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1971 sl350 engine question

HI All,

i recently purchased a 71 SL350 that had been sitting for some time.

i decided to drain the oil and check the oil filter. to my surprise there was abundance of aluminum dust / chips in the filter area.

is there a common part or area that is failing that i should inspect? Any ideas or experiences are welcomed.

i have not pulled the side cover yet to check the screen.

i dread the thought of splitting the cases.

thanks for you help!!

Still looking for a 71SL horn button assy.
 

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Because there was a special tool involved in removing the centrifugal filters for cleaning on these motors many original owners who did their own maintenance never cleaned out the filters.
They simply changed oil and that was all.

It's not unusual to find the filter packed with crud.
 

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Because there was a special tool involved in removing the centrifugal filters for cleaning on these motors many original owners who did their own maintenance never cleaned out the filters.
They simply changed oil and that was all.

It's not unusual to find the filter packed with crud.
Crud yes, but aluminum shavings indicate a potential catastrophic failure of some internal component.
 

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Are you sure it is Aluminum?

Did you test it with a magnet?

There very few places where aluminum can wear.
Cam End Cap Bearings would be the primary place.

The very fine shavings that come from the cylinder walls can look a lot like aluminum.
 

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Nothing there that would cause me concern. Actually I'd be quite pleased if that is what I found on a new to me engine.

You don't want to flush any of that debris back into the engine so while removal and cleaning it is best I have used my evac unit that I use for oil changes and brake jobs to vacuum up the solvent I use to loosen up the debris. I use a piece of plywood under the closest foot of the center stand to tip everything back as well.

If you have the proper tool fitted to an impact gun it is very quick to remove the nut after you have bent the tang back on the securing washer.
 

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There is a LAZY method to cleaning out the filter.

Cut a Plastic Milk Bottle so that one of the Square Sides is a Long Spout.
Slip it behind the filter.
With a Block of Wood under one foot of the Center Stand making the bike lean so the Spout has more tilt for flow.
Spray Brake Cleaner into the filter and allow the debris to flow out into an old can.
Auto part Disc brake Rotor Vehicle brake Machine
Auto part Wheel Spoke Tire Bicycle wheel
 
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