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#4783060 - 06/10/18 01:17 PM Can metal be in your oil with bad rod bearing?
russharv63 Offline


Registered: 06/04/18
Posts: 1
Loc: Virginia
If you have a bad rod bearing in your car will you find metal in your oil when you drain it? What about finding it in your oil filter also?

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#4783062 - 06/10/18 01:24 PM Re: Can metal be in your oil with bad rod bearing? [Re: russharv63]
CT8 Offline


Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 10946
Loc: Idaho
Probably and then it depends.
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#4783073 - 06/10/18 01:36 PM Re: Can metal be in your oil with bad rod bearing? [Re: russharv63]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Metal "flakes" you can touch with your fingers is pretty bad if you dig them out of the filter pleats.

Drained oil that looks like dark gold spray paint in the sunlight is pretty normal, though it sure looks alarming.
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#4783134 - 06/10/18 03:12 PM Re: Can metal be in your oil with bad rod bearing? [Re: russharv63]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18856
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Of course you can, lead overlay, copper in the middle and steel backing. Once you get through the overlays its metal on metal man.
Some have 2 layers some aluminum bearings have none but in every case if you have have metal to metal contact its going right into the oil.

Edit: That's the reason in UOA reports low or no lead, high copper and little aluminum is probably not an indicator of a bad bearing but more likely a cooler leeching copper. You have to go through one layer to get to the other.


Edited by Trav (06/10/18 03:15 PM)
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#4783355 - 06/10/18 08:28 PM Re: Can metal be in your oil with bad rod bearing? [Re: russharv63]
ammolab Offline


Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 995
Loc: Ruidoso, NM USA
High lead and copper in my 60,000 mile S54 BMW engine meant only one thing.... Pull out the rod bearings.

They were shot. That $25 OA saved me an $11,000 engine.
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#4783516 - 06/11/18 01:22 AM Re: Can metal be in your oil with bad rod bearing? [Re: ammolab]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18856
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Exactly, the layer of lead was though and the rods were now running in the copper layer.
High lead is scary but if caught very early with UOA can sometimes be held in chack with higher viscosity oils and/or zinc additives (yes zinc isn't only for flat tappet cams, bi/tri metal bearing love the sacrificial layer) but once the lead has been gone though its time to open her up as you found out.
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