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Old 03-22-2007, 11:07 AM
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Head Gasket or Piston Rings?

HEy guys whats up? Well the new problem this week on my 88 Iroc-Z TPI 350, is excessive oil smoke from the exhuast?!?! This car smokes so bad that i could win a burnout comp. without even spinning a tire! The symptoms are as follows; excessive blue smoke from the engine compartment and exhuast pipes, smokes billowing out of the steering column as i drive, high oil pressure(50-60+ according to the guage), pcv valve blowing out of the valve cover at high revs, cataliytic converter noises(im thinking thats due to the oil smoke), and last and probably the most upseting is a significant loss of power. My question is, does this sound like a blown head gasket or bad piston rings? There are some things that lead me to believe that its the head gasket and there are some things that lead me to believe that its piston rings? For example i think its the head gasket becuase it just started smoking one day after i let it overheat on me, but why wouldnt i be losing antifreeze, why are the pcv valves coming out? Then i think it the rings becuase i go through about 2 quarts of oil a day! Either one of these could lead to a loss of power due to low compression but how can I pinpoint the problem? You guys are always so helpful when it comes to a fellow hotrodder in need!! Thanks for all the help you guys have given me in the past and on my current issues!!!!
Thanks Again
Bryant
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Old 03-22-2007, 12:38 PM
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Sounds like a piston or rings to me, since it is oil. If it was losing water I would say head gasket.
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:13 PM
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If you are building up enough pressure in the crankcase to pop out the pcv valve most likely you have a significant piston/ring issue. A shop can leak down test it to verify what is happening.
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:57 PM
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If you want to 'pinpoint ' the problem try checking the plugs then compression check
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Old 03-22-2007, 04:27 PM
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Piston?

If the smoke problem happened suddenly it is probably a blown piston, if it came on slowly it could be a ring problem or avalve guide problem. If you have a blown head gasket you will get air bubbles in your radiator with the engine idling, the chances of a blown head gasket causing the problem that you have described is almost non existent.
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Old 03-22-2007, 04:44 PM
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Doc here,

Sounds to me like a blown, cracked or seized skirt on a piston..blowing compression down into the crankcase, sucking oil back up..Compression testing will tell the story..

Any metallic "Tinking" ? maybe a busted set of rings..

A head gasket would leave the oil milky white and be low on water a lot unless the gasket was blown between a cylinder and an oil return passage..not effecting water jackets..rare, but does happen..

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Old 03-23-2007, 05:31 PM
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I say rings.

One good overheating can take all the tension out of the rings. Get yourself a inexpensive leak down tester and follow the directions. A leak down test pin points the problem better then a compression test.
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Old 03-24-2007, 01:33 PM
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Thanks guys this is all very helpful
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