Smokes up every once and awhile

luigisho

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IF you are having oil light on within normal running parameters at lower rpms then I would recommend you change the rod bearings. Your mileage is indicative of this as a normal interval for this potential condition. MTX cars are a little harder on the bearings than the autos. I understand that this is not a simple swap out at the top of the engine but I would seriously consider this. It can be done with engine in car with y-pipe removal and oil pan drop. You just have to check the wear and clearance for replacement bearings. regular size or a + size
 

sperold

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These cars have a high volume, low pressure oiling system. Years ago, I read how many times the full oil volume circulates in the engine each minute, and I was really surprised. That leads me to think there is a lot of oil in your upper engine valve cover area.

I would consider thinking about valve seals, at least on the rad side bank.
Usually, there is a puff of smoke on every startup after the engine has sat overnight if the valve seals are bad, but you are not reporting that.
However, your observation that going downhill, or slowing down, suggests the front valve seals are allowing some oil passage on the valve stem.

I would check a plug on the rad side bank to see if they are clean and have a good colour.

As for the oil light, I would buy a set of standard rod bearing on Rockauto, while they are available. I have read that the oil light comes on at something like 5 psig or less even, so a below idle light is not terrible, but does indicate some pressure leakage due to high clearances at the bearing surface.

I have also had an oil pressure sender fail on my 90 so maybe try that inexpensive cure first.

My retired 89 had an oil light issue and the light was always on at an idle after a highway run, and I experimented and found a higher viscosity oil gave it relief. I also found the synthetic oil made the issue worse for an unexplainable reason. I drove the car for 5 years with that situation, and finally retired it due to severe corrosion that could not be remedied. So do the rod bearings when it suits you (like you have the front pipe off for whatever reason) and try a few remedies first.
 

Craig

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Maybe I'm focused on the wrong thing zoomlater. In the original thread, NoSlo suggested that he would take off the throttle body and ensure each of the PCV pipes are clear and a drill bit can be passed through them, likewise the same inside the TB, run a wire through the three little holes untll they are clear. He talked about using a drill bit to clean the 4 PVC pipes and a wire to clean the 3 small holes. I think he was saying that the PVC pipes could get obstructed or clogged with years of cycling oil and that oil could come out of the pipes and spill into the intake. But I may be not understanding this.

Thanks for talking about the connections. I'm trying to follow the hoses, but it may take awhile.

Iuigisho, the oil light only flickers sometimes when I idle. It goes off when I start running. If I do have to replace the rod bearings, this may be the end of the road for me and this car. It sounds like a big job and finding a mechanic to do it in my small town may be impossible. I guess I could try sperolds' suggestion of replacing the oil pressure sender first.

And sperold, you may not have seen this, but I recently had the cam seal and sensor, all 24 valve stem seals, spark well gaskets, and valve cover gaskets done. The mechanic did a first leak down test after the job and said the valve stem seals had a problem and he redid all of those seals. He did a second leak down test and said the seals were tight. There was no oil in the spark wells, but he replaced the plugs and wires when he did the spark well gaskets as part of the job.

And the car does not smoke on start up. The smoking happens when I come to a stop going down a grade, or going around a graded turn and coming to a stop, or just coming to a stop, and the one time I mentioned when I accelerated hard to merge into heavy interstate traffic.

And its really this smoke up problem that I would like to fix first. Although, that error code 19 was a suprise.
 
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luigisho

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The rod bearing job on this motor is not magic. a mechanic could easily do it. You could do it yourself if you had the patience and like me your back was up to to it that day. There is a write up on the old shophoenix website I think. Y pipe, oil pan, windage tray and the bottom of the crank and rods are exposed. Each rod cap has 2 bolts, prelube new bearings and change out, reverse procedure when all 6 are done. Drain the pan of oil probably first, and after it and the windage tray are off surround the exposed area with a trash bag to catch seeping dripping oil for a few hrs to keep them out of your face. The car sounds like a solid one. The job sounds daunting but it's not as bad as you think.
 

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Thanks for the insight on the job Iuigisho. I'll give it some thought. I really don't have the equipment including a lift of any kind and of course any experience doing this kind of work. And I would really like to solve this smoke up problem first before I get into other things. I feel like I have to solve that to keep driving the car.
 

Craig

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What the heck. I started tracing my hoses this morning as zoomlater suggested. I can't believe what I've found so far. I've found 2 hoses that are not even connected. They were just tucked down where I could not see them. The hose to the right of the front spark plugs is the first. Its got a bolt in it. The second is coming out of the left top side of the throttle body near the mating interface and its end has a piece of cloth on it. Damn. I'll be looking further when the engine cools down. I've looked some more and found a hose under the throttle body that is almost crimped. So far, I have not really been able to follow the hoses underneath the throttle body. Its crowded under there. These hoses could have been disconnected since the seal/gasket job when the smoking started.
 
