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Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

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Old 04-15-2004, 09:36 PM   #1
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Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

Have an 89 S10 4.3 that has been neglected. 80,000 on a rebuilt motor. Engine has considerable sludge inside. Never burned any oil, but now it will smoke when you step on it after idling at a stop light for a couple of minutes. Leaves a small cloud of smoke. I am thinking that the rings are stuck in there grooves. Has anybody had any sucess with breaking them loose with something like seafoam.
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Old 04-16-2004, 12:07 AM   #2
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

Quote: Originally Posted by royg
Have an 89 S10 4.3 that has been neglected. 80,000 on a rebuilt motor. Engine has considerable sludge inside. Never burned any oil, but now it will smoke when you step on it after idling at a stop light for a couple of minutes. Leaves a small cloud of smoke. I am thinking that the rings are stuck in there grooves. Has anybody had any sucess with breaking them loose with something like seafoam.
Thats a good question. It is a solvent designed for breaking up carbon but works on lots of stuff. It definitely wouldn't hurt to try! If that seems to be the problem.. I'd personally pull the spark plugs and dump some into each cylinder as best as possible. It sounds goofy but that'd be one way to get it right on top of the bad part, in concentrate.
Old 04-16-2004, 12:35 AM   #3
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

That's a good idea. Kind of like a shock treatment
Old 04-16-2004, 02:16 AM   #4
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

In the garages that I have worked they used a solution that was dumped into the intake until the motor died. After changing the oil it was supposed to clean the carbon out of the cylinders and the heads which was all B.S!!! But I don't think that is the problem with the engine. If the engine idles for a few minutes and smokes when you gas it that whould be an valve guide seal leak, probably on the intake side.

Rings stuck in what groove? In the grooves that the piston rings took 80,000 miles to make?

Quote: Originally Posted by royg
Have an 89 S10 4.3 that has been neglected. 80,000 on a rebuilt motor. Engine has considerable sludge inside. Never burned any oil, but now it will smoke when you step on it after idling at a stop light for a couple of minutes. Leaves a small cloud of smoke. I am thinking that the rings are stuck in there grooves. Has anybody had any sucess with breaking them loose with something like seafoam.
Old 04-16-2004, 08:23 AM   #5
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

Quote: Originally Posted by Ootoko
In the garages that I have worked they used a solution that was dumped into the intake until the motor died. After changing the oil it was supposed to clean the carbon out of the cylinders and the heads which was all B.S!!! But I don't think that is the problem with the engine. If the engine idles for a few minutes and smokes when you gas it that whould be an valve guide seal leak, probably on the intake side.

Rings stuck in what groove? In the grooves that the piston rings took 80,000 miles to make?
Seafoam actually seems to do a good job. It cleared up a bit of hesitation on mine that I didn't even realize was there till it was gone. For $5-6 a can, I'll continue to use it!

Whether it will fix the particular smoking problem I don't know. If its a seal, doubtful it will help much, but its not bad stuff to run through the engine either way. Its one of like 3 products approved by the FTC... and not much stuff is... if that tells you anything.
Old 04-16-2004, 11:16 AM   #6
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

I like Seafoam, but probably the best of the snake oils for stuck rings is AutoRX.
Old 04-16-2004, 11:20 AM   #7
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

Originally suspecting valve guide seals, I installed new valve guide seals when I saw how much crap there was in and around the valves. Did it without removing the heads.
Old 04-16-2004, 02:31 PM   #8
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

There are all kinds of "snake oil" that you can toss in a motor to help it doing that or seal this... But when a motor with 80k of abuse on it starts smoking there is one thing that need to be done... Rebuild or replace.

I would like to know what the psi per cylinder is? If the motor is as bad as you say it is a engine that is supposed to put out 180hp I bet your lucky to get 100 out of it.

Check out the tread that is selling the new 4.3TBI

If you have checked valve guides and they good, then the oil control rings are bad. Again rebuild...
Quote: Originally Posted by royg
Originally suspecting valve guide seals, I installed new valve guide seals when I saw how much crap there was in and around the valves. Did it without removing the heads.
Old 04-18-2004, 02:39 PM   #9
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

compresson ranges from 135 to 125. Tried Seafoam last night. Will have to run it for a while to see if any difference in oil burning.
Old 04-18-2004, 11:13 PM   #10
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

take a valve cover off and see if the oil return holes are plugged up. that will cause an engine to burn oil.
Old 04-18-2004, 11:14 PM   #11
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

Just thought of something... How is the PCV?
Old 04-18-2004, 11:41 PM   #12
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

Damn Jess, you beat me to the thought again! :-)
Old 04-19-2004, 02:11 AM   #13
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

Oil drains in the heads are clea. Originally they were almost plugged. PCV is OK

I was suspecting that the oil control rings had been carbonized and stuck in the piston grooves. My hope is that seafoam will break them loose, but then again it most likely will be rebuild time .
Old 04-19-2004, 03:31 AM   #14
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

Despite my posts I'm sorry to hear that. But this could be a good time the 4.3 was punched out to 5.0 with some slick internal bowtie mods?
Old 04-19-2004, 04:21 PM   #15
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

How about switching to synthetic?
Old 04-19-2004, 08:05 PM   #16
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

Umm, syn oil...well, real syn oil like mobil and amsoil might prevent ring sticking, but they aren't going to have a strong enough cleaning effect to help much at this point. As a side note, diesel rated oils have the strongest cleaning effect around.

Like I said before, Auto RX has a pretty good reputation for sticking rings, and I would probably try that. The guy that runs it seems to stick to the money back guarantee, and a far number of people I know have had decent luck with it.
Old 04-19-2004, 09:12 PM   #17
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

All synthetic oils have advanced cleaning ability over standard dino oils.

Also, you might want to think on doing an engine flush.

I did it to mine and freed up some start up knock and quieted the engine immensely.
Old 04-19-2004, 11:03 PM   #18
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

Ahh...there is debate over the cleaning abilities of syn oils. Ones that are high in esters, such as Delvac 1/Mobil 1 Truck and SUV certainly have a high cleaning effect. The other ones vary. Often, a good syn oil's ability to prevent the formation of deposits is confused with cleaning...when there was nothing to clean because of the oil's resistance to sludging/breakdown.


Auto RX IS an engine flush...safer and more effective than the tradional solvent ones since it uses esters rather than a simple solvent effect: highly reccomended.


It is quite hillarious when you match up the CAS numbers on, the parts store engine flushes, say Gunk Engine Flush which is diesel fuel, and the valoline model which is kerosene. For the price of one bottle of either, you can buy a heck of alot of kerosene!!!
Old 04-20-2004, 02:07 AM   #19
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Re: Can Seafoam solve stuck rings

Thanks for the feedback. I was hoping the seafoam was going to work since it was available locally. I will probably drive another 100 miles or so. If no improvement, I will give AutoRx a shot, nothing to loose.
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