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Old 07-15-2009, 11:28 AM   #1
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Why does my oil look like metallic paint??

In the past when I changed the oil in my cobra, the oil looks like brand new. This past winter I added AFR 165's and a cam and after putting maybe 200-300 miles on the new combo, I decided to change the oil and it looks exactly like brown paint with gold metallic. I'm not talking chips or anything, I mean exactly like metallic paint. The metallic is super fine and all gold and every ounce of the oil was full of it. If you stirred it, it would get that light and dark swirl look like paint. I emptied my pan into a jug in the sun and all of the oil just sparkled gold. The only thing gold in my motor is the AFR valve guides. Please tell me that this is part of guides breaking in or something and that I don't have a set of bad guides in my AFR's. I spent countless hours getting the geometry right, so that should not be the problem. It runs perfect and the valvetrain is dead silent, but this oil has me freaked out, especially since my son just added trick-flows to his GT and he has more miles than me and we changed his oil and it was perfectly clear. Is my filter going to catch all of this stuff or is it running this crap thru all of the bearings of my 2,900 mile motor. Should I be concerned or just keep running it? Thanks!!
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:42 AM   #2
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Either bearing or guides IMO. Best thing to do IMO is put fresh oil in drive it around maybe 50-60 miles Pull the filter and dump it and see if you still have those shinny gold stuff. I have owned 2 sets of AFRs and never had that issue. Also never heard of anyone complaining about bad valve guides on AFR's..Valve springs o yeah..I hope you get this solved soon.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:48 AM   #3
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Type "worn afr valve guides" in the search box and you will see why I am spooked.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:52 AM   #4
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Did you cut the filter open to see if it was in there too?
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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time to take it all back apart .
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:56 AM   #6
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Are you using a brass gear on the dissy shaft?
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:58 AM   #7
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You might want to look at the distributor gear as well????? Could be incompatable material with cam????


Also, what oil are you running? I really suggest synthetic, for many reasons.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:02 PM   #8
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You know what other type of metal resembles gold? The copper in your main, rod, and cam bearings. One day I went to change my oil and noticed this exact same problem. Cut the filter and it was littered with material. Pulled the engine and tore it down. Cam and rod bearings = FAIL.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:42 PM   #9
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Cut the filter open Aaron - and don't drive the car again until you get it figured out. That's definitely not normal. My oil change post head change looked just like any other. I'd also go online to Oil Analyzers (google it) and select the link to get them to send you an oil sample kit. You'll collect a sample (hopefully you saved it) and ups it to them (comes prepaid/packaged). They'll do an analysis for you. Sounds like bronze/copper to me.....either way, not so good.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:52 PM   #10
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^ I was going to suggest that. You can also pick that oil analysis kit up at your local John Deere dealer (thats is where my step father gets his at for his semi. It started detecting a bearing failure 2 months before it happened).
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:00 PM   #11
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Blackstone is another oil analysis lab - but I prefer Oil Analyzers. I'll try and get a link.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:03 PM   #12
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if the filter element and the botom of the oil filter housing look like a gold mine, its bearings and usually a rod bearing as they will tear up in an instant
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:16 PM   #13
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Here's the link Aaron to order your test kit - http://www.amsoil.com/catalog.aspx?GroupID=685

Woody - he's got an original 94/5 Cobra with only 2900 miles on the shortblock. He did a major head/cam/intake/etc. upgrade - but never touched the bottom end -- which was working perfectly before. I think that's why folks are wondering about cam gears, guides, etc. Of course a bearing can go at any time....but seems unlikely in this case.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:55 PM   #14
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didn't notice the 2900 miles. That still doesn't change my thoughts though. He couldve very easily dropped something in the motor, dirt or metal shavings, that would cause a failed bearing. Did he change the oil right after the head swap? I'm no expert but I've always heard that ethelyne glycol can wipe bearings out in no time. Also he said when he changed the oil in the past it looked like new? How many times do you change the oil on a car with 2900 miles?
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:55 PM   #15
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Like Michael said, the stock shortblock only has 2,900 miles on it and everything was flawless and oil changes were crystal clear until the head/cam swap. I still use the stock steel dizzy gear also. I removed the dizzy and both gears look like new. I cut the oil filter open and spread the paper fins apart and there was no sign of anything, but the paper is all brownish so it could be full of that bronze and I may not see it. It appears so fine in the oil, it would not show up as flakes. Hopefully it didn't just go thru the paper in the filter and into the motor. Can someone explain how if the guides are failing, how does the bronze get into the oil. Does it get past the seals somehow or sucked into the cylinders somehow and past the rings?? I tried so hard to get this thing right the first time. Thinking about starting over makes me sick! Thanks for all of the help!
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:04 PM   #16
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I'd imagine if it were the guides, it would come up into the valve cover area past the seals. Pop a valve cover yet?
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:48 PM   #17
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I'd imagine if it were the guides, it would come up into the valve cover area past the seals. Pop a valve cover yet?
I havn't torn anything apart yet. I'm trying to find out how much it will cost to rent a back-hoe and how long it will take to did a hole big enough to shove it into. I don't handle failure very well, can you tell??
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:54 PM   #18
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fix it
or


alternative is to sell it..

or pour in five gallons of gas in the seats and drop in a book of matches.
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:56 PM   #19
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fix it
or


alternative is to sell it..

or pour in five gallons of gas in the seats and drop in a book of matches.
I will fix it, but the other two options are tempting, especially the second one! If you see a big puff of smoke over Ohio, it's just me!
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:03 PM   #20
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but doing that,

is a bad / poor example for your kids....


