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Valvetrain sludge: 2007 Toyota 4Runner #4501976
08/30/17 05:16 AM
08/30/17 05:16 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 242
NJ
crainholio Online content OP
crainholio  Online Content OP
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 242
NJ
I picked up an '07 4Runner with 163K miles, 4.0L V6 as a project...chronic P0016 variable valve timing error, bank A. Pulled the passenger side valve cover to verify timing and found a minor sludge-fest as shown in the pics below. Maintenance records are very sparse on CarFax and Toyota, the original owner said he had a local shop do the oil changes at 5K mile intervals, unknown oil brand. The P0016 code is gone after removing and cleaning the intake cam (sludge accumulation in the VVT oil passages) and replacing the big VVT actuator on the front of the intake cam. I'm running Rotella T6 0W-40 and a Toyota filter. Will be back under the valve cover soon to replace the [censored] aftermarket #2 timing chain tensioner, the nylon pad is being touched by the #1 chain at idle causing a clicking sound.

Sludge pics below, feedback is appreciated:



Re: Valvetrain sludge: 2007 Toyota 4Runner [Re: crainholio] #4501993
08/30/17 05:54 AM
08/30/17 05:54 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,557
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,557
...
A lot of heavy varnish there. Did you clean out any sludge? If not, it's actually not all that bad looking from the pics and considering the 163k miles on the engine. Also we could assume cheaper oil was used.

Do you plan to run some short OCI's to work on that varnish?


Cannot see signatures any longer so it doesn’t matter.
Re: Valvetrain sludge: 2007 Toyota 4Runner [Re: crainholio] #4501995
08/30/17 05:55 AM
08/30/17 05:55 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,094
Colorado
Kuato Offline
Kuato  Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,094
Colorado
Looks like you caught it in time...with some TLC it should be good to go. The 4.0 is a good engine generally.

I don't think the previous owner was entirely truthful about the oil change regimen....


Thick vs Thin test: 15k / 43k miles complete
Re: Valvetrain sludge: 2007 Toyota 4Runner [Re: crainholio] #4501998
08/30/17 05:58 AM
08/30/17 05:58 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,594
Planet Earth
2015_PSD Offline
2015_PSD  Offline
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,594
Planet Earth
Four or five cans of Berryman B-12 Chemtool to hose down the valve train area followed by an immediate OC and some short OCIs thereafter will have it looking like new.

Re: Valvetrain sludge: 2007 Toyota 4Runner [Re: crainholio] #4502011
08/30/17 06:10 AM
08/30/17 06:10 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 12,659
The Old North State
Sayjac Offline
Sayjac  Offline
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 12,659
The Old North State
Not awful, seen much worse. Some heavy varnish, light-ish sludge areas. Also doubting history of regular 5k oil changes even with bulk API rated conventional.

Perhaps some shorter ocis using synthetic and gradual clean up. No drastic measures needed IMO.

Re: Valvetrain sludge: 2007 Toyota 4Runner [Re: crainholio] #4502025
08/30/17 06:25 AM
08/30/17 06:25 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 242
NJ
crainholio Online content OP
crainholio  Online Content OP
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 242
NJ
Thanks for the feedback. I cleaned the valve cover w/ B12 and a nylon brush, good high pressure airgun blast after it dried. Inside, I only cleaned the intake cam, bearing caps, and bolts. Found solid sludge in the cam oil passages that supply pressurized oil to the VVT actuator and scrubbed them out gently w/ small nylon brush from Harbor Freight (airgun cleaning brush set $1.99).

I'm letting the T6 0W-40 do what it can to gently clean the remaining sludge. It'll have approx 500 miles on it when I open it back up this weekend to replace the #2 timing chain tensioner again, will snap pics for comparison but I'm not expecting to see much improvement as yet.

My theory on the P0016 error was either sludge blocking the pressurized oil feeds to the VVT actuator, or the actuator itself clogged/jammed with sludge. I had already replaced the VVT solenoid and cleaned the VVT oil filter screen prior to opening up the valve cover, neither move had corrected the error. It's a fun project thus far.

Re: Valvetrain sludge: 2007 Toyota 4Runner [Re: crainholio] #4502027
08/30/17 06:30 AM
08/30/17 06:30 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,660
Cincinnati
Chris Meutsch Offline
Chris Meutsch  Offline
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,660
Cincinnati
Good on you for cleaning up/fixing up this vehicle that will last another 10 years.
That isn't nearly as bad I was expecting. I would change the filter at 500 and let the oil run another 500, and then put whatever is spec'd, full syn. It will be just fine.


