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Old 06-13-2010, 12:20 AM
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Vortec 5700 from 2000 Escalde rebuild

I am trying to trace an oil consumption problem that doesn't seem to have any indication on the outside of the motor. I have noticed some small seeps, but nothing that would explain the rate of consumption (approx. 1 qt. per 500 mi.).
I intend do pull the engine and do a complete strip down and rebuild, perhaps into a 383. I would like to get close to 350hp without any major changes if that is possible. I am the second owner of the vehicle and I purchased it in Alaska and lived there for 4 years. I first noticed the consumption problem there, and I'm afraid the block might be cracked. I have no other indication of this besides the oil consumption. I recently had a misfiring problem in #5 and found a badly corroded spark plug. I replaced the plug and skip and hesitation is gone. Could this be caused by a crack in the block? I haven't noticed any loss of coolant or any sign of coolant on the oil dipstick. (I'm not exactly sure what to look for in the oil, but the texture of what's on the dipstick seems normal). I'm new to major automotive repair, but I'm an aircraft mechanic so I think I can handle it. All advice is welcome.

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Old 06-13-2010, 12:12 PM
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This much of leak would be very visible so it's burning it.

Blue smoke on start-up would be valve seals/guides and time for new heads.
Continuous blue smoke would be worn pistons/rings and time for a rebuild
OR
a bad intake manifold or gaskets

BUT

your catalytic converters may be doing their job of cleaning this up SO

check that your PCV system is working and the EVAP canister is still good
check with your dealer IF you can try 20W50 oil without damage
if it stops with 20W50, it's a mechanical problem
if it does not stop with 20W50, check the intake and gaskets
Good luck with it
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:37 PM
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Thanks for the info. I've tried the 20W50 and it didn't stop. My research on other sites also confirm an internal leakage but I haven't noticed enough smoke to verify your suggestion, so your thoughts on the catallytic converter are probably correct. Please elaborate on the intake manifold issue you mentioned, I'm still not very familiar with the top end stuff. Thanks again.
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Old 06-13-2010, 03:36 PM
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"Please elaborate on the intake manifold issue you mentioned, I'm still not very familiar with the top end stuff."

Any intake manifold can warp, crack, come loose OR just loose enough to de-compress the gaskets. It can now suck oil directly from the lifter valley into the intake ports. The only way to check it is to remove the manifold and inspect everything then re-install properly. Do torque the bolts to specs AND in the proper sequence and hope for the best.

IF the engine has been worked, is it the correct manifold?
IF the heads were 'angle cut' the mounting faces will not match correctly.
OEM gaskets work best on an OEM stock motor, get them from the dealer to eliminate that variable.

Keep telling yourself 'chasing gremlins is fun'
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:42 PM
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***update***

I changed the #5 plug 2 days ago for a misfiring problem and it basically fixed it. There was a lot of corrosion and "gunk" on the old plug. I noticed that the hesitation started again last night so I pulled the plug and found the same buildup on it, just not as bad. The gunk does seem a little oily so I'm thinking this could be where the oil problem is, but what would cause such fast corrosion buildup?
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:11 PM
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You need to replace the intake gaskets, The stock intake gaskets seems to have a problem cracking around the plastic frame and starts letting the engine suck oil out of the lifter valley causing a miss and fouled plugs. Felpro makes a nice replacement gasket set . If you are not very mechanically inclined I recommend you take it to a reputable shop and get it done.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:47 PM
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Is it possible for that to foul just one plug? The other cylinders don't show any sign of fouling.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:59 PM
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A VACUUM gage may be able to tell you something about the possibility of a leaking intake gasket. That is one of many sites that show how to decipher the gage.

If the plug is oil fouling, there will be a black, wet residue on the electrodes and insulator. You can google spark plug color for photos of different fouled plugs.
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Old 06-14-2010, 05:42 PM
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Thank you for the links. My plug looks exactly like the "ash fouled" picture. Am I correct in surmising that this can still be caused by a bad intake gasket?
I'm working on pulling the intake manifold now.
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jganderson
Thank you for the links. My plug looks exactly like the "ash fouled" picture. Am I correct in surmising that this can still be caused by a bad intake gasket?
Yes, and that just one cylinder is affected isn't that rare, rather it's just the "breaks".

The advice JR gave about the different softer gasket seems to be sound, the hard OEM-type gaskets seem to cause alot of problems w/leakage of vacuum and coolant.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:14 PM
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Thanks, I googled some pictures of the manifold and saw how just one cylinder can be affected. Fortunately my local Autozone has the Felpro gasket set in stock. I'm pulling the top end apart right now. I've ran into one snag so far. The bracket on the back of the motor that holds the fuel lines doesn't want to come unbolted. From what I can tell with a mirror it isn't a bolt and nut setup, but when I try to loosen it, it does about a quarter turn then gets really tight and does the same thing when I go the other way. Any thoughts? Also, does removing the vacuum line for the master cylinder cause any problems other than a bleed? Thanks everyone.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jganderson
From what I can tell with a mirror it isn't a bolt and nut setup, but when I try to loosen it, it does about a quarter turn then gets really tight and does the same thing when I go the other way. Any thoughts?
It may be a stud w/a hex on it (similar to a rocker arm stud) that has the bracket, then a nut holding it. If the stud loosened before the nut, you'll get a situation like you describe.

You'd need to get a wrench under the bracket to hold the stud while another tool is used to loosen the nut.

Quote:
Also, does removing the vacuum line for the master cylinder cause any problems other than a bleed?
If it's the vacuum hose for the power brake booster, the good news is, no bleeding is required- just plug it or tape the end over so nothing enters the open ends. Only if you have to loosen the hydraulic lines to the calipers/combo valve/ABS, etc. will a bleed be required.
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:32 PM
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Thanks for all the info cobalt. It was just a bolt. Once I soaked with some WD-40 and got over my vaginitis it came out. Also, when I got my head out of my $&%, I realized that the line didn't matter if the engine wasn't running. So far I have all the electrical moved out of the way and the upper portion of the manifold removed. There is a lot of oil and residue inside the air chamber, so I'm going to attach a link to some photos in my next post. I hope some of you will take a look and let me know what you think.

Thanks again everyone.
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:58 PM
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Pictures of the intake manifold......
http://files.me.com/james.g.anderson/7q7c26
http://files.me.com/james.g.anderson/ortxw7
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:24 AM
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Looks like you're well on the way to finding the problem. If you haven't found the other thread on intake manifold fit problems, it does have some very useful tips on measuring the manifold/head fit before final assembly, too much work to do twice:

other manifold thread
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