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-   -   valves, valve cover gasket, sludge(?) questions (with pics!!!) (

9550 03-19-2012 07:48 PM

valves, valve cover gasket, sludge(?) questions (with pics!!!)
hey gang
while im waiting to solve my balancer issue, i couldnt help myself and took off the driver side valve cover. i wanted to see whats doing under there.

actually, the title shouldnt say 'valves', but im an idiot

so,first off, heres a pic of the inside of the cover. the red circle is closer to the center of the engine when installed as opposed to closer the the exhaust header. in the circle, and all over that side of the cover, you can see a yellowish color substance. its not pure oil, thats for sure. i took a swipe of it with my finger, you can see the area in the pic. it seems like sludge. sound normal or is that a terrible place to find sludge?(if it is sludge). you can see in the pic of my finger it doesnt drip right off, it hangs there and eventually might drip off.

next, when looking at the valves, i saw some little drops of something that appeared to be water. clear little tiny drops. i didnt notice them when i first took the cover off. they may have formed after the cover came off. i noticed them a couple minutes after the cover came off. outside temp was about 68, car was in shade with hood hoping condensate. im guessing water in there would be bad, so down the road when i close it all up, i should wipe everything off, or?
im asking about this because maybe the yellowish sludge is due to water mixing with oil somehow? cant pull dipstick to check at the moment to see what it looks like down there.

also, i circled part of the gasket. does this gasket get replaced automatically now that i took the cover off, or can it stay if its in good shape. im assuming it can stay.
one more thing about the gasket, i didnt take the passenger side off yet, but from looking at the cover to head area, it appears the passenger side has a different and much thicker type of gasket. i can see and feel what appears to be the valve cover gasket. i couldnt see or feel anything for the driver side (for good reason now that i see the driver side gasket with the cover off). is it possible two different gaskets are required?

side note for anybody following along with my saga, the head bolts are in fact ARP, which means apparently if i take off the heads, i dont need to replace them.

one last thing, the rockers. i tried to pivot the rockers up and down. none would move except one. one of them moved maybe 1mm or less. it was a very little amount, but noticeable because none of the others moved at all. is this a concern? is this the time i need to check something related to the rockers regardless?

thanks in advance for any help!!

mattdel 03-19-2012 08:53 PM

That, my friend, is a blown head gasket. Your sludge is coolant and oil mix. Trust me, I got a couple buckets full over here.

Don't worry about the valve cover gasket, you get new ones with the head gasket kit.

TrimDrip 03-19-2012 09:46 PM

It is normal to have some moisture in the motor in the colder months. I would be looking at the oil soon.

mustangGT86_05 03-19-2012 10:04 PM

^ while this is true, he has quite a bit in there. Check your coolant, see if its starting to look like a chocolate milkshake

Project 5.GO! 03-20-2012 02:27 AM

That's nasty, +1 to head gasket time.

tinman 03-20-2012 02:30 AM

You may want to run a compression check or a leak-down test.
They are 2 different tests but they can determine if there is any engine damage....

9550 03-20-2012 12:20 PM

ok, thanks for the replies guys.
im going to have to start a new thread on compression tests and leak down tests. i could maybe do the tests today:icon_beerchug:

some history on the engine:
once upon a time it had a supercharger
on two separate occasions i blew a head gasket and they were repaired.
looking at the coolant in the pic that i use for my sig, the coolant looks fine. not a hint of brown. i already have the coolant overflow off. havent looked in it yet. will do today. will try to check the oil as well.
i have driven the car more than a few times since the charger was removed. i dont recall any problems as far as coolant loss or odd colored oil.
there was a loping idle once the car warmed, but thats about it.
so, is there any chance that the sludge is leftover from a long time ago from one of the known blown head gaskets?

my original plan was to take the heads off anyway, so its fine either way, theyre probably coming off.

mattdel 03-20-2012 01:26 PM

If that sludge is leftover from before, I'd fire your mechanic. That should be cleaned and is inexcusable to leave behind.

9550 03-20-2012 02:48 PM


Originally Posted by mattdel (Post 7881675)
If that sludge is leftover from before, I'd fire your mechanic. That should be cleaned and is inexcusable to leave behind.

he is essentially fired, as i plan to do all my own work now anyway
i wouldnt be surprised if it was left behind though

mattdel 03-20-2012 02:51 PM

I know forced induction can more easily pop a head gasket, but since you're on your 3rd set now, I'd say checking the deck and heads for straightness is probably a good idea.

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