69 XH 400 pushing oil - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
 
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69 XH 400 pushing oil

I have a problem I've been dealing with for a while now (since 4 yrs. ago when I bought it). The XH 400 in my 69 goat pushes oil from the breather. When I first bought it, it had the breather pipe that hooks into the air cleaner. It leaked like terrible out of the grommet in the valve cover and all over the pass. side manifold, so I replaced the grommet. As the tube kept falling off the air cleaner, I replaced it with a push in breather as well. Probably should have kept the tube, but idiotically threw it away and the garbage was collected before I realized my mistake. That lasted a few days till I was driving down the road with smoke billowing from under my car. When I pulled over and grabbed the extinguisher (call me crazy, but I like to have one on hand) I discovered that the push in breather was dripping oil out of the breather holes on the bottom and all over the hot exhaust. I pulled it out and plugged the hole with a rolled up paper towel to get home. Then I made an unsightly custom breather from an empty qt. of oil and some scotts shop towels with rtv sealing off the base where it stuck into the valve cover. That worked for a few years till I started getting paranoid about bugs and stuff finding their way through the breather and into the valve cover. This past summer when I had the engine out to replace the rear main seal, I decided that I was going the try another push in breather, but this time slightly modified. I drilled a hole in the top corner and tack welded a piece of 1/2 in tubing onto it so it kinda looks like one of those pcv breathers. the top of the tube now sits about half way up the air cleaner. The holes on the bottom of the breather are all rtv'd as well as the base of the tubing where it meets the breather. So now, the valve cover breathes solely from the top of that tube, down through the breather filter. No more leaks. Problem solved right?
Wrong. That worked for about a week. Then the oil had made it's way up through the breather, up the tube and all over the firewall and the components bolted to it.
That didn't scare me as bad as a few weeks ago when I went to check my oil (after a 1/2 hr trip), I opened the hood to find that instead of dark, but clean, oil all over the firewall, there was now what looked like a vanilla milk shake all over the place from the end of the breather. I pulled the breather and the oil fill cap to find that the valve trains were covered with the same milky sludge. I then checked the oil, but no water in the pan. I thought... has to be valve cover condensation. But the car had just made a 1/2 hr. trip and a 45 min. trip an hr before that. Should have had plenty of a chance to cook that stuff out. I decided the pcv valve was to blame, so I replaced it. That seems to have taken care of the problem for now, but still I have oil pushing from the breather.
The rings are a bit worn as when I step on it good, I leave a black cloud behind me. Is it possible that the rings are so bad that compression is slipping right past them and pushing up through the crankcase and valve train, carrying oil out with it? I haven't done a compression test on it but based on driving characteristics and the fact that it gives the starter a workout, I don't believe there to be a serious compression problem. Any ideas?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
 
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Wow! That's a much larger description than I intended. Didn't want to leave anything out though.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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Burning oil usually is a bluish white smoke coming from the exhaust. Do you have drippers on the inside of the valve covers? Do you have a good CLEAR vacuum line in your PCV system? Have you done a compression check...and Are you loosing coolant into your oil system OR oil into your cooling system? Check and let us know...... Eric



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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 11:02 AM
 
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When you do a compression test make sure all of the plugs are out and the carb is at full throttle.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 12:54 PM
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You need to do a cylinder leakdown check, or have it done by someone who has a leakdown tester. Not the same as a compression test. To me, it sounds like your engine has excessive blow-by past the piston rings. A leakdown test will verify that. If you pass the test, it could well be the areas listed above.......
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 02:04 PM
 
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time for a rebuild. quick test for broken rings. remove the breather and put your hand slightly above the breather hole. there should a slight steady stream of warm blowby air coming out. if instead you feel it puffing you have a bad cylinder.
milky stuff coming out of the breather indicates water. could be anything from a timing cover, cracked block,cracked head, bad headgasket ect.
too bad you didnt evaluate the health of the engine when you had it out. double the work now. good luck.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Eric Animal View Post
Burning oil usually is a bluish white smoke coming from the exhaust. Do you have drippers on the inside of the valve covers? Do you have a good CLEAR vacuum line in your PCV system? Have you done a compression check...and Are you loosing coolant into your oil system OR oil into your cooling system? Check and let us know...... Eric
No, no, not yet & neither one is leaking over. I will check the rest this week if I have time. In the meantime thanks to all for the help.
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