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Letting non detergent oil sit ??


3046moparcoupe
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I'm wondering if there are any issues with me letting non detergent oil sit in my oil pan for the past 1 1/2 - 2 yrs while working on this car ?

 

Prior to, I did remove the oil pan, cleaned out all the old black build up gunk inside, and re-installed the pan with new gaskets. Then filled with non detergent oil (didn't use detergent oil at that time since I had not yet pulled the valve covers and done the clean out thing up top),...now the cars been sitting for almost 2 years in the garage, up on jack stands,  pretty much completely taken apart, no wiring harness, etc...while I've been building as weather permits, new floor pan, rockers, etc.. getting body panels shot in urethane, crawling all over and under this baby....

 

I wouldn't have thought that the non detergent oil would coke up in the pan just from sitting idle inside my garage, but I have zero experience with the old non detergent oils....the engine should be ready to fire up again by mid to late summer - should I be taking any measures, changing out, etc...while this car continues to try and make it's way back ?

 

I did add a zinc additive to the non detergent oil..

 

Thank you all for your help

 

Steve

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I am sure you have read some article relating to this, care to provide that link?   I bet I could open a can of NOS oil from the 50's and have zero issue...

 

any oil in the wrong environment will gather some moisture or other contaminants due to improper storage/exposure...of course you could try not using any oil at all...lol

Edited by Plymouthy Adams
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If your engine was completlely sealed, I would say no problem. But theses engines have vented caps, downdraft tubes and a non sealed dipstick that will let moisture and other contaminaints in. So change the oil before starting and then, if the engine turns by hand, motor it for a few minutes to build up oil pressure and lube the engine prior to running it.

 

Joe

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My thoughts are there may be a tiny bit of moisture mixed in with the oil,the amount dependent on the temperatures and humidity level where the engine is stored.

 

My main thought is "30 wt non-detergent oil doesn't cost that much,so drain it out,put a new filter in the cannister,and re-fill it with 30 wt non-detergent."

 

One cheap place to buy 30 wt non-detergent is Ace Hardware. Buy a case while you are at it,and store the extra in your trunk.

 

Or you can buy it in 30 or 40 wt for summer use by the case from Amazon.com. 40 wt non-detergent can be hard to find in local stores.

 

Before trying to start it I would pull all the plugs,spray some WD-30 or light machine oil in each cylinder to lube the upper cylinders and rings, and turn it over with the starter for 10 seconds or so at a time, with a cool-off period,until it shows oil pressure on the gauge. THEN I would start it.

 

It costs very little to be safe,and can cost a bunch if  you make a mistake.

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Thank you all so much for your reply's back...I appreciate it very much. When I pulled the car into the garage (after the purchase) I pulled the oil pan and the oil filter canister and cleaned them out spotless..put the pan and canister back and added new 40 weight non detergent oil and a new filter....rebuilt the carb, changed spark plugs, tried flushing out the cooling system a couple of times,...just basic stuff trying to put a little TLC on our new baby,.....then I started taking the car body apart,....

So this engine probably ran a total of maybe an hour or so with the new oil in it,....before this 1 1/2 - 2 yrs dormant sitting period...

I can pull the dipstick and it looks clean as honey,...but yes I had read here on a past forum post, where non detergent oil will allow carbon to settle to the bottom of the pan after about a year of sitting,...in my mind - I would think that statement is in reference to old dirty oil that has a lot of carbon in it produced as a bi-product from the engine running...but I never claimed to be a chemist, so thought I'd play it safe and ask the forum....

I agree 100% with Knuckleharley, on the "be safe" comment,...

I couldn't imagine how oil (even though it's a type I've never been around before) non-detergent :) could do anything negative just sitting in the pan, with no combustion happening, no heat cycling, etc...but again - it just seems way smarter to me, to ask folks with experience, to learn and to avoid problems if possible...

The car is sitting in a 2 car garage that's attached to the house, so it's out of the environment, not exposed to direct moisture in any way or direct hot and cold temperature cycling,...I have been able to tell as I've been working metal this past 2 yrs, that the humidity in the garage is a bit higher the closer to the garage door you get,....as I have seen pieces of bare metal acquire surface flash rusting quicker if they were allowed to sit for extended periods of time in the garage closer to the garage door rather than on the opposite side of the garage by the door going into the house...

