Looks like mud under valve covers

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  #1  
Old 05-22-17, 06:09 PM
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Looks like mud under valve covers

I have a 91 GMC Sierra. I'm going to change the valve stem seals this weekend. Thought I would get a head start, so I pulled the valve covers off this evening. I was going to post a picture, but if you can imagine a good coating of mud under the covers, basically that's what I have. What would be the best way to go about cleaning that mess up? It's an old truck, but I'd like to keep as much of that stuff from getting down inside as possible.

Thank you
 
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  #2  
Old 05-22-17, 06:18 PM
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Thought I should go ahead and post a picture...
You could scrape this stuff off with a putty knife.

https://91gmcvalves.shutterfly.com/pictures/9
Name:  mud.jpg
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Size:  36.5 KB
 

Last edited by PJmax; 05-22-17 at 06:51 PM. Reason: added pic from link
  #3  
Old 05-22-17, 06:43 PM
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You or the previous owner use(d) Quaker State motor oil.... right?
 
  #4  
Old 05-22-17, 06:46 PM
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Oh, Gee !! That is a gummy mess. Putty knife, screw driver, mineral spirits in a spray bottle (vacuum it up before it falls into the sump). Just a clue...........your oil pan looks just as bad, so make plans.
 
  #5  
Old 05-22-17, 06:52 PM
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Yeah... pretty bad. Not mud but sludge.
It looks like the oil wasn't changed often enough and possibly a low detergent oil was used previously.
 
  #6  
Old 05-22-17, 07:00 PM
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I bought this old truck a few years ago for running to Lowes, etc. for lumber and such. I probably only put 1000-1500 miles a year on it. It smokes so bad when I start it, then slows after a while. I read a few places, I should start with replacing the valve stem seals. I have changed the oil at least twice even with the limited miles. I'm a little embarrassed to start it up when a neighbor is outside, LOL. And I'm sure more than one person behind on the road has cursed at me. If this thing blew up tomorrow, I wouldn't be too sad, but it's good for throwing stuff in the back. And yes, if the Quaker State is the high mileage oil, that's what I've used each time. Is that a thicker oil intended to help "seal" things up?
 

Last edited by WilliamH4; 05-22-17 at 07:19 PM.
  #7  
Old 05-23-17, 04:26 AM
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Back in the 70's and 80's lot of engines looked like that. Quaker State was mentioned was one of the oils that did it also a lot of other ones. modern oils keep dirt in suspension and engine stays fairly clean with changing. You can dig the crap out but bottom of engine will look the same.
 
  #8  
Old 05-23-17, 05:48 AM
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You mentioned two things that caught my eye. You said on start up & going down the road it smokes. Then you mentioned valve guide seals.
Generally speaking, bad or worn out valve guide seals only cause smoking on start up for a few seconds.... maybe 30 seconds to a minute, etc. Continuous smoking while driving is not usually associated with bad valve guide seals. What happens here, is while the engine isnt running, the oil drips past the seals & it smokes as it burns off the oil that has gotten past the seals while sitting. Once that oi is burned off, its stops smoking. Once you run to Lowes, then come back & park it for a week, that oil gets past the seals, then gets burned off at start up, etc, etc.
If your smoking all the way to Lowes & back, generally, the rings are bad & you need an engine overhaul... rings, rod bearings etc. If the block & or pistons are worn, you may need to bore the block & replace the pistons with oversize.
 
  #9  
Old 05-23-17, 05:48 AM
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Any chance we can talk you into biting the bullet? Pull heads for a machine shop visit and drop the pan for a clean up.
 
  #10  
Old 05-23-17, 06:42 AM
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Yeah, I believe it was on the forum some of you suggested there may be other things going on...coolant leak, rings, etc. I figured this would be easy enough to do and perhaps, hopefully alleviate some of the smoking. The smoking is markedly worse at start up. I probably have more than one issue. I recall someone saying the same thing you said, Dixie2012. tow guy, if I had more time, that might be a fun project. That would be the only reason I might do all that...for fun. I only paid $1,200.00 for this truck 5+ years ago. It's not a pretty truck by an measure, except from a utilitarian point of view perhaps, LOL. I could probably find a decent truck for $1,500.00-$2,000.00. Despite my comment earlier about not being sad if this truck blew up tomorrow, I would miss it. It's been a fun project over the years. Luckily, it's not my primary means of transportation.
 
  #11  
Old 05-23-17, 07:33 AM
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What engine & how many miles on it?

I had a bad experience 20 years ago with a Pontiac that ate 2 engines due to "sludge".

My take-away from that experience and what I could learn on the internet was even with frequent oil & filter changes (using Texas oil), a good thermostat keeping the engine at the correct operating temperature, no coolant leaks, and mostly highway use--sludge can STILL occur for no apparent reason. Some engines seem to be more vulnerable than others.
 
