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Old 04-13-2005, 12:01 AM
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1969 GTO engine problems

Okay, I was driving down the interstate at night and my oil pressure dropped to nothing and I smelled something bad. I really have no idea what the smell could have been, I just know it was something I had never smelled before... not oil burning, not coolant, not brakes, not even gas boiling off the exaust (that smell stuck with me...). I pulled over and when I got down to a stop, the rpms were really low, but when I took the car out of gear it revved up about a 1000 rpms higher than it should have. It was acting like it was losing vacuum. I killed it and got out the flashlight to see if I could see anything. The coolant levels were fine, and it was low enough on oil it wasn't on the dip stick so I thought it might be something bad and had it towed home to work on it. first thing I did was drain the oil and there was only a quart and a half in it. I also noticed that there was an oil leak on the passenger rear side of the motor. I was thinking it was the oil pressure sending unit or maybe an intake gasket. Could that alone explain the symptoms? Could it be a head gasket? Should I fill it up with oil, start it up, and see if it works?

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Old 04-13-2005, 04:55 AM
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If the oil sender is over there, I would suspect that. Was the smell, the oil hitting the exhaust pipe?

If you lost most of the oil, chances are the bearings are hury now. Filling it with oil and starting it for a short time shouldn't hurt anything further. Have it jacked up, so you can get a good look to see where the oil is leaking from. If your pressure is back up, you might be OK, and there is just a leak to fix.
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Old 04-13-2005, 01:09 PM
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the smell wasn't oil burning off the exhaust. I was afraid it could be a scorched bearing or something because of the smell... it wasn't like anything I have smelled before. That is the reason I still have not started it back up, I am afraid of what might happen if it is a bearing if I started it.
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Old 04-13-2005, 06:31 PM
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Last time i smelled something like that I ran my engine at too high of an rpm for too long and it smelled like my old 2 stroke dirt bike did just before seizing the rod to the crank. I would be tempted to pull the engine and look at the bearings if the motor would be hard to replace. If the crank isnt hurt alredy it might be hurt if started and the oil pressure dosent come back. Or you could start it up with 5 qts of oil in it and hope. I just dont like to risk my engines, im the kinda guy that pulls it out so often that it almost falls out when i do so that might be why id rather pull it. good luck.
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Old 04-13-2005, 06:51 PM
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why dont you fill it w/ oil pull the dist and pump some oil for a while to see if you find a leak i dont think that will hurt any thing
what size motor ?
original motor?
did it make any noises?
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:31 AM
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no unusual noises... and finding the leak isn't my number one priority. I know it is leaking, and if i have to pull the motor, i will fix it then, and if not, then i will worry about the thing. Original motor, pontiac 400, rebuilt about 30k miles ago.

This may be a hard question to answer, but what would it smell like if it was a bearing? Is there something similar you can relate it to? like brakes wearing down, or an electric motor, or the smell of a machine shop?

I just thought of something.... if i pull the dist. out and try and turn it over by hand, wouldn't it be really hard/next to impossible to turn over by hand if it was a bearing problem?

Last edited by Croz; 04-14-2005 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 04-14-2005, 05:24 PM
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you would want to pull the plugs so there would be no compression but i dont know any wat of checking bearings than that squish tape (i forget what it is called) but yes i relate but again i dont know what a bearing would smell like

I would pull the plugs and spin her over by hand
then w/ the plugs out spin her over w/ the starter and see what kind of oil you are devoloping if its normal (dont burn out your starter)hear anything do you have a mechanical guage? if you do watch to see it fluxuate

ive never seen a motor that lockedup with one bearing out
think of it this way if you yonk the motor out you might as wellput new
bearings in it any way
when my 400 spun a rod it only did it when it was warmed up an when it knocked it would coillatedw/ the oil guage
let me know how you make out
rob
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Old 04-14-2005, 07:43 PM
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Have you tried filling it with oil and seeing if your pressure comes back up yet?

You say you only had 1.5 qts of oil in it. When running down the road at speed all your oil would have been up in the engine leaving none in the pan for the pickup to draw from therefore causing your gauge to drop.

Your smell would most likely be caused by heat from lack of proper lubrication.

Try changing the filter and filling the oil to spec and see what happens. I would suspect you are in for a rebuild myself.



