Sludge out Procedure (that I attempted)
Trying to clear possible sludge or other obstruction out from Oil Pump Intake
screen (without taking the car apart / without removing the Oil Pan).
Well, most people or mechanics, at this point, if they wanna try and fix low oil pressure,
are not going to fool around, and are going to drop their oil pan and have a look, and
then probably just install a new oil pump and pickup tube and screen, and clean out the
oil pan off the car that way.
But anyway ... I wanna see what I can do myself ... so :
So after doing alot of researching on LOW OIL PRESSURE,
searching alot online, reading alot, looking at some posts, and U-Tube Videos, Pictures etc.
Seeing what alot of other people tried and did.
It seemed like many people had the problem of a restricted Oil pump intake Pickup screen.
Many showed pictures of SLUDGED UP, GUMMED up, CARBON'ed up Oil Pump pickup screens,
highly restricted, with chips and flakes of stuff stuck in the sludge there
that accumulated under the screen.
I thought alot about it and came up with a plan.
Try to rent a Boroscope / inspection camera / to inspect (but no luck).
First I wanted to see if I could rent a hand held boroscope - to go in to oil pan drain plug hole
and inspect. See if Oil Pump intake screen was actually sludged up and restricted and what it looked like.
A "Boroscope" is A hand held inspection tool with a tiny camera and light on the end of a flex shaft,
with a small viewscreen. I have seen them small enough to go into the drain hole, and I
figure the oil pump intake is pretty close to that drain hole, in the lower part of the pan.
I think some contractors or trades people use them, drill a small hole in the wall,
to go in behind the drywall and look for plumbing leaks or electrical wiring issues etc.
I have seen these inspection tools (boroscope) for sale for a few hundred dollars (Princess Auto).
Some of them with Bluetooth wireless transmission, to your wireless device ... whatever.
But I don't want to have to buy one for this, so I try to find one to rent.
Asked around all the Auto places and tool rental places, and Home Depot tool rental.
No one around me has this hand held boroscope tool to rent.
So whatever, I decide to go ahead anyway, without inspection, and see if I can go in with
some small brushes, see what's in there, what I can pull out, what I can dissolve out with
solvents, degreasers etc.
I read what others did / tried. Came up with my own plan.
Here's what I did:
Sludge Out Procedure I tried:
1. Drive front tires of car up ramps, like normal for doing an oil change at home.
- block the rear tires for safety, so it definitely can't roll back.
2. Drain Oil, Pull Oil filter, let it drain good till it almost stops dripping.
3. Blow the oil out of the Oil Pump. (try)
Try to push oil down and out of OIL PUMP and lower feed GALLERY as well.
Put some pressurized air into the outer hole (lower hole) (not the center threaded filter hole)
of the OIL FILTER mounting flange, front, side of engine block.
This is the hole that feeds the outer part of the Oil Filter. In theory, coming up from the Oil Pump.
I can feel it down there, it is about the diameter of my pinky finger, I can put the tip of my
pinky finder partly inside of it. So probably about a half inch in diameter.
I used the air nozzle of an improvised air pressure tank I have, and pushed it up against the
hole there in the side of the block, just inside the flange ring, and put pressurized air there,
best I could. Only used like 30 or 40 PSI
in the air tank.
Trying to drive any remaining oil, down and out thru the oil pump, and out the oil pan,
and into my catch pan below.
I think that worked - cause some more oil did come out / drip out.
4. Brush Out Lower Pan manually - see what comes out.
Under car now, Go into Oil pan drain hole with small "bottle brushes" from kit.
Swab around, pull sludge, see what comes out.
Putting a slight gradual bend in the twisted wire shaft helps some.
Scoop out sludge several times, with several brushes.
Clean brushes in can with Mineral Spirits, do again, repeat several times, till no more comes out.
Feel around also with brushes, a little higher up in the pan, and can feel hitting the lower
pump intake. Swab that as best I can. Pull sludge off that too. Repeat a couple times.
In my case, A thick black sticky gluey sludge comes out, sticks to the brushes.
Like a thick black grease, but more sticky.
It does not dissolve so easily, even in Mineral Spirits, but with some swishing around,
YA - dissolves off the brushes, and dissolves it off the brushes, so repeat, with clean brushes.
5. Spray some Carb Cleaner / then De Greaser / let it sit for some time, and finally some
Mineral Spirits down Oil Filter outer hole.
The idea here is to have the solvents flow down that supply gallery, then down through the oil pump, through the
gears, and down the pickup tube, and onto the pickup screen from the inside down.
It appears to be working, cause when I add the solvents, it starts to drip some again, into my catch
I get solvents into that hole, by threading in a length of 1/8" small clear plastic hose,
extending that up to top of the engine bay, and spray down into that hose, so it goes down in.
