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Excessive oil consumption

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  • Engine: Excessive oil consumption

    On Saturday, September 10, the Louisiana Chapter of SDC decided to have a meeting in Shreveport, LA in honor of Drive Your Studebaker Day. So I saddled up the 62 Hawk on a maiden voyage of a distance of a 200 mile roundtrip. Everything went o.k. and I made it home, but I used 12 quarts of oil for the trip!!!! When I got to Shreveport, I reported the oil consumption. We checked the undercarriage for leaks and there were none. I started the car and let it idle for sometime and there was no indication of oil smoke. I replace all oil seals last year, including new valve seals. This was the first 'long distance' trip I have made in the car since doing so. Two gentlemen, whom I have the greatest of respect for, suggested that perhaps the oil is leaking past the valve guides only at high rpm. I did not rebuild the heads when I resealed the engine last year. The only time I see oil smoke is occassionally when I first start the car in the morning.

    I was traveling on the interstate only on the trip... when I lowered my speed, the oil consumption seemed to be reduced also.

    Any other ideas??
    Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker

  • #2
    That is quite a bit of oil. I used about a quart of oil in 300 pretty hard miles due to bad valve quide seals. 12 quarts seem excessive unless your oil drain holes are stopped up in your heads, then the oil has no choice but to run down the guides, especially if the seals are shot. It's hard to see smoke coming from your car while you are driving unless it is really excessive. That is my opinion but you know what people say about opinions....
    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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    • #3
      At that rate of oil consumption, there should have been a continous trail of white smoke coming from the rear of the car and likely you would have smelled it inside the car too. I sometimes see a trail of white smoke from the exhaust of my 1963 Hawk when on the highway but it would have only burned 2 quarts max in that distance. What type of oil were you using?
      sigpic
      In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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      • #4
        Have you checked your PCV system? The only way I can see to use that much oil and not see oil fumes is to burn it. Check your air filter, I bet it's soaked!

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        • #5
          My 49 Kaiser with the flathead Continental 6 had the same problem before rebuilding it. It had no blue smoke coming out the tail pipe, and no leaks to speak of, but at steady good speed on the highway the oil went out the engine unburned lickety split. One would think that the tailpipe would be dripping wet, but it wasn't. At idle, there was no sign of it. A quart would vanish every 150 miles of less, but only when driving 55-60. Quite low compression--needed new valves, seats, pistons and rings. No oil loss now.
          Last edited by Jim B PEI; 09-12-2011, 07:13 PM.

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          • #6
            When I bought my 69 Pontiac new, it used a quart every 700 miles. The service manager said it was normal & it had to break in. At 10,000 miles I complained again. This time they put in new rings & my consumption went to 1 quart every 100 miles! They wouldnt fix anything more until an additional 3,000 miles was on the car. That was until a rod made its inoppertune time to depart the side of the block. After replacing the short block, my oil consumption went back to 1 quart per 700 miles until around 30,000 miles they discovered the #5 exhaust valve was cracked now to the stem! After that it no longer used oil between changes.

            I agree with Jim & do a complete compression test, dry & wet.
            59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
            60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
            61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
            62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
            62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
            62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
            63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
            63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
            64 Zip Van
            66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
            66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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            • #7
              On Saturday, 10 Sept, I drove my '55 LC 225 miles, almost all on interstate highways, averaging 62.8 mph, 17.133 mpg, 85 miles per quart. The top of my engine was well covered with oil. No smoke to be seen, but I had to be dribbling it all over Ohio. It obviously was coming out of the oil fill tube. I recently installed new (clean) draft tube, so I know that isn't plugged. Logical thought says compression leaks are putting pressure into the crankcase. I can pull the spark plugs on the right side and check the compression there, but on the left there's the battery, the power steering unit and the hoses from the pump. I might be able to get the no 5 plug out, but none of the others. I'm tempted to put a check valve in the oil fill tube, so it can draw air in, but not blow it out. Maybe I'll just stay off the interstates, I can go 250 miles on a quart in local traffic.

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              • #8
                Tom, Won't it just blow it out the draft tube then? I guess that would be cleaner but Ohio still gets lubricated...
                _______________
                http://stude.vonadatech.com
                https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

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                • #9
                  Quite frankly, and I know this from the personal experience to follow, some Studebaker V8s can run very well and simply use a lot of oil without it apparently going anywhere. It defies explanation.

                  To wit: My 1963 Hawk, driven to the 1973 Colorado Springs SDC National Meet from central Indiana, where it took first place. The car ran perfect all the way out and back. No oil on top of the engine to speak of, nor underneath. No tell-tale drips out the tail pipes or road draft tube, either, and the ventilation system was open and working properly. By all outward appearances, it was just fine.

                  But it used 4 gallons (that would be 16 quarts) of oil to make the round trip! 'Never did figure it out, but it ran so well and was relatively dry that I never investigated it, either. It took Senior First the next year at South Bend and I sold it shortly thereafter through Turning Wheels....for $2,400. It disappeared into the Chicago area, never to be seen again AFAIK.

                  But if anyone sees it, they never forget it: It was factory Blue Mist with Red & White vinyl interior! Yep; check the 1963 upholstery selections; that combination was available and someone did order it! (Hmmmm....didn't Lamberti Papers #18 yesterday mention the number of oddball color combinations they were going to eliminate for 1964 to simplify things? This would have been a prime suspect for such disposition!)

                  BTW, the car was a 210 HP 4-speed, in case anyone has seen it. It really had no rust issues when I bought it, and never had. 'Hard telling what it might be like today, of course. 'Last in Turning Wheels in the August and September 2001 Co-Operator masthead photo. BP
                  Last edited by BobPalma; 09-14-2011, 04:31 AM. Reason: Math, per Tom Bredehoft. (Thanx, Tom)
                  We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                  Ayn Rand:
                  "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                  G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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                  • #10
                    Bob, wouldn't 4 gallons be 16 quarts?

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the comments. The trip was 100 miles there and 100 miles back. I calculated my oil consumption at 1 quart every 16.6 miles. When you take into consideration that I am using Valvoline ZR-1, 50 weight oil @ $5.29 per quart plus tax, I figure I need to do something!! I'm thinking I will start by having the heads rebuilt at a local Machine Shop I have used for years, but does anyone know where I can purchase rebuilt heads?
                      Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tom B View Post
                        Bob, wouldn't 4 gallons be 16 quarts?
                        Tom, you're right! No more posting after less than one cup of coffee! (Thanks; it did use "only" 16 quarts. Duly edited.) BP
                        Last edited by BobPalma; 09-14-2011, 04:43 AM.
                        We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                        Ayn Rand:
                        "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                        G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Check your oil hose coming from the rear of the passenger side head to the hard line to the gauge. Might be leaking at highway rpm. Mine did. jimmijim
                          sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member

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                          • #14
                            I am thinking of new rings, or at least new valve seals for our GT, since it is down to around 500 miles per quart. I guess "excessive oil consumption" is very subjective. It is also a buyer beware situation for anyone looking at buying a Stude. What some may consider a "good engine" for example, may be one that gets less than 100 miles per quart.
                            Hmm

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