How do you "desludge" an engine? - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2013, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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How do you "desludge" an engine?

We are doing a full restoration on an older Mack B-73LT series chassis and the Cummins 262 is sludged up internally, but runs very well. We would like to clean the engine up internally if possible without breaking into it. I'm looking for ideas of which path to proceed upon.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2013, 10:05 PM
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I think I have heard of adding a quart or two of ATF to the oil.

Cody.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2013, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SmokinCAT View Post
I think I have heard of adding a quart or two of ATF to the oil.
Yes, that does work well over the long term but for an engine that will seldom see 1500 miles in a year it would take a long time. The engine is physically out of the chassis now and I'm debating on removing all the ancillary items and covers then steam cleaning the accessible areas both internally, and externally while it hangs on a crane. It's a mess to do, but very effective. If one gets the parts hot enough there really isn't a rust factor to contend with as everything dries out fast.

30 years ago obtaining parts for one of these engines wasn't much of a challenge. Not so true these days.

Thanks for your response.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2013, 10:51 PM
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If you have it hanging on the crane you can remove the Valve covers. and spray it down with a mixture of 30% ATF and solvent, Most of the crud will be in the head area.
Then when you put the oil in add a couple of Quarts of ATF. Change the oil after about a thousand miles and it will be good.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 12:47 PM
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Does this thing have a full flow oil filter?

Even so, I would be concerned about it picking up a piece of crud that had been broken loose when you have it back together through the filter bypass or something.

I like your idea about steam cleaning but I fear that water would get into a wrist pin or something where it would not get out soon enough and rust it up. The drying you are speaking of only works in open areas where the air can get to it.

Proceed with great caution is what I say.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birken Vogt View Post
Does this thing have a full flow oil filter?

Even so, I would be concerned about it picking up a piece of crud that had been broken loose when you have it back together through the filter bypass or something.

I like your idea about steam cleaning but I fear that water would get into a wrist pin or something where it would not get out soon enough and rust it up. The drying you are speaking of only works in open areas where the air can get to it.

Proceed with great caution is what I say.
Thanks for the replies. This engine has a "Luberfiner" on it and I think it's full flow judging from the small lines and single very large line. I know filters are getting a bit difficult to obtain from some of these also.

I have performed both methods mentioned in the past, but with the pressure washing, the engines were placed into service shortly after the operation was completed. This is probably what would take place in this scenario also. The last engines given this treatment were done during the winter and after washing, placed into the storage room with the temperature being elevated to 140 degrees to dry them out rapidly. The store room used to be an insulated paint room with independent heat. They were then placed into service less than a couple of months later.

This old "NH" series engine is so sludged up under the rocker covers one cannot see most of the cylinder head retaining fasteners, and the buildup on the rocker arms themselves is about 1/8th inch thick. The engine surprisingly runs very well so no real need to break into it.

I too have thought about something breaking loose and being captured in the filtration system. I think whatever is done, very minimal mileage filter changes are going to be necessitated by the residual crap that will likely be present.

Thanks again to all for the guidance.

BS
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-08-2013, 03:28 PM
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I am not convinced that your filter system is full flow, and even if it is, most of them have a bypass valve that as far as I have been told, runs about 1/3 open a lot of the time.

Also, the oil pump itself runs unfiltered oil as I am sure you know.

So if you are going to break any of the crud loose, make good and sure you get rid of it all when you do, and don't count on the filter to catch anything.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-08-2013, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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I certainly agree. I've not looked at the engine since pulling it from the chassis. We made a roller cart and pushed it into the storage room so it's out of the way. After speaking with the owner and advising him of the amount of buildup, he is game for my suggestion of pulling the heads and sending them in for rebuild so we may not even do anything with it except set it back in the truck upon completion.

The question I seek an answer for is simply; why, or why not?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-08-2013, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birken Vogt View Post
I am not convinced that your filter system is full flow, and even if it is, most of them have a bypass valve that as far as I have been told, runs about 1/3 open a lot of the time.

Also, the oil pump itself runs unfiltered oil as I am sure you know.

So if you are going to break any of the crud loose, make good and sure you get rid of it all when you do, and don't count on the filter to catch anything.
All oil filters have a bypass, when the oil is cold, the filter slides down in the can and bypasses, that is what the spring in the bottom of the filter is for.
I have used a lot of ATF to clean out an engine before I work on it, The sludge is gelled oil. The ATF breaks down the sludge, and 99% of it is smaller than the 30 microns the filter is made to hold. Removing the sludge allows the oil to cool more efficiently threw the casting to outside air.
Just a thought!

1988 ford van fresh overhaul, 1991 nissan pick-up 1993 Caprice 2000 GMC S10 Blaser 2007 nbs 3500 GMC 4x4 crew-cab long box 17 inch single wheels Duramax Alison. BW turnover Ball. Furakawa FL35 loader. Retired, HD mechanic, worked on engines all my life. Fabricator welder. electrician. in the process of finishing my new shop. Live in Rock Creek B.C. Wife has a fruit stand.
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