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Old 05-17-2011, 04:36 PM
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Smoke in Engine Bay, GM 230 inline

Hey gang, I have a 1964 Belair, 230 inline that seems to be nearing the end of it's life. Late last summer, the car started smoking pretty badly out of the exhaust pipe. Black, nasty smoke that smelled of strong exhaust fumes. Unsure of what the issue was, I put the car in storage without finding a solution.

Two winters ago, I did some work on the motor. Had the carb rebuilt, also repainted the valve cover, intake manifold, and exhaust manifold. Of course I took the intake and exhaust manifold off the block to repaint. I reassembled everything with new gaskets and gasket sealer. However, I couldn't find the correct torque specs for the bolts, so just tightened until I figured they were tight enough.

Also, the car seems to be running badly, very sputtery, almost like it's choking itself out.

So, my fears. I'm worried I didn't torque the bolts on the exhaust manifold to the right amount, leaving space for the exhaust fumes to escape before being pushed out the exhaust pipe. Possible solution to the smoke. Perhaps I didn't bolt the exhaust flange onto the exhaust manifold to the correct specs, causing a leak and smoke in the bay. Maybe I broke something with the choke diaphragm, causing a bad exhaust mixture (does this even seem plausible) and making the car run bad.

I need help narrowing down what may be causing these issues. It's hard to tell where the smoke is coming from, as it's all coming from around the right side of the motor (where the manifolds are). Please help guys!

Thanks in advance!

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Old 05-17-2011, 04:53 PM
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Hi
The black smoke is due to the carburetor, your fuel mixture is to rich.
The bolts on each end of the manifold get torqued to 20 #Feet
The rest of them go to 30#F
Rich
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:18 PM
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If you had the valve cover off the gasket could be leaking onto the exhaust manifold and causing some smoke under the hood
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hot_rod_kid
Hey gang, I have a 1964 Belair, 230 inline that seems to be nearing the end of it's life. Late last summer, the car started smoking pretty badly out of the exhaust pipe. Black, nasty smoke that smelled of strong exhaust fumes. Unsure of what the issue was, I put the car in storage without finding a solution.

Two winters ago, I did some work on the motor. Had the carb rebuilt, also repainted the valve cover, intake manifold, and exhaust manifold. Of course I took the intake and exhaust manifold off the block to repaint. I reassembled everything with new gaskets and gasket sealer. However, I couldn't find the correct torque specs for the bolts, so just tightened until I figured they were tight enough.

Also, the car seems to be running badly, very sputtery, almost like it's choking itself out.

So, my fears. I'm worried I didn't torque the bolts on the exhaust manifold to the right amount, leaving space for the exhaust fumes to escape before being pushed out the exhaust pipe. Possible solution to the smoke. Perhaps I didn't bolt the exhaust flange onto the exhaust manifold to the correct specs, causing a leak and smoke in the bay. Maybe I broke something with the choke diaphragm, causing a bad exhaust mixture (does this even seem plausible) and making the car run bad.

I need help narrowing down what may be causing these issues. It's hard to tell where the smoke is coming from, as it's all coming from around the right side of the motor (where the manifolds are). Please help guys!

Thanks in advance!
Those old one barrel Rochesters often sink the float resulting in a lot of fuel pouring through the engine. There's plenty of other possibilities but this is a common one.

Bogie
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hot_rod_kid
Two winters ago, I did some work on the motor. Had the carb rebuilt... *SNIP* Also, the car seems to be running badly, very sputtery, almost like it's choking itself out.
Was the carb rebuilt by someone who knows their business, or was it bought from a parts store, or?

The carb may still be either the or part-of-the problem. For one thing, when the engine is fully warmed up the choke has to be fully open- straight up and down. If it isn't, adjust the choke so it is. The choke level needs checking and the float inspected for having filled w/fuel. A simple shake will tell you if the float has fuel inside it. The needle valve/seat assembly needs to be checked to be sure nothing (dirt, rust, etc.) is holding the valve open- this allows fuel to continue to overfill the float bowl.

Any unregulated fuel entering through the carb is bad juju for the engine. It will wash the cylinders clean of the much needed oil and that quickly wears the rings and bores, so if this is the problem, fix ASAP.

Quote:
It's hard to tell where the smoke is coming from, as it's all coming from around the right side of the motor (where the manifolds are).
The manifold torque and gaskets might be part of the exhaust smell under the hood, but you'd also be getting some extra noise, most likely. One thing though- when we talk about "right" and "left", its as if you were sitting in the driver seat, not as you look at the engine from the front of the vehicle. Or just use passenger and driver side.

Double check the plug wires to see that they're in the correct order both at the cap and at the plugs. This is a VERY common mistake. Check that the timing isn't retarded.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:07 PM
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How do I go about adjusting the timing if it is off? My uncle has a timing light that I may be able to use, but I have never used one before so I'm in the dark when it comes to that.

I plan on replacing the plugs, as they are pretty black after running rich last summer for a few shows. I'm also replacing the choke cable, as it is nearly impossible to operate from inside the car. Also on the to-do list is replace the sending unit, although this would be irrelevant for the issue I'm having. Last but not least I plan on replacing the points on the distributor. The wires were replaced 3 years ago, and are still fine.

