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where is the oil going?

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  • WCP
    replied
    Don't overlook the distributor gasket as a leak source. This spring I did a complete reseal of the drivetrain on a 259 prepping it for the trip to Springfield. Upon return home after 3200 miles I noticed some dripping at the rear of the engine. The rocker covers and pan were perfectly dry but you could see oil was coming from the distributor base down the back of the engine. In my haste to get it running for the trip, I didn't replace that gasket. I'm sure when that gasket is replaced with a coating of Hylomar that leak will be stopped. I was losing about a quart per 1000 miles. Several small leaks can add up to a substantial loss!

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  • Ron Dame
    replied
    Originally posted by TXmark View Post
    Okay my 289 with 94k on the odometer uses a qt. of oil every 250 miles. all the plugs are light tan at the electrodes, two cylinders 6&8 are 120 psi on a compression test the rest are 135 to 140. the front seal is fixed with no leaks, only a slight leak at the back. if I was leaking that much the bottom of the car would be full of oil. I would think if I'm burning that much my plugs would show it. no blue smoke at idle, an ocasional small cloud on start up. If it where valve guides you would think I would have a cloud behind me while engine breaking down hill in third. Which I did plenty of on hiway 7 through Ar. on the way to springfield. yes my tailpipes are black but still that's a lot of oil. I'm using 10W30 Valvoline VR1
    Sure, it's not a Studebaker, but I had a Volvo 850 that did the same thing a quart every 500 miles...very dry underneath, and no signs of leakage. It puffed a bit of smoke on start up, but not while running. Even shifting and deceleration could not get a cloud of smoke. Compression was good and even, and the spark plugs were clean and tan.

    It turned out to be the exhaust valve seals, thus the oil never burnt and made smoke since it was introduced after combustion.

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  • jimmijim8
    replied
    Do not under assume this is not your problem

    My car did 100 miles per quart of oil because of this situation. jimmijim
    Originally posted by Greenstude View Post
    Further on the comment about the rubber portion of the oil line going to the oil pressure gauge ---- sometimes this will only leak when the engine is operating an road speeds. When you check it, have the engine running. If it doesn't leak at idle, move the throttle linkage so that the engine is running fast. If there's a leak, you'll soon see it --- and probably the surrounding part of your engine compartment already will be "undercoated".

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  • Greenstude
    replied
    Further on the comment about the rubber portion of the oil line going to the oil pressure gauge ---- sometimes this will only leak when the engine is operating an road speeds. When you check it, have the engine running. If it doesn't leak at idle, move the throttle linkage so that the engine is running fast. If there's a leak, you'll soon see it --- and probably the surrounding part of your engine compartment already will be "undercoated".

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  • PackardV8
    replied
    First and least expensive is to install new umbrella seals. These can be done without removing the heads.

    If, after this, the oil consumption is still greater than you can accept, a complete head rebuild; cleaning, milling, new valve guides, new valves, positive valve stem seals, would be the way to go.

    http://www.rockerarms.com/rockerarms.com/Home.html can rebuild your rocker arms and shafts.
    jack vines

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  • Milaca
    replied
    What can one do about repairing worn rocker shafts & arms? Are new replacements available?
    My '63 289 smokes a lot until it has reached full operating temperature (180 F or there abouts) but also smokes when engine braking and consumes a lot of oil when driving 65 mph or faster. Despite this, the engine runs excellent and has good power.

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  • TXmark
    replied
    Thank you all for your advice, it give me a few things to look at. I like the oil eating microbe idea, my car probably ingested some during the gulf oil spill

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  • gordr
    replied
    Sounds like valve guides, combined with worn rocker arm shafts that allow oil to pile up inside the rocker covers until the guides are literally flooded, at which point even good guides and seals will let a lot of oil be burned. If the oil consumption gets worse the faster you drive, this is almost surely the problem.

    Worn rocker shafts (and rocker arms) leak pressurized oil at a rate faster than the small drain holes at the rear of the head can drain it off. Oil builds up under the rocker covers until the valves at the rear of the heads are literally swimming in it. When it gets real bad, you may see signs of oil blowing out the filler cap on the right side.

    I have had this happen. Plugs usually don't show much sign of oil fouling, because the burning happens most at high speeds, and the oil does get completely burned. The engine will run well, and test good for compression.

    If the engine shows normal oil pressure for a warm engine at cruise, and then the gauge starts to fade or flicker towards zero on a sustained high-speed run, you will know you have pumped most of the oil in the pan up to the heads, and the pump pickup is starting to suck wind. That is the clincher.

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  • karterfred88
    replied
    Originally posted by TXmark View Post
    they still make STP?
    I would think Richard Petty would still be hawking it, instead he selling BC powder.
    thanks for the advice, I have not checked the PCV
    Yep and it still takes forever to pour from the can (now a plastic bottle) and still sticks to anything and everything !!. If you have a full flow engine and are pouring it in the valve covers ,do it with the engine idling or it will take forever to get to the pan and get sucked into the oil pump and moved through the system.

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  • JohnM15
    replied
    STP has allowed me to drive my truck around the neighborhood. It reduced enough oil burning so that the plugs don't foul. Five minutes ago I parked the truck into the garage to pull the engine...

    Maybe there is a microbe that is eating the oil, have you heard any burping coming from the engine?

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  • TXmark
    replied
    they still make STP?
    I would think Richard Petty would still be hawking it, instead he selling BC powder.
    thanks for the advice, I have not checked the PCV

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  • karterfred88
    replied
    Check your PCV valve. Any and I mean any, crankcase pressure on an early 60's car with a PCV system will force oil past the rings. Also I would change to a single weight 40 oil with a can of STP. Even in 1966 my Hawk used a quart every 500-750 miles if I got cheap and left out the STP. I worked in a gas station (old full service kind) so I had access to cheap oil so it didn't cost me anything, but it never smoked at all either. Tail pipe ends were always black, never a fog. I guess the older engines burned the oil cleaner than the new ones!!!

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  • jimmijim8
    replied
    check rubber oil pressure hose to gauge line for a rupture. Located at rear of engine-passenger side cheers jimmijim

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  • GEEMAC
    replied
    TX; you might try some 50weight racing oil and see if it slows it down. MAC

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  • jclary
    replied
    Hopefully, some of our engine guru's will chime in and have some experienced words of wisdom for you. I have overhauled a few engines, but I am not a technical junkie with a ton of scientific knowledge about these things. My experience comes from being too broke to pay someone else to fix things when they go wrong.

    It is one thing to have tools, manuals, and the guts to jump in and fix something when it goes wrong, but really knowing what you are doing is another. I have the ability to take things apart, read instructions and put things back together in the proper order. I am not into polishing ports, re-jetting carbs, or grinding cams.

    That said, I have had a couple of engines that used a good bit of oil without knocking, losing too much power or blowing a lot of smoke. My theory is that sometimes and engine can have a ring problem where it allows enough oil to pass into the combustion chamber with just enough "burn ratio" to fuel to actually burn the oil without a huge amount of smoke. On one of mine, some of the rings seemed to have lost their tension and were sorta hugging the pistons. Combine this with small leaks, draft tube loss, a little blow by, and it is possible to lose a good bit of oil in a short time without looking like the county skeeter patrol.

    One thing for sure, you have a problem and until you find it...it aint gonna get better by itself. Good luck with searching for the problem and let us know what you find.

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