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#4458790 - 07/13/17 10:14 PM 3.4 toyota sludge prone or no?
spencerdiesel Offline


Registered: 05/07/17
Posts: 15
Loc: NC, USA
Hey everyone,

I've got a '97 Tacoma with the 5vzfe. 253k on the original engine and I know it's had a rough life. Peering into the valve cover you can see some minor sludging it looks like.

Are 3.4s more susceptible to sludging with extended OCIs and conventional oil? I would like to run 8k OCI, as I drive all highway 70 miles per day.

Right now I'm running semi syn valvoline 5w30.
Thanks yall

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#4458838 - 07/13/17 11:01 PM Re: 3.4 toyota sludge prone or no? [Re: spencerdiesel]
TheKracken Offline


Registered: 04/18/17
Posts: 515
Loc: Fort Worth TX
No, I just finished doing my valve cover gaskets on my 3.4 and no sludge at all. The fill hole is NOT a good indicator of the rest of the engine. Also these are not known to sludge but if you have a leak it is most likely the valve covers and it is a easy but long job. Congrats on getting the most reliable engine (non diesel) ever.
_________________________
2011 Prius 96k miles RLI 5w20
97 Toy T100 4x4: amsoil 0w20 242k Miles
04 Toy Sienna awd: Pennzoil 0w20 281k Miles

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#4458839 - 07/13/17 11:02 PM Re: 3.4 toyota sludge prone or no? [Re: spencerdiesel]
1JZ_E46 Offline


Registered: 04/04/16
Posts: 898
Loc: Oregon
Sludge or varnish? The latter is pretty harmless. If it's sludge, most modern synthetics will do a good job of slowly cleaning it with 5k changes. Of course you can run 8k, just don't expect the sludge change much. As long as it's not chunky, it's probably harmless.
_________________________
2007 BMW X5 4.8i, 105K: Castrol EDGE 0W-40, Mann
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#4458844 - 07/13/17 11:05 PM Re: 3.4 toyota sludge prone or no? [Re: spencerdiesel]
TheKracken Offline


Registered: 04/18/17
Posts: 515
Loc: Fort Worth TX
Also personally I would not run a semi synthetic that long in this engine. I believe OEM was 3k on conventional. If you suspect neglect then run a few short OCI and then run a synthetic for 10k miles.


Edited by TheKracken (07/13/17 11:11 PM)
_________________________
2011 Prius 96k miles RLI 5w20
97 Toy T100 4x4: amsoil 0w20 242k Miles
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#4458966 - 07/14/17 06:14 AM Re: 3.4 toyota sludge prone or no? [Re: spencerdiesel]
Oey12 Offline


Registered: 12/23/15
Posts: 24
Loc: NY
The 3.4 in my experiences have been extremely clean engine. I have owned multiple Tacomas as well as a 4Runner all with the 3.4. In addition it didn't seem to care what oil you put in them. I really liked the 3.4 motor and that motor should far outlast anything on that truck...my biggest concern with the the Tacoma is frame rust.

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#4459043 - 07/14/17 07:51 AM Re: 3.4 toyota sludge prone or no? [Re: Oey12]
Sayjac Offline


Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 12075
Loc: The Old North State
Originally Posted By: Oey12
The 3.4 in my experiences have been extremely clean engine......

Ditto. 3.4L timing belt engine very easy on oil, reliable and no sludger ime. Don't be fooled by the valve cover baffle at the fill hole that can be misleading, not an indication of valvetrain appearance and condition.

As for Tacoma frame rust, ime very location specific. Very little salt used here so no worries on an 01. Some were repurchased by Toyota in northern climes.

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#4459292 - 07/14/17 01:31 PM Re: 3.4 toyota sludge prone or no? [Re: spencerdiesel]
leemajors Offline


Registered: 03/25/16
Posts: 53
Loc: SC
Yep--the baffle under the fill cap holds a little oil that sludges up but thats not indicative of whats beneath.

The maintenance interval in my little booklet shows 5k for severe service (towing, dusty, etc.) and 7.5k for normal conditions. I just stick w/ ~5k no matter what (hot weather, lots of hwy miles)--clean oil is cheap insurance. After I got my gaskets and seals changed out I use nothing in a 5-6k interval.
_________________________
2007 Toyota 4Runner 131k mi
Toyota YZZD3/PP 5w30
2000 Toyota 4Runner 204k mi
NAPA Gold 1516/Castrol GTX 5w30

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#4459324 - 07/14/17 01:57 PM Re: 3.4 toyota sludge prone or no? [Re: leemajors]
kschachn Offline


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 9102
Loc: Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: leemajors
Yep--the baffle under the fill cap holds a little oil that sludges up but thats not indicative of whats beneath.

