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The Count

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hi im new here so sorry if this has already been asked
my vitesse has been sitting for about 10 years and when i drained the engine the oil was black and kinda sticky. i want to clean the engine out of this stuff does anyone know how to? preferably without taking it to bits.

also i havnt emptyed the diff yet but im predicting it will be in a similar state any ideas with washing it out would be much appreciated

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Refill with the cheapest oil you can find - supermarket stuff, recycled.
There are special flushing oils, but they cost and I don't think you wnat to spend a lot on this engine.
Run the engine for a while - a week, a hundred miles - but don't stress it or run at speed for long periods.
Then drain and refill again with the best, but NOT synthetic.
Cross your fingers.

The 'Black Gunge' is a symptom of a neglected engine that has been run without oil changes for ever.
And/or, of that on top of seized piston rings, so that loads of fumes get down into the crankcase.
Is there evidence of piston blow-by? (a draught of gases coming out of the open oil filler, or uneven compression on each cylinder.)
That Black Gunge can restrict or block oilways, leading to excessive wear, but that has already happened, probably.
Your best bet is a new engine or rebuild this one, but you have little to lose by running this one as above and see how it goes.

The diff - you can't empty the diff!   A very few early cars had a drain plug, but then Triumph saved money by omitting it!
Ypu have to remove and partially dismantle the diff to chnage the oil.
Top it up and hope for the best!


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okay ill try that the only thing is it hasnt run for 10 years and i cant try atm as the fuel systems in bits it turns from the fan blade so ill try that
its probally lack of oil changing sounds like the previous owner (my mum)
it will get rebuilt at some point hopefully when i can get some help- its my first car and ive no mechanical training at all
p.s why not synthetic?

thank you for the advice

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Count, as JD rightly says no drain plug in diff, but easy to put one in, in situ as well

worth doing,

as for oil, try a deisel oil, its got more detergents in it

BUT, before you doo this, change the filter, as it may well be clogged noo, and could well be giving the engine, oil fed directly from the by pass , so giving the bearings gritty oil

the amount of crud that accuumulates is hard to grasp, but it is a LOT

and you may well need to doo a couple of filter changes too

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Diesel engine oil makes an excellent flushing agent and won't damage your engine.

Do not use something like WYNNS Engine Flush though with regular oil. It's too agressive and will clean out everything, and unless your engine is in tip top condition you will find it may rattle like a bag of bolts when all the glaze and carbon that was keeping things in is removed.
Do not use a modern 10-40w type engine oil for the same reasons. Many a perfectly good classic car engine has been ruined by owners using modern, high detergent low viscosity oils. You need a thick, gloopy 'old school' 20-50w to fill in the rather loose tolerances in our engines.

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For the diff. I'd say buy one of these - http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/product/details/cgg500-500cc-oil-suction-gun/path/lubrication-fuel-transfer-equipment

You're going to be under the car topping up the gearbox/diff. oil every 5 minutes anyway (it's a Triumph, it will leave a trail of essential fluids everywhere it goes) and it makes the job a lot easier.  It's also just as good at sucking old oil out without making too much mess.

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I too had the same issue as you have on my 6 cyl, i hope your's is not as bad as i had approx 1/4" of hard grey crap at the bottom of the sump that would only come off with a scraper and hours sat in a gunk tank. You might be able to tell the moment you take the drain plug out, if it's free fflowing you might be OK, however if it gloops out i would be highly inclined to remove the sump and see what's what. From what i have seen this can be done without removing the engine from the car.

i have re-built the engine and all is well, and currently running Shell Rotella T diesel engine oil for the break-in, it came highly recommended by the engine machinist due to the high lubricant factor that many modern oils simply do not have.

Parting comment

For the sake of a few pounds for a gasket i'd pull the sump, this will speak volumes and give you a very good idea of what you are dealing with.

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(Did we ask you for your real name? Please?)

"Shell Rotella T diesel engine oil for the break-in .. highly recommended by the engine machinist due to the high lubricant factor"

Well, each to their own, but most engine builders recommend a LOW lubricity oil for breaking in.   A certain amount of wear has to occur for the engine to reach its ideal running state.  In particular, the piston rings must wear to the (honed) bore, and a highly lubricating oil can lead to 'glazing' and poor piston sealing.   I suggest the cheapest oil you can find - buy it at a supermarket, probably recycled - and run it for 100-500 miles, then throw it away (and the filter!) to use good stuff.

I'll not resurrect the mineral/synthetic argument here - its the initial use of a low lubricity oil I want to emphasise.


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On the subject of flushing oils: not always a good idea. It can lead to premature engine failure! A friend at Uni used some oil flush stuff in his engine, a very old Pinto, which was full of crap. Anyway, the long and the short of it was that the crap got sucked into all the oil passageways and the oil pump, siexed the whole thing up and bang went the engine. It will also remove the protective oil layer on the components, which can also lead to damage to the engine due to ot having the film.

By all means use a thin crap oil to 'flush' the system out, just don't use an oil flusher compound.

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