Re: 500 SEL - On the way out? - Really?

I also get oil in the air filter housing in my 380, and when I asked on another group they said that it's just engine blow by and I should just check on it every now and then, so I don't know if that really means the
engine is on the way out. Richard

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Not necessarily. The engine crankcase breathes into the filter as part of the emissions control system. Sometimes the rocker cover too. Obviously, gas from an oily environment such as the crankcase will contain a certain amount of oil. As the engine components wear, so the amount of gas (and oil) increases, so people may interpret this as a sign of a worn out engine.
But many other things will cause this too. Blocked breather hoses, build ups of gunge etc. Also this system will usually incorporate some kind of oil separator which may become defective.
I had a similar problem with a diesel van once, which was cured by replacing the flutter valve in the oil separator. This component cost only 50p (30 cents), and that was from the Ford stealership!
I'd suggest cleaning everything and looking closely at whatever oil separator device is used. A compression test will reveal if the problem is due to wear.
If the car is running OK, I'd try not to worry too much about it, just clean the oil off regularly.
--
Alec Wood M1BNK
Teesside UK
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On the left valve cover toward the front of the engine there is a similar hose from the VC to the idle circuit. Remove this hose, first from the vVC and then from the other end. Look down into the pipe in the idle circuit and you should see a very small hole in the bottom of the pipe. Clean out this small hole and the rubber pipe that goes to the VC. This fixed my 84 500 SEL. If the above instructions didn't make sense, let me know.
Paul 84 500 SEL 257,000 miles and still runs great.

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