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StudeNewby
07-01-2014, 09:31 PM
On a previous thread, I had posed the question about vapor lock in my 64 Champ 259. The problem appears to have been solved when I removed the thermostat. It did not appear to be stuck as I could open it with some force with my fingers, but nevertheless it is now running cool as a cucumber. I'll take it.
Now onto the next crisis. While under the hood with the cooling system, I decided to change the oil for the first time since I bought the truck in April. I then drove it Saturday night and Sunday for a total of about a hundred miles, and it ran fine. Then Sunday evening when I started it up, it was misfiring badly and puffing blue smoke, and I could not keep it running for more than a few seconds. I pulled three of the spark plugs and they are pretty fouled but not sure if it's by oil or something else. They clearly need replaced, but nevertheless this problem seems to be oil related.
I used Valvoline MaxLife synthetic blend 10W-40 and a Fram filter. Would synthetic cause this, or what could it be?? :oops:

StudeRich
07-01-2014, 09:53 PM
Do you have Power Brakes on your Truck? It is possible to draw Brake Fluid into the Engine causing what you are experiencing.

The other thing that can cause a non-Oil burner to smoke Blue smoke is to have a Carb. running too rich washing the Oil off of the cylinder walls and burning it.

I would hate to think that good piston rings would not be able to control oil burning with fairly light weight, possibly stickier Partial Synthetic Oil.

Were you using straight 30 Wt. or 20W-50 Oil previously?

Caution: It is not a great idea to ever remove a Thermostat without replacing it. Because initially it will appear to run cooler, but without some restriction the coolant flows too fast for proper cooling of all of the components causing "Hot Spots" and possible damage to critical Engine Parts.
I would install a 160 Degree Stat and a New Gasket and check the Outlet Casting for corrosion especially UNDER the Top Radiator Hose and replace as necessary.

Also check that you have a Spring in the Lower Rad. Hose to prevent collapse.

mmagic
07-01-2014, 09:56 PM
I used Valvoline MaxLife synthetic blend 10W-40

That's what I run in my Champ.

RadioRoy
07-01-2014, 09:57 PM
You should reconsider the thermostat. Cast iron engine blocks do not like to have their temperature swing too rapidly or too far. The thermostat is there to warm the engine up quickly and keep it at that temperature. Your vapor lock can be solved in other ways.

Mike Van Veghten
07-01-2014, 10:00 PM
Don't know how to figure this type problem without a coupla tests...but "no"...ANY...mix of base oil will not cause an engine to go bad overnight...!
If you think about it...kind of-a silly question.

Rich has a couple of ideas, but again, the oil on it's own...is not your problem.

Mike

StudeNewby
07-01-2014, 10:08 PM
Do you have Power Brakes on your Truck? It is possible to draw Brake Fluid into the Engine causing what you are experiencing.

The other thing that can cause a non-Oil burner to smoke Blue smoke is to have a Carb. running too rich washing the Oil off of the cylinder walls and burning it.

I would hate to think that good piston rings would not be able to control oil burning with fairly light weight, possibly stickier Partial Synthetic Oil.

Were you using straight 30 Wt. or 20W-50 Oil previously?

No power brakes. Not sure what oil was run in the truck previously, but I may be able to find out.
Interesting that you mention the carb. I noticed that it is leaking, though I would not THINK that is related...:whome:

JoeHall
07-01-2014, 10:17 PM
Check to see if the oil level is overfull and/or smells like gasoline. If you are running a mechanical fuel pump, it may be puking gasoline into the oil (due to ruptured diaphragm).

I went to electric pumps in the late 1980s, and never looked back at mechanical ones.

GinettaG12P
07-01-2014, 10:19 PM
More likely gas than oil. About the thermostat...put a pot of water on the stove and drop the thermostat into it. You should see the thermostat open before the water boils. If the thermostat is still closed when the water is boiling, fish it out of the pot and throw it into the trash.

JoeHall
07-01-2014, 10:47 PM
More likely gas than oil. About the thermostat...put a pot of water on the stove and drop the thermostat into it. You should see the thermostat open before the water boils. If the thermostat is still closed when the water is boiling, fish it out of the pot and throw it into the trash.
You can put a meat thermometer in the water pot, and measure when the thermo begins to open and when it is wide open. That will determine if its any good. Sometimes they will pass this test, but still stick once in a awhile. If in doubt, toss it out.

