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White Smoke

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  • White Smoke

    Well, I got the Lark to start yesterday after a new battery and some fresh gas. I plan on doing a regular tune up, plugs, rotor, oil change, etc. It sounds great but it smokes, a lot. It is white smoke however, I figured I was burning oil but it's white. Should I try head gaskets first? I know the car has not run much so I am considering just running it for a few hours to see if anything, rings, etc are going to loosen up and re seal. I'll also do a compression test. Any comments or tips.

  • #2
    white smoke might be just burning off condensation in the exhaust system. run it some more, watch to see if you're losing any. good luck! kp

    Ken Pyle

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    • #3
      Thick white smoke is usually coolant, you should be able to smell it. Hopefully it is just condensation. Thick whitish/blueish smoke is oil or tranny fluid. Black smoke is fuel.

      Jamie McLeod
      Hope Mills, NC
      Jamie McLeod
      Hope Mills, NC

      1963 Lark "Ugly Betty"
      1958 Commander "Christine"
      1964 Wagonaire "Louise"
      1955 Commander Sedan
      1964 Champ
      1960 Lark

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      • #4
        Pull your plugs and have a look if it's coolant it will show.



        Bill Foy
        Kingston, Ontario
        1964 Wagonaire Slider
        Bill Foy
        1000 Islands, Ontario
        1953 Starlight Coupe

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        • #5
          power brakes?

          nate

          --
          55 Commander Starlight
          http://members.cox.net/njnagel
          --
          55 Commander Starlight
          http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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          • #6
            Nope, no power brakes, it stops when I rev it, and then gets worse on deceleration. I was really coming out before I shut it down. what would it smell like if its coolant?

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            • #7
              IIRC, burning coolant always smelled kind of "sweet" to me.

              Andy
              62 GT

              Andy
              62 GT

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              • #8
                If there's coolant burning in the combustion chambers you will get a lot of smoke, plus it will be a sickly sweet aroma. Check your oil dipstick and see if the level is too high or you can smell the coolant in it as well. If it's bad, the car will run rough and the rpm's will be high. If that's the case, look at the fuel pump...if the diaphragm ripped, it's dumping gasoline into the crankcase. From your description, that doesn't seem the case.

                Best case scenario...just condensation burning off and should go away. This is probably the most likely. If you have a coolant leak internally, it could be a cracked cylinder head, blown head gasket or the fuel pump. The fuel pump is the easiest...replace the fuel pump, flush the engine oil galleries and change the oil.

                You can take compression checks of all the cylinders, see if any spark plugs have coolant on them, or even crank the engine with the plugs out. If you have coolant in any cylinder, it will hit the ceiling! If you find two adjacent cylinders with low compression, the head or head gasket is bad between those two.

                What engine do you have? If it's an overhead valve 6, they had a reputation for cracking. Hope that's not your problem.





                Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.
                Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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                • #9
                  Tranny fluid.

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                  • #10
                    Thank you to everyone for commenting. I'm starting with the oil, coolant, and tranny fluid. I also plan on doing a tune up anyway so this will be a god place to start. By the way, how can I be burning trans fluid, can anyone elaborate. I'm not questioning anything, I am not a real mechanic.

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                    • #11
                      If you have an automatic trans with a vacuum modulator, if the modulator diaphragm fails the engine vacuum can suck trans fluid into the intake. It makes quite a smoke screen. However, most Studebaker auto trans only have a simple throttle pressure linkage from the bellcrank. I think that the truck autos and maybe 65-66 autos do in fact use a modulator, or if you've swapped in a Brand-X trans it likely has one as well.

                      nate

                      --
                      55 Commander Starlight
                      http://members.cox.net/njnagel
                      --
                      55 Commander Starlight
                      http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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                      • #12
                        Just for clarification, I have a 259 2 bl, FOM, and all seems to be fairly original minus the stainless exhaust and the manual choke.

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                        • #13
                          quote:Originally posted by JDC

                          Nope, no power brakes, it stops when I rev it, and then gets worse on deceleration. I was really coming out before I shut it down. what would it smell like if its coolant?
                          I would think that if it was coolant that it would get WORSE when you rev it.

                          Oil burning is generally worse under high vacuum conditions. Idling (and reving after idling a while). Closed throttle going down hill.

                          Stude V8 valve seals become brittle with age and will not do a good job of sealing. It's the most common source of oil burning. It's relatively easy and cheap to replace them.

                          Dick Steinkamp
                          Bellingham, WA

                          Dick Steinkamp
                          Bellingham, WA

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                          • #14
                            What does the oil look like? If coolant is getting into the oil the level will be high, thin and the oil will look milky.

                            Mike
                            www.packardhawk.com

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                            • #15
                              Actually guys, I'm fairly dumb. I didn't check the oil til now and its low. i need to change it anyways. I do not have any sort of filter on it. Do I need it or should I just change it frequently? Also, what oil should I use? Thanks.

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