2005 Honda CR-V EX, 268k
Re: Valvetrain sludge: 2007 Toyota 4Runner [Re: crainholio] #4502037
08/30/17 06:42 AM
08/30/17 06:42 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 242
NJ
crainholio Online content OP
crainholio  Online Content OP
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 242
NJ
The really interesting thing is the sludge buildup on the #3 bearing caps. Little to no sludge on the #1 and #5 caps...the close-up shot is the #3 cap on the exhaust cam. Seems like there may be more heat or less oil spray there.

Re: Valvetrain sludge: 2007 Toyota 4Runner [Re: crainholio] #4502083
08/30/17 07:38 AM
08/30/17 07:38 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,588
wv
krismoriah72 Offline
krismoriah72  Offline
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,588
wv
Looks like oil condensation from short trips. assuming that the pcv and hose are clean and working properly.

Re: Valvetrain sludge: 2007 Toyota 4Runner [Re: crainholio] #4502086
08/30/17 07:43 AM
08/30/17 07:43 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 11,016
Buffalo, NY
JTK Offline
JTK  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 11,016
Buffalo, NY
Cool pics! Doesn't look bad to me at all given the age and mileage.


2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)
Re: Valvetrain sludge: 2007 Toyota 4Runner [Re: JTK] #4502088
08/30/17 07:45 AM
08/30/17 07:45 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,344
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,344
Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: JTK
Cool pics! Doesn't look bad to me at all given the age and mileage.

Gee whiz I think it looks awful for that mileage. My ancient Sienna with nearly 400K miles doesn't look anything like that.

I have a very hard time believing there were consistent 5K oil changes on that engine regardless of what oil was used.


1994 BMW 530i, 238K
1996 Honda Accord, 266K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 407K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 280K
Re: Valvetrain sludge: 2007 Toyota 4Runner [Re: crainholio] #4502100
08/30/17 07:57 AM
08/30/17 07:57 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 20,212
CA
The Critic Offline
The Critic  Offline
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 20,212
CA
Make sure the headgasket is still good on this motor. The older 4.0s would sometimes develop headgasket leaks and that could be responsible for your sludge.


2011 Toyota Prius - 178k - Various 0W-20 (Brew)
2007 Honda Accord 2.4 - 133K - Mobil 1 EP HM 5W-30
Re: Valvetrain sludge: 2007 Toyota 4Runner [Re: crainholio] #4502104
08/30/17 08:02 AM
08/30/17 08:02 AM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 345
Ohio
Dorian Offline
Dorian  Offline
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 345
Ohio
I agree with the two statements above. It doesn't look all that great. However, a project is a work in progress!


15 Camry Hybrid SE 48K 0W20 Kendall bulk
14.5 Camry SE 2AR 0W20 M1 AFE 44K (Mom's)
98 Chevy Prizm 1ZZ M1 AFE 0W30 148K (Brother's)
Re: Valvetrain sludge: 2007 Toyota 4Runner [Re: crainholio] #4502106
08/30/17 08:05 AM
08/30/17 08:05 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 750
texas
danez_yoda Offline
danez_yoda  Offline
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 750
texas
Originally Posted By: crainholio
The really interesting thing is the sludge buildup on the #3 bearing caps. Little to no sludge on the #1 and #5 caps...the close-up shot is the #3 cap on the exhaust cam. Seems like there may be more heat or less oil spray there.


I was looking at the same thing. Might be worth a look underneath to see if you have any galling under there.


Last edited by danez_yoda; 08/30/17 08:05 AM.
Re: Valvetrain sludge: 2007 Toyota 4Runner [Re: crainholio] #4502137
08/30/17 08:34 AM
08/30/17 08:34 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 13,990
Illinois
tig1 Offline
tig1  Offline
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 13,990
Illinois
Looks terrible to me. This is likely the results of dino with extended OCIs. The last time I had an engine look like that was in the 60's using QS.


2007 Ford Fusion 235,000 miles
M1 0-20 EP
2017 Ford Fusion 61K
M1 0-20 EP
10,000 mile OCIs on both engines
M1 ATF and Valvoline LV
M1 10-30 in all OPE
MC filters

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