You can run with or without a thermostat there in NC during the summer; it ain't gonna hurt anything, but in winter the heater will not get very warm.

I understand your encouragement in getting rid of vapor lock when you removed the thermostat. But it should run year round with a thermostat, and no problem. When I lived in the desert southwest, I ran 195 thermostats in the Studes, year round; engine temps were often 200-210, and its gonna vapor lock at those temps, with or without thermostat. I just learned to deal with it.

Now days, with EFI, the vapor lock saga is just a (bad) memory :)

StudeNewby
07-02-2014, 06:17 AM
I hear and obey with the thermostat, guys. I like the idea of a 160, Rich, will do.
To address some of the other concerns:
--I'm detecting no gas in the oil that I am aware of.
--Not overfull of oil. It's between the marks.
My next step is to get a new set of plugs. Might be a few days before I get a round tuit :cool: due to holiday travel. Keep the suggestions coming and I will let you know what happens.
BTW, thanks for all the help you guys provide here. I really appreciate it.

m

jackb
07-02-2014, 07:24 AM
...was advised to pull the thermostat in my '64 convertible when it was running summer hot by an old Stude mechanic. I was relocating to Texas and had daytime temps ~ 100 degrees. Car would run around 200 while driving and would boil over for rest/gas stops. Good ole boy in Texas told me that was the worst thing to do: He was right. I eventually had to bore the block .060 to straighten out the cylinders... especially #7. If you find your truck runs hot with a good thermostat perform a search and fix it....

Bud
07-02-2014, 07:58 AM
Don't run the engine without a known good thermostat as the thermostat not only controls the coolant temperature, it also restricts the coolant flow through the system. The restriction is necessary to allow the coolant time to pick up the heat from the block and heads and transfer it to the radiator. I've used 180 degree thermostats in Studebaker engines for more years than I care to remember and never had a problem with vapor lock. I recommend looking at things like leaking head gaskets, cracks, sludge in the water jackets, ignition timing etc. that could cause the fuel system get hot enough to vapor lock. Bud

DEEPNHOCK
07-02-2014, 08:03 AM
Removing the thermostat can cause the coolant to go through the system too fast, and not conduct enough heat away to cool things properly.
At the very least, gut the thermostat, but leave the plate in there as a water restriction.
Better yet... Run a fail safe thermostat.

http://www.motoradusa.com/fail-safe-thermostat/

(copy)
http://imavex.vo.llnwd.net/o18/clients/motorad/images/Logo/Fail-Safe_Logo.jpg

http://imavex.vo.llnwd.net/o18/clients/motorad/images/Products/fail-safeposter.jpg

StudeNewby
07-02-2014, 08:36 AM
*Note to self: Pick up a thermostat...STAT!*

JoeHall
07-02-2014, 09:16 AM
If you are getting enough oil into the combustion chambers to foul plugs, and it is not due to gas in oil, it may be related to having woke the engine up, after a long sleep. If sitting for years, the valve stem seals often become harder than ever, and begin to let oil past the stems; the intakes are of the most concern. If it smokes under load, that points to intake valve seals. It could also mean someone left the oil baffles off, upon re-assembly of the heads.

Also, if the cylinder walls accumulated surface (or worse) rust, the rings may have been damaged in running the motor again, and no longer sealing properly. If it puffs smoke after a few seconds of deceleration, that's a sign the oil rings are shot. If it smokes out the breather caps under high RPM or high load, that's a sign the compression rings are shot. (Often cannot see the smoke, but the inside of the vehicle will stink with oil fumes.)

Either of the above would require some dis-assembly. Valve guide seals can be replaced in a couple of hours, removing only the plugs, valve covers & rockers. Rings require head and oil pan removal, but can be done with motor still in the vehicle.

StudeNewby
07-02-2014, 11:23 AM
If you are getting enough oil into the combustion chambers to foul plugs, and it is not due to gas in oil, it may be related to having woke the engine up, after a long sleep. If sitting for years, the valve stem seals often become harder than ever, and begin to let oil past the stems; the intakes are of the most concern.

Joe,
I've been driving the truck on a regular basis since I purchased it in April, putting probably a thousand miles or so on it. Before that, it was not driven as much, but fairly regular. I haven't noticed any smoke at all until Sunday, when it started misfiring. I'm not positive if the plugs are oil fouled or carbon fouled. I will try to post pics of them tonight. Thanks for the thorough post.

