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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-25-2012, 07:10 AM
shawninvancouve shawninvancouve is offline
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Look at this photo with valve cover off and tell me what you think...

I was changing the valve cover gasket and this is how it looked inside. The oil was caked all over. the year is a 1994 320i. Is this normal.. the gasket was leaking and that is why i had to change it. we scraped out as much sludge as we could and sealed it back up. Is this caking due to air or moisture getting in?? the car runs fine but was leaking a fair bit of oil..
will it be ok? is this normal for a leaking valve cover gasket? any ifo would be great.
thanks
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2012, 07:49 AM
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LOW36 LOW36 is offline
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That is disgusting! I would clean the hell out of that motor.
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2012, 07:52 AM
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Looks like the result of 15k oil change intervals to me...oil needs to be done around 5ishK with sythetic.
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2012, 08:01 AM
shawninvancouve shawninvancouve is offline
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is there a way to clean it out with a flush?
will that get rid of some of the gunk? will it effect the engine?
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2012, 08:07 AM
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Run Seafoam through it. You can pull the cover again pour it all over the top, that will help break that up then run the motor for about an hour or two then change it. When you put in the new oil add about half a can to it then fill the rest with regular oil, run it about 3k then pour a full can into it run it for a bit then change again. look inside as best as you can to see how clean it is if it isn't do the same thing again and again until clean. Good luck. if you don't feel good about using seafoam then you can substitute it with ATF. Use a full quart every oil change until its clean.
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2012, 08:40 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Ick, that is gross. It's most likely the result of excessively long oil change intervals and driving short distances.

How often do you change the oil, and what is your daily driving like?
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2012, 09:43 AM
shawninvancouve shawninvancouve is offline
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yes... you are right.. i dont drive alot ,, maybe 10 min drive to work everyday - before that i walked to work and car sat alot.. oil change every few years.. car is a 1994 but only has 83,000 miles on it...
will it be ok??
can the aditive clean it out a bit???
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2012, 10:04 AM
Apex_24 Apex_24 is offline
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Change your oil! every few years?? you serious bro?

Seafoam will help but you need to do a complete foam, crankcase, brake booster and probably wouldnt hurt to put it through the fuel system.

Last edited by Apex_24; 06-25-2012 at 10:06 AM.
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2012, 10:10 AM
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B1MM3R B1MM3R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawninvancouve View Post
yes... you are right.. i dont drive alot ,, maybe 10 min drive to work everyday - before that i walked to work and car sat alot.. oil change every few years.. car is a 1994 but only has 83,000 miles on it...
will it be ok??
can the aditive clean it out a bit???
O no...thats awful.
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  #10  
Old 06-25-2012, 10:17 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Oil changes every few years?!? Yikes. A ten minute drive is barely long enough to warm the engine up and burn off any accumulated condensation which builds up inside the crankcase while the car is parked. Even with putting very few miles on the car annually, you really should change your oil at least twice a year. You are hurting the engine severely by keeping the oil in there for so long, and then subjecting it to very short drives. The condensation is never getting the chance to burn off, and it's building up to an absurd degree due to the oil never getting changed. Better get some Seafoam in there. That's one gummy looking engine.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 06-25-2012 at 10:19 AM.
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  #11  
Old 06-25-2012, 05:38 PM
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That's pretty typical of dino oil that's been driven short and changed too seldom. Used to see a lot of engines like that in my friends dad's salvage yard. No surprise why they were there. I think you're going to have better luck with the ATF than you are with the Seafoam. The ATF has more detergents in it than solvents and tends to not evaporate out. Seafoam is high solvent content and will evaporate out and that engine needs something that's going work a long, long time.
I'd be tempted to go 6 quarts of high detergent dino oil and a quart of ATF and drive a couple hundred miles then drain it, change the filter and fill again with the same mix. Keep the revs under 4K with the ATF mix in. When you change the filter you'll have an idea if you're making any progress. I'd expect to see a lot of crud in the filter initially and then it will start to taper off. When the filter looks fairly clean, switch to a good synthetic and change the oil every 3K miles or 6 months, whichever comes first.
No engine should ever go more than 6 months without an oil change no matter how low the mileage.
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  #12  
Old 06-25-2012, 09:26 PM
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Eek. Seems like everybody else nailed it. I suppose it can't hurt to try and wipe off as much as you can before putting the valve cover on and seafoaming, running ATF, etc.
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2012, 11:00 AM
bmw-mania bmw-mania is offline
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HOLYFCK.
No, nothing about that sludge is "normal".
that pic.. makes me ill.

Oil changes every year..? Why does that seem ok?

Do NOT neglect the method of conveyance that gets you to work everyday.
You drive 10 minutes.. to work?
If you are only 10 minutes from work.. RIDE A BIKE.


I dont care if you're crippled.. they make em for handi-capable people too.


