The Diesel Stop banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a oil change a few days ago (total miles on the truck is 106xxx) and after dumping my oil drain container, found non-magnetic metal shavings on the bottom of it. I collected and cleaned the shavings and caught them in a coffee filter as you can see. Looks like AL to me. Of course, many questions come to mind
The truck runs beautifully and always has.

Any body out there who might be able chime in on any of these questions?

1) Keep driving it until the next oil change and check again then for metal? Stop driving it and investigate further now?
2) What, if any, inspections can be done to figure out what's going on? How do you investigate this issue?
3) Given shavings like these, any guess on how far away a engine failure is?
4) Where might it be coming from (Pistons?).

Some miscellaneous info on the engine:
--I bought it in 2008 from the previous owner with 60,000 miles on it. He bought it new and had all scheduled maintenance done at the Ford dealer from where he purchased it. Engine currently has 106,xxx miles on it.
--I began regular Blackstone oil analysis in 2008 and the analysis has always shown average or below average wear metals, very good TBN numbers and as Blackstone has said on all reports,

"Low insolubles and silicon indicate excellent oil and air filtration."
--I installed a Ford AIS air filtration system on it in 2008
--I use Rotella T6 (either 15W-40 or 5W-40), Ford oil filters and also have a bypass filtration system on it and use Baldwin B50 filters for that.
--It does carry a heavy load (~5000lb Lance camper) but I also drive gently (if there is such a thing with a 5000lb load) ie easy with the gas pedal, slow accelerations, max of 65mph, watch the turbo temp gauge and never approach getting that too hot, let it idle until turbo temp drops to 350 before shutdown, etc, etc

Blackstone has also seen the photos and among other things they say,


"Aluminum (usually pistons) is certainly a plausible source for the metal
slivers in these photos, and there is a considerable amount of metal at that.
Engines can have mechanical issues that won't register on a microscopic
level, so that might be what is happening here -- or, maybe this sample
taken on 05/11/21 just wasn't in use long enough to pick up a problem in
ppm (parts per million, the level we test for )."


Thanks for any input!




159557
159558

IMG_6383.jpg
159556
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,507 Posts
Those definitely aren't microscopic.

I'm assuming you haven't done any mechanical work to the engine at that low mileage. Other than pistons, the front cover is aluminum and the LP oil pump runs against that. Maybe that's worn a bit.

If it was me, I'd check again at the next oil change. It could be something that was a one-time occurrence and was heavy enough that it didn't get picked up by the oil pump and filter. Did you open up the filter to look at that? If you find a lot of material in there, then the level of concern would go up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks.
No, no mechanical work on the engine. And I'm away through the week but was planning to open the oil filter up this weekend. That'll be interesting.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ArcticDriver

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here's a few photos of the oil filter element. There are a few specks here and there. These are enlarged; with the naked eye you almost can't see them with the exception of a couple of them. I've only looked at a few filter elements so don't have much of a feel for it. Is the average filter element 100% free of all specks of even the little stuff? What do you think?


159563



159564


159565


159566
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,507 Posts
I don't see a concern there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As for speculation, if a oil cooling jet has broken off and is sitting on the bottom of my pan not doing its job ...would that lack of oil being directed upwards be enough for a bit of piston to deteriorate and produce some AL shavings or would a broken oil cooling jet be evidenced by something other than AL shavings?
 

·
Registered
1999 ford f250
Joined
·
90 Posts
I dont think it would because if you had aluminum shavings that big coming off of your piston then you probably would have a dead cylinder. And the tube itself is steel I believe if I'm wrong please forgive me more knowledgeable posters 🙂
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,507 Posts
The piston cooling jets are indeed steel, but a lack of oil squirting on the bottom of the piston could increase wear. But the size of the shavings point to something else.
Shavings from a worn front cover I mentioned above would have to go thru a bearing to get to the oil pan. And shavings that big would probably still be embedded in the bearing.
The timing and HPOP gears are inside the front cover, but if one of those contacted the cover to shave aluminum off it, you'd have bigger issues.
It's still a mystery to me where they might have come from.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It’s way too early to think about a rebuild …but do you have any good sources for 7.3L’s? Not so concerned with price but rather quality control and reputable sourcing of parts.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,507 Posts
Sorry, I don't know of a good source for dependable rebuilds. I wound up putting in a used engine when mine failed at about 120k from a cracked block, which I believe was caused by a spun cam bearing. Freak thing. Still ran good except for the coolant leaking into the pan. The used engine has another 120k plus on it. But good used engines are probably getting harder to find.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
I did a oil change a few days ago (total miles on the truck is 106xxx) and after dumping my oil drain container, found non-magnetic metal shavings on the bottom of it. I collected and cleaned the shavings and caught them in a coffee filter as you can see. Looks like AL to me. Of course, many questions come to mind
The truck runs beautifully and always has.

