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Old 04-01-2020, 11:51 AM   #1
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Gold Flakes in Oil and Age of Motor?

So I just changed the oil for the second time since owning the car. First oil change, 3k miles and 1 year ago, things looked pretty normal, even the filter was free of debris.

Today I changed the oil, cut open the filter and found about 20 specks the look like gold flakes. About .5mm in diameter average. A sample flake is in the left half of this picture.


So, I know these engines new cost their weight in gold, but I know they're not made of gold, so I'm thinking I'm looking at brass. I looked at the drain pan, and saw flakes there, too. But it it wasn't a clean pan to start with, so I can't be sure it came from this particular motor. I did change the oil in my Town & Country and my Subaru last week, but don't remember seeing any flakes. But then again, both have high miles, 194K in the Subaru and 134K in the T&C, so I can't rule out that it came from them either. Sorry, I didn't take pics of the drain pan.

So, to all those who rebuild these motors, what's made of brass? Bearings? Lifters?

Also, I also found out that this is a factory replacement motor. I've seen somewhere that you can decode the age of the motor, but I can't find it anymore. Does anyone know when this factory replacement motor was built? The car is a 2002, so it would be newer than that, right? Serial number is M96/22AT65265200. I have no maintenance records for this car.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 04-01-2020, 01:02 PM   #2
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I used teh Google and found this:
Quote:
When it comes to performance in combustion engines, shell bearings are vital components. Gold Engineering is a highly reliable partner for stocking standard-sized shell bearings and supplying undersized shell bearings for combustion engines in emergency and damage cases.
Quote:
How much gold is in a car?
20,000 kg of gold
The number of cars that exited the fleet that year – being scrapped or ending up outside Europe's borders – accounted for 20 tonnes of gold. That's as much gold as is recycled annually from electronics. At least some precious metals are recovered there, but there is no recycling from vehicles
Not much help.
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Old 04-01-2020, 01:20 PM   #3
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How much gold is in a car? 20,000 kg of gold
Phenominal.
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Old 04-01-2020, 01:24 PM   #4
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I used teh Google and found this:




Not much help.
Ha! thanks anyway. I also found that some bearings are made of a copper/lead alloy. I guess that can have a gold look to it. If that's the case with these motors, then I'm looking at a bearing issue.

I can see them using that much gold in the electronics, but not inside the motor.
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Old 04-01-2020, 01:43 PM   #5
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M96/22AT65265200

After the "AT", the 6 indicates it is a six cylinder, the 5 is the engine version number, and the 2 indicates it is a 2002 engine. As such, it is the single row 2002 IMS version.
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:17 PM   #6
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Gold flakes in the motor (if metallic) are typically from your bearing shells. "Sparkles" I'd consider normal-ish, depending on the mileage of the motor. But flakes I think I'd be more concerned about. Especially if they keep coming.

Any chance they're silica, not metallic? 0.5mm is not much to tell from. If they're flattened like flakes, they're almost certainly metallic.


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Old 04-01-2020, 02:39 PM   #7
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M96/22AT65265200

After the "AT", the 6 indicates it is a six cylinder, the 5 is the engine version number, and the 2 indicates it is a 2002 engine. As such, it is the single row 2002 IMS version.
Thank you. Funny, because it's a 2002 car, and it has a replacement motor which was also build in 2002? Must have been a really, really early failure.
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:52 PM   #8
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Gold flakes in the motor (if metallic) are typically from your bearing shells. "Sparkles" I'd consider normal-ish, depending on the mileage of the motor. But flakes I think I'd be more concerned about. Especially if they keep coming.

Any chance they're silica, not metallic? 0.5mm is not much to tell from. If they're flattened like flakes, they're almost certainly metallic.


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Thank you. I doubt they are silica. They were quite shiny under the light. So, yes, I'm fearing the worst.

I'm not sure which I'd consider them, sparkles or flakes. The car has 93K on it, but at some point the motor was replaced. I'm just wondering what's in there that has a gold/brass color. I'm guessing it could be from the bearings. If so, I'll have to decide whether it's worth having the motor rebuilt or keep driving it until it blows up and then put in another motor.