I let that sit for awhile to do it's action / dissolve & loosen up carbon and sludge first.
First - the Carb Cleaner. It is more volatile, flows better, and is designed to loosen carbon.
Wait some time.
Second - the red Engine De Greaser. This will loosen up SLUDGE, in theory.
Wait till it stopps dripping out bottom.
6. Spray Solvents from the Bottom - through the Oil Pan drain hole.
Some time later, after it stops dripping, I go under the car and spray in the solvents
into the lower oil pan, upwards into the Oil Drain hole.
First trying to spray upwards in a pattern that will hit / coat the underside of the Oil Pump Pickup.
Then, just in a pattern to try and get the bottom and sides of the lower oil pan.
Let it sit. Wait.
It drips out / drains out into catch pan some, still there ... while you're doing it.
So it's sort of a messy job, and you get some on you, as it dripps out.
I am on my back lying under the car.
So I am wearing Goggles for eye safety, and old clothes, and an old dirty work jacket.
Wait some time - let it do it's work.
7. First Flush with some Mineral Spririts.
Put back the Drain Plug. Close off the Oil Pan drain hole.
Add a small quantity / just a couple of cups of mineral spirits.
- some down the Oil Filter hole (to flush the feed gallery, and the pump and intake screen out)
- then into the Dipstick Tube, with the mini funnel - to add direct into the oil pan.
8. Swish it around - gently.
Carefully Rock the car back and forth, length wise, longitudinally, gently,
by bouncing the suspension a little.
I opened the passenger door and pushed up on the top of the door frame,
with strength of my legs, and rocked the car that way.
9. Pull the Drain plug and let those few cups of drain out.
10. Second Flush, With Mineral Spirits:
Close the Drain Plug again.
This time add, slowly / carefully, about 2 litres / 2 Quarts of Mineral sprits
down the Dipstick tube with the mini funnel.
The idea here is to put just enough solvent ( 2 litres / quarts ... half full)
directly into the bottom of the Oil Pan, so it cleans out just the bottom part of the pan,
and also touches just the bottom of the oil pump intake and screen as well.
11. Rock the Car gently again - swish it around a few times.
Let it sit for a short time, Rock it a few times again.
Finally, rock it last time, and then pull the plug and drain it all out
till it stops dripping completely.
12. Re-Prime the Pump with Engine Oil:
Take the syringe with small hose, and inject a few shots of engine oil down the outer oil filter hole.
The idea is to get oil into the pump to lubricate it and prime it again, before startup.
And also to displace any solvents down and out as well.
You may see some drip thru and into the pan and out again, as you add the oil there.
It took me about 3 syringe shots to fill that up. About 3 oz or 3x30 ml = 90 ml of oil
until I could see it was full and some oil just starting flow down the side of the block.
13. Fill Car again with oil - regular way.
Put the plug back. Fill the filter with oil lube the seal. Install the Filter properly.
Fill the car with oil - regular way, down oil cap. 4 litres / 4 Quarts whatever ...
14. Start Car and check for leaks. Still on ramps.
15. Put all Sludge, Solvents, into safe sealed containers, and label and take to approved
Hazardous Waste disposal place. Dispose of properly - for the environment.
Anyway ... I think you get the general idea of what I did at home.
I had no problems doing Procedure this so far.
No complaints from car. Oil pressure pumped up right away, no oil light.
Been driving it around for awhile now.
Seems I pulled a fair bit of old sludge out, and even some very fine metal particles
were seen in the bottom of the drain pan, that were likely stuck in the sludge from
during the entire life of the car - 17 years so far.
This is a combination of some things I read others did / tried - and some of my own
improvisation / thoughts and plans - and combining and putting together the ideas
of others and few of my own.
This might be a good way to sludge out the lower pump intake & screen and oil pan.
Without taking the car apart.
I heard the dealerships may have a machine to do a full oil system PRO flush - and
you may want to look into that as well. Not sure. Might be worth it.
This was a bit of a messy job too. Working with some smelly degreasers and solvents.
But you may be able to do it carefully during a regular oil change.
No Guarantees. Do at your own risk.
Do it safely. Goggles when spraying solvents.
Don't use anything flammable like gasoline - as a solvent. NO. Dangerous.
I figure Mineral Spririts, or maybe VARSOL is a bit more powerful as a solvent,
but also more stinky. Nothing more powerfull than those.
Anyway - hopefully I have removed some sticky restriction from the
bottom of my oil pump intake screen.
And also cleaned out some sludge from bottom of oil pan, so it won't
get sucked back up into the oil pump intake or screen again - for awhile.
I may do a simplified one step process of this - next oil change / or
even each oil change. See what comes out.
I figure this is an ongoing process.
Sludge is always around and generated and moves around.
Specially in an old car as this.
May need occassional re-doing.