DEEPNHOCK
07-02-2014, 12:13 PM
Here's my swag at it all......

It takes three things to get an engine to run.
Compression
Fuel
Spark

If any of those three are weak, then you look at what each weakness brings.

A fouled plug, or plugs?
Usually....
Weak spark (bad wires, or coil)
Too much fuel (but that reads different than an oil fouled plug)
Too much oil (valve guide seals, or piston rings)

A compression check will validate the piston ring area.
A high vacuum drawdown (downshift on a downslope) will usually bring out weak valve stem seals.
A thin oil on marginal rings could bring oil contamination to the plugs.

I'd suggest a plug change (or a good cleaning).
Then run it a day and read the plugs again.
While the plugs are out for cleaning, do a compression check.
Take a good look at the spark plug wires. They do not age well after a long time being dormant.

Food for thought... Just keep things basic and simple. It is not a complicated machine.



Joe,
I've been driving the truck on a regular basis since I purchased it in April, putting probably a thousand miles or so on it. Before that, it was not driven as much, but fairly regular. I haven't noticed any smoke at all until Sunday, when it started misfiring. I'm not positive if the plugs are oil fouled or carbon fouled. I will try to post pics of them tonight. Thanks for the thorough post.

Commander Eddie
07-02-2014, 02:31 PM
Wipe the plug on your hand. If it wipes off it is oil. If you need to scrub it off it is carbon.

JoeHall
07-02-2014, 05:35 PM
Another thought, what kind of transmission, and rear gears are you running? If its an OD, the engine probably runs along at a relaxed pace, even on the interstate, say 2200-2500 RPM. But if its a standard, or 4-speed with higher rear gears, i.e. 3.73 or up, its probably turning 3000 and up, especially on the interstate. At prolonged 3000 and up, it will tend to push oil out the breathers and past the rings, no matter how good a shape it is in, just their nature.

So that may be an issue, just saying.

Chucks Stude
07-02-2014, 05:53 PM
On your overheating, have the water jackets ever been flushed on that engine? May be time for the iron block bath....dress up in your worst clothes, get a pair of swim goggles, picks, water hose with sprayer on the end, coat hangers and pull the freeze plugs, and flush and scrape the water jackets, especially in the back of the engine. Be sure and pull the drain plugs in the back of the block, and flush it good. Repeat in 10 years or so.

StudeNewby
07-02-2014, 09:22 PM
Another thought, what kind of transmission, and rear gears are you running? If its an OD, the engine probably runs along at a relaxed pace, even on the interstate, say 2200-2500 RPM. But if its a standard, or 4-speed with higher rear gears, i.e. 3.73 or up, its probably turning 3000 and up, especially on the interstate. At prolonged 3000 and up, it will tend to push oil out the breathers and past the rings, no matter how good a shape it is in, just their nature.

So that may be an issue, just saying.

Joe,
3-on-the-tree with OD, 4.27 rear end.

StudeNewby
07-02-2014, 09:25 PM
On your overheating, have the water jackets ever been flushed on that engine? May be time for the iron block bath....dress up in your worst clothes, get a pair of swim goggles, picks, water hose with sprayer on the end, coat hangers and pull the freeze plugs, and flush and scrape the water jackets, especially in the back of the engine. Be sure and pull the drain plugs in the back of the block, and flush it good. Repeat in 10 years or so.

Chuck,
I did a flush on it with a Prestone flushing product, but have not yet pulled the freeze plugs, mainly because I just don't know how...kinda skeered I'll be in over my head! :eek:

JoeHall
07-02-2014, 10:15 PM
Joe,
3-on-the-tree with OD, 4.27 rear end.
Sweet setup! With the T85, in 3rd gear OD, that comes out to about 3.07 final drive ratio. Am guessing your tires are around 28" tall, so you should be doing 65-70 MPH at around 2500 RPM. It should be OK at 2400-2600 RPM all day long. A 3.73 rear end might be even nicer with that T85, but the 4.27 should be OK, unless you are a speed demon :)

So, I doubt sustained, high RPM was a contributor to the oily plugs you experienced. Did it use a lot of oil during that same 200 miles? Though 10W40 is OK, and even fully synthetic is perfectly OK (I run Mobil 1, 15W50), I can almost guarantee you it will use less oil if you go to 20W50. At least that has been my experience.

