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Old 01-20-2010, 11:13 PM   #1
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Default Muddy Oil

Tonight I took my valve cover off because I'm about to paint it and discovered the inside is ALL muddy looking. I know this can't be right from the other heads I've seen before. The oil is the exact color as mud, and it's kind of thick too. I just purchased this motor as well. Does this sound like there is water in the motor?

How should I solve this?
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

Look at the inside of you oil cap. If there is any white then H2O is present. If there is water then you more than likely have a bad head gasket.

You could just have engine sludge. Its from not changing oil over time.

The chemical compounds in engine oils break down over time due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures and poor maintenance habits. When the oil oxidises, the additives separate from the oil and begin to chemically break down and solidify, leading to the baked-on oil deposits turning gelatinous, and that nasty compound is what is lovingly referred to nowadays as sludge. It's like black yoghurt. What doesn't help is that modern engines, due to packaging, have smaller sumps than in the "good old days" and so hold less oil. This means that the oil that is present in the engine can't hold as much crap (for want of a better word) and can lead to earlier chemical breakdown.
The most common factor in sludge buildup is mineral oils combined with a lack of maintenance by the car owner combined with harsh driving conditions.

the safest and easiest way to get rid of sludge is to drop your oil pan, clean out the sludge, buy a cheap filter and some oil and flush it.

Pic of sludge.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

No, thankfully there isn't any white. I've just never seen anything like this. It's nighttime, so I'll take pictures first thing in the morning to show everyone what I'm talking about. But what oil would everyone recommend? Royal Purple, Mobil One?
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

Sludge can also be caused by either dirt getting in or excess friction creating metal dust. Dust mixes with the oil to create sludge and the increased friction caused by the sludge makes more sludge- by clogging the oil system, making more dust and by hastening oil breakdown. It's obviously very bad for the motor. In addition to the flushing Mr. Zedron mentioned, you should check the gaskets and component wear in any area that sludge is found. See if anything wiggles that isn't supposed to and check any clearances, diameters and other specs you can.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

Don't use expensive oils in this engine. Use cheap oil and buy a few can's of Gunk motor flush. do some 1000 mile oils changes and see if it cleans up.

Like said above, muddy oil is a sign of a water leak into the oil system. Could be a crack in the block or head or as simple as a HG. Don't spend alot of money until you get it figured out.

I have heard of people putting a little kerosene in to help break up sludge.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

Thats all engine flush really is is kerosene.
Or so I have been told by the old guys. (No offense). HAHA

Sounds like you have a water issue.
Check and make sure your coolant in your radiator is full also.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

Ive used a little bid of diesel fuel in some sludgy motors before.
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

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Old 01-21-2010, 12:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

Water in oil not sludge. You my friend have a blown head gasket, crack in head, or a crack in block somewhere. Hopefully it is the headgasket.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

Hmm, is there any way to tell? I haven't even tried starting this motor, as I was still getting parts for it.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by zedron View Post
Ive used a little bid of diesel fuel in some sludgy motors before.
Marvel Mystery Oil is a much better alternative than diesel fuel. It is high in detergents and really works well at cleaning up sludge. However, it looks like the interior of your engine is coated with a water/oil emulsion which usually indicates water or coolant has gotten in the oil. Has this engine been sitting around where it is wet or humid? It may be condensation if so, although it is unlikely.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:17 PM   #12
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

may be have a pressure test done on the cooling system. A compression test may help to locate which cylinder is leaking if it's a HG. A leak down test may be helpful if the HG is not leaking. It may show if there's a crack in the cylinders somewhere.

I would not start the engine until you find the problem. You may want to think about buying bearings too. Depending on how long it's been doing this...water in the oil is not a good thing.

Most Honda's only leak into the cooling system when the HG goes.

Worst case or may be the smart way is pull the engine have a machine shop pressure test the head and block, check the crank and rebuild the engine.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:40 PM   #13
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

You don't necessarily have a blown head gasket, although it's a definate possibility. Scott could be right about the condensation, especially if the motor's been sitting in the cold or fluctuating temps. What you are showing in the picture is the white that Zedron mentioned. It's what you get when you mix oil with water, a chocolate milk-like substance. When you flush it, try to work the flush into all the crevices by rotating the crank by hand with the flush inside. Do the same thing to work in the fresh oil before starting it. If water has been sitting in the motor like this for awhile, you should really check the cylinders, bearings, etc. for corrosion.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:26 PM   #14
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

Hell I might as well pick up a b20 block.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:48 PM   #15
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

Hell no. If there's a thin layer of rust in the cylinders then it would be a great candidate for new pistons and a bore & hone.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

WTH motor is this anyway?

I personally like Quaker State synthetic oil.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:27 PM   #17
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

GSR
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

Hell rebuild it
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:08 PM   #19
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

no. buy a b20 block and sell the gsr block to me
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Old 01-22-2010, 03:35 PM   #20
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

I looked at my cam gears, does the timing look off to yall? My pointer and middle finder are pointing to both "UP"'s.

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Old 01-22-2010, 03:50 PM   #21
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

Yes it does, but it's hard to say for sure from the pic. Put the timing covers on and then rotate the crank counterclockwise until the TDC mark on the pulley lines up with the timing notch on the timing cover when seen from above (alternatively, the crank timing gear can be lined up with the mark on the oil pump). At this position, the notches on the cam gears should form a straight line that is parallel to the top of the upper timing cover.
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:19 PM   #22
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

I don't recall, but do I have to take the axle off that side to get in there and turn the crank?
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:24 PM   #23
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Default Re: Muddy Oil

Oh no. Taking the wheel off helps make room but even that isn't necessary. Put a 19mm socket on a big ratchet or breaker bar and just make sure to only turn it counterclockwise. If you go past the mark even a little, turn it all the way around again.
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