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I picked up my 1998 Toyota Corolla for next to nothing because the previous owners had given up with the weekly oil consumption and refilling of the crankcase. I am a certified mechanic and a chemical/mechanical engineer. I am not claiming this method will work for everyone’s situation, just that this is how I was able to solve my oil burning issue. I no longer dump quarts of oil in, maybe a little here and there between oil changes.

This project was handled in two parts. The first removing the build up on the drain back piston orifices and also maintaining a nominal engine temperature to prevent future build up from occurring.

First thing I did was fill the fuel tank full and add a bottle of Berryman B-12 Chemtool to the tank of fuel. I drove the car normally for half a tank of fuel.

For the sake of abbreviation, I will just refer to this as B12. B12 contains a mixture of very strong solvents with no fillers like kerosene found in most products. It also contains many of the ingredients found in GM’s secret Northstar upper cylinder carbon remover. B12 can be found at most auto parts stores or at Walmart for under four dollars. So buying several bottles of it isn’t going to break the bank.

Next thing I did was to remove all of the spark plugs and divide half of a bottle of B12 to 4 spark plug holes and wait over night. I turned the engine over one revolution and repeated the process for a second over night soaking. I then poured a whole bottle in all four spark plug holes and allowed it to sit for two hours.

After two hours, I lowered the hood and cranked the engine over for several minutes to allow any excess dissolved carbon to come out the spark plug holes. I know this is the lazy method, as vacuuming the holes with the proper tools would have been better.

I replaced all four spark plugs with new NGK irridium plugs and wires, then started the engine and allowed to clear for two minutes and shut it off.

I then placed the car on ramps and added an additional bottle of B12 directly to the crankcase oil. This was actually approved by the chemical engineer who designs the B12 product. He stated that adding B12 to cold oil and running the engine at idle speed for 10 minutes is acceptable for clearing carbon and sludge from engines without harm.

After 10 minutes, I shut off the engine and drained the oil and removed the filter. Prior to adding the B12, I had checked the oil and while it was darker, it was still somewhat transparent in color. After the 10 minutes, the sludge that poured out was completely opaque.

I replaced the stock oil filter with a Fram XG3600. This is the only Fram filter I recommend purchasing as it contains very high quality metal filter ends like those found on Amsoil and Royal Purple filters and it has wire mesh on either side of the filter media to keep it from collapsing under pressure. The original filter is approximately 3 inches long and the XG3600 is 5 inches long and slightly larger in diameter. On my application, the filter does not hang down below the plastic guard and is perfectly safe. Plus the next time I change the oil, I no longer need a wrench as there is plenty of room to just spin it off by hand. Incidentally, the XG original sized filter was $17 dollars and the 3600 was only $8.

For my replacement oil, I used Mobil1 -0W40 European Car Formula. A five quart jug was purchased at Walmart for $25 dollars. Oil thickness of this particular oil is 71cst at ambient (64cst 5w30), 13.2cst @100C and 3.8cst @150C. It is really thin and light at startup and very similar to 5w30, but remains a little more viscous at operating temperatures. Both 10W30 and 10W40 oil are considerably more viscous at starting temperatures and may put unnecessary strain and wear on the engine.

I ended up topping off the crankcase at exactly 4 quarts.

Part two was maintaining the engine at lower sustainable operating temperatures. On my Corolla, the radiator was leaking and needed replacement. I replaced it with a Denso radiator from Amazon. I replaced the thermostat with a 155F/68C Mishimoto MMTS-TC-05L. This is also a high flow thermostat.

The radiator coolant I used was the concentrated Orielly’s Autoparts Black Bottle Green coolant. This particular coolant contains 91% ethylene glycol and 9% Di-ethylene glycol. Substitutes that could be used are either Walmart’s Supertech Concentrate or Evan’s water-less coolants, although these do not have as high of a boiling temperature as the Orielly’s.

I do not use water in my radiators. I sold Evan’s water-less coolant for 15 years and in that time, I redesigned their coolant several times and later found that the Orielly’s $14.99 black bottle concentrate to be superior. Yes, overall temperature of running water-less is 3C degrees warmer, however opening the thermostat sooner and with radiator size on the Corolla, coolant temperatures seem to be ten degrees cooler and stable. No cavitation, no hot-spots, no oxidation, forever. The new boiling point is 387F degrees. No chance reaching that. Freeze point is -100. Water-less coolants operate at much lower, safer pressures as well, usually only 2 to 5psi.

Cooler, stable engine temperatures will keep much of the carbon buildup from occurring on the piston, as well as the synthetic oil detergents. If you do place heavy loads on your engine and or operating in weather at higher temperatures, the coolant will not over boil and while the engine may run at elevated temperatures for short periods of time, it will handle these periods of stress better.

Anyway, I hope this helps someone. Good luck.
 

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Welcome to TN,Tinken -- excellent write-up indeed.

