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TR6 Can you identify these metal shavings in the oil?

MTribe

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Hi all, just changed the oil in my TR6 and found these metal shavings on the magnetic drain plug--anyone know what they might be from?

Note that there is a slight bronze color. I rebuilt the engine about 6k miles ago, with new rod bearings, heavy duty thrust washer, timing gear and chain, etc. The engine is running fine with no noticeable degradation.

I'm wondering where to look first?
 

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HAWAIICJ

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Is the initial timing holding in place or is it retarding over time? I have seen new cam and distributor drive gears eat themselves if not greased or coated during assembly.
 

TomMull

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Could also be swarf from machining that didn't get cleaned out. Tom
 

tinman58

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I second the swarf from machine work. Believe me I know what it can do to a new engine. It can get trapped in the oil passage.
 

Brinkerhoff

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Number one cause of rebuilt engine failure is failure to clean the inside of the crankshaft and the other oil passages after machining. Most understand this much better after the fact unfortunately. You can't be too meticulous in this area of assembly and that responsibility always falls on the assembler . Watch your oil pressure with your fingers crossed , you'll probably see wear show up here first if its to happen. Sorry to see this.
 

TR-3rg

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Hi,

I worked my thru college in an engine shop. Did you have any machine work done during the rebuild? The first photo looks like residue from machining cylinder heads or decking the block. The second looks like the residue from grinding stone, cutting a crank. Remember, magnets will not pick up the babbit or tin from the bearings, only iron or Ni based alloys.

I don't know how hard it is to drop the pan on a TR6, but it might be worth cleaning it out and placing a couple more in magnets in it. Might not hurt to do the same thing with the valve cover and put a couple of magnets on the cylinder head drains. Magnets are cheap insurance compared to the other options. I think magnets may work on the outside of the pan, if you get the right ones. Anyways, drain the oil often, like hundred miles until it clears up. Hopefully it will be OK.

Roy
 
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MTribe

MTribe

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Interesting... here is some more info. This was on the fourth oil change since the rebuild 6,000 miles ago. This was the first time there was anything appreciable on the magnetic drain plug, and the last oil change was a year and 2,000 miles ago.

I did grind the crank, bore the cylinders, and deck the head when I rebuilt the engine. I do believe I flushed the crank out, and *think* I did the oil passages in the block, but don't remember for sure!

Does the fact that this was on the fourth oil change since the rebuild change anyone's guess?
 

TomMull

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Maybe not. You do indicate a long time interval since last change. IMO, if there are no other symptoms, don't be too concerned. A little fuzz on the magnet is not unusual. The oil analyses is quite inexpensive and may be reassuring too. Blackstone does a great job.
Tom
 

Merlin63Tr4

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How are your valve clearances?
Those magnetic particles could be your cam lobes/lifters wearing.

M.
 

TomMull

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By all means do an oil analysis but you'll know the same thing in an hour by dropping the pan an pulling a bearing cap off.

Maybe not. I'm certainly not against dropping the pan or checking valve clearances (and the valves should be checked routinely). You'll get a good look at the bearings and maybe a peak at the cam lobes but little else unless you get into tearing things down. Unless the fault is catastrophic, which I very much doubt, you might not see anything at all.
I've no interest in promoting Blackstone Labs but they give you a lot of information from an oil sample. The report I've attached is an example. It's from a Ford Lehman diesel on a boat. The owner heard an unusual tick which was not obvious and I could not pick it out except with a stethoscope. Turned out the water cooled exhaust was leaking into #6. It was a tiny leak but damaging. The reports pretty much nails it.
If your report comes back relatively normal, I'd do nothing but monitor the issue. The only problem is that you won't get any information from the new oil. Perhaps you still have the oil you drained? Otherwise you will have to drive it and have it tested at a later date.
Tom
 

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Brinkerhoff

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Since the oil sample needs to be taken right after the engine has been run at operating temperature and during a mid stream drainage to be accurate , it seems to me that it isn't an accurate test at this point as a great percentage of the abrasives have settled out of solution .

If he chooses to go this way and send his sample of drained oil in and an analysis is borderline suspect , I hope this is taken into consideration.
 

TomMull

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Since the oil sample needs to be taken right after the engine has been run at operating temperature and during a mid stream drainage to be accurate , it seems to me that it isn't an accurate test at this point as a great percentage of the abrasives have settled out of solution .

If he chooses to go this way and send his sample of drained oil in and an analysis is borderline suspect , I hope this is taken into consideration.

Yep, agree completely. If it were mine I'd run it for a while more, albeit with sharp lookout for other symptoms. Tom
 
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MTribe

MTribe

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Really appreciate all the ideas... So here's what I'm thinking. I've done 900 miles since the last oil change (when I found the shavings). I'll warm up the oil and drain it for a sample, then drop the pan to see what's going on in now that there's another 900 miles on it. I'll also pop the valve cover and check valve clearances.

Regarding magnets, that sounds like a good idea... are there magnets made for this purpose? Or are there any you'd recommend? Best places specifically to put them?
 

TomMull

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TR-3rg

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Here's a pretty good website for a discussion of engine magnets https://forum.grumpysperformance.com Go into the Oil and Lube Systems and look for Magnets. It goes over the temperature ranges of the magnets and has a link to a pretty reasonable priced ($2) suppler. The section also goes into what's typical "fuzz" and what is not.

Roy
 
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