Any body out there who might be able chime in on any of these questions?


1) Keep driving it until the next oil change and check again then for metal? Stop driving it and investigate further now?
2) What, if any, inspections can be done to figure out what's going on? How do you investigate this issue?
3) Given shavings like these, any guess on how far away a engine failure is?
4) Where might it be coming from (Pistons?).

Some miscellaneous info on the engine:
--I bought it in 2008 from the previous owner with 60,000 miles on it. He bought it new and had all scheduled maintenance done at the Ford dealer from where he purchased it. Engine currently has 106,xxx miles on it.
--I began regular Blackstone oil analysis in 2008 and the analysis has always shown average or below average wear metals, very good TBN numbers and as Blackstone has said on all reports,

"Low insolubles and silicon indicate excellent oil and air filtration."
--I installed a Ford AIS air filtration system on it in 2008
--I use Rotella T6 (either 15W-40 or 5W-40), Ford oil filters and also have a bypass filtration system on it and use Baldwin B50 filters for that.
--It does carry a heavy load (~5000lb Lance camper) but I also drive gently (if there is such a thing with a 5000lb load) ie easy with the gas pedal, slow accelerations, max of 65mph, watch the turbo temp gauge and never approach getting that too hot, let it idle until turbo temp drops to 350 before shutdown, etc, etc

Blackstone has also seen the photos and among other things they say,


"Aluminum (usually pistons) is certainly a plausible source for the metal
slivers in these photos, and there is a considerable amount of metal at that.
Engines can have mechanical issues that won't register on a microscopic
level, so that might be what is happening here -- or, maybe this sample
taken on 05/11/21 just wasn't in use long enough to pick up a problem in
ppm (parts per million, the level we test for )."


Thanks for any input!




View attachment 159557 View attachment 159558
View attachment 159555 View attachment 159556
I'm going to ask a couple dumb questions. Have you recently used your drain pan to catch any metal shavings from drilling? Was your pan clean before you started? Was the pan close to an area where you may have been drilling? It looks like drill shavings in your pictures. That's why I ask.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That’s a good question but no, the drain pan started out clean.
…And those shavings, they seem strange to me. --If you look at the close up of them on my finger, they almost look like ultra fine wire. They don't seem like drill shavings to me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1999f-250superduty

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,258 Posts
Aluminum shavings will take that shape when a very light, shallow, cut is machined with a very sharp cutting tool. Looks like or similar to a shaving off a small end mill bit would look. Not what one would expect from bludgeoning debris off a oil nozzle hitting a piston. A sharp edge of a gear contacting aluminum would do that. It would have to be a sudden sudden contact shift, a light rub would produce smaller bits. Could be that it's cleared up clearance and may never happen again.
Me, I would flush that oil system out good including the ,normally irrelevant, HPOP reservoir flush, filter all my flush oil until and repeat until I got no aluminum resultant and operate normally for an oil change cycle, inspect the filter element and get an oil sample tested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's a interesting observation. I'll keep an eye on it and open the filter again, next time. This truck is driven infrequently, maybe 4-5 trips a year averaging 700 to 1200 miles per trip so it'll be a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
An update on the metal shavings.
I just finished a 700 mile trip over the last week and drained the oil to check it for shavings.
Didn't find a thing, Just used oil with no visible particles in it (I filtered it through a fine mesh screen).
Still a mystery. I'll check it again after my next trip.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Greg687
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top