  #12  
Old 05-23-17, 10:27 AM
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Unless I was willing to remove the heads, I'm not sure I'd do anything to it. As bad as having all that hardened sludge is, it would be worse to knock some loose and have it travel thru the engine.
 
  #13  
Old 05-23-17, 10:31 AM
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Professionally, of course, I think it looks fine just like it is.
 
  #14  
Old 05-23-17, 02:23 PM
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Yeah, but John, he's in Indiana, not Sarasota. Long tow call !!
 
  #15  
Old 05-27-17, 11:44 PM
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I'm going to start cleaning this gunk out tomorrow. I bought a nice stiff parts cleaning brush and some gunk engine cleaner. I'll use other solvents if needed as well, but thought I'd start with the Gunk engine cleaner. I'm going to change the oil as well as many have suggested, there's probably a mess at the oil pan. I did a little cleaning a few days ago (scooping with a spoon). Everything appears to be sludge. I haven't seen anything solid (needing to be chipped off). Why can't an just let this mess drain down with the solvent if I'm going to change the oil? I can plug the holes (what do you call those holes) and soak everything up, but it would be much easier to let it drip down.
 
  #16  
Old 05-28-17, 04:38 AM
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Don't run engine with solvents in it. Be sure to drain all. Solvents will clean ring and you will have even a bigger smoker.
 
  #17  
Old 05-28-17, 05:27 AM
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While it's ok to let a final rinse with a solvent run down thru the engine, I wouldn't purposely flush any gobs down. Remove as much as you can first! As already mentioned, don't run the engine until the oil is changed.
 
  #18  
Old 05-29-17, 11:10 AM
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Valve Spring Compression

Wasn't sure if I should post this in a separate thread. Springs, etc. cleaned up nicely considering where I started, but now I'm having an issue removing the valve springs. I've tried 2 different compression tools. As I've looked at videos/pictures of other valve springs, I've not seen one that looks quite like mine. Not knowing the technical term for the piece at the top of this spring, mine looks to have a crown that extends down nearly half the length of the spring. I used one tool and was able to compress all the way to the base of the "crown", but apparently it was not compressed enough. I don't know what else I can do if compressing to the base of this piece still doesn't give me enough compression to remove keepers.

https://91gmcvalves.shutterfly.com/pictures/11
 
  #19  
Old 05-29-17, 11:16 AM
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Here's a picture after cleaning...

https://91gmcvalves.shutterfly.com/pictures/13

Don't miss my post below regarding compressing the valve springs.

Thank you
 
  #20  
Old 05-29-17, 11:17 AM
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How are you holding valves up when compressing springs? Did you take heads off?
 
  #21  
Old 05-29-17, 11:19 AM
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I didn't remove the heads. I hooked an airline up to the cylinder to keep the valves up. Maybe I should just remove the heads at this point?
 
  #22  
Old 05-29-17, 11:21 AM
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If the gunk is stuck in valve grooves, valve may still be going down a little.
 
  #23  
Old 05-29-17, 12:52 PM
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There was a Schrader valve in my airline. Wasn't getting compression to cylinder. Spring came off easily after figuring that out, LOL. Have another question. I'll post pictures in a second...
 
  #24  
Old 05-29-17, 01:05 PM
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At the bottom of the valve stem...that is the old valve stem seal, correct? There are 2 grooves in valve stem near the top. I assume the lower groove receives one of these o rings/gaskets? I included a picture of the spring assembly for no particular reason.

https://91gmcvalves.shutterfly.com/pictures/14
 
  #25  
Old 05-29-17, 07:46 PM
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Valve Stems Sticking

pugsl, you were right about the gunk holding the valve stems in place. After realizing I had a Schrader valve in my air hose and removed it, the first valve came out easily. The very next valve was stuck. Sprayed a little PB Blaster on the valve and worked the valve up and down by disconnecting the air hose. Also, occasionally, gently tapping the top of the stem with a rubber mallet. Eventually, they came free where I could remove the keepers. Spent perhaps 1/3 of my time today looking for keepers that I dropped, or popped out because my compression tool slipped off. I'm not quite half way through with replacing the valve stem seals, but things should go quicker since most of our trial and error is over hopefully.

Also, my exhaust valve stems have no seals. Is that common for older vehicles?
 
  #26  
Old 05-29-17, 08:35 PM
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quick search shows that they are available so you may want to check with your local parts store from the factory it may of not had the umbrella style seals.
would try tapping on the retainer instead of the valve stem to unstick the retainer from the keepers to allow you to compress the spring without opening the valve fairly common to have to do this most of the time even on clean engines.
 
  #27  
Old 05-29-17, 09:20 PM
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Thank you, alan73. That was a misstatement on my part, I didn't tap the valves but tapped the top of the compression tool with the mallet. I purchased umbrella style seals as suggested by more than 1 local parts store. I'll have seals on the exhaust and intake. I was just surprised there were no seals at all on the exhaust, but this is my first time replacing valve stems seals, so maybe it's not so uncommon on the exhaust.
 
