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Old 11-02-2002, 12:00 PM
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Post Oil control ring

I bought my Camaro with a sb 400 in it and the guy had it about 13 yrs and said he had the engine gone through completly top to bottom. He put about 1500 miles on in that entire time but I don't think he ever changed oil because he drove it so infrequently. My question is that it uses quite a bit of oil and I was reading some old posts about the oil control rings on the pistons and a light bulb went off in my head. The car smokes alot of blue when first started and the tailpipes actually shoot a little oil out when first running. Could it be the oil control rings or do you think it is the valve guides. He said he had the heads done at same time as engine. Has a roller cam and I just assume with all the work he put in new guides. Any ideas would be helpful.
Scott

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Old 11-02-2002, 02:45 PM
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you can't assume anything when it comes to "rebuilt" engines, one mans rebuild is another mans piece of ***t, i get a lot of people especially dealers who bring in heads and want them milled and change the valve seals. then they tell the customer 'the engine was just gone thru by a machine shop" take a compression test or a lesk down test to get an idea of ring condition.. if you have a lot of initial smoke it is usually valve guides and seals, if it is worse under power then its rings.
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Old 11-02-2002, 03:33 PM
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Did a compression test and read pretty even, 165-170 all around. I did not do the oil squirt test, just cranked it and tested them with all the plugs out. Does really smoke and chatter on initial startup, especially after sitting a few days. Any other way to test to make sure it is the valve seals? It is parked for the winter and I could pull the heads if I had to. The car runs great under power, really pulls well on acceleration. I don't really notice a huge cloud of blue behind the car like my dads old 66 Galaxie 500. I could kill Mosquitos for miles when I kicked in the 4 barrel on that old 352.
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Old 11-02-2002, 03:46 PM
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kwik check. remove valve cover then take a pry bar and try to move the center exhaust valves side to side by pressing against the spring and retainer, go easy but if you can see any movement of the valve stems, it needs guides. take a flashlite and look between the coils of the springs to see if it has umbrella seals. probably has o-ring seals but you can't see them.
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Old 11-02-2002, 04:09 PM
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Thanks, I am gonna pull the valve covers and take a peek. I guess it is possible that it sat for a while the orings or umbrella seals could dry up. If it has O rings I heard that you should remove them if you install umbrellas. Something about drag and will cause hp lose. Are the orings hard to get out? Or is it a snap as long as I am replacing the umbrellas. Thanks
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Old 11-02-2002, 04:27 PM
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if your going to pull them apart the o-ring is just under the valve locks, sometimes they get hard and you have to break them off with needle nose pliars, as for the umbrella seals causing friction that is a big load of***t they ride up and down with the valve, even the new style positive seals have so little tension i doubt the drag could be measured with common methods, with oil they would be near no friction at all.
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Old 11-02-2002, 06:18 PM
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I use both O-rings and umbrella/PCs if I have 'em.
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Old 11-02-2002, 06:35 PM
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So if the orings are there, probably best to just leave them in and install new umbrellas on the valves? Sounds like a plan to me, how many years they been using the umbrellas now? My semester in Tech school 20 yrs ago after I got out of the army is kinda fuzzy, but I remember doing a valve job, just not the small details.
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Old 11-02-2002, 06:46 PM
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No, replace the O-rings (they will come with the gasket set). Then buy the umbrellas seperately. I don't think any 400 ('81? being the last year) came with umbrellas/PCs originaly, so the gasket set should only have the O-rings.
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