Off-white sluge in oil fill tube. Techseh 8hpSK - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-03-2015, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Off-white sluge in oil fill tube. Techseh 8hpSK

Does everyone else have this build up on their Snow King or is it just me? I know what it is and can guess why it happens (condensation on the cold surface of the tube) but I wonder about it anyway. It's always there after shutdown in varying amounts no matter how hard the machine has worked or how cold the temp is. I think it has been a little worse this year because almost every time I have used it, it has been in the teens or single numbers. Heck, one storm this year almost the entire engine had a coating of ice on it except for the top sheet metal around the spark plug when I finished and shut it down. That was a first, but I think it was about -8 when I was out there.

The breather is clear and seems to be OK and I have been using synthetic oil in it for the last 10 years. (Which hasn't hasn't made a difference in the amount of buildup in the filler tube.) My old 824 did the same thing.

Thank you.

Current machine: 1997 Toro 824 Power Shift
Previous: 1985 Toro 824
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-03-2015, 04:20 PM
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Not too much you can do about that condensation, except monitor and change the oil on a regular basis. I think the key thing is to not get too much milky streams in the oil. My 2 cents worth....
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-03-2015, 04:20 PM
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Off white sludge usually means water in the oil. Usually condensation but too much water in the oil could lead to engine parts getting rusty. Most of the time when you run the engine long enough it evaporates though. If in doubt change the oil and make sure the oil filler cap is on tight because snow could get in there if it is loose
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-03-2015, 04:27 PM
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I would change the oil, heck.. it's less than a quart, for piece of mind as it's most likely water from being INGESTED as snow blowing past the intake and getting sucked in through the open carb intake, in tiny amounts, not affecting the engine performance but now you got a bit of water in the oil and it will cause corrosion. An oil change is the best thing you can do for it.

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post #5 of 10 Old 03-03-2015, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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I'll keep an eye on it and thanks for the input. The end of the dip stick shows nice clear oil. The sludge is on the plastic tube interior and under the cap. I see it on the metal upper part of the dip stick as well, but I think it gets transferred on there when twisting the cap and removing it.

Current machine: 1997 Toro 824 Power Shift
Previous: 1985 Toro 824
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-03-2015, 04:53 PM
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OH OK if you got clear oil on the dipstick it probably is OK .. if it ingests a lot it will get in the crankcase but it would have to be significant as most of the snow ingested gets sent through combustion and goes right back out the exhaust but it's not unheard of in fluffy snow that some could get in the crankcase. I thought the way you post read that you had a lot somehow and a qt. of oil is cheap remedy.

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post #7 of 10 Old 03-03-2015, 08:10 PM
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Yes, a classic sign of moisture in the crankcase.

If this were a water-cooled engine, one should suspect a leaky head gasket or cracked head/block which is allowing coolant into the crankcase. Obviously, this is not the case with an air-cooled engine.

If the oil is being changed regularly, there's not much you can do. Can you unscrew the filler tube? Might be a good idea to remove it, the dipstick and manually remove as much of the offending goo as you can. Use dry paper towels if you can. If you resort to degreaser sprays and rinsing, make sure it is 100% dry before reinstalling. Leave it out overnight if you have to (remove key from machine just to be safe).

I like synthetic oil in these engines ... because many are started in cold conditions. But don't fool yourself and try going many years and a hundred or more hours on the same oil. These engines do not have filters and the crankcase accumulates moisture, byproducts of combustion and metal shavings ... none of which are good for your motor. Change at least every other year.

Are you sure the breather is clean? Have you taken it off and shot it with carb cleaner or an equivalent? Ideally these are one-way valves allowing pressure inside the crankcase to vent while eliminating moisture-laden air from getting back in. Some are simple tubes, however, bent into a particular shape.

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post #8 of 10 Old 03-03-2015, 10:30 PM
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Might want to get that engine good and warm then let it sit at idle with the dipstick left out, let it run like that for 1/2 hour so all the steam can escape, if you have a crankcase vent tube you might want to temporarily plug it to force the warm air up the dipstick tube to evaporate all the water. Just an idea
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-04-2015, 06:03 AM
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It will take back to back oil changes to rid your engine of sludge....and you have to get it hot before you drain it. Sludge builds up over time, and it prevents the even distribution of oil in a "splash" lubricated engine. Don't wait too long or you bearings will be very sad. MH

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post #10 of 10 Old 03-04-2015, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pathfinder13 View Post
OH OK if you got clear oil on the dipstick it probably is OK .. if it ingests a lot it will get in the crankcase but it would have to be significant as most of the snow ingested gets sent through combustion and goes right back out the exhaust but it's not unheard of in fluffy snow that some could get in the crankcase. I thought the way you post read that you had a lot somehow and a qt. of oil is cheap remedy.
Thanks! It would never have occurred to me that the moisture was coming from drawing in the fine snow. Makes perfect sense, especially with the severe conditions out there this winter: almost always high winds with blowing and drifting snow and very low temps when I have been out there. There isn't a large amount in the tube and the breather is clear and in good shape. I don't extend the change interval using synthetic. It still gets changed changed in the spring when I put it away for the summer. I'd guess that it's probably about 20 hours total on the machine each season.

Current machine: 1997 Toro 824 Power Shift
Previous: 1985 Toro 824
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