I definitely wouldn't have an issue with changing the oil again before starting her up - when that day comes,...oil is cheap compared to just about any other kind of repair,..and I'd pull the pan again and clean it out again if needed,....whatever it takes,....I really like Don Coatney's statement "failure just isn't an option" ... cause far as I'm concerned, with this super sweet 46 Plymouth car,...short of my health going south, we'll do whatever it takes to get to the finish line with this baby..

Just wanted to try and give a bit more info, as I appreciate the folks who took the time to reply back.....

I need to go ahead and pull the valve covers in the next few days, get them cleaned up and painted, (already have the new gaskets),...then I would be considering and really like to change over to modern oil....I know when I had the pan off, I could see a bit of buildup on the bearing caps, even on the sides of the crank shaft counter weight lobes,....so I'm not sure if the engine would be clean enough to go the detergent oil and still avoid problems with crud breaking free and circulating through the engine,...from what I've read, it seems as though most folks have good results in regards to this, when they have just cleaned out by hand - the interior oil pan and valve area as much as they possible could...

Thanks again for the reply's and please feel free to add anything else you could share with me in regards to this.

Steve

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Thank you all so much for your reply's back...I appreciate it very much. When I pulled the car into the garage (after the purchase) I pulled the oil pan and the oil filter canister and cleaned them out spotless..put the pan and canister back and added new 40 weight non detergent oil and a new filter....rebuilt the carb, changed spark plugs, tried flushing out the cooling system a couple of times,...just basic stuff trying to put a little TLC on our new baby,.....then I started taking the car body apart,....

So this engine probably ran a total of maybe an hour or so with the new oil in it,....before this 1 1/2 - 2 yrs dormant sitting period...

I can pull the dipstick and it looks clean as honey,...but yes I had read here on a past forum post, where non detergent oil will allow carbon to settle to the bottom of the pan after about a year of sitting,...in my mind - I would think that statement is in reference to old dirty oil that has a lot of carbon in it produced as a bi-product from the engine running...but I never claimed to be a chemist, so thought I'd play it safe and ask the forum....

I agree 100% with Knuckleharley, on the "be safe" comment,...

I couldn't imagine how oil (even though it's a type I've never been around before) non-detergent :) could do anything negative just sitting in the pan, with no combustion happening, no heat cycling, etc...but again - it just seems way smarter to me, to ask folks with experience, to learn and to avoid problems if possible...

The car is sitting in a 2 car garage that's attached to the house, so it's out of the environment, not exposed to direct moisture in any way or direct hot and cold temperature cycling,...I have been able to tell as I've been working metal this past 2 yrs, that the humidity in the garage is a bit higher the closer to the garage door you get,....as I have seen pieces of bare metal acquire surface flash rusting quicker if they were allowed to sit for extended periods of time in the garage closer to the garage door rather than on the opposite side of the garage by the door going into the house...

I definitely wouldn't have an issue with changing the oil again before starting her up - when that day comes,...oil is cheap compared to just about any other kind of repair,..and I'd pull the pan again and clean it out again if needed,....whatever it takes,....I really like Don Coatney's statement "failure just isn't an option" ... cause far as I'm concerned, with this super sweet 46 Plymouth car,...short of my health going south, we'll do whatever it takes to get to the finish line with this baby..

Just wanted to try and give a bit more info, as I appreciate the folks who took the time to reply back.....

I need to go ahead and pull the valve covers in the next few days, get them cleaned up and painted, (already have the new gaskets),...then I would be considering and really like to change over to modern oil....I know when I had the pan off, I could see a bit of buildup on the bearing caps, even on the sides of the crank shaft counter weight lobes,....so I'm not sure if the engine would be clean enough to go the detergent oil and still avoid problems with crud breaking free and circulating through the engine,...from what I've read, it seems as though most folks have good results in regards to this, when they have just cleaned out by hand - the interior oil pan and valve area as much as they possible could...

Thanks again for the reply's and please feel free to add anything else you could share with me in regards to this.

Steve

"I need to go ahead and pull the valve covers in the next few days, get them cleaned up and painted, (already have the new gaskets),."

 

Valve covers???? Do you have a OHV engine in your P-15,or are you referring to the side covers for valve adjustments? If that is what it is,I think I'd be tempted to just leave them as they are unless they are already leaking,or you have a stuck valves or the valves need adjusting.