  #28  
Old 06-03-17, 08:19 PM
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Clog where PCV valve hose attaches to throttle assembly

The connection between my PCV valve hose and the throttle body was dry rotted. When I removed some parts to get to my valve covers, the connection broke away at the base of the throttle body. There's what appears to be sludge there too. Not through the hose, but only at the base of the throttle body. I cleaned most of it using a small screw driver and a coat hanger. Should I be able to push the coat hanger into the throttle body? I can't find a diagram anywhere, so I don't know where that point of connection leads. The coat hanger and small screwdriver only go in so far before stopping (not very far at all). I assume there's something that supposed to be there and it's not just sludge. I suppose I could remove the throttle body assembly, but then I have to buy gaskets, etc. No big deal, but was curious if anyone knows what might be blocking me from going more than an inch towards the throttle body through the opening.

Pictures at link below...
https://91gmcvalves.shutterfly.com/pictures/18
 
  #29  
Old 06-03-17, 08:37 PM
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when you get it running you can check for vacuum at that port if you have good vacuum should be ok, I have seen the pcv and map sensor ports get clogged up with carbon though and your only real option is just remove the throttle body and clean it out. there is groove channels cut into the base of the throttle body so a coat hanger is not going to go in very far.
 
  #30  
Old 06-04-17, 04:26 AM
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Thank you, Alan.>>>>>>>>>>>
 
  #31  
Old 06-04-17, 01:55 PM
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No compression after changing valve stem seals

Got everything done today and was excited to fire up my old truck. Wouldn't start and didn't sound like it had any/much compression. Checked with a compression tester and we verified there is no compression. I'm hoping it's something simple. We checked push rods before reinstalling rocker arms, so I don't think it has anything to do with that (at least I'm fairly sure). What else might be causing me to have no compression? I know some water got below. Maybe the water washed away some of the oil. Would that reduce compression? The truck is a manual transmission. I could pull it around to stir up the oil.
 
  #32  
Old 06-04-17, 02:07 PM
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Sure you didn't over-tighten the rocker nuts? That might keep the valves from closing all the way. Did you also try a "wet" compression test? Squirt a few cc's of oil in each cylinder and test again. If it's a ring problem, the pressure should go up.
 
  #33  
Old 06-04-17, 02:21 PM
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I tightened to the specifications, but it sure as heck had me on edge until the first click of my torque wrench. Thought I was going to snap one of them. Didn't do a wet compression test. I'm so burned out right now, think I'll take a couple days off then do one. Everything I saw online said to tighten to 240 in pounds for rocker arm to studs. It did feel, to me, to be way too tight.
 
  #34  
Old 06-04-17, 02:27 PM
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Might just back them off a few turns each and see what you get.

I know all about burn-out on projects like that.
 
  #35  
Old 06-04-17, 02:34 PM
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LOL, don't think I'll make it for 2 days. Think I might go on out and try your suggestion, TTG (back off on the rocker arms). I'll just sit and wonder what's wrong until I try something.
 
  #36  
Old 06-04-17, 02:52 PM
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what did you torque the rockers to suspect you need to loosen them all until the pushrods turn just using your fingers on the valves that are closed, bump the engine over till you get all valves done that way.
the easiest way to adjust them is with the engine running loosen till you just barely hear a small lifter noise then tighten 3/4 of a turn.
 
  #37  
Old 06-04-17, 03:21 PM
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if you get compression back by backing of the nuts it would probably be a good idea to just replace all the nuts and adjust all the valves.
the nuts are like a locking nut that you don't typically re use if you have them off you should replace them. many do reuse the nuts but it could back off on you and cause issues down the road.
 
  #38  
Old 06-04-17, 03:54 PM
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Loosening the rocker arms did make a difference, at least something different. The truck started, but I had to turn it off immediately as it backfired and I had a small flame coming out of the throttle body. Hit it with a quick squirt of extinguisher. Now it's doing what it did before, not starting and sounds the same. So, it sounds like the rocker arms were/are too tight. I only loosened a turn and a half. I'll try what you suggested, Alan and see what happens. Calling it quits for the day. I'll maybe try tomorrow. I appreciate everyone's input.
 
  #39  
Old 06-04-17, 06:07 PM
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You have one or more intake valves to tight. Loosen them up some more.
 
  #40  
Old 06-06-17, 08:28 PM
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Running Great!

WOOHOO!!!!!!!!Adjusted the valves today, and the truck is running better than it has since I've owned it. No more smoke either. I appreciate everyone's advice in this forum. I also watched a couple of very helpful videos I posted below...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89o5rLpbCgI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzFa...ature=youtu.be
 
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