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Old 04-17-2009, 08:48 PM
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Stumped

I did a post on this before. Still am at a complete loss to whats the cause.
1998 350 Vortec block. .030 over, decked .010 Magnafluxed no cracks found.
RHS Vortec heads, 170cc runners, 1.94 intake 1.50 exhaust. 64cc chambers.
Speed pro flat top coated skirt 2 valve relief hyper pistons. 1.560 Comp Height. .015 in the hole at TDC.
PM 5.7 rods.
Mr. Gasket .028 thickness head gaskets. Quench distance .043
Compression test shows 195 psi.
Comp hydraulic roller cam. 215 duration @ .050 .500 lift.
Black jack 1 5/8 headers. Dual exhaust into flowmasters
SMI Rochester Quadrajet fuel pressure set at 4 psi.
Edelbrock performer Vortec intake.
HEI with pertronix flame thrower coil and module. Blue max spiral wires.
Cloyes Vortec street roller timing chain.
Manley Street master valves. Springs, locks, retainers to match the cam.
The issue, it smokes like no tomorrow. Smoke color is gray/blue, mostly gray. Smoke has a odd scent, it doesn`t smell like oil. I asked the machinist who did the heads and he said he did not install seals on the exhaust as it didn`t need them. at idle, with PCV connected it shows little blow by, disconnect it and it`s quite a lot. I`m wondering if I installed the 2nd ring incorrectly.
We checked the brake booster for leaks, trans modulator and PCV and all checked good. Car runs strong, but no matter, still smokes like a train.
Plugs check as black, soot colored, not wet with oil. Now, before I set dynomite to this thing what is wrong? Only thing I can come up with is the lack of valve seals on the exhaust, but as explained, there is no vacuum on the exhaust side. But I don`t understand the funny colored smoke and scent.
I`m thinking I must have installed the 2nd ring wrong, other than that, I`m at a loss. It didn`t smoke until we installed the RHS heads if that helps.
Any help is appreciated.

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Old 04-17-2009, 09:02 PM
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Any chance you got some diesel in the tank? Seen it before, smokes like crazy but still runs good.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:07 PM
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Funny you`d ask J. The original tank was full of crud. We took it to have it professionally cleaned and got it back so full of holes it looked like it had been shot by game load in a 12 gauge. We installed a fresh fuel tank with fuel, made no difference. K-Star,,, if your out there... HELP!
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:10 PM
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Did you re-ring it before you installed the new heads.
Did you check the ring end gap on top and second ring.
If engine does have blow by most likely ring related, but I have seen head gaskets do this as well.
As far as no valve seals on the exhaust valves that will just add to the problem.
The other thing are the ring end gaps lined up on oil control ring, they need to be staggered.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:21 PM
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If it's not oil, the only thing left is water/antifreeze. Might explain the smell.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:27 PM
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I didn`t check the gap as Speed Pro pistons don`t require it, even so I realize I still should have. We are running straight water, no antifreeze. it runs super cool, at idle you can leave the electric fan off 10 minutes and it`ll only get to 210. It`s one of the coolest running small blocks I`ve seen. If the ring gap was the issue with the top ring wouldn`t it show up on the compression test? I realize the 2nd ring is just a scraper but it runs far cooler than the top ring so it doesn`t require the same amount of gap.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:28 PM
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The weird smell keeps catching my attention too. Most oils that are burning in an engine smell about the same and i'm sure we've all smelled them enough to know the scent.

Can you pull a fuel sample and take a look at it in the sun for color? Take a whiff of it too? Try filling the carb with fresh gas for a short run to see if it clears up any?

You mention the plugs are kinda black, are they sticky/gooey too, like from some kind of contaminant in the fuel system?
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:43 PM
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well you said "blowby" in your origonal post. this won't cause blowby, but does the tranny have a vacuum modulator on it??? if the diaphram goes bad you will burn oil (actually tranny fluid) like crazy and it doesn't smell like engine oil. just a thought nobody else mentioned.
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Old 04-18-2009, 08:55 AM
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sounds like your burning coolant. it will be alot of grey smoke and will smell sweet. but if you just put the heads on and hardly ran the engine you could of got some coolant in the exhaust system and it will smoke alot for a while untill it burns off.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:31 AM
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Drain the coolant- flush the system and refill w/water and see how the odor will be different- you have a head gasket leaking coolant into a combustion chamber, like already mentioned IMO.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:31 PM
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Welp guys, I`m thankful of you all trying to help me figure this out. But were positive there`s no coolant leaks. It`s not lost a drop of coolant. We checked the head bolt torque since they are new heads to make sure they didn`t back off, they still held a solid 65 ft lbs. All the plugs are black colored. None show any signs of coolant. In every case I ever seen coolant in the combustion chamber causes the plug to be steam cleaned. Unless there`s another way for coolant to be getting in I`m stumped. But, I can barrow the system pressure tester from my dad`s work place, thanks for giving me the good idea.
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Old 04-18-2009, 02:51 PM
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If it were coolant the plugs would most likely be clean not black.
If you have blow by this is most likely the cause of the crappy looking plugs.
Have you run a compression test or a leak down test.
Leak down should tell the story
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Old 04-18-2009, 04:23 PM
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You said you checked the modulator. As in removed the vacuum line and plugged it then ran the engine? They will still work, yet can be allowing ATF to leak past the diaphragm into the intake.

Not to beat a dead horse- but if a radiator overflow is used, the radiator will replenish from the overflow tank. The overflow reservoir will drop, while the rad. stays full, until the overflow is empty.

Just wanted to be sure that there's no mistake there.

Are you using any oil supplements that could disguise the usual smell and color of burning oil?
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Old 04-18-2009, 05:10 PM
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We just did a oil change and the smoking got a lot better. The oil that came out smelled funny. I checked it for fuel as I have in the past and wait for the rag to quickly catch fire but it wasn`t flammible. When we first ran this engine the fuel pump ruptured causing fuel to get in the oil but we changed the oil and fuel pump quickly as I knew the damage it could do. The engine wasn`t ran very long with fuel in the oil. So I wonder now if the fuel did damage to the rings. It usually does but takes a long time. Since it did it when the engine was not broken in I`m starting to think it possibly killed the rings. Compression checks out good at 195 psi. I don`t have access to a leak down tester. And yes, we made sure there`s no coolant getting in. We`ve went over everything I know to go over to no avail.
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:39 PM
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whe you ringed it -- did you put the bevel on the rings up-- oor some have a little dot on them--
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