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Old 02-11-2020, 10:45 AM
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lazarat lazarat is offline
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Default No Smoke, No Leaks, No Errors

....well maybe the error was getting this big block in the first place, but anybody out there can tell me what the X is going on?

First off, this Ventura I picked up with the 72 Grand Prix 455, has probably been through the course, kid had it since high school. Way too much power, looks like a lot of bucks were put into it.

I took it 30 miles to a hang out car meet when I finally got it running and legal, was running on the hot side, hit 220. (Car has electric fan attached to radiator, ordered a JEGs shroud, on way) When I checked the fresh oil, it was a half a quart low. On the way back, it was a much cooler night, in the upper 40's, car hot again. Next day, oil now a quart low. The kid says it was always running hot, well thats because beside no shroud, he also had a 160 thermostat when it calls for a 195. Not good in Florida, he says he was always careful. Also the timing was a little too advanced.

So now, the past couple days, I am not seeing smoke, not seeing leaks, no oil in coolant or vice versa. Using half a quart in a 20 mile run. I open it up a couple times when I do this, but only for a few seconds.

Some say its a PCV issue, I have breathers on both valve covers, PCV in valley under intake, seems clean. Soot in exhaust appears normal, plugs not fouling.

Also, its got a valve issue thats noisy when cold, quiets down when warm, but I looked under the valve covers, saw these: (see Pic), not adjustable.

So what does you guys think is going on? I would think I would be seeing billows and lakes at this oil usage.
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:17 AM
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Burgerman Burgerman is offline
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This is a tough one. I'd start with dip stick, make sure inserts the same each check. Also, how about do compression test. All info can help.
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by lazarat View Post
....well maybe the error was getting this big block in the first place, but anybody out there can tell me what the X is going on?

First off, this Ventura I picked up with the 72 Grand Prix 455, has probably been through the course, kid had it since high school. Way too much power, looks like a lot of bucks were put into it.

I took it 30 miles to a hang out car meet when I finally got it running and legal, was running on the hot side, hit 220. (Car has electric fan attached to radiator, ordered a JEGs shroud, on way) When I checked the fresh oil, it was a half a quart low. On the way back, it was a much cooler night, in the upper 40's, car hot again. Next day, oil now a quart low. The kid says it was always running hot, well thats because beside no shroud, he also had a 160 thermostat when it calls for a 195. Not good in Florida, he says he was always careful. Also the timing was a little too advanced.

So now, the past couple days, I am not seeing smoke, not seeing leaks, no oil in coolant or vice versa. Using half a quart in a 20 mile run. I open it up a couple times when I do this, but only for a few seconds.

Some say its a PCV issue, I have breathers on both valve covers, PCV in valley under intake, seems clean. Soot in exhaust appears normal, plugs not fouling.

Also, its got a valve issue thats noisy when cold, quiets down when warm, but I looked under the valve covers, saw these: (see Pic), not adjustable.

So what does you guys think is going on? I would think I would be seeing billows and lakes at this oil usage.
1. Nothing wrong with running a 160 thermostat when stock it would have had a 195. I put a 195 back in mine (stock) when I first built my truck, then changed it to a 160. It runs better and is happier and the cooling system is adequate to keep it cool to that range. If it's consistently running that high above the thermostat temp, the cooling system isn't adequate to keep it cool. Sometimes the water pump impellers see wear, but I suggest starting with a cooling system flush (can make a huge difference), at fairly low cost. Buy the flush from a parts store and go that route. My 455 Buick runs at 165 with an electric fan and a puller flex fan with no shroud on either on all but the hottest days.

I looked back at the photos from when you first bought it and see that upper rad hose is super long. Is there a spring in it, and/or is the hose soft? I wonder if the hose is collapsing.

2. Some of the BOP engines have some issues with oil hanging up in the top end, which can result in it drooling out of the breathers. It can be harder to notice as you'll then burn it off on the exhaust manifolds. I'm not familiar with the Pontiacs, but I know this is an issue on some BOP engines so you might want to start there. If I run my Buick hard, it uses oil out of the breather quite significantly.

3. Is there any chance you're filling the pan under the flex plate with oil from the rear main? Been there, done that.

4. Is the dipstick right for the engine? My Buick is quite finicky with oil level, and if overfilled basically pukes it out. It also has to be cold (sitting basically overnight) and level for the oil level to read correctly. This is because of oil hanging in the top end.

