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Old 10-29-2013, 08:04 AM
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radiator cap pressure/white smoke

Have 383 stroker in 55 chevy, with aluminum down flow radiator. Am presently running a 13lb. pressure cap and no overflow tank. Does not have A/C or power steering just old style driving. Have been told white smoke out of exhaust when your in the gas hard but not when at steady speed. Notice a bunch of water coming out of exhaust pipes. Found water blown out in engine compartment and water level down a little. Engine has about 800 miles on it since I bought and installed.

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Old 10-29-2013, 08:27 AM
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Pull and check all your spark plugs look for a differance in color. The lighter color will indicate water in the cylinder. Suspect a blown head gasket. Continuing to drive with a blown head gasket can permantly damage block and head.

Vince
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigal69 View Post
Have 383 stroker in 55 chevy, with aluminum down flow radiator. Am presently running a 13lb. pressure cap and no overflow tank. Does not have A/C or power steering just old style driving. Have been told white smoke out of exhaust when your in the gas hard but not when at steady speed. Notice a bunch of water coming out of exhaust pipes. Found water blown out in engine compartment and water level down a little. Engine has about 800 miles on it since I bought and installed.
You need an overflow tank, vented coolant is replaced by air without one. Air in the cooling system not only is reducing the amount of availble coolant but increases the rate of corrosion within the system by constantly bringing in fresh oxygen which is looking for something to rust. Rust is not good at heat trasfer which makes the parts run hotter but this may not show on the temp gauge because this heat isn't getting into the coolant only being used to distort the shapes and clearances of the parts, you can see where this is going.

When gasoline is burnt about half becomes carbon dioxide and half becomes water, so you do see a lot of water in the exhaust system especially if the engine doesn't get warmed up and held there for an hour or so.

None of this isn't to say your not pulling water into a cylinder, but at the same time don't go ripping up the engine over a non problem. As Z28 points out a quick and dirty check of the plugs looking for an abnormally clean one or a pair of clean ones if a head gasket is blown between two cylinders is a quick check. Another is to pressurize the radiator and watch a test gauge to see if the pressure holds. This inexpensive little tester can be had for under 40 dollars and is suitable for occasional home use <<< Bottom-line pricing on Mityvac - MV4560 at ToolTopia.com >>> or you can take the car to a radiator shop to have it tested. Either is a better way to go than just ripping the heads off.

Bogie
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:50 AM
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Thanks, I thought plugs should look muddy or a chocolate, already pulled #1&3 plugs they looked ok.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:01 AM
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Thanks oldbogie, am going out and pull all of the plugs. Then will have radiator pressure ck'd along with installing an over flow tank. Am old school didn't think I would need one. Thanks again to you and Z28.
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by oldbogie View Post
You need an overflow tank, vented coolant is replaced by air without one. Air in the cooling system not only is reducing the amount of availble coolant but increases the rate of corrosion within the system by constantly bringing in fresh oxygen which is looking for something to rust. Rust is not good at heat trasfer which makes the parts run hotter but this may not show on the temp gauge because this heat isn't getting into the coolant only being used to distort the shapes and clearances of the parts, you can see where this is going.

When gasoline is burnt about half becomes carbon dioxide and half becomes water, so you do see a lot of water in the exhaust system especially if the engine doesn't get warmed up and held there for an hour or so.

None of this isn't to say your not pulling water into a cylinder, but at the same time don't go ripping up the engine over a non problem. As Z28 points out a quick and dirty check of the plugs looking for an abnormally clean one or a pair of clean ones if a head gasket is blown between two cylinders is a quick check. Another is to pressurize the radiator and watch a test gauge to see if the pressure holds. This inexpensive little tester can be had for under 40 dollars and is suitable for occasional home use <<< Bottom-line pricing on Mityvac - MV4560 at ToolTopia.com >>> or you can take the car to a radiator shop to have it tested. Either is a better way to go than just ripping the heads off.

Bogie
Took out all of the plugs, three of them are very clean,2 very dark and the rest are a light-medium color. Ck'd each cylinder and none would hold pressure but then the gage I was using was very old/used a bunch. Went the radiator route, with plugs out to begin with and lost pressure but was very slow. Then put plugs in and ran till temp came up to 195 and pressure was 15psi. Shut engine off and let set (200/18psi). Press went away very slow (3psi in 9min. time) never stopped. Then I found my radiator is leaking out bottom side but not pouring out. Now I don't think I'm pushing water, but the different colored plugs has got me-no water in the oil.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:05 PM
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You will not always have water in the oil from a blown head gasket. One trick to help confirm a blown head gasket is to remove the T-stat, refill the radiator start the car and look for bubbles in the cooling system. Question: are the two clean plugs on adjacent cylinders? If so that would lead me to believe you have a head gasket problem.

Vince
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:34 PM
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Here is one tool to check for combustion gasses in the cooling system ...


Lisle 75500
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