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Old engine question

Old engine question

Old 12-14-2018, 07:03 PM
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So im helping my step grandfather fix a 1953 roadmaster engine and taking it apart it is caked with oil but at the bottom of the oil pan there is this grey sludge basically, Now if im not mistaken that sludge has a high possibility of lead inside right? I just want to take precautions on it as this sludge is all throughout the engine and hasnt ran since 89.
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Old 12-14-2018, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by EEVEE View Post
So im helping my step grandfather fix a 1953 roadmaster engine and taking it apart it is caked with oil but at the bottom of the oil pan there is this grey sludge basically, Now if im not mistaken that sludge has a high possibility of lead inside right? I just want to take precautions on it as this sludge is all throughout the engine and hasnt ran since 89.
That sludge is most likely all the metal particles, from cyl and piston natural wear n tear, that has settled instead of being suspended in the oil. And also could be the old additives that used to be in oils back then. THAT is all the fine stuff that your oil filter is supposed to normally catch.

In short, NO it won't kill or harm you in any way, not unless you're dumb enough to ingest it, which I doubt anyone here is. Just drain it all and dispose of it the same way you would any used oil.

Last edited by Outlaw Star; 12-14-2018 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 12-14-2018, 11:01 PM
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Yeah we were poking and prodding at it and nothing is really budging it, It is like silly putty but takes some muscle to move and not even gas, brake cleaner or even some pretty strong chemicals will break it down or atleast get it to budge. So its sitting in the parts washer overnight. Which makes it hard because we cant really clean the oil galleys either it is just packed with this crud. Guess we have to take more drastic measures lol. Other than that it is a really low mileage buick with verified 50k miles
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Old 12-15-2018, 07:52 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmkt...ature=youtu.be

Well it runs! took alot of work but still not 100% happy with it, It is supposed to be more quieter than this and supposed to run like a sewing machine. Hood closed its fine but open it shouldnt be this noisy still even with the covers off. Guess we need to rebuild the engine this one seems too worn for its age despite the mileage also forgot to mention the oil pan was dented to the point it blocked the oil pickup and was using the secondary emergency pickup with no screen so all that goop is throughout the entire engine.
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Old 12-23-2018, 01:42 PM
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It's been a while since I've been on this thread, but to answer your question about that hard grey sludge. It's more then likely tetra-ethyl lead from the fuel used in those days. That stuff is highly toxic and can be absorbed into the blood thru the skin. We used to use a rotary wire brush to clean the deposits off the exhaust valves without used a mask, never thinking about it. We'd get a weird metallic taste in the back of ours throats from doing it. Because I used to do a lot of it, in my later years I had my blood tested for lead, but was lead free.
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:03 PM
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My dad told me about an experience when oils were transitioning to detergents in the 1950’s. A good friend of his was excited about changing over to a modern detergent oil in his Oldsmobile Rocket 88, having formerly been using the standard non-detergent oil common for the time. Well, after a while the detergent oil cleaned that engine real good, and Dad said his friend’s engine rattled like a bucket of bolts on a paint shaker, and spewed a cloud of blue smoke out the exhaust every time he hit the accelerator. I believe it was common to have build-up residue on the moving surfaces of engines of that era, and engine tolerances were affected enough by their removal from using detergent oils to cause excess oil consumption and noise.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Bearstream View Post
My dad told me about an experience when oils were transitioning to detergents in the 1950ís. A good friend of his was excited about changing over to a modern detergent oil in his Oldsmobile Rocket 88, having formerly been using the standard non-detergent oil common for the time. Well, after a while the detergent oil cleaned that engine real good, and Dad said his friendís engine rattled like a bucket of bolts on a paint shaker, and spewed a cloud of blue smoke out the exhaust every time he hit the accelerator. I believe it was common to have build-up residue on the moving surfaces of engines of that era, and engine tolerances were affected enough by their removal from using detergent oils to cause excess oil consumption and noise.
I can see that. I have some sort of tick for about 2 minutes when I start up my Jeep when stone cold. I tried running some Marvel Mystery Oil and it really did not seem to do anything. Maybe I should run more and for longer. But anyway not believing in a snake oil solution for this I did do some poking around about motor flushes. I came across this stuff called Motor Medic. It was the one bad review that I read that made me try it. You put it in your oil just before an oil change when stone cold. Let the motor run for 5 minutes at an idle and change your oil. So this guy says he used it and complained that his engine was leaking oil out of everywhere after he used it. What I read was that it did what it was supposed to do. All the grime, sludge, and whatnot that was keeping his motor from leaking got cleaned out. That is my theory anyway. It might have helped a bit and I am going to use it for the next couple oil changes to see what happens.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:34 PM
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In the early 1960’s, Dad drove a ‘48 Plymouth “jalopy” coupe that had a vicious rod knock, and when it would get too loud, he would add a pint of either STP, or Alemite Motor Honey to quiet it down. An oil burner for sure, Raylube re-refined non-detergent 30wt was the only oil affordable enough to keep up with the consumption.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:59 PM
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Back in the day, that Dodge/Plymouth flathead straight 6 had the same reputation as today's AMC jeep 4.0L, Last forever, run with lots wrong with it, and keep going. The first ones didn't even have an oil filter! Most people put an AC can filter on them bolted to the intake manifold. My first car was a 37 Dodge with the 36 hp flathead in it. I swapped it for a 156 hp 57 flathead and the only thing I had to change was the flywheel. They had a different bolt pattern.
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