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Old 09-17-2008, 10:39 AM   #1
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Sea Foam or not?

I've used Sea Foam in some vehicles, but was wondering what everyone's opinion was on Sea Foaming my '88 Escort with 480,000+ miles. It currently uses a quart of oil about every 1000-1200 miles and I know there"s a lot of build up under the valve cover on the valve train. I don't want to cause problems by cleaning. I had the oil pan off a couple years ago replacing the gasket and the bottom end was really clean with the exception of a small amount of build up in the oil pan which I cleaned while I had it off. I am currently using LC-20 and can tell it is slowly dissolving the build up, but I've only been using it for about the last 5000 miles. What does everyone think give it a good cleaning with Sea Foam right before an oil change or just let the LC-20 continue to clean it slowly?
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:42 PM   #2
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I've used Sea Foam in some vehicles, but was wondering what everyone's opinion was on Sea Foaming my '88 Escort with 480,000+ miles. It currently uses a quart of oil about every 1000-1200 miles and I know there"s a lot of build up under the valve cover on the valve train. I don't want to cause problems by cleaning. I had the oil pan off a couple years ago replacing the gasket and the bottom end was really clean with the exception of a small amount of build up in the oil pan which I cleaned while I had it off. I am currently using LC-20 and can tell it is slowly dissolving the build up, but I've only been using it for about the last 5000 miles. What does everyone think give it a good cleaning with Sea Foam right before an oil change or just let the LC-20 continue to clean it slowly?
I think it will just burn more. at 480,000 that motor is really loose, and all that gunk it helping to keep the oil in it.
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:48 PM   #3
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yea... i am with slurp. i love sea foam, but the time for it has long passed.... as an alternative, i would pull off the intake manifold and clean it, and the injectors out.
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:55 PM   #4
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I'd stick with the LC20, and let it do it's work. I haven't used it, but I have used Auto RX. I think the concept is similar. Sounds like using Penzoil Platinum is very effective as a group III oil in cleaning too.
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Old 09-17-2008, 01:28 PM   #5
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well a quart per 1000 mile sis getting to that fix it point. if you have some extra cash to have a newer/less used engine put in (or if you know of an engine and you have the tools) id say try the seafoam, but like others have said alot of that is just due to piston ring/cyl wear...seafoam may help it may not.

to really break up the ring carbon put it in the oil then drive for 50 miles (doesnt have to be consecutively) then when those 50 miles are near drive around till the oil is nice and hot then immediately change it, key is to change it hot so all the loosened up stuff doesn't have time to settle and make sludge. you want the carbon absorbing oil properties to suspend the particles.

i did this and it fixed my trucks tiny oil usage problem (#4 sparkplug had oil on it, ran seafoam thru oil then changed it, now #4 plug is normal). ive also ran it thru the intake and that really cleans things up, also makes quite a smoke show.
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:10 PM   #6
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key is to change it hot so all the loosened up stuff doesn't have time to settle and make sludge. you want the carbon absorbing oil properties to suspend the particles.
yeah, i ALWAYS change my oil hot.
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:29 PM   #7
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Wow that Escort is amazing. I've only used SeaFoam in the oil once and only drove it for 10-15 miles, I really don't trust a lot of additives in my oil especially cleaners. It definately works really good though.

I guess my main concern would be if you really think you have a lot of sludge or build up, that the seafoam would work too good and loosen up a big chunk that could stick a passage and cause a major problem. I would think with an older engine and heavy build up to stick with the slower method for safety.

If you have a second vehicle though and are fully prepared to find a spare engine or rebuild anyway (since at 480k I'd definately have my options lined up already) then I'd do the SeaFoam because I really like the product. I'd put half a can in my oil and drive 10-15 miles and then feed it down the intake slowly until it stalls out and while it's sitting in the intake drain my oil. This way any blow by from the intake cleaning that gets in the oil will come out with the change anyway.

And of course change it hot.
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Old 09-17-2008, 06:04 PM   #8
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No mater what you do, 480,000 on that thing is AMAZING!
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:13 PM   #9
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Everyone seems to be thinking the same way I was leaning, but thought it would be worth asking to get other opinions. I think I'll just stick to the LC-20 since I can tell that it is slowly cleaning. Large amounts of sludge is what bothers me most about using it and possibly closing up some of the passages. With this close to a 1/2 million miles on the original engine (never rebuilt) I definitely want it to make it to the 500,000 mile mark. Given the condition of the body and interior is really not worth putting the extra money into to rebuild or even do an engine swap since I don't have all the equipment I would need. I'm not getting any oil on the plugs, because I just took out a set a couple weeks ago that had over 100,000 miles on them and they were very clean. The only reason I changed the plugs when I did is because one of the insulators on a plug cracked and it was running really bad. Didn't make since to just replace one plug when the others had that many miles on them. Thanks to everyone for their input, I feel a little better about my decision after getting so many replies with the same opinion.
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:24 PM   #10
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to really break up the ring carbon put it in the oil then drive for 50 miles (doesnt have to be consecutively) then when those 50 miles are near drive around till the oil is nice and hot then immediately change it, key is to change it hot so all the loosened up stuff doesn't have time to settle and make sludge. you want the carbon absorbing oil properties to suspend the particles.
I'm a little bit scared of breaking up the ring carbon. It may be the only thing holding them together!!
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