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Old 07-24-2013, 11:48 AM
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SBC 350 White Smoke From Exhaust

I have a SBC 350 with Vortec Heads and when I rev the engine white smoke comes out from the passenger side exhaust. I searched the internet and looks like I might have a blown head gasket. I took off the passenger side head, is there any way to tell where it's leaking from, from the head or block. I know I might have a crack you can't see, but any signs? Also could it be that my gasket is bad or maybe one of the head bolts got loose and coolant was leaking pass it? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Mahalo.

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Old 07-24-2013, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pukas84 View Post
I have a SBC 350 with Vortec Heads and when I rev the engine white smoke comes out from the passenger side exhaust. I searched the internet and looks like I might have a blown head gasket. I took off the passenger side head, is there any way to tell where it's leaking from, from the head or block. I know I might have a crack you can't see, but any signs? Also could it be that my gasket is bad or maybe one of the head bolts got loose and coolant was leaking pass it? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Mahalo.
Vortec's have problems with sealing the coolant return passages, they are given to blowing the head gasket between the center cylinders, they are suseptable to cracks in the combustion chambers and exhaust ports.

About the only conclusive test is compression, a low in two adjacent cylinders will usually indicate a blown gasket between them. Pulling the plugs might find a coolant in that cylinder, pulling the exhaust manifold might also show the offender. Beyond that pretty much the head has to come off.

My experience if you start taking bolts out and heavy parts off is that GM's teflon coated threads are often inadaquate to the task of keeping fluids from migrating up the threads. My process is to clean all threads with a tap or die depending on their sex. Then appling a good coat of Otay's white non-hardening pipe joint compound with Teflon (PTFE). This stuff has about the same lubricity as engine oil so your OEM torque recommendations are good-to-go.

Bogie
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:47 PM
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Just wondering what are some good head gaskets for vortec heads?
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:31 PM
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Just wondering what are some good head gaskets for vortec heads?
There are two GM gaskets I really like they are:

GM 10105117, a multi-layered stainless steel gasket with a 4.1 bore, it's .028 thick, works with iron or aluminum heads, good for holding back high compression and tolerates some surface irregularities in the deck and head surfaces.

GM 14096405, stainless faces over a graphite core, 4.1 bore and .028 thick. This thing hangs tough on uneven surfaces and puts up with high compression ratios. Good for iron or aluminum, this makes a good race engine gasket as it's very tolerant of engines running very hot. It lets the block and head move around to adjust for their temperature differences without breaking its seal.

If you want to get the head squish/quench deck closer to the piston and raise compression the FelPro FEL 1094 a steel shim with a 4.1 bore and .015 thick is really good if you've got super flat surfaces on the deck and head. It, like all shim gaskets does not tolerate the engine being overheated but you can buy more tolerance of that by stacking them 2 to a side. This gives a .030 thickness which is close to the multi layers sited above.

Bogie
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