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Francis 08-01-2004 05:57 AM

Pennzoil and Sludge!
Pennzoil and Sludge!

Now I'm trying to find out as much as I can about this old time reputation that Pennzoil was renown for Slugging engines.

I want to collect info from both sides of the fence, the technical info to back up that they don't / or do sludge, and real life experiences from engines builders and the general public.

Of cause, if your one of these people that only change your oil once a year then I would expect it to have a sludge problem over time, but I would like to hear as much as I can from the people that do regular changes and there comments and experiences.

I know there are many people that say, this is imposable with the current standards that oil has to pass and so on, but I'm trying to find out where this myth started form, and if anyone has any first hand experiences, past or present.

So I would be so appreciative of any info at all I can get.

Just out of interest, the first comment I have received:

(I recently spoke with one very well know retired engine builder in the states that is apparently well known among Hot Roders, who told me , that over the years of rebuilding engines, he noticed a common sludge issue with customers that were using Pennzoil oils)

troy-curt 08-01-2004 06:21 AM

The worst sludged engine I ever tore down was using Pennzoil.
But that was in the 70s


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Ghetto Jet 08-01-2004 10:21 AM

Well this isn't very technical but my mom also has an 85 Caprice, hers has 170,000 miles, the last 140,000 she put on it are Pennzoil miles and there is no sludge build up, and that motor runs great, but to be fair the oil gets changed every 3,000-3,200 miles.

I wouldn't be surprised if Pennzoil was more likely to cause sludge build up when driven past normal change intervals, it appears to have more impurities in it than most oils.

Check this forum out, they are dedicated to motor oil.

302 Z28 08-01-2004 03:48 PM

Any oil will sludge whan it is not changed out on a regular long term basis. My experience is Pennzoil does not sludge any more than any other oil that is abused.


oldschoolrods 08-01-2004 06:52 PM

I have never had any sludge problems and I run pennzoil.

bullheimer 08-03-2004 03:55 PM

from what i know, which is alot more than 36willys on this subject, :pimp: that reputation came about back when penzoil came from pennsylvania, which it no longer does, because there isnt any oil there anymore.

poncho62 08-03-2004 07:11 PM

Pennzoil doesn't cause sludge......................laziness (not changing the oil) does..............................

LilSmoke 08-03-2004 07:44 PM

On the Pennzoil issue. Yrs ago around 72,I got started working on fuel cars.Everyone used Pennzoil,and I noticed that when the oil came out of the engine,it looked like baby you know what when it came out in the drain pan.Also the #3 and #4 Main had to be changed every pass. Now this was when we still had iron blocks with forged cranks,but I noticed that another racer used Valvoline and never had the pan off.the oil looked like oil coming out. I queried him and he said didnt have any probs with mains,unless he got his tune off of course.Now the weights were 60 pennzoil,70 Valvoline.I got 12 qts and put em in and the mains looked gd the next pass.this was with the old pennsylvania based crude.Convinced me!

Kevin45 08-06-2004 07:09 AM

Bull is partially right. It used to be that if you used PennZoil you needed to stick with Pennzoil, Quaker State, and a couple of other brands that came from that area. The same went with the oils from the Texas / West Coast area. If you stayed with those brands and changed oil on a regular basis you would not have sludge. The biggest factor was changing oil on a regular basis though. The majority of owners would put on twice or more miles than the recommended oil change. Then it was alway said that the Texas based oils were a petroleum base oil and the Pennsylvania oils were a parrafin based oil. The combining of these two oils was not completely compatable and would produce a thicker sludge like base. That combined with past due oil changes only added to the factor. PennZoil got a bad rap around here because it was so popular. People started sswitching to Texas based oils but would throw in some Penn because it was more convenient and on the shelf so when things happened..... But cars have changed drastically, the refinement of oils have changed drastically, and there are very few refineries although there are still a multitude of brands of oil. The largest factor is change oil every three thousand, change the filter at the same time, and your cars engine will last. For just a few bucks every three months you can't ask for better protection.

redlightning 08-07-2004 09:42 PM

I have been a Honda Tech for about 10 years.You can always tell when the people have been useing Pennzoil.After taking the valve cover off to adjust the valves.The rocker arms will have a redish color to it.I have seen engines sludged,but as already stated it is always from lack of maintance. 08-07-2004 11:25 PM

I have to run Pennzoil - have their decal on my Willys - goes with my paint job.

oldschoolrods 08-08-2004 08:23 AM

yes cause we would disown you if you had the sticker and didn't use pennzoil :spank: :P

garretthes 08-10-2004 10:30 PM

I always heard it was quaker state that caused sludge. I could always tell an engine that used quaker state by the smell.

mitmaks 08-10-2004 11:40 PM

most any oil will leave sludge thats why i use synthetics last longer, better thermal protection, no sludge buildup

garretthes 08-10-2004 11:57 PM

No doubt. I worked with a guy who traveled constantly in a Chevy full sized Van with a 350. Last time I talked with him he had 350k on his original stock engine running Mobile synthetics.

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