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White sludge on oil cap, intake or heads?

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Old 11-15-2012, 10:11 PM   #1
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Default White sludge on oil cap, intake or heads?

99 GT 86k was an estate car. Just getting ready to drive on a two day trip. Changing oil (no milkshake) find the dreaded sludge. Coolant has been going down over a month period. Old wrench friend says if it was a headgasket it'd be overheating so its most certainly an intake gasket.

Agree or disagree?

I'll do the intake myself but pulling the heads could be a project.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:52 AM   #2
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Disagree.

The intake manifold is always under negative pressure (-1 to -10 psi), and the cooling system is always under pressure (10 psi or so) so a leaking manifold passage or gasket will pull coolant into the intake, but not inject anything back into the cooling system.

OTH a bad head gasket, depending of course on where it has failed, can on the compression stroke force air/fuel and a bit of oil back into the cooling system--and on the intake stroke pull coolant into the combustion chamber where is will be burned. With the coolant only "...going down over a month..." this might not even show up in the exhaust.

Failed head gaskets do not always result in overheating, unless it is a BIG fail...
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:05 AM   #3
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I'm kinda confused by your post. Did you pull the oil cap an there was white sludge on it? If so that is completely normal and is just condensation and oil mixing on the cap. Very normal for a MI car with the weather being so cold and warming up like it has been
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:19 AM   #4
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Yeah,

I misunderstood as well, my brain told me the sludge was in the coolant, however it is not stated where the "dreaded sludge" was observed...
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:32 AM   #5
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There was a heavy layer under the oil filler cap and also on the oil filler tube going down into the engine. Appears very reminisicent of the dexcool problem GM had on their v6's that
I've encountered.I have added about 32oz of coolant this summer to maintain the fill line. I have only had the car for five months and put 4k gentle miles on it. There was a class action suit which ford addressed on these models by extending the warranty to seven years. My dealer says all of that is gone BTW.

I don't have condensation issues here on my other cars including a vette.

The question seems to be whether this amount coolant loss is normal on the 4.6 and not related to sludge? Believe me, if it ain't broke I don't want to fix it!
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:57 AM   #6
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Changed oil, 90 miles on xway, next morning the oil cap looks like this. Well, I can't post attachments but the bottom of the cap is coated with white sludge. Gotta be a gasket or something in the polution system. There isn't a PCV valve in the 4.6 is there?
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:57 AM   #7
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The sludge on the cap is normal
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:54 AM   #8
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Not on any properly functioning engine I have ever owned...
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:00 AM   #9
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In climate changing states it's common with winter it's condensation and oil mix, every single cap u pull around me right now will have it.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:12 AM   #10
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As condensation builds up in fall when the temp changes condensation builds up in the cap, short trip driving causes it to build up. A lot of newer cars have a recess in the cap to catch it and keep it away from the valve cover, my f150 has one
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:24 AM   #11
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I lived 45 of my years on Cape Cod, mid-state NH and Maine, and never had such build-ups--then again I also never allow an engine to idle for long periods when cold, and never unless completely unavoidable make short trips that do not allow the engine to come up to full operating temperature--both just about the worst things you can do to an engine.

Just things my father and grandfather taught me to do...
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:45 PM   #12
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:40 PM   #13
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After networking to a retired Dearborn proving grounds wrench who called an active dealer wrench, among others, lacking a milkshake they say the road is waiting. And yes, they both have seen the slime but not in the amounts I see. They can't explain how on a 50 degree sunny day I can go 5 miles at a high rate of fuel consumption and have white slime on the filler cap. They agree there is too much moisture in the engine. I've checked the obvious things like the PCV, hoses, from above and below.

Only thing makes sense to me is looking at the cam thru the oil tube which slings oil at high temp, cooling on the plastic cap. Was there supposed to be a deflector to prevent this that is not there? I examined the old oil drained yesterday and it's clear.

So I put a couple tablets of Bars leak, 1/3 of recommended dose (for which I was scolded by the Ford purists) to diminish the chances of being found on the side of I-75.

The deceased new car purchaser did a few things to it, sub frame connectors, AND Hypertech programing. He's got it shifting at 6500 and what else I don't know. It runs so well I don't want to start changing anything, but I can't imagine how that could create this problem? Car has ZERO blowby at 87K.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:07 PM   #14
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Im just suprised people haven't seen this more often, when i worked in the ship 9 out of 10 cars that came in had the buildup
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:26 PM   #15
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My experience with this it is always the cars that are not brought up to operating temperature to burn off the excess moisture in the engine. None of my cars have it because they take no short trips. Analyze your driving trips before you go calling every retired Ford engineer to fix a problem
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraMas View Post
My experience with this it is always the cars that are not brought up to operating temperature to burn off the excess moisture in the engine. None of my cars have it because they take no short trips. Analyze your driving trips before you go calling every retired Ford engineer to fix a problem
^yup...
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New ride (7/1/2013) 1998 Mercedes SL500-5.0L 32V VVT 326/347 HP/tq


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Old 11-16-2012, 10:36 PM   #17
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As a forklift tech in Nebraska I see this a lot. Talk about abused engines. Its most prevalent in machines that sit outside and are used infrequently, and / or are not allowed to reach operating temp most of the time. Usually see this crop up this time of year when the temps swing wildly as well.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:36 PM
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