You'll save money on fuel, insurance, & registration.
Not to mention you'll benefit from better health..and YOUR CAR WILL TOO.
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2012, 11:54 AM
john kaminski john kaminski is offline
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Change oil every 3,000 miles ?? Good advise for the Model T's but folks we have made a little progress with oils and engine materials and tolarances over the years. 6 or 6 ( miles/months) would be max conservative for todays - 1994 included - products and synthetic oils do give a bit more protection for all conditions. Drive more longer periods then change a bit less frequently. It's all in the manuals and other related literature. Of course what happened here is beyond all understanding.
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  #15  
Old 06-26-2012, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw-mania View Post
Oil changes every year..? Why does that seem ok?
Actually, the OP stated that the oil is changed every FEW years.

Article A:

Quote:
Originally Posted by shawninvancouve View Post
oil change every few years..
Scary. The reality is that not everyone is a nuts & bolts car guy, and many don't know that oil should still be changed even if you don't drive very much. That seems to be what happened here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john kaminski View Post
Change oil every 3,000 miles ?? Good advise for the Model T's but folks we have made a little progress with oils and engine materials and tolarances over the years. 6 or 6 ( miles/months) would be max conservative for todays - 1994 included - products and synthetic oils do give a bit more protection for all conditions. Drive more longer periods then change a bit less frequently. It's all in the manuals and other related literature. Of course what happened here is beyond all understanding.
Oil changes every 3k miles is still advisable for petroleum based oils. Synthetics can safely be pushed up to 5-6k miles. But in the case of the OP, he barely drives the car at all, so the mileage intervals of the oil become less important than the time intervals. If you drive, say, 3000 miles per year, and use synthetic oil, it would take you two years to reach 6k miles. The problem is that within that 2 years, the oil still can be contaminated with water/condensation, fuel, etc., resulting from very short drives. My basic rule is to change the oil twice annually if you drive fewer than 6k-7k miles per year.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 06-26-2012 at 12:44 PM.
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  #16  
Old 06-26-2012, 12:54 PM
bmw-mania bmw-mania is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Actually, the OP stated that the oil is changed every FEW years.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Noooooooooooooo!

That makes me soooo sad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Scary.
The reality is that not everyone is a nuts & bolts car guy, and many don't know that oil should still be changed even if you don't drive very much.
That seems to be what happened here.
If you're doing your own work on your car.. as OP stated.. VCG was/is replaced.
YOU SHOULD AT LEAST READ THE OWNERS MANUAL.
Oil changes seem rudimentary in comparison to VCG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Oil changes every 3k miles is still advisable for petroleum based oils. Synthetics can safely be pushed up to 5-6k miles. But in the case of the OP, he barely drives the car at all, so the mileage intervals of the oil become less important than the time intervals. If you drive, say, 3000 miles per year, and use synthetic oil, it would take you two years to reach 6k miles. The problem is that within that 2 years, the oil still can be contaminated with water/condensation, fuel, etc., resulting from very short drives. My basic rule is to change the oil twice annually if you drive fewer than 6k-7k miles per year.
and common sense prevails!
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Last edited by bmw-mania; 06-26-2012 at 12:56 PM.
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2012, 01:04 PM
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Yeah, I actually just had my oil analyzed by Blackstone Labs because I was curious about the ramifications of leaving oil in for long periods of time despite low miles. The sample I sent them only had 3,673 miles on it, but it had been in my engine for about 9 months. My report came back perfect except a very trace (and insignificant) amount of fuel. The reason why my engine isn't all sludged like the OP's is because I refuse to use my car for short drives where the engine barely warms up. Coincidentally, I ride my bike to work year round... Car only gets driven on weekends and occasionally for errands on weekday evenings.

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Old 06-26-2012, 02:30 PM
bmw-mania bmw-mania is offline
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Yeah.. I DRIVE mine too.

and a big MF-ing +70 virgins for you riding your Bike.
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw-mania View Post
HOLYFCK.
No, nothing about that sludge is "normal".
that pic.. makes me ill.

Oil changes every year..? Why does that seem ok?

Do NOT neglect the method of conveyance that gets you to work everyday.
You drive 10 minutes.. to work?
If you are only 10 minutes from work.. RIDE A BIKE.


I dont care if you're crippled.. they make em for handi-capable people too.


You'll save money on fuel, insurance, & registration.
Not to mention you'll benefit from better health..and YOUR CAR WILL TOO.
I don't have to read the username on these posts to know who wrote it.

bmw-mania, Ladies and Gentlemen.
__________________
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  #20  
Old 06-27-2012, 09:37 AM
bmw-mania bmw-mania is offline
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*bow*

My new SIG.
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I don't have to read the username on these posts to know who wrote it.

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  #21  
Old 06-27-2012, 11:56 AM
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that is gross....
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:20 PM
bmw-mania bmw-mania is offline
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dammit.. you made me do it again..
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  #23  
Old 06-27-2012, 12:33 PM
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