especially when the insurance payoff check comes in the mail...
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:05 PM   #21
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pour the oil on to a paper towel and see more clearly what is in the oil that is drained out.....
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:24 PM   #22
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pour the oil on to a paper towel and see more clearly what is in the oil that is drained out.....
Good idea, I'll try that!
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:29 PM   #23
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if it is shiney but not copper,..
...it could be a pushrod rubbing on the hole in the head.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:13 PM   #24
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Coffee filters work pretty well too -- but you're better off having one of the analysis run Aaron -- you'll see exactly which counts are higher than they should be. I've used them many times - best $28 you can spend at this point. Post a pic of the engine bay for them Aaron -- it'll help everyone understand why you don't want to go back in....
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:17 PM   #25
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Maybe I'm worrying about nothing. I went out and poured the oil thru a paper towel and got nothing. The weird part is just to look at the oil in the pan it just looks dark brown, but if you shine a bright flashlite on it , it gets the goldish metallic look. Now, here's the weird part. I took a couple of other jugs of oil that are out of my daily drivers and poured some out, it just looks black until I shine the light on it and if I stir it, it also has that sparkly look to it except much darker, I assume because it has 3000 miles on it and is dirtier. I took new oil and it is clear but real gold. Whatever is in the cobra's oil that makes it look metallic will not show up as particles on anything I try. I dipped a white paint stir stick in it and when you pull it out, it just looks like dirty oil/ not particles. Can it be that when oil gets contaminates from blow-by etc. that it makes the oil have that sparkly look and since my oil only had a couple hundred miles on it, it was still really goldish but had enough blow by to fog it up. This only shows up under a bright light or in the sun, which in the past I've never done before. It just seems weird that the old oil I have from other vehicles looks very similar to the cobras except much darker. It is all Penzoil 5w30. Maybe that is why the filter and drain pan showed no actual particles?? Or is valve guide wear so fine that it just colors the oil rather than put particles in it??
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:24 PM   #26
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Coffee filters work pretty well too -- but you're better off having one of the analysis run Aaron -- you'll see exactly which counts are higher than they should be. I've used them many times - best $28 you can spend at this point. Post a pic of the engine bay for them Aaron -- it'll help everyone understand why you don't want to go back in....
Thanks Michael!
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:35 PM   #27
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Question?? If what I am seeing is ground up bronze, would it sink or float?? I poured some of the oil into a clear glass jar and let it sit. After sitting quite a while I shined the flashlight on the side of the jar and it was sparkly evenly from top to bottom with no pile at the bottom & nothing floating at the top. Is that a good sign??
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:27 PM   #28
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Quit guessing and get the oil analyzed so you'll KNOW....
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:39 PM   #29
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Quote:
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Quit guessing and get the oil analyzed so you'll KNOW....
Agreed, then you'll know if it's the motor or the new parts....

If you go with that oil kit let me know and I can hook you up with some kind of discount since Im part of their preferred customer programs...
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:41 PM   #30
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Thanks guys!
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:54 PM   #31
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to bad your across the state from me....... if there is a metallic substance, it will sink after sitting and due to the slipperiness of oil it usually wont stick to items unless they're larger particals

another thing here is that the "gold" color your seeing is the oil, a good test would be to mix up the oil really well and then pour some through a coffee filter into a small container, you really only need a couple ounces, then very lightly so it doesn't rip, spray brake or carb cleaner on the filter to remove the oil from any particles that may be in your oil, this will give both you and us a better handle on what material that is in the system

another option is throw a new filter on it, new oil, then run the motor for about 15-20 minutes until its fully warmed up and give it one or two slow revs until about 3k rpms, then remove the filter and cut it open to check the media for any particles



btw, i wouldn't recomend penzoil at all, best oil for your car is royal purple and i dont say this just because of their adds, ive seen tests that prove the quality of their oil and ive seen quit a few bad results for amsoil, though still better than penzoil, just a friendly FYI, these were all privately done tests

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Old 07-15-2009, 10:07 PM   #32
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Are you running alum rockers? They could be chaffing on the valve spring retainers. Sometimes the bolt on stuff doesn't clear the other bolt on stuff.
I hope I am right. If they are making contact and still need clearancing you can touch them up with a die grinder for clearance.

good luck,
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:31 PM   #33
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why dont you just do all of your oil changes at nite with the lights off..

then you will not see anything weird.
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Old 07-16-2009, 07:38 AM   #34
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why dont you just do all of your oil changes at nite with the lights off..

then you will not see anything weird.
That's a good one! I need a little humor at this point. Things could always be worse. I have to be thankful it lasted 200 miles!
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:18 AM   #35
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El Diablo, The glass jar that I have about a 1/2 qt in sat all night and from what I could see I didn't see any settlings at the bottom of the jar. I didn't have any coffee filters,but I did have some of those white filter masks you wear when you spray paint, so I took one of those and poured most of the whole jar thru it. It took forever to run thru the filter. I sprayed the brake cleaner like you said to get all of the oil out and all that was left at the bottom were a few extremly fine specs, but none of them looked gold. They just looked like super tiny specs of dirt. I took a magnet and none of them stuck to it. Here's a odd one. I left about 1 inch of oil in the jar and if I shine a light up thru the bottom of the jar, the oil looks like clear new oil, but if I shine the light down thru the top of the jar and tip the jar so the oil is on a angle. it gets that metallic look. If it actually was full of small particles, there's no way it would look clear from the bottom would it? I have a show this weekend and next weekend, so I think since I put a new filter and new oil in it, I will drive it some and after the shows are done I will change it again and cut the filter etc and check it again. Thanks!
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Just an old carpenter with a 94 Cobra and a Son with a nasty 85GT! I'm Show and he's Go!!

Last edited by XSPOWER; 07-16-2009 at 11:21 AM.
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