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#1369950 - 02/10/09 10:01 PM 4.3l vortec engine sludge, manifold leak
jstutz Offline


Registered: 10/06/08
Posts: 1485
Loc: NC
i own a 2002 blazer and have owned it since it was new. it has always used Mobil 1 and changed regularly. about six months ago i heard a terrible tapping when i started the engine. After about 5 mins it went away. i changed the oil which was only 1500 miles old and the noise did not appear again for 1000 miles and it started doing it again. it was confirmed that it was a stuck lifter and that those engines had a habit of lower intake manifold gaskets leaking antifreeze into the crankcase. After feeling pretty comfortable that this was indeed the problem i took the manifold off and found the engine to have a fair amount of sludge in it. I am not a pro mechanic but it looked pretty bad to me. i could take an lift it up with a screwdriver in places. Anyway, i cleaned things up as well as i could and put her all back together. Here is where i actually ask a question. I am not really a fan of additives ect but im nervous about the sludge that is in the engine now. I filled the crankcase with walmart 10w30 and plan to run it 1000 miles then change it back to the synthetic. The truck has been back together now for 4 days and seems to run great. One thing i noticed is that the new oil i put in still looks brand new on the dipstick. i would think it would get dirty fast due to all the [censored] in the engine. this leads me to believe that it is not cleaning up anything. I have run rotella in some of my other gas trucks for a long time and don't seem to have an issue with it so i was thinking about running that for a while due to the higher detergent concentration but im not sure. If anyone has had this issue before as it is different than some generic sludge problem due to laziness please advice or share your success story. I believe the engine is in good shape but i would just like to get the sludge out of it. It has 170000 miles so it would be considered high mileage. I have heard several methods of trying such as tranny fluid, MMO,SeaFoam,Rotella,Just run synthetics as they will clean it out slowly. Also im not sure if this is different due to the fact that the sludge is caused by antifreeze in the oil and not neglect.


Edited by jstutz (02/10/09 10:04 PM)

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#1370026 - 02/10/09 11:01 PM Re: 4.3l vortec engine sludge, manifold leak [Re: jstutz]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 14339
Loc: Niagara Falls, ON, CA (near)


Sounds like a great candidate for Auto-Rx. The sludge was probably caused by the coolant leak, as these engines are normally know to be rock solid reliable and fairly clean inside.

Read the Auto-RX FAQ in the Additive section.

_________________________
'06 Hyundai Sante Fe - 330K KM's
Current Oil: RLI 0w30 (Ask me why)

Don't be part of the Sheeple, check frequently for wool over your eyes. wink

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#1370046 - 02/10/09 11:19 PM Re: 4.3l vortec engine sludge, manifold leak [Re: StevieC]
SnakeOil Offline


Registered: 02/09/09
Posts: 207
Loc: USA
I'm not normally a big fan of ARX because it seems to end up in every thread as the cure for every single engine problem under the planet. That said, your situation actually seems to warrant the mild cleansing and therapeutic massage that only the esters can perform. :D
_________________________
2001 Ford Taurus LX - 2001 VW Jetta 2.0
2005 Nissan Titan - 2009 Ford F-150
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#1370047 - 02/10/09 11:20 PM Re: 4.3l vortec engine sludge, manifold leak [Re: SnakeOil]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 14339
Loc: Niagara Falls, ON, CA (near)
SnakeOil


And well said!
_________________________
'06 Hyundai Sante Fe - 330K KM's
Current Oil: RLI 0w30 (Ask me why)

Don't be part of the Sheeple, check frequently for wool over your eyes. wink

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#1370053 - 02/10/09 11:27 PM Re: 4.3l vortec engine sludge, manifold leak [Re: SnakeOil]
TahoeSkiBum Offline


Registered: 02/07/09
Posts: 26
Loc: Reno, NV
Muddy oil results from oil in the water. What antifreeze did you reinstall? I understand that Dex cool is specified and that it actually eats away the gasket. I would switch to a HOAT such as Peak global lifetime coolant or use the old green coolant if you can find it, and avoid OAT based coolants or Dex cool.
_________________________
2002 Ford Explorer
1993 Ford Explorer
2000 Chrysler 300M
1994 Mitsubshi Eclipse

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#1370151 - 02/11/09 05:54 AM Re: 4.3l vortec engine sludge, manifold leak [Re: TahoeSkiBum]
afoulk Offline


Registered: 01/29/08
Posts: 1078
Loc: Palmyra, PA
I agree with Skibum. We see lots of problems on Macks at work that run Extended Life coolant. On them, it eats away at the thermostat 0-rings, especially any gaskets on aluminum pieces. It'll also eat away at silicon over time. I'd try something different than extended life so you don't have this problem again.
_________________________
2012 Scion XB 5spd

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#1370169 - 02/11/09 06:58 AM Re: 4.3l vortec engine sludge, manifold leak [Re: afoulk]
webfors Offline


