Burning Oil

Discussion in 'Street/strip 400/430/455' started by wormwood, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. wormwood

    wormwood Dare to be different

    my newer build (only 1 year old) is burning oil. its a 455, stage 2 Gregg Gessler ported heads (heads are about 8 years old). 10 and 3/4 to one compression. T.A roller rockers.

    when i built it i may have forgotten to position the gaps in the rings on one of the pistons. (would that cause the oil burning?) maybe need to adjust the valves? if not, any other ideas?
  2. 72STAGE1

    72STAGE1 Runnin' with the Devil

    Valve guides
  3. Robs455

    Robs455 Well-Known Member

    It depends on how much oil is burned and when?

    Valve guides, pcv and rings are the usual suspects. Check out the plugs and you will see which cylinder is burning oil
  4. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    I have read the rings rotate during operation, so gap placement isn't too critical, but I still position them as per instructionso_O
    Adjusting valves would have no effect.
    If they're Gessler heads, I'd imagine they have seals on the exhaust guides (stock Buick didn't use any)
    Vac modulator for trans?
    john.schaefer77 likes this.
  5. Stevem

    Stevem Well-Known Member

    If the oil usage just started then it's not you ring install work.
    If you have duel Exh can oil be seen out each tail pipe when someone drives behind you, if so does the oil smoke only take place on deceleration?

    If so then it's at least a valve seal issue if not a valve guide and valve seal issue.

    Where white Teflon type seals used on the heads do you know?

    Has you idle speed changed as could indicate a leaking intake gasket and you sucking oil into one cylinder, which brings up the question as to how are the plugs looking?
  6. Bluzilla

    Bluzilla a.k.a. "THE DOCTOR"

    I have to agree that the White PC Teflon valve stem seals could very well be the culprit (if applicable). I chased my tail years ago before the Viton rubber seals became the norm. What happens is that over time and use the stiff Teflon wears and can also become oversized as the valve stem rocks slightly in the guide. Once that takes place the Teflon seal is too loose to control the oil efficiently, ...... the intake valve ends up sucking in oil.

    Of course that is just one possibility.

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
    john.schaefer77 likes this.
  7. wormwood

    wormwood Dare to be different

    it burns about 1 quart every 200 miles. i don't run a PVC it has a breather on each valve cover. its a manual transmission so there is no vacuum modulator.

    steve m, it just started with this new engine rebuild (my last block cracked so i just rebuilt the block, all the same rotating assembly and hardware. i don't know anything about the valve seals, only that they are the original seals, probably about 5,000 miles on them. no, idle speed is the same. the plug on cylinder #4 is a little oily.

    larry, maybe i should just replace all valve seals?

    could it also be the adjustable valves? maybe they need adjusting? would that cause oil burning, if they are loose?

    thanks in advance
  8. Bluzilla

    Bluzilla a.k.a. "THE DOCTOR"

    If this car is mainly used on the streets, .... I would not recommend omitting the crankcase evacuation. I would check the condition of the 2 breathers to see if they are clogged. As soon as the breathers become clogged, .... the crankcase pressure will overcome questionable valve stem seals. I have photos of that very scenario.

  9. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    Original seals?
    If they're original Buick, there are seals only on the intakes, non on the exhaust, oil WILL weep down the guides and smoke in the exhaust system.
  10. 1973gs

    1973gs Well-Known Member

    You need to run a pcv valve. Do you have oil leaks? Usually a malfunctioning pcv system causes oil leaks. I would think that if it is burning a quart every 200 miles, your spark plugs would be oil fouled, causing driveability issues. Do your plugs have any deposits on them?
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  11. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    I echo valve stem seals. I just drove my Firebird ~3300+ miles consuming a quart every 200 miles. Happened to blow out the intake/exhaust gasket halfway through and when I pulled the intake/exhaust manifolds off there was fresh oil in the intake port of 3 and 6, so there was 90% of my oil consumption I'm sure.

    Maybe run a bore scope down the intake runners?
  12. wormwood

    wormwood Dare to be different

    Larry, ill check the valve cover breathers.
    mark, they are stage 2 T.A heads, built by greg Gessler, not sure what kind of seals he uses
    1973gs, zero oil leaks, not even a drop. the #4 plug was a bit coated in oil.
    silver buick, i don't have a scope
  13. 436'd Skylark

    436'd Skylark Sweet Fancy Moses!!!!!

    What rpm are you turning and what kind of rings? A quart every 200 miles is a lot. Are you noticing any blue smoke? Have someone follow you. It must be billowing out.
  14. mikethegoon

    mikethegoon Well-Known Member

    My small block has an oily tailpipe. Only on driver side. Blue smoke coming at different times mostly when pulling to a stop or accelerate at highway speeds
    Yet oddly enough the plugs ain't oily. Isaw the threads had oil on 1 and ithink the plug next to it smelled like gas. This is still on the original bore. Just new cam. bearings and replaced the heads twice.
  15. mikethegoon

    mikethegoon Well-Known Member

    I am trying to gather the accessories needed to transplant SBC with a fresh bore.Maybe the oily threads were from valve cover leak-causing the plugs to drop
  16. wormwood

    wormwood Dare to be different

    joe, no blue smoke or oil smell from the exhaust that i can tell.
  17. 436'd Skylark

    436'd Skylark Sweet Fancy Moses!!!!!

    Have some one follow you during normal driving. It must be smoking.
    If we can find out when it's smoking we'll have a better idea of the problem.

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