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Craig

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The smoking problem has stopped I think. Some good news at last. The 2 hoses were actually one. I think that when the gasket/seal work was done, the hose on the front valve cover to the left of the spark plugs was disconnected. They put a 2nd hose on the throttle body ****** to keep stuff out. The hoses were hanging down in the engine.

I hooked the hose on the valve cover to the throttle body ****** 2 days ago and I've been trying to get it to smoke with no success. Thanks for the suggestion to check the hoses zoomlater. And I didn't take any pictures and post them here because my phone and PC are not connected yet.

The oil light is still flickering at idle sometimes. If I touch the accelerator bringing the tack off idle just the smallest amount, the light goes out.

And I'm stiil getting the 19 error code. I'm going to check for oil in the sensor. The cam seal was replaced in the seal/gasket job. But the car is running very smooth. The 1 time I had oil in the sensor, it was not a fun experience.
 
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zoomlater

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The smoking problem has stopped I think. Some good news at last. The 2 hoses were actually one. I think that when the gasket/seal work was done, the hose on the front valve cover to the left of the spark plugs was disconnected. They put a 2nd hose on the throttle body ****** to keep stuff out. The hoses were hanging down in the engine.

I hooked the hose on the valve cover to the throttle body ****** 2 days ago and I've been trying to get it to smoke with no success. Thanks for the suggestion to check the hoses zoomlater. And I didn't take any pictures and post them here because my phone and PC are not connected yet.

The oil light is still flickering at idle sometimes. If I touch the accelerator bringing the tack off idle just the smallest amount, the light goes out.

And I'm stiil getting the 19 error code. I'm going to check for oil in the sensor. The cam seal was replaced in the seal/gasket job. But the car is running very smooth. The 1 time I had oil in the sensor, it was not a fun experience.
I think NoSlo deserves the credit for figuring out what could be the source of the issue
 

Craig

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I tried for 3 days to make the car smoke with no luck. I didn't drive it for a couple of days and when I did the smoking started again.
On some drives it did not smoke. But on other drives it did the smoke up every once and awhile. This afternoon coming down the hill I live on and turing right into my drive way, I had the biggest smoke up yet.

I want to get through this smoking. I'd like to keep the car to 35 years. I really like the car and its in pretty all around good shape I think.

I guess the next step is to clean the TB. zoomlater, that link to all those pictures is something else. You must have a sweet sho. And those 3 pictures helped me understand what noslo said about the 3 small tubes he cleaned out with a wire. But I'm still hoping to undertand where those 4 PVC pipes noslo talked about cleaning out with the drill bit are before I get a mechanic to do this. I'm almost thinking I could open the TB and do those 3 small holes that the 3 pictures showed myself.

Can anyone point me to these 4 PVC pipes?
 

NoSlo

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Yes zoomlater, I am hoping to start with The suggestion by NoSlo. Would the car be running well if the hoses going into the throttle body were not correct? The problem is that from time to time the car just smokes up.

I have looked at those pictures and they have helped me quite a bit in looking at my engine. But I'm thinking that what NoSlo was talking about (below) involved taking the throttle body out which I think would also mean disconnecting the hoses connected to the throttle body, and opening the throttle body up. But I just don't have the experience to really have much of a feel for what I'm talking about.

'I would take off the throttle body and ensure each of the PCV pipes are clear and a drill bit can be passed through them, likewise the same inside the TB, run a wire through the three little holes untll they are clear.'

This car has been a daily driver for me for 31 years. At times I've had good mechanics. But I've been taken before and spent a lot of time trying to find someone.

In the response in the original thread, NoSlo said:

'Something else is going on - excessive blowby causing pressure, leaking rings burning oil, for example (somebody that not cleaning spark plug wells before removing plugs could cause...) Clogged up or mis-routed hose from the front of intake to throttle body or rusty throttle body ports.

The valve-cover-to-throttle-body hose, for example, flows into the engine normally, but on WOT, will reverse and put blowby into the intake - a better place to add an oil trap can.'.

I don't understand 'excessive blowby causing pressure' or 'rusty throttle body ports' very well. Are the rusty ports the in and out ports?

But in the seal/gasket job, discussed in the original thread, the mechanic said the rings were good, there was no oil in the spark wells, and he replaced all of the hoses going into the throttle body because one had a split in it. After he had done the cam seal and sensor, valve stem seals, spark well gaskets, and valve cover gaskets, he did a leak down test, did not like the result and felt like the valve stem seals were the likely culprit, redid those, redid the leak down test, and felt like the seals were good. And I really don't have much of a feel for what a leak down test is except what the test name suggests.