 

If it ain't broke,don't try to fix it.

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IMHO, an "experienced" engine that has been using a non-detergent oil for some time (or forever) can be harmed (using the term gently) by a subsequent change to detergent oils. A great place for sludge to form is in the tappet chamber area and, if released after the changeover, it can be a bad thing. The downside is that once it's disturbed, there's nowhere to stop cleaning. It's somewhat difficult to clean that area while keeping the crud contained within the chamber. Depending on how ugly it is, it can quickly clog the pump inlet screen.  Seen it happen.

Frank

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While you are there, and have access  to the valve cover go ahead and pull them to see what needs cleaning in there. Simple thing to go now.  only harm you can do is if you get ham fisted putting them back on and bend them.

 

 

EDIT:

 

Also, good time to check the cold valve tappet clearance while you are in the area.

Edited by shel_ny
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Thank you all so much for your reply's back...I appreciate it very much. When I pulled the car into the garage (after the purchase) I pulled the oil pan and the oil filter canister and cleaned them out spotless..put the pan and canister back and added new 40 weight non detergent oil and a new filter....rebuilt the carb, changed spark plugs, tried flushing out the cooling system a couple of times,...just basic stuff trying to put a little TLC on our new baby,.....then I started taking the car body apart,....

So this engine probably ran a total of maybe an hour or so with the new oil in it,....before this 1 1/2 - 2 yrs dormant sitting period...

I can pull the dipstick and it looks clean as honey,...but yes I had read here on a past forum post, where non detergent oil will allow carbon to settle to the bottom of the pan after about a year of sitting,...in my mind - I would think that statement is in reference to old dirty oil that has a lot of carbon in it produced as a bi-product from the engine running...but I never claimed to be a chemist, so thought I'd play it safe and ask the forum....

I agree 100% with Knuckleharley, on the "be safe" comment,...

I couldn't imagine how oil (even though it's a type I've never been around before) non-detergent :) could do anything negative just sitting in the pan, with no combustion happening, no heat cycling, etc...but again - it just seems way smarter to me, to ask folks with experience, to learn and to avoid problems if possible...

The car is sitting in a 2 car garage that's attached to the house, so it's out of the environment, not exposed to direct moisture in any way or direct hot and cold temperature cycling,...I have been able to tell as I've been working metal this past 2 yrs, that the humidity in the garage is a bit higher the closer to the garage door you get,....as I have seen pieces of bare metal acquire surface flash rusting quicker if they were allowed to sit for extended periods of time in the garage closer to the garage door rather than on the opposite side of the garage by the door going into the house...

I definitely wouldn't have an issue with changing the oil again before starting her up - when that day comes,...oil is cheap compared to just about any other kind of repair,..and I'd pull the pan again and clean it out again if needed,....whatever it takes,....I really like Don Coatney's statement "failure just isn't an option" ... cause far as I'm concerned, with this super sweet 46 Plymouth car,...short of my health going south, we'll do whatever it takes to get to the finish line with this baby..

Just wanted to try and give a bit more info, as I appreciate the folks who took the time to reply back.....

I need to go ahead and pull the valve covers in the next few days, get them cleaned up and painted, (already have the new gaskets),...then I would be considering and really like to change over to modern oil....I know when I had the pan off, I could see a bit of buildup on the bearing caps, even on the sides of the crank shaft counter weight lobes,....so I'm not sure if the engine would be clean enough to go the detergent oil and still avoid problems with crud breaking free and circulating through the engine,...from what I've read, it seems as though most folks have good results in regards to this, when they have just cleaned out by hand - the interior oil pan and valve area as much as they possible could...

Thanks again for the reply's and please feel free to add anything else you could share with me in regards to this.

Steve

Steve I've got a flathead for my project truck that has been sitting in my garage for a few years now. I took changed the oil way back(because I swapped the oil pan and pickup) and have no intention of changing it again before a restart. If anything I'd start it and let it get up to temp and then change it so anything gunky will be suspended in the oil and come out. Also since you cleaned the pan if you also clean the valve area I'd switch to detergent. 