The other day I noticed that the carb mixture adjust screw was all the way in (tight) and the idle screw was loose. Upon opening the mixture screw, the car would bog down and die. The only remedy was to increase the idle speed, but as a result, the car wanted to shift into second just idling down the road! I may need to adjust the gearing in the TH350.

I'm really hoping to get the car running nicely on Tuesday. I'm having far too many headaches with the car, and just want it to run right!!
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:38 AM
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Replaced the choke cable, pulls really nice and easy now

Pulled the #1 plug, the tip was full of carbon dust, and the threads looked a little wet, black and oily. Now I've never heard of any moisture on the threads on the plug. The tip was dry and the boot was dry also. Any ideas. I'll try and get a picture up for a visual reference.
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hot_rod_kid
Replaced the choke cable, pulls really nice and easy now

Pulled the #1 plug, the tip was full of carbon dust, and the threads looked a little wet, black and oily. Now I've never heard of any moisture on the threads on the plug. The tip was dry and the boot was dry also. Any ideas. I'll try and get a picture up for a visual reference.
The threads can wick oil from the outside, like if there was any leakage from the valve cover or oil spilled when filling the engine, etc. The threads can also get oily from the chamber side if there's a bad valve guide or bad ring seal- but this will usually be accompanied by the plug tip/electrodes looking like they've been exposed to oil, too. But if the plug tip looks dry, most likely the oil came from outside, not from the chamber side (which is a good thing).

Black, dry or even 'fluffy' deposits are from an overly-rich air/fuel mixture. It can also be seen when checking the plugs after the engine had idled or has run w/the choke closed during warm up.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hot_rod_kid
Replaced the choke cable, pulls really nice and easy now

Pulled the #1 plug, the tip was full of carbon dust, and the threads looked a little wet, black and oily. Now I've never heard of any moisture on the threads on the plug. The tip was dry and the boot was dry also. Any ideas. I'll try and get a picture up for a visual reference.
Wet threads is not uncommon, the seal after all is above them so if there is a little extra liquid in the chamber be it fuel or oil the operating pressure push it into the threads. What's important is the tip of the plug is dry, that tends to show it isn't pushing oil nor is so rich of mixture that the plug is drowning in gasoline.

If this is just one plug it could be just a mixture distribution quirk on the intake. It can also be a compression loss, or the cylinder is pumping some oil that could be coming down a valve guide or around the rings. A short term fix, if again it's just this cylinder, is to use a step hotter plug on that cylinder. Keep in mind that if it truly has mechanical difficulties of a poor seal or pumping some oil, restoring operating temps and pressures will only speed up the pending failure. So this has to be recognized as a temporary fix.

Bogie
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:36 PM
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Another update, as I'm outside working on it and looking online for possible solutions to get a break from the humidity.

I took the distributor cap off, and the points look a little worn. Once again, I cant tell between a bad point and a good point, so I made a little MS Paint drawing to go with my crappy cell phone picture.





The bottom is what the old points look like. I'm assuming they are bad because they have rounded edges and pretty deep indentations.

I'll be replacing this and all the plugs, checking out timing Tomorrow (tues) and hoping to get the car running to the transmission shop for some adjusting and reseal the gasket by the end of the week.
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:31 PM
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I've always heard that removing the corrosion seen on distributor cap terminals inside the cap shouldn't be cleaned off of filed, etc. Never really knew what the theory behind this recommendation was, but I've knocked that crud off and it didn't seem to hurt anything. Better to replace the cap in any event.
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Old 06-07-2011, 03:06 PM
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Alright, got the new cap, rotor, and point. I'm hearing the point needs to be gapped? Anyone know the specs of the gap?
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Old 06-07-2011, 03:34 PM
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Alright, did a little more researching and found a pretty good answer. I'll repost here for documents sake of having it within an eyes glance.

Spark plug gap=.035
point gap=.019 with 30* dwell
firing order=153624
timing=4* Before Top Dead Center.

source: http://www.tpocr.com/chevr.html
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:47 PM
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The new plugs are black as night after running the car for 10 minutes. What the hell? Something is out of whack. The mixture screw is in all the way! The idle speed is normal. Something is not right. PLEASE HELP!
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hot_rod_kid
The new plugs are black as night after running the car for 10 minutes. What the hell? Something is out of whack. The mixture screw is in all the way! The idle speed is normal. Something is not right. PLEASE HELP!
For some reason the carb is running rich. It could be the float level off, a sticking or defective needle and valve assembly, choke on when it should be off, float could be filling with fuel, wrong gaskets, loose screws holding the carb together, etc.

If it was me, I would start by retightening the bottom screws that hold the throttle plate to the main body, then the screws that hold the top of the carb to the body and see if that helps.

Is the PCV valve and hoses hooked up?

Also check for vacuum leaks. You can remove the hoses from the carb vacuum ports and plug them off to remove the chance anything attached to the carb by vacuum lines is causing a vacuum leak. A vacuum leak isn't going to cause the carb to be rich, but it's a common problem, anyway.
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