The second sentence by NoSlo above might explain the smoke up on acceleration I guess.

Just a couple of sentences about how to take the throttle body out, where the PVC pipes are (and can they collaspe), And where the 3 holes are inside the throttle body. It would help me in trying to talk and listen to mechanics and try to decide if their a good choice for the job.

I think parts for the throttle body or maybe even a new or reconditioned one will be hard to find.

The little pipes and passages in the throttle body can get rusty and corroded inside, as well as being blocked by oily crud. Once you've removed the throttle body from the intake and have it in your hand, you'll see the pipe that the big PCV hose underneath connects to, as well as the hose coming from the valve cover up to the intake.

Take off the corrugated rubber intake air tube leading to the throttle body, hold open the throttle plate with the cable cam on the side, and you'll see the little holes along the bottom.

You want air to move freely through those metal hose passages that connect to three different ports that lead to the large air opening of the body. Just a matter of clearing them out with pipe cleaners, wire, carb cleaner, air compressor etc.

A disconnected hose as you found - well, all bets are off.

About smoke: you're really not going to notice, see, or smell a little bit of extra oil burning out the tailpipe, nor is it likely. I would focus on first getting all the oil drips fixed until your engine stays squeaky clean.

Oil light flickering at idle is what we call a "bad thing". If you have a fresh oil change and filter with the recommended viscosity, that leads one to suspect crankshaft bearing clearances, such as rod bearings we've learned to change under the car at 150k instead of a full rebuild. That service goes along with correcting other possibilities: cleaning the oil pickup screen, replacing the gasket for the oil pickup tube, fixing the oil pan leak by a thorough cleaning of block and pan mating surfaces.
 
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Craig

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Thanks very much noslo.

So if I'm understanding you, the 4 pipes are the 3 underneath the TB and the 1 on the side that connects to the port on the valve cover? These 4 pipes are the 3 underneath the TB that zoomlater showed in his 1st of 3 pictures and the 1 with the pencil in it?

And the rod bearings are what is shown in the following RockAuto link for $11.27. These 2 rod bearings are not what I think of when I think of a 'bearing'. Again, no experience in this.


And this job would be to replace those rod bearings, clean the oil pickup screen, replace the gasket for the oil pickup tube, and fix the oil pan leak by a thorough cleaning of block and pan mating surfaces.

Iuigisho, I reread your description - drop Y pipe, open oil pan, take windage tray out, and the bottom of the crank and rods are exposed. Each rod cap has 2 bolts, prelube new bearings and change out, reverse procedure when all 6 are done. I'm thinking that each rod has 2 bearings or is it just 1 bearing per rod? I filled in the verbs. Your description sounds simple, but the shophoenix description made it seem more formidable.

Thanks everyone. I'm going to keep trying to understand. I wish I could find a mechanic that knew this car around here. The country mechanic knew more about my car than anyone here abouts, but I don't think he wants to work on the car any more.
And I know I don't have to say this but you all are way beyond me. It would be a treat to see your cars.
 
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Craig

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I'd like to ask 1 more question on this. Where do the hoses connected to the 3 ports underneath the TB go to??? I'm thinking this would be a good time to replace the hoses that connect to those 3 ports. And zoomlater, can you send those three pictures of the TB to [email protected]. I tried to copy and paste to my laptop but the paste was not available after the copy. I'd like to print those out to show the mechanic in talking about the job to clean the 4 pipes and 3 small holes and anything elsee in the throttle body. Thanks again.
 

BaySHO Performance

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Available from O'Reilly. Ignore the DOES NOT FIT for the 18240: it does fit.
Coolant hose 6, TB to engine (Gates)18020
Coolant hose 7, IAB to engine (Gates)18240
Coolant hose 8, TB to IAB (Gates)18020
 

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I'd like to ask 1 more question on this. Where do the hoses connected to the 3 ports underneath the TB go to??? I'm thinking this would be a good time to replace the hoses that connect to those 3 ports. And zoomlater, can you send those three pictures of the TB to [email protected]. I tried to copy and paste to my laptop but the paste was not available after the copy. I'd like to print those out to show the mechanic in talking about the job to clean the 4 pipes and 3 small holes and anything elsee in the throttle body. Thanks again.
Since I happen to have a throttle body sitting around:
You must be registered for see images attach


The large PCV tube and central PCV chamber can be cleared out starting with large drill bits (by hand) if there is corrosion or hard carbon deposits. Then it will take some poking with wires around the blind corner in the inlet and some hot water, carb cleaner, etc.

