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WFO
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5,030 Posts
The early SBC including the 283 and 327 used a "road draft" crankcase evacuation system instead of a PCV system. Combine that w/the non-detergent oils that were common then, and then add short hop in-town driving where the engine rarely got fully up to temp for long, and the result was sludge.

Using ATF or kerosene or MM oil, etc. was done to put the sludge in suspension so it could be dumped w/the oil and filter.

The problem w/doing this was often seals were damaged by the abrasive nature of the crud that was suspended in the oil, and any wear that was masked by the sludge (like valve stem seals) was removed and the result was often the engine became an oil burner/dripper/leaker.
 

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WFO
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5,030 Posts
So that's why the 72 and older vehicles smokes a lot and the newer vehicles of today smoke a lot less with the same amount of miles on them.
Another reason for older vehicles to use oil more than newer ones can be chalked up to carbs vs. EFI. The carb choke could get out of adjustment or stick, causing the engine to run way too rich. This too-rich condition washed the oil from the cylinders causing accelerated ring and bore wear. Same thing if the float sunk due to absorbing fuel or a pinhole- way too rich and washed cylinders. None of that happens to an EFI equipped engine, so much less wear overall. This would be on vehicles a lot newer than '72, and I'm guessing you're aware of this already but thought I'd mention it for anyone doing a search.
 

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WFO
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5,030 Posts
Hey, my hat's off to you if you've gotten the body and paint thing down. That's one thing I've always avoided for fear of making myself more work in the end! Shame about your sister's house. Maybe make it a w/e project...
 

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WFO
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5,030 Posts
Off topic alert

Wiping the car w/ATF reminds me of the old used car salesman's trick of using lamp oil (unscented kerosene, basically) to wipe down an oxidized paint job. Lasted about a week. Later, much the same thing was done to Ford wagons w/simulated wood panels made of vinyl. Right up there w/putting sawdust in a rearend to quiet it from howling.:nono:
 
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