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Oil consumption

August 12 2013 at 12:48 PM
Jon  (Login saltshakerxxl)

My fe is using a 1qt every 600 miles....no leaks, plugs are clean. When I start it a little value smoke comes out the pipes.
Any way to trace this? I have oil restrictors, I think they are # 80 Holley jets

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(Login werbyford)

Do the Katrina test

August 12 2013, 1:23 PM 

At idle, stick a screwdriver straight down each breather hole (well, if you have breathers, if not put on some "PowerbyFord" valvecovers), use it like a dipstick. How high does the oil come up?
If its much over 1/2", you have the potential for flooding into the valve guides.

Also, in my testing, an H80 jet is kinda like Unrestricted, they dont do much til you get down to H70 or below. But the consensus too is if you go below an H60 jet, youre looking to starve something later on.

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(Login saltshakerxxl)

Can't do that

August 12 2013, 1:35 PM 

Thanks for the idea....problem, vc's have baffles
Screw driver wont go all the way down
Great Idea, changing intake next month and will change restrictors

This message has been edited by saltshakerxxl on Aug 12, 2013 2:16 PM

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(Login hotrodfeguy2)

Re: Do the Katrina test

August 12 2013, 5:50 PM 

I think I was #64 holley jet.

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(Login HolmanMoodyStroppeVet)

Leak it down, and....

August 12 2013, 2:25 PM 

You know, a service manager friend lamented to me a while back that his high oil consumption customers got to hear him say...the Chevy service manual says anything above losing 1 quart per 1,000 miles is acceptable, so the poor guy losing 2 or 3 quarts between oil changes was going to have to live with it.

This is not normal and you can do a cylinder leak down test to start.

You need a leakdown tester.....maybe borrow one. Know the drill?

I'd check to see the percent of leakage,in all 8 holes, one by one,to start.

Then, a warm compression test, throttle wide open, all plugs out, ignition disabled.

What rings do you have? No way this has those 1/8 low tension oil rings from the 70's on old style 70's pistons? They could use a bunch of oil on the street. Some cars fogged blue smoke like a Crop Duster. They got discontinued. Fine for racing,or with a dry sump...

What type of valve guide seals?

What amount of blow by?

You use a gage on the dyno, the read the CFM exiting the crankcase, you can watch the rings seat, or confirm that they are not sealing....but make sure that it is not venting a large amount of combustion pressure too. Run it hot, pull the oil fill and a breather, and see how much mist is exiting. Put your palm, over that hole and see if it has a lot of pressure

Stuck PCV can do this....

A bad PCV, or backward one for sure, can pull oil mist away from the covers, and into the intake, to burn. Check that please

Same deal, if the PCV is in a non baffled cover sometimes

I have a feeling that it is burning just enough oil,for you to not see it from inside the car while driving it.

Have an amigo follow you as you drive it. Roll into the gas, roll out, roll in, get it up to speed and ask what he sees.......also....run the RPM up under load,then dead lift. Step off the gas completely and let her coast. That will raise the vacuum high, and sometimes start to crop dust...or blow oil smoke. Do both driving tests. They yield good clues...

You have the rocker tins in?

I'd focus on the PCV system, then, see if this oil is getting past the valve guides and seals, or the rings for starts

Not impossible oil is getting sucked past an intake gasket from below....did you use those silicon embossed Printo Seal gaskets? They can leak real easy....

OK, keep probing real close. Hope that it is just a leaking PCV valve and easy to remedy

What shape are the guides in?

What type of rings and very important, how fine or coarse did they hone it?

If they honed it with the wrong stones, this can happen too.

Not knowing your build, a million non restricted FE's used no oil without restrictors, for reference.

At 600 miles,seeing this oil of the plugs will not be realy super obvious sometimes.

Good luck !

This message has been edited by HolmanMoodyStroppeVet on Aug 12, 2013 2:42 PM

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(Login saltshakerxxl)


August 12 2013, 2:41 PM 

Checked PCV ...in correctly...can blow through it
Rings were Hastings
Intake gasket was FELPRO... Got it from Barry @ Survival
I have rocker tins
Heads have 2800 miles on them ...rebuilt and ported by Les Schmaider

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(Login HolmanMoodyStroppeVet)

May be ring seal

August 12 2013, 2:58 PM 


The rings may continue to seat, was this a plate hone job, and to what grit?