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Again , thank you all so much for your reply's, insight and help. I did pull the tappet covers and it wasn't nearly as bad as the oil pan was,....some of the springs had a small amount of crud on them,..and like someone above said,...pretty difficult area to try and clean up,..I placed a rag across the outer bottom lip of the lifter valley to prevent debri from falling down into the block, and took a small flat blade screwdriver to fish around a little....what I found was a thin layer of black on almost everything. It would easily scratch off with the blade tip of the screwdriver, just about all ya had to do was touch it and it came off onto the screwdriver...there was one small spot (about 1" x 2") towards the front bottom area of the tappet valley, up in the front lower corner of the block, where the black gunk was about 1/8 inch thick, once I started picking it out of there, and had disturbed it,..i figured I better do my diligence to try and get it all, so a half dozen paper towels used with the little finger to wipe through the area appeared to clean it all up. At that point I stopped as it did look like it would be real easy to ( as someone above also mentioned ) just disturb this stuff and cause it to circulate through the engine causing more grief than good...also no way to get to the back side of much of the surface areas,...pretty tight and busy compartment area... I did clean the light buildup off of the inside surface of the tappet covers,..and even though I sure wish it was really clean, aside from the one 1/8" thick spot I did clean, the remaining 60-70 % had no gunk buildup present on it, and about 30% of the surfaces did have that thin (like a sheet of notebook paper thick) buildup of black....

At this point I'm pretty much in agreement with not tempting fate and just staying with the non detergent oil.

Thank you for your help, I've learned a lot here on the forum so far, but still have a long way to go and a lot to learn ..

Steve

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Since you said the car was garage kept and the oil was still golden, clean the valves and head area. Then drain the oil and the strain it though some cheese cloth then reuse the oil with about 1/2 a quart of Seafoam engine cleaner. Then start the engine, and do the initial tests, set timing, check for leaks, set the carb, etc. That way any crud left in the engine should be circulated thru and the engine components will be cleaned with fairly clean oil and the Seafoam will clean and flush those hard to get areas. Then when all is said and done, change the oil prior to using the car full time. This will save you from changing the oil a 2nd time in a short period.

 

Joe

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Keep in mind that "anything gunky" is being recirculated through the bearings and everything else in the entire engine until it's drained.

F

And if you don't run it so that stuff is suspended its not all going to come out. That's why I said run it up to temp and then drain it. Non detergent is designed to let all this stuff settle out. Personally I still say switch this one over to detergent. Change the oil more frequently the first couple times and then you're set.

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Young,

I agree, but it's not so much that non-detergent is designed to let contaminants settle out, as it's that the modern oils are formulated with additive packages that (among other qualities) maintain contaminants in suspension, thus allowing them to continually recirculate. In "modern" engines (generally meaning those designed/built from the mid-fifties onward), the oil must pass through a filter prior to introduction into the oil gallery so that suspended material is removed before bearings, etc., are exposed to them......aka, the full-flow filtration system. Granted, the bypass type of filter is typically "tighter" (numerically lower micron rating) but doesn't remove particles prior to entering the gallery.

Frank

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Just my opinion, may not be of much value, and should be taken at that level. I am not a believer in "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" scenario.

 

Your build up did not sound like it was that bad. No mention of thick gray (indicating lead) deposits in the galley. You can flush that area with your preferred internal (not suggesting engine degreaser) engine cleaning solution, and let it drain to the pan. That's where it goes from there. I would drain the oil before doing that, and let it all run out as you go.

 

If we go with the idea that detergent oil should not be used in an older engine, then there are thousands of engines out there (many right here on the forum) that are facing impending doom from the change over. It has been theorized here before that considering the fact that detergent oil has been around for quite some time a lot of owners actually started using detergent oil years, and years ago. So unless you know for a fact that detergent oil never started being used then there is a real possibility that it was. Maybe the light build up that you had shows it was not used. Perhaps there will be some comments on that.

 

If your engine has a filter, or if you add one, (and personally I would add one) anything loosened up by detergent will soon be filtered out. I agree that it is a fact that the bypass filter does not get the oil before it hits the working parts of the engine, but it does not take long before all the oil makes it through the filter. Some do not run a filter, and just do frequent oil changes. In the case of this engine I would use a filter and get things cleaned out.

 

I may be off base, but considering that you have cleaned the pan, and the valve galley, I don't think that there is anything in there, that serious, awaiting re-circulation, that out weighs the good achieved by switching to detergent oil to clean it up, and keep it clean. Even without adding a filter it will start to clean up as the dirty goes out with the oil change rather than settling back in.

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