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Old 05-24-2006, 12:24 PM
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350 Smoking outta one tailpipe

My same ole' 80 malibu, rebuilt motor, new heads, intake, carb. Got it out the shop in Nov, put a tarp over it and let it sit 'till April, drove fine for two days with occaisional throttle bursts just to burn some rubber here and there. Pulled up to a store and smoke was billowing out behind me. Engine still looks spankin new, no knocking, but a noticeable loss in performance. Not even 200 miles of regular everyday driving.

Didn't wanna go back 2 the shop; we left on alright terms (after them keeping my car ALL last year and over 5k of my $$) but i wanna and them up a bit. So took it to my race car guy...

He said it was probably the head gasket or a ring or something. Hopefully just a head gasket. Did several checks (oil thin on dipstick, took out a spark plug and bumped the motor, a dab of oil began leaking out a cylinder, ran it for 20 minutes and checked the coolant, wasn't topped off anymore) began taking down the motor. New discovery this morning. I'm missing a rod! the #1 rod was missing he tells me. That was the bad news. The good news, the heads I bought from the shop for $500 turned out to be World Product heads (he thinks), they have a "w" stamped in the lifter valley. So, time to do some research...
ANY tips/Suggestions? Is it possible he won't find the rod in the engine? Could they have built my motor without one?

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Old 05-24-2006, 12:27 PM
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a pushrod or a connecting rod? of either, a connecting rod would be more noticeable!
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Old 05-24-2006, 03:12 PM
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Thanks 4 the comment...
You know, I didn't even ask wich one? I was just reading about pushrods and thought that was the "rod" that he was speaking of. He said there are two "rods" attatched to each "___", and that one of the rods on the number one cylinder is missing? He said he'll further know the cause once he completely gets the intake off. What do u think may have been the cause of the smoke?
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Old 05-24-2006, 03:37 PM
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there are two pushrods per cylinder (intake & exhaust). if one of them had fallen off it's lifter, it might be in the lifter valley underneath the intake manifold. if it's the intake valve not opening you'll basically have a dead cylinder (no fuel/air can enter), and if it's an exhaust valve not opening that piston might fire once or twice, but then be dead since it cant expel the burnt gasses and be able to suck in fresh fuel/air. what color is the smoke you see? does it smell sweet? might want to pressure test the cooling system to see if it's a head gasket. could possibly be bad rings, but i'd think it would only smoke under a load (and still depends on what color smoke you see!).
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Old 05-24-2006, 03:56 PM
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Ahhh, Getting somewhere!!
Okay, I forgot to say that the number (I believe) 3 sparkplug was dead looking, i.e. it was wet with water/oil and didn't appear to have any fire going to it. We discorvered this when we pulled out the all the plugs. Most of the plugs on the smokey (driver) side had oil around the threads, but all looked like they were firing well except for one. When he told me I probably have a dead cylinder I thought the worst. Does that mean my brand new heads are bad? I haven't even pushed this car REAL hard yet.
The car would run fine for the first 60 seconds it idles, then here comes the smoke. It appears dark white, and it lingers and will choke you. It doesn't seem to smoke more when under load, just intermittently. I can't tell if the smell is "sweet" though. Mechanic said he will look for the rod in the intake. If found, what does that mean? If it's NOT found, what would that mean? Just trying to learn all I can while shelling out $$$$
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Old 05-24-2006, 03:58 PM
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that rod problem dont make sence, it would not run at all , or very bad at least, it might have broke a connecting rod, that real bad
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Old 05-24-2006, 04:03 PM
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ok maybe you broke a pushrod, that can be fixed, i would go back to engine builder
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Old 05-24-2006, 04:34 PM
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Well, Which one???
I'm not that well-versed in the whole engine building science, that's why I've come here. I don't wanna be just told anything. Pushrod? Connecting rod? It was running okay while smoking, I mean, I could still catch rubber off a stoplight while in this condition.

I don't really wanna return to the engine builder, he treated me VERY unfairly and I felt disrespected, to put it kindly. It took them a YEAR to get my car where it is now. And these are supposed to be some good guys. If there are any Michiganders reading, I'll name drop them. They do custom restorations and frame-up rebuilds. But they began to put me off and... You get the drift. But I DO appreciate any input from you all
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Old 05-24-2006, 04:51 PM
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O.K.,

I'll speak up here. You mention that it is white smoke? As a general rule, white smoke usually means water (Anti-freeze). That could be a lot of things (as we don't know what was done to the Engine before).

Could be something as simple as an Intake Gasket. Could be something as rough as a cracked Cylinder Head or Block. I agree with above. Pressure testing would help, and, as you indicated, you are losing Anti-Freeze-not a good sign.

Good luck, please keep us posted-
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Old 05-24-2006, 04:57 PM
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white smoke is a sign of water in clyinder, blow head gasket, need more info, the rod problem has me puzzled
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Old 05-25-2006, 05:35 AM
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Good Morning...
So, what kind of extra information is needed? I'm willing to tell all I know. I was told it looks like a mixture of oil AND water. Is that possible? Talking to someone else, they said it probably was a pushrod. I'm going to shoot by there today. Motor is a 350 that the shop gave me, no overbore as far as I know, a mild cam, brand new heads, alum intake. I actually got my 305 rebuilt by them, and a WEEK after they gave it back it started knockin bad. I took it back to them, and when I got it back THIS time, he said he chucked my 305 and GAVE me a 350 block he had lying around the shop, and put all my newly bought components on it. I know I haven't wound it up past 6k rpm. I haven't floored the pedal for more than 5 seconds yet. So for it to start smoking and "missing a rod" is really baffling. I'll know later on today if it was found somewhere inside the motor. THANX AGAIN!
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Old 05-25-2006, 08:45 AM
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I don't know what the oil drainback system is on your car, but my Oldsmobile 350 started smoking heavy gray/white smoke from one side of duel exhaust recently. It would start about 45 seconds after starting the car.

Turned out the oil drain back holes under the valve cover on that side were plugged with thick gooey oil and oil would build up then start leaking down the valve stems apparently. Cleaned the drain back holes out and the that fixed the problem.
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Old 05-25-2006, 09:41 AM
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JOhnTn, You may be on to something!!!
I'm wondering if my letting the car sit outside for Michigan's 6-month winter had anything to do with it, and I think oil can get real goey being immobile for that length of time. All I did when I pulled it out the yard this spring was let it run for about 45 minutes and then drive all the old gas out. Could that have harmed it? After I drove the tank empty, I filled with 3 gallons of race fuel and 6 gallons of 94 octane (did u know the race gas pump nozzles at Shell are too big to fit in your gas tank?? I didn't I had a time trying to pump it directly in the Mali) The smoking started once I ran out that last 10 gallons. I have not changed the oil since the motor was built. The oil appears thin and leaves a few small bubbles on the dipstick? But it doesn't look milky.

And still, what causes a pushrod to break? Can someone maybe post a picture or show me a link to what a broken pushrod looks like? Or even what a good pushrod in an engine looks like? 'Preciate it~
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Old 05-25-2006, 09:43 AM
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It would probably be a good idea if you learned more about engines. It's hard to assist when we keep jumping from a missing #1 "rod" to #3 not firing and everything in between.

Also, what kind of engine shop apparently rebuilds a 305, but screws up and then replaces it with a 350 and charges $5,000??? You can build a quite stout 350 for that kind of money. I think they found they had a live one on the line.

Suggest you find someone credible (or learn yourself) and start testing and disassembling.
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Old 05-25-2006, 10:06 AM
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We had to swap out the head gasket on ours when it smoked but now it works fine.
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