L36 burning oil, smoking out exhaust after UIM replacement - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 06-08-2006, 11:14 AM   #1
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Default L36 burning oil, smoking out exhaust after UIM replacement

Hey guys,

I'm going to repost this in a new thread since this kinda goes beyond the usual newbie questions about these cars. Here'* the deal. I bought this car with 55020 miles on it. Drove it, didn't notice any coolant leaking and the level stayed good in the tank. It was owned by an old guy who didn't drive on the highway. The first time I drove it on the highway, I noticed afterwards that the coolant level had dropped. The oil didn't look milky, but I changed it. The next day the coolant level would drop just with the car idling. I though Oh *#!) So I took it to a mechanic.

They replaced the UIM and the lower intake gaskets. The day after picking up the car, I noticed a puff of smoke when I started the car. Same thing the next time I drove it. After about 230 miles, it started smoking when I'd accelerate. Folks here suggested I change the oil again, so I changed it and put in Valvoline 10w30.

It still smokes like a diesel. It'* gotten progressively worse and now pretty much smokes whenver I accelerate..

I took it back to the shop that did the work, and they agree that it is burning oil. They are saying that the rings or possibly valve guides were damaged from the coolant, because it'* corrosive. I told them that I didn't think that a failed uim would cause the car to smoke without having the bottom end start to make a bunch of noise first. I also said that it would've taken a lot longer than a couple days for coolant to corrode a set of rings. I've ohly put 310 miles on the car since the new uim.

From what I've read on here, the general consensus seems to be that a failed uim which isn't fixed right away will cause the bearings in the bottom end of the engine to fail (sometimes as long as several thousand miles after the intake is replaced.)

But I haven't found anyone who experienced an engine that smoked.

Could something have fallen into the engine when they were replacing the LIM gaskets? If the old ones didn't come off cleanly, they would've had to scrape or grind the old ones off. I may have them pull the heads to see if the cylinders are scored from debris., but I hate to throw more money at an engine that is already toast. ... and I'm not looking for a scapegoat/free engine. If this is from a failed UIM, then I'll deal with it and move on.

I've looked at buying a used 3.8 but am worried that I'd be buying more trouble. Has anyone here replaced their n/a 3.8? I'm curious what others have paid.

Thanks,

Sam
95 88 Royale
55k miles
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:23 PM   #2
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Wow... I don't even know what to tell you there...

Its incredibly rare for a 3800 to break a piston ring let alone have a valve stem seal or Valve guides go bad...

When they reinstalled the upper intake did they used all of the O rins and gaskets for the PCV valve? These can be tricky...

There is a possibility that you may have some bottom end issues, maybe not the Bearings but the Piston rings... This is about the first I have heard of a 3800 burning oil like that...

My 95 SE Bonnies is Abused by me in every respect, if I get to 200K I'll consider myself lucky... But the engine stays clean and oil burning is at a minimum and the oil stays nice and clean... My 91 doesn't burn a drop and it too is abused... Oil stays pretty clean in it too...

Its possible that you may have burned a head gasket, but even that is very rare...

At this point I don't really know what to tell you...

Have you guys done a compression test? Lowest reading cylinder should be 70% of the highest reading cylinder...

I'm interested in knowing what the problem is...

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Old 06-08-2006, 07:55 PM   #3
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A compression check will tell you if it'* the rings. Before you do that though, be sure the o-ring is on the pcv valve. When they transferred the valve to the new intake, the o-ring probably was left behind. Happens all the time. Typically, this causes an unbearable squealing noise in addtion to oil burning, but not always. You can get a pack of o-rings for next to nothing. If you need the size for the o-ring, let me know.
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:15 PM   #4
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We checked, and the PCV o-ring was in good shape. I changed the oil yet again, and the mechanic decided to take it on the highway to see if it would smoke more at speed. It smoked for a mile or so and then it gradually got better until it stopped smoking.

On the way back to the shop, my brake light came on and the chime started. I added an entire small bottle of brake fluid to the reservoir, and it still wasn't up to the max line. I know the master cylinder seal has a leak, but it doesn't look like that much fluid could have leaked out -- it'* not THAT wet on the outside. Could the brake fluid have gotten sucked into the intake via the vacuum booster hose and caused the smoke?

