I was returning home from the next city when I discovered I had dropped the oil filler cap off my SOHC 1985 Corolla.
The engine compartment was liberally covered with oil.
I packed a bread bag into the opening to stem the flow.
Apparently, a tail from the bag reached the cam and the engine ate it as I continued on my way.
As I approached home and the engine slowed, the oil light came on and stayed on below about 2000 RPM.
The oil level was only 1/2 qt. Low.
I removed about 1/4 of the bag, which was wrapped around the shaft.
I couldn't find other debris under the valve cover.
I drained the oil and didn't see anything in it.
I haven't tried straining the oil, yet, but I wouldn't expect to find more than a few flakes.
I couldn't see anything in the spin-on oil filter and blew air through it from my lungs.
In think the likely next step would be to remove the pan.
I would rather not, if it could be avoided and that is my first question.
Is there anything else I should try or check before removing the pan?
I wondered if the passage to the pressure sensor could be blocked.
I don't understand perfectly how the oil circulates in an in engine, but I intend to study this.
I expect to find most of the remnants from the bag on the oil pickup strainer.
I thought if I drop the pan, I'd also remove the pickup and thoroughly clean the pickup and exposed parts of debris.
And also clear the drain passages between the the valve train and the pan.
But, I'm eager to read your reply before I continue.
FOR SURE, PULL YOUR VALVE COVER AND INSURE THE RETURN PASSAGES ARE CLEAR--MIGHT BLAST 'EM W/ AIR AND OR A PASSAGE BRUSH. THEN DO THE PAN THING AND MAKE SURE YOUR STRAINER IS CLEAR
HAVE YOUR SOUL MATE GIVE YOU A GOOD SWIFT KICK IN THE PANTS!
IF YOU ARE JUST SICK OF IT
"REAL JEEPS" NEVER WOULD "WRINGER" A BAG THRU IT--CAM IS DOWN THERE IN THE BLOCK!
THE JEEP DEALER "MIGHT" GIVE YOU SOMETHING FOR IT!
LET US KNOW HOW IT GOES
January, 2, 2012 AT 9:30 PM
Is the engine making any type of knocking noises? If not check oil pressure with a mechcanical gauge-start here
January, 2, 2012 AT 10:44 PM
Thanks for the replies.
To answer questions: The engine sounds the same. There isn't knocking.
It might be prudent to check the oil pressure.
However, upon reflection while considering this suggestion, I decided that my original concern, about a partial blockage contributing to the oil light coming on, was unfounded(and I don't have way to attach a gauge conveniently available.)
A partial blockage might make the light slow to react to changes in system pressure, but wouldn't cause it to come on as the engine slowed, unless the system wasn't producing enough pressure.
And I think the system was not producing enough pressure, because most of what remains of the bread bag is likely blocking the pickup strainer.
I no longer think there might be a way to avoid removing the pan.
I just want to be sure that when I'm in there I'm not overlooking cleaning something that could cause more problems later.
I intend to remove the pickup strainer, thoroughly clean it and also clean all exposed surfaces.
January, 2, 2012 AT 10:58 PM
JUST LIKE A RIG THAT HAS BEEN POORLY MAINTAINED W/ OIL CHANGIN', IT'S POSSIBLE THE OIL GOT PUMPED UP TOP AND COULD NOT RETURN TO THE PAN FAST ENOUGH VIA THE POSSIBLE RESTRICTED OIL RETURN HOLES.
HENCE, THE OIL PUMP MIGHT BE S. UCKING AIR, UNTIL THE PAN WAS REPLENISHED SOMEWHAT.
I'VE SEEN THIS IN OTHER CARS, EVEN SOME "SEEMING" JUST FINE AT LOWER RPMs AND LOW CITY SPEEDS---THEN STARVING ON THE HIGHWAY. IN THAT CASE IT'S REALLY HARD TO DETECT IT. WHEN ITS REAL BAD, YOU CAN LOOK IN ORIFICES OF THE VALVE COVER AND WATCH THE OIL BUILD UP ON TOP OF THE HEAD
January, 10, 2012 AT 3:36 AM
I removed the pan.
The pickup screen was covered with plastic.
The plastic had melted and looked it like it might amount to what remained of the bag.
I removed the pickup and scraped away what plastic I could.
The screen still looked plugged.
It had also torn a little at one place where it had collapsed onto the tube.
I let the fire in my wood stove die down to coals.
I used the hot coals to burn away the remaining plastic, slowly to control temperature.
I drilled a 1/4" hole in the screen mounting plate.
I used a stiff 1/8 "wire through this hole and my thumb on the outside of the screen to reform it to a normal appearance.
I wiped the pickup and also boiled it in trisodium phosphate solution, trying to clean it out,
Then, I used high strength epoxy to mend the torn part of the screen and refill the hole I'd drilled in the screen mounting plate.
I wiped down all the surfaces I could with solvent and wiped them again with clean dry rags.
I didn't see anything I could identify as suspect material except what had collected on the screen and wrapped around the camshaft.
I reassembled and replaced the oil and filter.
I test drove the car and the oil pressure indicator light performed normally.
Thanks for the help.
January, 10, 2012 AT 3:41 AM
I forgot to add that the oil return holes were clear.
Thanks again for all the suggestions.
The pickup doesn't look like the one shown in the link.
The car is a FWD 1985 Corolla with the SOHC carbureted 4ALC engine.
The question of temperature tolerance of the epoxy was one I considered, and should have researched, but didn't.
Since you asked, I looked at epoxy packages in stores since this information was not on the tubes I used.
I saw temperature limits of from 140 F., for a putty product, to 700 F., for a product labeled for "high temperature applications."
I saw one "2 ton", "2 hour setting" epoxy with a 200 F. limit and several others with 300 or 302 F.
I'm going to try to contact the epoxy manufacturer to see if I can get this information.
I haven't found information about engine oil temperature at the pickup inlet specifically, from limited web research.
Upper end temperatures stated ranged from 210 to 250 F.
An oil cooler manufacturer's sales literature suggests oil temperatures sometimes reach 295 F. http://www.alamomotorsports.com/pmc/pmc_engine_oil_cooler.html
An oil manufacturer states that oil begins to break down at 240.
If the epoxy I used has a 302 F. limit, I think I'm probably okay.
If it is 200 F., I have cause for concern.
January, 11, 2012 AT 1:29 AM
SOUNDS AS IF YOU ARE AN "AWARE" KINDA GUY
MOST DUCT TAPE AND GO ON!
IF YOU FEEL GENEROUS, SHARE YOU EPOXY INFO WITH US, IT MAY HELP SOMEONE ELSE. LIKE ME!