The two small PCV holes inside the throttle body are where engine vacuum normally pulls gasses through the PCV chamber. They are more easily clogged. Stiff bent wire or a broken-off drill bit pushed through them with needle-nose pliers can be used to clear them. One might even enlarge the first small hole a bit.

The larger air passage in the throttle body, on the other side of the throttle plate, is open to the air filter and normal air pressure, and puts any excess PCV blowby into the airbox before the throttle plate. Because this flows rather freely, this prevents the little PCV holes from applying any significant vacuum to the crankcase.

You must be registered for see images attach


The PCV "return" here is where fresh filtered air comes from the airbox, and via a hose, enters the valve cover to replace any gasses sucked out by the PCV system.

If there is too much engine ring blowby combined with plugged ports in the PCV system, then the flow of the valve cover hose can reverse. If it does, oil is easily picked up by the port on the valve cover and enters the intake.

Again, see this post for diagrams of how PCV gasses flow.
 
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Craig

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Thank you NoSlo for the explanation and good pictures. I was off for a little while due to family considerations. I appreciate the help you all have given me in this. After this job, its on to the rod bearings.
 
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Craig

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Nick Chimes, could you please give me an estimate (ballpark) of what it would cost in your shop to 1) clean the throttle body including replacing the 3 formed hoses and 2) the rod bearing job. I know we are in real different markets, but it would give me something to compare to what mechanics will quote me.

I got my undergraduate degree at FIU back when the only campus was on the old Tamiami airport property and still quite rural. I was so poor I lived in a jungle hammock up in a clump of trees a couple hundred yards from the campus buildings for about a year and half until the campus police caught me. I was able to shower at the university, had a good relation with the water fountians, and only ate 1 meal a day. I had a part time job in the engineering school that paid me a little over $60 every 2 weeks ($2.30/hr). But I made it through, and I really liked the place. It was a good time in my life.
 

luigisho

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He's near San Fran CA not south Florida. Since that is one of the most expensive areas in the country his prices should reflect that. Maybe he can give you a parts & labor guesstimate and you can apply that to what local labor costs near you. rod bearings $75-100 for all 6 pair + $20-30 for oil pan gasket. Maybe $5-10 for a graphite donut gasket for the y-pipe to catback junction. Most everything else is labor

maybe new O2s if they are corroded on too much to remove without damaging
 
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zoomlater

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Did you change your oil on a regular basis? As Sperold pointed out above, it could be the oil pressure sensor. Have you ever changed that sensor in the past. It wouldn't hurt to have a set of rod bearing ready if that ends up being your issue. I would try the easy fixes first.
 

BaySHO Performance

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As Luigi pointed out, labor rates here in California are going to be higher than those in Richmond, KY. However, I do all the work in my garage rather than a shop these days. So my hourly rate is $80 compared with shops around here that are $120. More if it's a dealer.

I also stick a lot more closely to book hours to keep costs down, even though it takes me longer without a lift and air tools. Almost all shops will pad the book hours by as much as 50%, especially if they have done little to no work on SHOs as they will include a learning curve. Any shop that is not familiar with SHOs may indeed give you an astronomical estimate. They are basically telling you that they don't want to do the work unless you are foolish enough to have them go ahead.

Two choices on obtaining parts:
- provide them yourself, but you won't get a warranty from the shop. I do provide one, however.
- have the shop obtain the parts to get the usual 1 year warranty, but expect them to pad the parts prices.

Prices and availability as of today:

Rod Bearings (Clevite)86SHO Source
8.56% CA tax, shipping16SHO Source
Oil Pan Gasket Set (Felpro)OS30636R
19​
Rock Auto
Tax, shipping
7​
Rock Auto
Including 9.25% San Jose, CA tax:
Exhaust Donut (Felpro)6064110AutozoneIf needed
Coolant hose 6, TB to engine (Gates)1802021O'Reilly
Coolant hose 7, IAB to engine (Gates)1824020O'ReillyIgnore 'does not fit'. It does.
Coolant hose 8, TB to IAB (Gates)1802021O'Reilly
Total Parts200
Clean / reseal Oil Pan3.0 hours240Includes starter motor, Y Pipe
Rod Bearing R&R2.5 hours200
Intake R&R2.0 hours160Needed to get at hoses 7 & 8
Drain / refill coolant0.3 hours24
Coolant hose R&R (3)0.4 hours32
Clean Throttle Body0.2 hours16
Total Labor672
Total Estimate872

The oil will have to be removed. I haven't included an oil change.
 

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