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Old 01-16-2019, 02:59 PM   #1
AnthonyG
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Default Dark brown gravy for oil

Just getting around to changing the oil in by 8BA after last season. Tried to start to heat oil up before oil change but battery low so turned fairly slow & wouldn't start. Tried priming and choking for a while & figured i had it flooded so let it go for a couple of days & charged the battery. Second try 3 days later fired right up let it get to 150 shut down and drained oil. Noticed it was like dark brown gravy. didn't smell antifreeze but did smell like over rich exhaust. Made me recall the exhaust smelled pretty rich even after running a bit. Can gas in the crank case cause the oil to get dark brown and a bit creamy or just water? I've had a few blown head gaskets in my history but always was a lighter color creamy brown like chicken gravy or lighter. Thjoughts?
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:04 PM   #2
51 MERC-CT
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

Sounds normal to me
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

Maybe. I did run it a lot more this season. Normally change at the end of each season as I don't run a filter. I've done 5 or 6 changes since build & just thought it looked different. Usually black and thinner consistency. Guess I'll go ahead with the change and check again after running a bit just to make sure.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

Probably haven't run it enough.. Makes sure its at operating temp when you dump it.. Then wait for it to cool down a little and jamb your finger up in there and have a good feel around, see how much sludge you got ..or metal if things aren't what they should be
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:10 PM   #5
J Franklin
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

No filter means you need to change more often.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

My experience has been water in the oil.
Head leak or worse crack somewhere
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

Short trips when engine don´t get up to full working temp for an extended period can give you condensation with sludge as result...so before fearing the worst change oil and take it for a long nice drive.
I see this alot on modern cars to that just drives 10min to the mall and back.
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

The water temp does not equate to the oil temp. You really need to drive it for about 20 minutes to get it up to temp.
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:28 AM   #9
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

Frank Miller X2

I'm guilty also. I've had carb gasket issues (shrinkage) until I start them once a week for about 10 minutes and then the following week the 20 minute drive.

The Ford with the 4GC isn't too bad but the 69 Camaro with the Demon (Holly clone) is really susceptible to gasket shrinkage.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:19 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

Anthony, I don't remember, are you running thermostates? Any engine needs to get up to a high enough temperature to remove the condensation out of the oil. A lot of starting the engine up and running it for a short time so it doesn't get up to a high enough oil temperature can result in a build up of condensation in the oil.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

Thx, even though I been working vehicles 4 yrs not so much on Flatty’s. Only have the one & hasn’t needed much since installing in my ‘35. Always good to hear from experience @ FB! Let oil drain with plugs out for a few days to air out. Probably change tomorrow along w aluminum powder sealer Kube suggested in another thread for sealing up minor internal coolant leaks. Then weather permitting take a long drive! Checking oil along the way.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

Any recommendations on which to use aluminum powder base, copper powder base or Barr’s has a new carbon fiber base internal coolant sealant?
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

Run a good synthetic oil like Shell Rotella or High Mileage Mobil I. Change as often as you need to keep the oil clean. You should be able to read the dip stick through the oil. Get the dirty oil analyzed.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:19 PM   #14
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

I wouldn't put the block sealer in until you know you have an issue . . . no reason to fix a problem you may not have.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:23 PM   #15
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

Yeah. GM used to add an old bar stopleak tablet or two to each one of their brandy new vehicle coolant systems as a preventative measure. And looked what happened to GM. 8^) Jack E/NJ
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:35 AM   #16
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

JS, I don’t use Stats in warm weather & usually run it minimally in winter. I realize they like to run a bit hot but always had a problem in warm weather keeping it from under 210 degrees w Stat’s. Engine has been prone to this since new. Read started many threads & assumed after nothing worked except no Stats that block had internal semi blockage issues. Many flushes and many products later I gave up & no stats worked in warm weather so stayed with. Your right in thinking it doesn’t reach temp in the winter so starting & running for 30 mins every couple weeks could have caused the condensation issue.
Thx
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:39 AM   #17
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

Probably should put stats if running at all in cold weather.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:51 AM   #18
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

Water is the cause, either it's not getting hot enough, or you have a leak, gasket, crack. Et. Try a pressure test. Should help you evaluate the condition of your cooling system. Easy to do, won't hurt anything.
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:42 PM   #19
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
JS, I don’t use Stats in warm weather & usually run it minimally in winter. I realize they like to run a bit hot but always had a problem in warm weather keeping it from under 210 degrees w Stat’s. Engine has been prone to this since new. Read started many threads & assumed after nothing worked except no Stats that block had internal semi blockage issues. Many flushes and many products later I gave up & no stats worked in warm weather so stayed with. Your right in thinking it doesn’t reach temp in the winter so starting & running for 30 mins every couple weeks could have caused the condensation issue.
Thx
There is your problem. Running the engine like that is one of the worst things you can do to an engine. The oil never gets warm enough to cook the moisture out. Most of the wear to any engine is during initial startup and running. Thermostats are needed to warm the engine faster to negate the wear. Quit doing that and you will be just fine. Your engine will thank you.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:37 PM   #20
AnthonyG
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Default Re: Dark brown gravy for oil

What's the pn# of the Subaru thermostats I see people using.
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