Brown oil - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 7th, 10, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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sean
 
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Brown oil

I have my 400sb out cleaning it up and replacing oil pan and found some brown and white oil. I figure its a water leak somewhere. Was thinking of replacing head gaskets. I have been using Quaker state 5w30 lately and was reading about some complaints with the oil turning brown prematurely. Do you think the head gasket is a good next step?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 10, 04:47 AM
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Re: brown oil

Pressurize the coolant system and see if the pressure drops.
Where you adding coolant to the system?

I'd use a different brand of oil and weight, 10W30, and view the results.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 10, 09:58 AM
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Re: Brown oil

The white is from condensation, I would consider this normal.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 10, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Brown oil

The engine has been sitting in the garage for about 3 months while rebuilding the car. Oil in valve covers looked good. Just noticed the brown oil in the oil filter and oil pan
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 10, 06:03 PM
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Re: Brown oil

Sean,
That sounds like condensation to me too. If the majority of the oil was ok, then I would not worry about it too much.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 10, 06:39 PM
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Re: Brown oil

A little bit by itself is probably condensation - if you drain the oil and it's all muddy looking you are getting water in the oil from somewhere.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 10, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Brown oil

the oil looks muddy
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 10, 12:41 AM
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Re: Brown oil

You can do a leak test with this dye and look for it with a black light or uv light, I forgot which it is.
When I pulled my pan, there was some muddy oil and metal in the pan, normal, and runs and drives fine.
Every time you started the motor, did you let it get to running temp?
Did you ever start it in the garage for the heck of it, let it idle for a bit and then shut it off? This will cause sludge, and condensation in the pan and pan rails.
Also, when I used to run lucas oil, my pan looked even worse, my take on additives is don't use them.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 10, 01:55 AM
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Re: Brown oil

Check out the easy stuff first. Pull the valve covers and see if there is evidence of coolant around any of the head bolt heads or rocker studs. They need to have sealant on them.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 10, 02:25 PM
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Re: Brown oil

Muddy color is rust. Has the engine been sitting?

White color could be a coolant leak, but also could be simple condensation as stated above. Does your operating (coolant) temp get high enough so that the oil gets to 212 degrees (boiling point of water)? Is your PCV system operational? Once the oil temp is 212F, liquid water is vaporized from the oil then this vapor is removed from your crankcase via your PCV system.

Typically, a coolant temp of 180-190 F will equate to an oil temp of 210-220.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 10, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Brown oil

I had trouble with low oil pressure, so I really didn't get the engine up to operating temps. Come to find my oil pickup was clogged with the black silicone. The engine has been sitting for about three months, so rust could be a possibility. I decided last night to just go ahead and pull heads. Everything looked great, gasket was fine. So far no problem detected, removing heads wasn't neccesary.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 10, 02:38 PM
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Re: Brown oil

Yep, never let your engine run for longer than a few seconds unless you let it warm all the way and then some. After 41 years my car has never had anything but bare metal showing where the oil resides.

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