Clean Oil - Possible? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-14-2006, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Clean Oil - Possible?

I think I know the answer to this question to be in the negative BUT :

Is there ANYTHING that can be done to get that "clean oil" appearance to your car. Obviously I have a diesel, so the minute I put oil in and check it, it appears black. I've noticed this happening on my motorcycle as well -- regardless, are there any processes you can do to "flush the engine" so to speak, to get that "new car oil color" back ?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2006, 07:14 AM
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Not gonna happen with a diesel...
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2006, 10:52 AM
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Your motorcycle might have a clutch submerged in the engine oil and maybe even no filter?
Why do you care about oil color?
Being in remodeling I always get big kicks from some people religiously vacuuming and dusting behind removed bathroom vanity.
It is not like they'll do it again in next 20 years till next remodeling?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2006, 11:10 AM
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There is a process that my Chrysler dealer did on my Plymouth that involved a solvent, and a pressure flush of the entire motor oil system. I don't know what the used oil looked like before they did that, but it now looks clean in between my 3000 mile interval oil changes. The 1994 Acclaim has over 144,000 miles on it.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2006, 12:38 PM
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Caution: this is probably more than you wanted to know

You said:

Originally Posted by stighelmer
. . . .I have a diesel, so the minute I put oil in and check it, it appears black. I've noticed this happening on my motorcycle as well . . .
What I think you meant is the minute you add a quart to the crankcase (which is already full of black oil), or the minute you "change the oil and start the engine" it turns black.

The reason adding a single quart results in all of it being black is simple. Mixing a little honey colored oil with a lot of black oil results in more black oil.

The reason your honey colored oil turns black after an oil change and a restart is simple for the diesel and unknown for the bike. My motorcycles have had wet clutches and the oil stayed clear for the 2,000 miles between oil changes. The only exception is when the clutch starts to come apart on me. A Vance & Hines clutch kit always fixes that. This is a 4-stroke motorcycle, correct? If it's a 2 stroke, it's due to blow-by. It may be blow-by on the 4-stroke, but in that case, the exhaust should be pretty black as well.

Oil turning black with a diesel is normal and due to blow-by as well. Due to lousey mixture characteristics (diesel fuel is injected during compression, versus being mixed during the intake stroke on a gasoline engine), there's a fair amount of soot created in the diesel combustion process that gets blown past the rings. Once it gets past the rings, there's no stopping it from getting in the oil. Diesel oil is supposed to keep dirt and soot in suspension. Most of the dirt gets caught in the oil filter. The soot is too fine to be filtered and the soot is what makes it look black. Most diesel soot being too fine to be filtered is a good thing because the filter would be clogged after a few miles. If you have a diesel, and the oil isn't black, that means either the motor is very tight and not allowing any blow-by, or the oil is ineffective because it’s not keeping the soot in suspension.

In answer to your question (yes, yes, I know. I've blathered on for all this time before getting to the question), if your diesel has an EGR valve, that contraption makes the engine run hotter, which creates more soot. If your diesel has a busted EGR valve, that makes the engine run a whole lot hotter, which creates a lot more soot. Also, Amsoil allegedly makes some wiz-tech custom diesel oil filtration system that is supposed to keep the oil clearer. Not owning a diesel, I can't say whether it works or not.

While on the subject of not owning a car that's too smokey to be parked in my garage; Someone with diesel experience that goes beyond mine (which primarily consists of trying to get around non Mercedes-Benz diesels before something falls off) may be of better assistance.

Is it just me, or is everyone bored at work on Friday?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-17-2006, 11:01 PM
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the solution is simple for me, as i have a hydraulics background.
a primer:
the oil is intended to keep the small soot particles in suspension. this is ok because only particles which are close to the clearances cause damage. particles that are to small pass by with minimal wear where large particles, hopefully picked up by the filter cannot enter those clearances causing no wear but perhaps resulting in blockage

automotive oil filters are rubbish, even the high quality glass fiber versions
this is usually ok due to other factors which require replacement of the oil due to other reasons. mainly of which when the oil is exposed to the high temperatures found in the automotive engine the oxidation rate increases exponentially as well as the introduction of water into the fluid through means of condensation.

if an individual was to drill and tap inlet and return lines to the oil pan and install a kidney loop style pump and filter arrangement separate from the original filtering system you could achieve dramatic results. the largest particle you can see with your unaided eye is about 60 microns. in hydraulic systems it is common to filter down to 3 microns or less at times. so what you have is a large quantity of 60 micron plus particles making your oil black.

utilizing a industrial hydraulic filter you also increase your ability to reliably filter out all particles over a given size with there inherent high efficiency as demanded by industry.

anyone who is seriously interested in this set up please contact me so i can throughtly explain the jargon of the industry ensuring that you achieve the proper filtration. even individuals in the industry get fooled with all the numbers and beta ratios, so it warrants explanation outside the scope of this particular question.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-20-2006, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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wow you guys are geniouses! thanks - seriously, more info is always better than not enough

yeah with my bike I put in a sea-foam type product that you let idle for about 15 minutes and its supposed to clean it out. My suspicions about diesel being always black for the above mentioned reasons are apparently true - I think it was explained to me before.

This engine has 247,000 on it and runs really well so I guess it's not a big deal what color the oil is.

That is a really interesting arrangement with the hydraulic filter - do you have a link where I could learn more about it?

Thanks again guys you rule.
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