Registered: 06/06/06
Posts: 3615
Loc: Ottawa
Run an arx as per the arx faq and it will clean things out nicely. Then go back to your M1 and do a few UOAs to make sure things are happy.
_________________________
08 Forester 5mt, Edge 10w30, XG7317
13 Dodge GC, VWB 5w20/10w30 mix, PClassic OF
13 Suzuki SFV650, OEM 10w40, OEM OF
All small engines; RT5 10w30

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#1370179 - 02/11/09 07:20 AM Re: 4.3l vortec engine sludge, manifold leak [Re: webfors]
rclint Offline


Registered: 09/01/08
Posts: 1026
Loc: Georgia

I have never tried Auto-RX, however I have used diesel oils in the past that I know will help clean an engine up, and also are great oils. If it were me I would get some Shell Rotella T (synthetic) and run that for your normal oil change interval.

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#1370219 - 02/11/09 08:07 AM Re: 4.3l vortec engine sludge, manifold leak [Re: rclint]
jstutz Offline


Registered: 10/06/08
Posts: 1485
Loc: NC
Well, i bought the 90 dollar gasket from autozone that says "Features advanced technology impervious to coolant / oils.". that was the only thing that i saw different than the 30 dollar one so i put the extended back in it. It looks like other than the method, most agree that some mild type of cleaning is needed. So therfore most agree that just running synthetic and changing often is probably not sufficient? here is the link to the gasket that i bought.

http://www.autozone.com/R,1427079/vehicl...oductDetail.htm

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#1370440 - 02/11/09 12:17 PM Re: 4.3l vortec engine sludge, manifold leak [Re: jstutz]
PW01 Offline


Registered: 09/10/06
Posts: 702
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
I would also recommend the slow, safe cleaning that Auto Rx provides
_________________________
01 Ford Ranger 4.0 SOHC V6, 4x4 - Mobil 1 High Mileage 5w-30, Motorcraft FL820s

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#1370461 - 02/11/09 12:31 PM Re: 4.3l vortec engine sludge, manifold leak [Re: jstutz]
JDD Offline


Registered: 05/05/08
Posts: 595
Loc: Utah
Like mentioned above, traces of water and coolant in that area can make 'sludge'. Also, this motor can have fuel inj issues and have been known to leak fuel in the intake. The engine design is fairly old and while GM did a good job of updating it, it still has a tendency to be a bit more of a 'dirty' running engine. Don't know if yours still has EGR, but those that do are constantly carboning up and causing problems in the intake. Adding up all things, it can lead to sludge, and no oil is going to stop it from happening. Your M1 may have even done a better job than another oil--ya never know. I clean my EGR out every year and have cleaned up the intake as well. One of these years, it is not going to pass emissions without new cats and/or 02 sensors. The new oil is not going to clean up that much sludge. You either have to do it manually--PITA-- or try one of the many cleaning products that a lot of people on this site like. I have not tried them, so I can't speak to their effectiveness. At least pull off your valve covers and drop the oil pan to get an idea of your total problem. The good news is that the 4.3 is pretty well contructed, and will go tons of miles. You just have to deal with some other issues along the way.
_________________________
It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. ..." Voltaire


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#1371429 - 02/12/09 08:44 AM Re: 4.3l vortec engine sludge, manifold leak [Re: PW01]
jstutz Offline


Registered: 10/06/08
Posts: 1485
Loc: NC
Can you get Auto RX locally as i cannot find it?

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#1371433 - 02/12/09 08:48 AM Re: 4.3l vortec engine sludge, manifold leak [Re: jstutz]
lexus114 Offline


Registered: 05/12/08
Posts: 6007
Loc: Easton, PA
I just ordered some on-line about two day`s ago. I went to the auto-rx site.


Edited by lexus114 (02/12/09 08:49 AM)
_________________________
2012 Mercedes-Benz C300 4matic
2015 Lexus RX350 AWD

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#1372073 - 02/12/09 06:41 PM Re: 4.3l vortec engine sludge, manifold leak [Re: lexus114]
pair of Blazers Offline


Registered: 09/10/05
Posts: 317
Loc: NY Bklyn/Tusten
had the same thing w/my 01 Blazer but I caught it before I had any lifter problems. I was also having a #3 misfire problem at the time. I ended up doing the LIM and the injector pod upgrade at the same time has been good since. the short version of the story is here
_________________________
91 4dr 4wd hot rod - 01 2dr 4wd - 14 KIA Sportage
12 KIA Forte work - 00 RAV4 g/f - 08 RAV4 Mom's
Fun=Fuel

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#1372131 - 02/12/09 07:31 PM Re: 4.3l vortec engine sludge, manifold leak [Re: pair of Blazers]
jstutz Offline


Registered: 10/06/08
Posts: 1485
Loc: NC
what is the injector pod upgrade? That sucks as i did not know about it and did not do it. the guy on your other post said this is a 2 hr job. He must be awesome because it took me longer than that to get mine apart.

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