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Old 01-07-2001, 08:51 PM
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I lived in Germany from 71-83 and while I was there an old German mechanic showed me how to clean my VW engine. We drained the oil out of the engine then put in Diesel (the same amount) and ran the engine for about 5 or 6 seconds until the oil light started to fade on. We drained the engine and then put new oil back in. He told me this cleans out all the oil channels within the engine and helped the oil flow better afterwards. This never hurt my VW and seemed to help. Of course those old beetles did not have an oil filter.

I just bought a 1983 300SD and was thinking of "Cleaning" the engine this same way. Has anyone ever tried this on a MB Diesel? I don't want to screw up my engine but it sure would be nice to know it's cleaned out inside and all my oil channels are open.

Any thoughts?
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Old 01-08-2001, 12:46 AM
Robert W. Roe's Avatar
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Lehigh Valley PA
Posts: 1,330

I remember reading an article by Smokey Yunick back in the 1970's describing a similar process, except he used kerosene and ran the engine for 30 seconds (!). I'd be afraid to ever try this myself.

The closest I've gotten is using 10W30 Agway Super Diesel oil this winter. I figure that this oil is rated for properly lubricating a diesel engine up to 50 deg F, and the thinner viscosity should help remove a bit more sludge than my usual 15W40. I do notice a faster warmup to normal power levels.
Bob Roe
Lehigh Valley PA USA
1973 Olds 88, 1972 MB 280SE, 1978 Datsun 280Z, 1971 Ford T-Bird, 1972 Olds 88, 1983 Nissan Sentra, 1985 Sentra, 1973 230.6, 1990 Acura Integra, 1991 Volvo 940GLE wagon, 1983 300SD, 1984 300SD, 1995 Subaru Legacy L wagon, 2002 Mountaineer, 1991 300TE wagon, 2008 Murano, 2007 R320CDI 4Matic 52K, some Hyundai, 2008 BMW 535xi wagon, all gone... currently
2007 Honda Odyssey Touring, 2014 E350 4matic
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Old 01-08-2001, 07:57 AM
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I would not recommend cleaning any engine this way. If the engine is so gunked up that this is needed, it's an act of desparation.

If you insist on this approach, use a couple of quarts of cheap oil and the rest diesel fuel. You could also simply pour some fuel through the engine while hot after draining the oil and leaving the drain plug and filter out. Follow that by a few oil changes over just a few hundred miles, draining thoroughly while the engine is at operating temperature.

Regular and frequent, thorough hot oil changes will eliminate the need for ever taking such drastic steps.

Good luck,
Change oil hot and change oil often,
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Old 01-08-2001, 08:53 AM
IMUL's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 52
Please take Larry's advice & only attempt this an act of desperation. For no particular reason & against my Dad's advice , I decided to do this with kerosene on one of the VW diesels I had and it actually CLOGGED the oil channels with the sludge that the K1 loosened. If memory serves (I was a teen at the time), we had to run several gallons of K1 thru the engine before it stopped knocking. NOT WORTH THE RISK.

Hope this helps
1980 Mercedes 240D
1982 Mercedes 300SD
1985 Mercedes 300D
1993 Dodge Cummins Turbo Diesel
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