After sitting for 4 hours, it only blew a small-ish puff of smoke & then smoked lightly for about 10 seconds. It hasn't smoked since. I'll see what happens after it sits overnight.

I'm still baffled...

Sam
95 Olds 88 Royale
55k miles
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Old 06-14-2006, 04:32 PM   #5
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Sam...it'* odd...but not impossible. Pull the hose off the brake booster and look for oily or wetness. It should be perfectly dry.
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Old 06-16-2006, 04:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBoost37
Sam...it'* odd...but not impossible. Pull the hose off the brake booster and look for oily or wetness. It should be perfectly dry.
Hmmm, I'm wondering what you're getting at Bill. The first thing that came to my mind was that the shop didn't hook the PCV system back up right and the engine is getting pressurised forcing oil passed the rings.
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Old 07-08-2006, 10:36 PM   #7
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Sorry I haven't checked back in in a while. I've put about 2000 miles on the car since the UIM replacement, watching the oil and brake fluid levels closely. I FINALLY got some time to replace the master cylinder. It was leaking into the booster. I think this is what was causing the smoke. It looks like it would build up in the booster until it finally got high enough that the vacuum line would suck it into the intake. THis only happened two or 3 times in the past month.

New master cylinder and a good brake bleeding/flush to get rid of ALL of the old fluid that'* been exposed to air. It stops much better now. We'll see what happens with the smoke.

Sam
95 Olds 88
57k original miles
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Old 08-28-2006, 03:25 PM   #8
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I thought I'd check back in here. I've put another 2k miles on the car (all highway) and haven't experienced any more smoke. That apparently was caused by the leaking brake master cylinder.

However the car is still consuming oil. I seem to be averaging about a quart every 600-700 miles. I'm running Valvoline Maxlife 10w30. I just replaced the plugs this weekend. They looked darker on one side than the other, but none were fouled. Considering that they'd seen antifreeze from a leaky uim and brake fluid in the last 5k miles, they looked a lot better than I would have expected. The car does run better now -- more power and smoother idle.

I tested the compression and all six cylinders ranged between 155 and 165.

I'm kinda baffled. I don't mind topping off the oil, I'd just rather deal with the actual problem.

Woosch
1995 Olds 88 Royale w/ 59k miles
91 Olds 442 w-41
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Old 08-28-2006, 09:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Updates

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woosch
I thought I'd check back in here. I've put another 2k miles on the car (all highway) and haven't experienced any more smoke. That apparently was caused by the leaking brake master cylinder.

However the car is still consuming oil. I seem to be averaging about a quart every 600-700 miles. I'm running Valvoline Maxlife 10w30. I just replaced the plugs this weekend. They looked darker on one side than the other, but none were fouled. Considering that they'd seen antifreeze from a leaky uim and brake fluid in the last 5k miles, they looked a lot better than I would have expected. The car does run better now -- more power and smoother idle.

I tested the compression and all six cylinders ranged between 155 and 165.

I'm kinda baffled. I don't mind topping off the oil, I'd just rather deal with the actual problem.



Woosch
1995 Olds 88 Royale w/ 59k miles
91 Olds 442 w-41
I am a little supprised... After my 2000 miles from my trip I am still at the top of the crosshatch on the dipstick.... Have you tried replacing the PCV with a good unit... AC Delco?

Is there any oil leaking on the ground? You have no smoke or the like on start up?

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Old 08-29-2006, 02:39 AM   #10
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Default Re: Updates

"Have you tried replacing the PCV with a good unit... AC Delco?"

I replaced the PCV and checked the o-rings right after the UIM replacement. I didn't use an AC Delco part. I'll give that a shot tomorrow.

"Is there any oil leaking on the ground? You have no smoke or the like on start up?"


I don't notice any smoke at startup. I always park in the same spot at work and at home and don't see any puddles. Also, the underside of the car doesn't have any oil on it. It has a very minor oil pan leak, but it isn't enough to drip. If it was leaking that much oil, the whole underside of the car would have a film on it.

Woosch
1995 Olds 88 Royale w/ 59k miles
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