If it looks like this:




Then that's not sludging at all, it is how the baffle is supposed to look (it is a coating). On a lot of older Toyota engines you cannot see the engine internals through the fill hole, you have to remove the valve cover to see anything.
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#4459352 - 07/14/17 02:27 PM Re: 3.4 toyota sludge prone or no? [Re: kschachn]
leemajors Offline


Registered: 03/25/16
Posts: 53
Loc: SC
On the 5vz-fe it looks a little different--you can see past it a little bit. Mine has a bit of crustiness on it that isn't consistent so it doesn't appear to be a coating. I just always assumed it was some oil that was trapped behind it from spinning cams and the heat cycles had sludged it a bit.

Either way, I'm agreeing with you that it's almost impossible to judge sludge from the 5vz-fe fill cap.

Edit:

Here's mine at least. You can see varnish underneath and the crust just looks like captive sludge. Either way, no big deal.




Edited by leemajors (07/14/17 02:34 PM)
_________________________
2007 Toyota 4Runner 131k mi
Toyota YZZD3/PP 5w30
2000 Toyota 4Runner 204k mi
NAPA Gold 1516/Castrol GTX 5w30

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#4459355 - 07/14/17 02:33 PM Re: 3.4 toyota sludge prone or no? [Re: spencerdiesel]
ARB1977 Offline


Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 5101
Loc: North Texas
Any engine that's neglected will sludge. My old 3.4L in my 2002 Tacoma was spotless. 190K at trade in.
_________________________
2015 Tacoma 4.0L 60K (as of 02/23/18)
Amsoil SS 0W30 / Toyota filter

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#4459369 - 07/14/17 02:51 PM Re: 3.4 toyota sludge prone or no? [Re: spencerdiesel]
L_Sludger Offline


Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 3947
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: spencerdiesel
Hey everyone,

I've got a '97 Tacoma with the 5vzfe. 253k on the original engine and I know it's had a rough life. Peering into the valve cover you can see some minor sludging it looks like.

Are 3.4s more susceptible to sludging with extended OCIs and conventional oil? I would like to run 8k OCI, as I drive all highway 70 miles per day.

Right now I'm running semi syn valvoline 5w30.
Thanks yall
Mind posting a picture of what you see under the valve cover? Anyone can do it. You can even upload pictures to this website.
_________________________
too many cars and oil combinations to list in 150 characters or less

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#4459386 - 07/14/17 03:02 PM Re: 3.4 toyota sludge prone or no? [Re: spencerdiesel]
TheKracken Offline


Registered: 04/18/17
Posts: 515
Loc: Fort Worth TX
It is a pretty intensive job to get the valve covers off. If I knew how to upload pics I would of mine with 240k. Looks really good.
_________________________
2011 Prius 96k miles RLI 5w20
97 Toy T100 4x4: amsoil 0w20 242k Miles
04 Toy Sienna awd: Pennzoil 0w20 281k Miles

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#4460955 - 07/16/17 01:39 PM Re: 3.4 toyota sludge prone or no? [Re: spencerdiesel]
spencerdiesel Offline


Registered: 05/07/17
Posts: 15
Loc: NC, USA
Lot of informative responses. I feel better now, leemajors mine looks very similar to your pics you posted. TheKraken, why do you not recommend running 8k on the syn blend?

Keep the talk coming

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#4460981 - 07/16/17 02:19 PM Re: 3.4 toyota sludge prone or no? [Re: spencerdiesel]
claluja Online   content


Registered: 02/05/16
Posts: 239
Loc: MD
I've got a 3.4 in my 97 4runner with 300+k, and my oil doesn't even change color until about 4k into each OCI (I run dino Pennzoil 5w30 HM - have never put synthetic in her). OCI i tend to 6 or 7k. Like someone said above, rust is the real issue. Valve cover gaskets and rear main like to leak oil, but I still haven't replaced mine yet (just tighten the valve covers down once a year or so).


Edited by claluja (07/16/17 02:29 PM)
_________________________
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2006 Sequoia 4.7L
2005 E500 5.0L
1997 4Runner 3.4L

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#4461102 - 07/16/17 05:37 PM Re: 3.4 toyota sludge prone or no? [Re: spencerdiesel]
L_Sludger Offline


Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 3947
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: spencerdiesel
Lot of informative responses. I feel better now, leemajors mine looks very similar to your pics you posted. TheKraken, why do you not recommend running 8k on the syn blend?

Keep the talk coming

If it looks like Lee Majors' picture, then I'd propose that what you saw is mere varnish, which is unsightly but functionally not harmful.
Therefore, no cause for concern, in my opinion.
_________________________
too many cars and oil combinations to list in 150 characters or less

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