Do you think this regimen would help us with the 1993-2004 vehicles fitted with the sludge-prone 1mz-fe V6?
 

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Sure, this should work with all gasoline engines. I think if you could somehow pressurize the B12 in each cylinder after you added, it may help to reach the trouble areas quicker. It still needs some time to soak afterwards. The GM Northstar engines were notorious for burning oil and they actually vacuumed each cylinder out after the addition of their GM Top Engine Cleaner (TEC).

Back in the day we used to use diesel fuel, which didn’t particularly work very well. Nothing dissolves like B12. B12 is basically Toluene, Acetone and Butylethanol. Everyone swears by Chevron Techron, which is basically Toluene (benzine ring). Acetone is very volatile, it will cut through most sludge and varnish pretty quickly, but when sprayed from an injector onto a hot surface, it will flash carbon off. It makes pretty white spark plugs. Butylethanol is a non-hydroscopic alcohol that dissolves hard carbon.

I use Mobil1 0W40 in every vehicle I own except for my Cummins Diesel, which I use Rotella 5W40 since the initial viscosity of 0W40 is too low for that engine.

A few years back I helped a race team in the Vegas to Reno off road race. We placed 2nd over all, 12 seconds behind the leader on a Husqvarna 500. The race was wide open for 531 miles and we used Mobil1 0W40. Upon tear down of the engine, the wear on the crankshaft journal was eight decimal places back and the machine shop had never seen anything like this. Normally after Vegas to Reno, the crankshaft very worn.

Thank you for the welcome, hopefully this helps.
 

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Sure, this should work with all gasoline engines. I think if you could somehow pressurize the B12 in each cylinder after you added, it may help to reach the trouble areas quicker. It still needs some time to soak afterwards. The GM Northstar engines were notorious for burning oil and they actually vacuumed each cylinder out after the addition of their GM Top Engine Cleaner (TEC).
Thanks. Just to clarify, the sludging in the 1mz-fe is not related to oil consumption. That might change the tactics. Any sage advice after (if you have the time) reading the following?

The sludging appears to be a combination of inadequate oil return from the heads (such that oil pooled and cooked) + the normal heat at the head. After a class-action suit, Toyota repaired sludged engines for 8 years from time of purchase, but that depended on the owner taking the car to the dealer. That leaves a lot of us with used Toyotas that are potential sludge-masters -- pre-2003 Camry, Avalon, Sienna, Solaris, Lexus ES-300.

The fix from Toyota, which came late in 2002, was a re-design of the heads plus a change in the PCV valve. The head design changed the oil return galleries and reshaped the baffles mounted to the underside of the valve covers. About the PCV change I have no information -- the valve went from the age-old grommeted pop-in to one that's threaded into place. The presence of the threaded PCV valve is a kind of litmus test as to whether you have the good heads or the bad ones (our 01 has the bad, our 03 has the good).

The general consensus is that 3000 mile oil changes is the magic that will keep the sludge away. Magically it is also said to slowly remove any build-up over time.

Most of the sludge photos here at TN shows a massive buildup of gelled oil that is smothering the OHC area. From a post here at TN (the post is 2003 - Sludge Hardened in Engine?):

 

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You are correct, an engine with this much sludge will require a little different tactic.

I would soda blast the inside of those valve covers and the oil pan to remove the sludge. This is similar to sand blasting, but finer and easily washed off with water. Fortunately Chemtool comes in a spray can and much of the sludge can be removed manually and drained out through the oil pan. I would caution running this through an oil filter. Residual sludge can be cleaned by Chemtool in the oil, but a new filter prior to and after the ten minute idle run is advised.

Synthetic oil will be required for future oil changes. The detergents in these oils are more maintainers than they are sludge removers, so the process may be deathly slow.

Most likely Toyota went to a threaded PCV due to the high heat on a rubber grommet. I would just change out the pcv and the rubber grommet every year. And I would address the higher heat issue of the head and try to lower the coolant temperatures. External oil cooler might be worth investigating.
 

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impressive stuff, any issues with rubber components at this age with all the B12?
Not that I know of. The acetone might be a concern with some plastics, however you only have it in the oil for ten minutes and most of it will flash off long before your 10 minute timer rings. Most plastics inside of an engine are made from nylon which is not effected by acetone.
 

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If dealing with sludge & using strong solvents in the oil, I would HIGHLY recommend doing repeated oil pan checks (removal) and cleanings. In my experience, dislodged sludge has hard particles that do not dissolve and can quickly clog the oil pickup screen. I hope this helps.
 

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Thanks, Tinken.

What is the purpose of rotating the engine one revolution midway through the B12 addition/combustion cleaning process?

Did any of the B12 spurt out of the spark plug holes when you did that?

Thanks
 

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Thanks, Tinken.

What is the purpose of rotating the engine one revolution midway through the B12 addition/combustion cleaning process?

Did any of the B12 spurt out of the spark plug holes when you did that?

