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Smoke coming from headers or spark plugs

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wegortw, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. wegortw
    Joined: Nov 17, 2013
    Posts: 21

    from Austin, TX

    Having just got the truck running after 10 years, now once it gets warmed up there is smoke (can't tell color, but doesn't smell sweet or like bunt oil) coming from the driver side exhaust manifold or spark plug channel. Reading other forums about this and it sounds like it could be:

    - Stuff just burning off; give it longer
    - Bad Valve cover or header gasket
    - Bad spark plug not sealing
    - Much worse stuff...

    In preparing to start the motor I did pre-lube each cylinder with Marvels mystery oil while turning it over by hand/starter (pre-starting), but it's been months since that. Both exhaust pipes are putting out good exhaust that doesn't have smoke, so not sure what to try/do next?

    Since a pic/video is worth a thousand words here is a video of it (skip ahead to 1:05)

  2. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    First, clean things up so you can see what's going on. It might just be residual oil that has seeped out. Let it run for a while to burn off the oil that is there. I'd check the valve cover gasket, then the exhaust gasket, then the exhaust manifold flange.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
  3. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,531


    It looks like the exhaust manifold isn't sealing to the head. Check the bolts and if they are tight then pull the manifold and check it with a straightedge. It may be warped.
    Chevy engines typically don't use a gasket but they are available to fix minor leakage.
  4. Fred's advice is spot on like normal. HRP

  5. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,266


    After ten years, the oil seepage from the v/c gasket has worked it's way down into the exhaust flange. GUNK it, clean it up, new v/c gaskets, drive it! Cool truck btw.
  6. Yep. Clean it up real good first so you can see what's going on. It will likely smoke for a good 10 minutes until it's good and hot and everything that can be burned off is burned off.
  7. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,661

    Larry T

    Tighten all the bolts and drive it. If it still smokes, look for leaky valve cover gaskets.
  8. wegortw
    Joined: Nov 17, 2013
    Posts: 21

    from Austin, TX

    Thanks for all the replies, y'all at least gave me blind confidence to run the engine longer after it starts smoking.

    I know the recommendation is to "clean it up", but this does look clean to me; you should of seen it before with all the bee honeycombs lodged everywhere. But I do agree, I will check the bolts and look for fluid and test longer. From there if still smoking will start checking the gaskets and manifold smoothness.

    I wish I could just simply drive it at this point, but that I think would result with me through the front of someones house. My to do list still is:

    - Put it up on jacks and check the transmission and running gears
    - Check the brakes (front disc / rear drum)
    - Check to see if it over heats or is cooling (though 30*f days may hide this)
    - Short test drive
    - Lighting (mostly brake lights)
    - Install a real gas tank (currently running off a 2 gallon red plastic lawn mower jug)
    - Bolt down loose body panels (or zip tie at first)
    - Tune Up stuff (Cap&Rotor / Wires, etc...)

    And between all that above keep running into new problems :)
  9. I just watched the video again on the big screen.
    I see 2 problems.
    1st. Your wearing shorts and is 30f
    2nd. It's smoking well after shut down. It's just burning crap off. It's is very dirty. It could be that or a leaking valve cover gasket.
    Keep us posted as to what you find out.
  10. SuRfAcE_RuSt
    Joined: Sep 22, 2010
    Posts: 594


    Yep, looks like a leaky valve cover.
  11. Seriously?,that engine is caked with dirt & thick oil but it's still dirty and grimy,get in there with a some de-greaser and a pressure washer then buy some new valve cover gaskets. HRP
  12. wegortw
    Joined: Nov 17, 2013
    Posts: 21

    from Austin, TX

    haha I was waiting to be called out, but more offensive I thought was the wool socks with sandals.
  13. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    Looks like 2 pair of socks and sandals. It isn't only Texans though. Monday morning it was 19 below zero here and a beer distributor was at a gas station wearing shorts.
  14. wegortw
    Joined: Nov 17, 2013
    Posts: 21

    from Austin, TX

    My impatience got the better of me and made some quick progress. Very happy to have the first drive!


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