Warren Webb
07-03-2014, 01:55 AM
Interesting that you mention the carb. I noticed that it is leaking, though I would not THINK that is related...:whome:

A couple months ago I helped a friend who thought his car (62 Cruiser) was experiencing vapor lock. He also noticed as you do the carb was leaking. Turned out the float was bad, gradually getting heavier from gas leaking into it & causing a really rich mixture to the point the car stopped running! I had a float here, changed it & now it runs great.

Buzzard
07-03-2014, 11:51 AM
I've been a proponent of using oil that was from that era. The new oils have far more detergents and additives that can cause leaks and other issues. I use 30 W NON-Detergent Kendall in all my old stuff including military trucks and equipment such as gen sets. I have had zero issues but I do change it regularly.

T.J. lavallee
07-03-2014, 12:56 PM
I . too, thought freeze plugs were a major. Not really. I've replaced mine in my 259 as well as my overhead six. Drilled a hole in the middle of the old ones and used a screw driver to pry them out. Cleaned the area of scale and crud. Do Not Remove any Metal around the circumference! Bought brass replacements from S.I. I got out my pressure washer and coat hangers and screwed out the two plugs at the back side of the block and went to town with the coat hangers on the water jackets until they ran clean. (I couldn't believe the crud that came out of it... specially the back pockets !) Placed new plug dome side out and hammered on the dome to expand them into the hole after applying shellac around the circumference . I then used a socket that fit the circumference of the plug and drove them with the hammer until they were seated flush with the block's surface. Worked for me. There are videos and articles on the internet of the process and to give you ideas as what to use for a sealer. Some use no sealer at all. Most advise against silicone sealers and the Stude forum and old timers suggest shellac. To each his own. At least it's summer and getting wet won't be all that bad. Have fun!....T.J.

warrlaw1
07-03-2014, 01:23 PM
Hope nobody added anything to your gas tank. Saw a guy fill his lawn tractor with diesel by mistake. Acted pretty funky.

JoeHall
07-03-2014, 01:27 PM
Seems this thread kinda got sidetracked. Re-reading the OP carefully, it ran well, during and after a 200 miles, over a two day period. Next day, upon initial start up, it was missing and puffing blue smoke. That points to valve seals, and oil leaking past them overnight, into the combustion chambers. Simple enough to check. Remove the rocker covers and use a thin screwdriver blade to reach between the spring coils and poke/wiggle the rubber. If its soft and pliable, probably OK. If hard as a rock, probably found the problem, or at least one of them.

njonkman
07-03-2014, 06:48 PM
Seems this thread kinda got sidetracked. Re-reading the OP carefully, it ran well, during and after a 200 miles, over a two day period. Next day, upon initial start up, it was missing and puffing blue smoke. That points to valve seals, and oil leaking past them overnight, into the combustion chambers. Simple enough to check. Remove the rocker covers and use a thin screwdriver blade to reach between the spring coils and poke/wiggle the rubber. If its soft and pliable, probably OK. If hard as a rock, probably found the problem, or at least one of them.
I have also seen some of the older engines have so much guck under the valve covers that the drain holes were plugged and valve stem seal pieces in them causing the oil to drain down past the valve stems.

JoeHall
07-03-2014, 07:24 PM
I have also seen some of the older engines have so much guck under the valve covers that the drain holes were plugged and valve stem seal pieces in them causing the oil to drain down past the valve stems.
I agree that is also possible, and removal of the valve covers would tell the story.
Back in the day, there was "high detergent"oil for vehicles with hydraulic lifters, and "non detergent" oil for those with sold lifters. I am guessing back then, most Studes got the non detergent. I once bought a 59 or 60 Lark, with 40,000 miles on it. When I removed the oil pan drain plug to change ol first time, nothing came out. I had to use a screwdriver to poke a hole in the sludge to drain the oil. Combining non detergent oil with leaded gas produced a black/gray gunky sludge got everywhere in the motor.
If the OP's motor has never been torn down, no telling what he'll find just by removing the rocker covers.

Corvanti
07-03-2014, 07:31 PM
I'm not an "expert", but with the blue smoke AND the carb leaking, i would think you have more than one problem to deal with.

i had a carb leak in the '51 when i first purchased her almost 2 years ago. make sure all the screws are tight. that took care of my carb problem - at least until i can get to a rebuild.:)