Former Toyota/ASE Master
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Eglin AFB, FL
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You know you have another valve cover in the back that is just as dirty, right?
For the sludge jobs, the heads, springs, and associated hardware get soaked in a can of carb cleaner. That gets all the crap from the little nooks in the head. The oil pan and sub-pan just get cleaned off with a brush in a parts tank, and the oil strainer gets replaced. The valve covers themselves get replaced as well, as the new versions have a different breathing setup on them (Toyota I guess traced part of the problem to poor PCV characteristics).
At this point, all of the gaskets are usually hard and brittle, so a new gasket kit gets put on. This goes for the stem seals as well. Also, a compression test is done before tear down, and the piston rings replaced if needed.
If the sludge is just gooey, then you might be able to get away without removing the heads. In any case, they need to be cleaned out and the oil pan needs to be removed. When the sludge starts getting chunky (like peanut butter) is when you run the risk of clogging the strainer. If you aren't there yet, a manual cleaning on the top and bottom followed by several treatments of BG MOA (or the like) and frequent (500 mile) oil changes might clear it up.
I'd also recommend changing the valve covers, too. If I remember right, they're only about 30 or 40 bucks.
-- Get him, boy....
Hello to my NSA pals reading this on Echelon
Last edited by Qslim; 09-02-2008 at 11:28 PM.