Thanks
From my experience, the B12 would not always drain past the rings even after several days. I think rotating the engine maybe nudges the rings and can allow the B12 to go down the cylinder walls. Unless you rotate the engine slowly, yes, the B12 will squirt high out of the cylinders and all over the engine.
 

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Thanks. I'm wondering if I should add to each cylinder only B12, or do a mixture of Techron Cocentrate Plus and/or MMO all at once, or start with B12, then the next day add Techron, then the next day MMO?
 

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Thanks. I'm wondering if I should add to each cylinder only B12, or do a mixture of Techron Cocentrate Plus and/or MMO all at once, or start with B12, then the next day add Techron, then the next day MMO?
I have nothing definitive to suggest. I tried MMO, B12, ATF over several weeks. I deleted the file I kept documenting all of it, but my memory says the B12 was most effective at cleaning what I could see on piston tops through the spark plug holes. I also remember seeing some slowing of oil consumption. (But then I got hung up on removing sludge and that didn't end well. It COULD have ended well, but I made a grave judgement error. Keep that oil pickup screen clean/clear.)
 

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Thanks.

I'm going to start with B12, thanks to your idea!

What do you mean "that didn't end well" as to what you failed to do and what happened?
 

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Thanks.

I'm going to start with B12, thanks to your idea!

What do you mean "that didn't end well" as to what you failed to do and what happened?
I am ashamed to admit it, but sludge gets loosened up pretty well if you replace at least some of the engine oil with ATF. I caught the oil pressure warning light quickly the first time. Dropped the pan. Cleaned. Changed the oil. Tried more ATF. But rather than do a short drive near to home and watch for the oil pressure warning, I embarked on a longer errand with girlfriend in the car. We were caught with an oil pressure light on...on a narrow shoulder of a busy freeway and I stupidly drove the car to a safer spot. Towed home. Dropped pan again. Cleaned pickup screen. Changed oil. Drove about 40 miles until the main bearings noisily went south. Ouch. Don't try this at home. :)
On the plus side, I have zero oil consumption with the newly-installed used replacement engine.
 

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Thanks. Someone told me to add 1 quart of ATF to the crankcase, after removing 1 quart of oil, right before the oil change, then idle, but don't drive the car for 20 minutes. If I do that with my Tercel, do you think I'll get that oil pressure warning light that you did?
 

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No, I think you will be fine. Actually, I replaced ALL of my oil with ATF and idled. And then I probably changed the oil and drove for 30 miles with about half and half, oil & ATF. But I think if you do anything aimed at disturbing the sludge, you should definitely plan on pulling the oil pan---it is sort of a pain in the butt the first time but is not an impossible task. And plan on doing it a second time as well, just to be sure. I guess there are a lot of places for sludge to gather. My top end was completely clear of sludge but upon further attempts at removal, that is where I thought I was in the clear and was not, definitely was not, to the tune of $3600. Don't be an idiot like me! Again, the sludge does not all dissolve into a liquid. There are hard particles that WILL clog your oil pickup screen. Be afraid..... In retrospect, I think pursuing the removal of ALL sludge was probably not necessary. If you can cut oil consumption with the B12 in the cylinders, then that is probably most of the benefit that you will see. I got carried away and paid heavily for it.
 

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Thanks. Here's my latest plan; everyone, please feel free to give me feedback.

This coming Sunday night through Wednesday night, piston soak with Berryman B12, rotating pistons slowly every 24 hours and adding more B12

After manually rotating the crankshaft to remove any remaining liquid and debris from the combustion chamber, start and warm up the engine.

Then remove 1 quart of oil, add 1 quart of ATF or B12 to the crankcase, idle 20 minutes, no driving or stepping on the gas

Drain the oil/ATF, add Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Fully Synthetic 5W-30* - 16.9 oz and adding 16.9 oz Rislone Engine Treatment Concentrate. * Pennzoil has high detergent concentrations, so this will be a second, slower, cleaning of the sludge.

Add Marvel Mystery Oil to the gas tank when the gas gets low
 

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Thanks. Here's my latest plan; everyone, please feel free to give me feedback.

This coming Sunday night through Wednesday night, piston soak with Berryman B12, rotating pistons slowly every 24 hours and adding more B12

After manually rotating the crankshaft to remove any remaining liquid and debris from the combustion chamber, start and warm up the engine.

Then remove 1 quart of oil, add 1 quart of ATF or B12 to the crankcase, idle 20 minutes, no driving or stepping on the gas

Drain the oil/ATF, add Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Fully Synthetic 5W-30* - 16.9 oz and adding 16.9 oz Rislone Engine Treatment Concentrate. * Pennzoil has high detergent concentrations, so this will be a second, slower, cleaning of the sludge.

Add Marvel Mystery Oil to the gas tank when the gas gets low
Sounds good to me. But after all that, keep one eye on the oil pressure light. Just drive around the block for several miles before getting up to speed. Be mentally prepared to pull the oil pan and clean the oil pickup strainer.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
 
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