Rob Keller: "when my 400 spun a rod it only did it when it was warmed up an when it knocked it would coillatedw/ the oil guage"

What do you mean?

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Old 04-14-2005, 10:34 PM
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I remember a car being towed into the garage I worked at. While on the highway it blew a radiator hose and the owner drove the car until the engine locked up. I remember the way the engine smelled, it had an unusal smell that I can't discribe. I asked my boss what it was, he said "that's what a cooked engine smells like."

Your engine was probably getting to that point, and it might be the same smell. When was the last time you checked the oil, prior to this.
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Old 04-14-2005, 10:57 PM
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I had pretty much the ssame exact thing happen to me in a Chevy 350 except that it started a weird rythmic screaching sound when I got off the off ramp ( I was very close to the off ramp so I stopped there). I checked the dipstick and it didn't have any oil on it. After asking others, I took off the oil pan and found metal shavings and it was a spun rod bearing. My advice that I took is to drain the oil, take off the pan, and look for metal shavings. Look at each of the rod caps. If any of the are darker than the others it's most likely due to the extreme heat of the rod bearing that has spun. If that's the case, you most liely have to get a new or have your crank turned and some new rods.

Good luck with the motor. I'm having to rebuild another motor because mine is already .060 over and doesn't look reusable.
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Old 04-15-2005, 12:36 AM
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I drained the oil out of it and didn't find any debris (granted, that doesn't mean none is in the pan). Also the smell wasn't very... thick? I mean, you could barely smell it and it went away after the engine was off for a couple minutes. I checked the oil before I left home, but I was on the interstate about an hour before I noticed it acting up and I stopped immediately. I already thought about pulling the oil pan but I don't think I can without pulling the engine. But, if that is what I have to do, I can't get around it...

Last edited by Croz; 04-15-2005 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 04-15-2005, 12:03 PM
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lonestar, i had just got done putting a used rear and trans in and i took it up the road in the booneis(and really blew the snot out of it) when i got back it was knocking ...bad.. so the next day i started it up and it made no noise at all so for a week or two i dident relize it but i was making short trips here and there not getting it real hot then i went a little further and there it goes kknockity knock got it back home start it up the next day nuthin' took it out again and this time it got worse
i talked to this oldtimer who told me to look @ the oil guage and shure enouph when it got hot and started to knock the oil guage would drop just slightly when it knocked
pulled the motor out and sure as my rotten luck spun a rod bearing mushed it out like it was made of wax
put new set of rods and mains and she ran good for a while
sorry for the long winded explanation
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Old 04-15-2005, 12:44 PM
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Smell...

Doc here,

Does the engine smell like a burned out gym locker? or a laundry after a fire? Sure sign it's Fried...

What you might do (if you haven't thrown them away yet) Take the oil , get an old speaker, cut off the magnet off it and troll your oil catch pan with it, see what sticks, and what floats ...Crankthrow and big end parts are mailable, and therefore Magnetic..should trap in the magnet..I don't think (not sure) That insert material is mailable, but should float as Shiny spec's in stirred oil.

Next remove the oil filter, cut it in half with a pair of shears (don't saw it, so as not to add shavings ) and use one of those "Pen" type Telescoping magnets and check it for metal...

Lastly, Crawl under it and using your pen type magnet, and a pen light, snake it in through the oil drain hole, extend it if you have to, but try to get it into the sump...(it should to the pan bottom and slide along the pan if your ginger with it.)work it around in there, and carefully withdraw it. If it's clean, you SHOULD be good as far as bearing wear, though you'll never be 100 % sure until you pull it down and mic it.

If you don't have shavings, I'd say oil it, filter it, and fire it...watch your pressure and listen for knocking..Does this have that Funky Bypass Valve in the oil filter pick up? If so..it may be stuck or sticking..causing drops in pressure and oil starvation.

Hope it Helps!

Doc
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Old 04-15-2005, 01:21 PM
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Thanks for the tips, I am going away for the weekend, and I will try these things you suggested first thing Monday when I get back. As for the smell, it doesn't smell at all now, and it didn't smell like any gym locker I have ever smelled... I will let you know how the tests go when I get home Monday.

Thanks,
Croz
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Old 04-17-2005, 07:37 PM
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sorry i thunked of sumptin' do you use synthetic oils that could give you a funkadelic smell for shure
good luck

sr66
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