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Old 04-01-2020, 03:27 PM   #9
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This is what a serious problem really looks like:



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Old 04-01-2020, 03:39 PM   #10
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This is what a serious problem really looks like:

Whoa! That IS serious! I hope it's not yours.

Anyway, I'm leaning towards driving it for another 1 or 2 K miles are check it again. At the rate I'm going, it may take me until the end of Summer to drive it 2k miles, anyway.
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Old 04-01-2020, 04:12 PM   #11
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Whoa! That IS serious! I hope it's not yours.

Anyway, I'm leaning towards driving it for another 1 or 2 K miles are check it again. At the rate I'm going, it may take me until the end of Summer to drive it 2k miles, anyway.
Yes, that was from one of my earlier engines.I am on Engine #5. Racing will find all of the weak spots.

I hope that your filter is nice and clean on the next check!
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Old 04-02-2020, 03:31 AM   #12
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Yes, that was from one of my earlier engines.I am on Engine #5. Racing will find all of the weak spots.

I hope that your filter is nice and clean on the next check!
Thanks, bud! At least you seem to get the most fun out of yours.

I don't know about the history of mine, but we've only had it on the track once last year. I signed up my wife for DE.

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Old 04-02-2020, 08:03 AM   #13
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Thanks, bud! At least you seem to get the most fun out of yours.

I don't know about the history of mine, but we've only had it on the track once last year. I signed up my wife for DE.
I think you have worn thru the lead layer of some rod bearings & starting on the copper layer, that's the last layer of defense for the connecting rods. Once the rod is worn oversize it will start knocking & they are not rebuildible but they will ruin the crankshaft.
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Old 04-02-2020, 09:27 AM   #14
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I think you have worn thru the lead layer of some rod bearings & starting on the copper layer, that's the last layer of defense for the connecting rods. Once the rod is worn oversize it will start knocking & they are not rebuildible but they will ruin the crankshaft.
Thank you, I think you may be right. I had a hunch it was the copper alloy from the bearings. But I wasn't sure if these bearings were made of a copper alloy or not. When I can get a replacement motor for less than $4k, it's probably not worth doing anything about it now, right?

Like I said earlier, I'm probably going to drive it for another one or two k miles and check it again.
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Old 04-02-2020, 04:59 PM   #15
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Hopefully you have some oil available to ship to Blackstone labs,..they may have some insight on the metals in your engine,.I hope its Minor wear and tear.!
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Old 04-02-2020, 05:07 PM   #16
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Hopefully you have some oil available to ship to Blackstone labs,..they may have some insight on the metals in your engine,.I hope its Minor wear and tear.!
Thanks, flmont. Unfortunately, I've already dropped it off at to the recycler.

I'll drive it for a few thousand miles and see what it looks like then.
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Old 04-02-2020, 05:53 PM   #17
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Yea..I hated to state a obvious next step,..I send my oil to those guys every3-4 K miles when I change it,,.I also usally use the filter canister oil..not sure if that's smart but that's where all the metals are I assume..!
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Old 04-02-2020, 05:58 PM   #18
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Yea..I hated to state a obvious next step,..I send my oil to those guys every3-4 K miles when I change it,,.I also usally use the filter canister oil..not sure if that's smart but that's where all the metals are I assume..!
I don't see why it would be any different than the rest of the oil. How much do you have to send in and how much does it cost?
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Old 04-02-2020, 06:32 PM   #19
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I don't see why it would be any different than the rest of the oil. How much do you have to send in and how much does it cost?
It's like $30 or something, and it's an awesome tool. And sorta nerd- fun too.

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Old 04-02-2020, 06:36 PM   #20
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oh about 1/2 to 3/4's of a cup and around 30 -35 dollars they mail u a container fill the sample bottle and mail it back in about a week they E-M U a report,..of metals content anti-freeze percentages ,if you have water mixed in,..even as far as a sodium content,..my last 2 reports were of average wear and seem to be running just fine,they didn't find that many pollutants in the oil..worth the the 35.00 bucks I paid for the info..Call or EM them and they will send you a kit,..Frank

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