Some engines,if the honing was too coarse, or too slick, or not plateued just right,can take 1000 or 2000 to seal better, but they usually seat in minutes when all is in range. I'd watch if it goes up or down over time, keep notes.

And does the PCV seal, under vacuum? Blowing through confirms no blockage, that's good, but I am wondering if it is closing and slowing the flow well enough at idle and high vacuum. Do the old test, fire it,let the idle stabilize, pull the PCV up and out of the grommet,and put your thumb over the hole and seal it. Tell us if the idle changes or stays about the same. If it changes a bunch, I am happy, the valve is bad and you may be able to fix it easy.

If it puffs on cold start, that can be guides or seals. 2800 miles is not very long, sure, but did you do those miles ? 2800 miles with a leaking air cleaner, in a dusty environment, can hurt the guides and stems.....and a small, unseen air cleaner lid leak, or seal leak, can do it.

NOw a small air cleaner housing leak, on a modern car, can cause stalling, misfire, and crazy idle on a new T Bird for example, the MAP sensor needs a complete seal, so even a leak in and air cleaner housing can cause a huge problem.

Sorry she's sucking oil, do that driving test, look for pale blue from the tail pipes,note when and how, if it happens, let us know, then leak it, give us 8 numbers, and compression test it, pop the covers and inspect the guides, wiggle the stems, and confirm the condition and location of the stem seals

Oil is getting into the combustion chanber you say, so that involves work to fix

Many guys would just keep oil in the trunk, add a quart over stock, and run it and top it off a lot.

No way it overheated bad and annealed the rings?

If it is rings, there are modern ring break in additives.

Best of luck

I hope that it is not leaking down in the 20 to 30 something percent range

Do all of the diagnostic tests, that is what they are for, and let us know.

This message has been edited by HolmanMoodyStroppeVet on Aug 12, 2013 3:36 PM

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(Login BrianJaspercoia)

They say 2K now

August 12 2013, 3:02 PM 

GM still says 1qt in 2K is acceptable oil usage. I don't go for that either, but most people don't change oil like they should so I can understand why they say that. When they're using enough oil that they foul plugs, and they're full of sludge and varnish, I quote them a long block...

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(Login HolmanMoodyStroppeVet)


August 12 2013, 3:43 PM 

Hi Brian, thanks..

Ya, we had a relative buy a brand new Camaro a while back, it had 5 psi oil pressure idling. They said all of the same stuff...it is fine....just drive it....uh huh...right out of warranty ...so you get to fix it....LOL

We forced them to take the car back, got another new one, 40 psi hot.

What I don't like is,if we have a loss of ring seal large enough let that much oil migrate up to get burned, we lose a chunk of power,ping sooner,and run the risk of the owner leaning on it hard, with 3 or 3 1/2 quarts in the pan, overheating the oil, and harming the bottom end

But ya, people often do not check their oil, how lame, and how many times did we see and old Ford pull in, with noisy lifters, and see the dipstick down 2 quarts..ya buddy. Add 2, quiet again.

On this build, adding a 6th quart, for insurance, mark the stick at plus 1, well that may help. Then, the loss will always be safely above minimum maybe.

We have an issue sadly, I hope he can nail it down

If it is not the PCV, or intake gaskets....well up and out probably...thats a shame. Most guys would run it

Not even sure, is this a blueprinted Hot Rod engine?


This message has been edited by HolmanMoodyStroppeVet on Aug 12, 2013 4:13 PM

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(Login RJP)

Not gonna want to hear this but....

August 12 2013, 3:45 PM 

The drain problem can and more than likely is that the drain passage[s] are too closely aligned with the head bolt. They are suppose to be offset enough so that the bolt does not interfere with oil flow from the head but due to machining tolerances the drains are sometimes not positioned far enough away from the bolt's centerline. Keep in mind that oil draining from the head only does so because of gravity and nothing else. Toss in a drain hole that is too aligned [blocked] with the bolt and you have instant restriction and the oil will back up until it overflows into the pushrod openings. I have now made it SOP to open up the oil passage at the head bolt intersect with a carbide burr.

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(Login zukinut)

About the head bolt

August 13 2013, 7:57 PM 

I have a 390 that eats oil like no other. Its mostly due to a low compression worn out engine. BUT it has a "blocked" front drain hole on the drivers side that makes things worse. The blockage is, indeed, a head bolt.

You might seriously wanna check that out.

Jus my .02 worth


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