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Old 06-25-2012, 11:50 AM
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new heads and now oil leak....ventilation question

Hey Guys-

I recently swap heads from the old swirl port to the Vortec heads and also changed to E-brock RPM intake. Since then, I have a noticeable oil leak. I first thought it was valve covers, distributor gasket, or rear main. It doesn't appear to be any of these, but more so coming from the breather on the valve cover.

I don't believe it's the rings (less than 10k on the shortblock), so my next question is if I have the ventilation setup properly. I am running a PCV valve on the driver side, and breather on the passenger. There is an additional plug on the passenger side as well that seems to be old and maybe a bit deteriated. In looking at the pics below, is that plug needed,and if so, could it being old be causing the blow by? Could I put an additional breather there?




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Old 06-25-2012, 01:20 PM
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Did you check for vacuum at the pcv valve. it wont work if there is no vacuum. Also are you sure it is not leaking out of the back of the intake. What did you use for sealing the front and back of the intake. If you used gaskets instead of rtv this could be your issue
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:37 PM
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I didn't check vacuum using a guage, I manually checked that the PCV valve was working by pulling it and verifying that was vacuum to my finger. This is probably not adequate.

The intake was sealed with RTV when I did the install.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:48 PM
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Check your breather on the passenger side valve cover. I had one that the hole inside hadn't been opened. I had to punch it open with a drift.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:17 PM
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It's opened about half way, which looks to be correct. It's just odd that this leak formed after the head swap. Is it possible there is more pressure than before?
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:45 PM
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Putting a third breather in is not going to help. Do the valve covers have baffles in them?
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S10 Racer
Putting a third breather in is not going to help. Do the valve covers have baffles in them?
I am not sure...that was going to be my next thing to check tonight when I get home.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:47 AM
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So it looks like the valve cover does have baffling under the breather. I also verified the breather itself is opened as mentioned in an earlier reply. Any other ideas of what to check next?

As you can see, it leaves a noticeable puddle on the ground. This is after a 1hr drive and sitting overnight.





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Old 06-26-2012, 11:11 AM
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If you had that much oil after an hour of running and it was all coming from the breather I'd think you'd smell it burning on the headers.
Get a small mirror and look at the back of your motor where the valve covers are and the back of the intake.
After a drive run your finger across the same area.
Oil leaks are hard to find.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:21 AM
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I can definitely smell it. I did exacly what you said with the mirror lastnight. The intake and distibutor area are dry as a bone. It was wet behind the valve cover and looks to be leaking down from the passenger side. It just seems like an excessive amount to be coming out of the breather.

Is it worth while to just replace the PCV and breather?
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:47 AM
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Clean it up behind the valve cover then run it and do the finger swipe test.
Probably a leaking gasket on the back of the valve cover.
I don't think you'd get that much from the breather.
Any oil on top of your starter housing?
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:30 PM
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I would be curiuos what it would do if you switched valve covers from side to side. Put the PCV valve on the passenger side and the breathers on the drivers. This would orient the baffles in the valve covers differently.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S10 Racer
I would be curiuos what it would do if you switched valve covers from side to side. Put the PCV valve on the passenger side and the breathers on the drivers. This would orient the baffles in the valve covers differently.
Interesting thought....it's just odd that the leak appeared after doing the head/intake swap. The heads prior to this were the ****ty swirl port heads and an Ebrock Performer intake.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:01 PM
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Maybe your valvecover flange has a dimple on the flange? I've never had good luck with Non OEM stamped valvecovers. Perhaps your gasket had a tear in it.

Neither of these are likely; just a thought
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:57 PM
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Ya, I think I may pull the passenger cover off tonight to ensure the gaskets are ok. They are the rubber re-usable kind...
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