yellow milkshake stuck to it, none on valves or head, just on top of cover, feels like butter.


...if you have time on your hands and curiosity in your mind, why not cut open those old filters?

I suspect most likely scenario is an additive left the gunk; the filter may be loaded with it as well. Look for the internal end caps (paper or metal) to have possibly ruptured - unlikely with the bypass valve but depends on degree and type of clogging. It may not be worth the money, but a lab such as Blackstone could test the gunk (probably with a mass spectrometer) and pretty much tell you what's in it.

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