5. What weight oil did you use? My 455 Buick wasn't happy with 10/30, it works very well with 20/50. The oiling system of the Buick is different though, and the front and rear main are rope seals (so the thinner oil pushes past them easier). Just some thoughts.
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:46 PM
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lazarat lazarat is offline
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Originally Posted by 05snopro440 View Post
1. Nothing wrong with running a 160 thermostat when stock it would have had a 195. I put a 195 back in mine (stock) when I first built my truck, then changed it to a 160. It runs better and is happier and the cooling system is adequate to keep it cool to that range. If it's consistently running that high above the thermostat temp, the cooling system isn't adequate to keep it cool. Sometimes the water pump impellers see wear, but I suggest starting with a cooling system flush (can make a huge difference), at fairly low cost. Buy the flush from a parts store and go that route. My 455 Buick runs at 165 with an electric fan and a puller flex fan with no shroud on either on all but the hottest days.

I looked back at the photos from when you first bought it and see that upper rad hose is super long. Is there a spring in it, and/or is the hose soft? I wonder if the hose is collapsing.

2. Some of the BOP engines have some issues with oil hanging up in the top end, which can result in it drooling out of the breathers. It can be harder to notice as you'll then burn it off on the exhaust manifolds. I'm not familiar with the Pontiacs, but I know this is an issue on some BOP engines so you might want to start there. If I run my Buick hard, it uses oil out of the breather quite significantly.

3. Is there any chance you're filling the pan under the flex plate with oil from the rear main? Been there, done that.

4. Is the dipstick right for the engine? My Buick is quite finicky with oil level, and if overfilled basically pukes it out. It also has to be cold (sitting basically overnight) and level for the oil level to read correctly. This is because of oil hanging in the top end.

5. What weight oil did you use? My 455 Buick wasn't happy with 10/30, it works very well with 20/50. The oiling system of the Buick is different though, and the front and rear main are rope seals (so the thinner oil pushes past them easier). Just some thoughts.
Thanks for the ideas. There is no flex pan, open flywheel for now, no leaks. I was going to run 20/50, went with 10/40 conventional, should it be synthetic? I don't know the history or buildup of this engine except it is a 72.

I will look up the dipstick, but dont see any blowby anywhere. I took it just now under bats*it overpass over by the cemetry so I wouldnt disturb the neighbors, looked underneath, held it at a decent rpm and backed off...no smoke of any significance if any. My small block in the 53 smokes some because of seals and guides and it uses a lot less oil than this does.

By the way it hardly gets over 210 now but I am hoping the shroud helps further. Has fresh green stuff...and I will check those hoses...and dipstick.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:17 PM
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Dr Crankenstein Dr Crankenstein is offline
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Paging Old Iron... Old Iron?

An aftermarket valley pan usually has no baffle for the PCV. You'll pull oil without a baffle, same as PCV through an aftermarket valve cover with no baffle.

I also run a "heavy" oil in my BBC. 15/40 or 20/50. No synthetic.


I can't tell from your fuzzy picture, but your rockers should be adjustable like this... hold the adjustment screw, crack the big jam nut and hold that position... turn the adjustment screw to set lash, hold that position and tighten the jam nut... check lash again, because tightening the jam nut can turn the adjustment screw and vice versa. (It's a two-handed operation and a precise/delicate one. I've done it 500 times at least.)



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Old 02-11-2020, 02:18 PM
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05snopro440 05snopro440 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Crankenstein View Post
Paging Old Iron... Old Iron?

An aftermarket valley pan usually has no baffle for the PCV. You'll pull oil without a baffle, same as PCV through an aftermarket valve cover with no baffle.

I also run a "heavy" oil in my BBC. 15/40 or 20/50. No synthetic.


I can't tell from your fuzzy picture, but your rockers should be adjustable like this... hold the adjustment screw, crack the big jam nut and hold that position... turn the adjustment screw to set lash, hold that position and tighten the jam nut... check lash again, because tightening the jam nut can turn the adjustment screw and vice versa. (It's a two-handed operation and a precise/delicate one. I've done it 500 times at least.)



.
Dr. C is right about the valley pan. The first time I installed my intake, I got rid of the stock tin intake gasket with pan that went all the way under the intake. I replaced it with Fel-Pro gaskets. I learned about the PCV valve sucking up oil. I found a company that specializes in Buicks that gave you instructions on how to cut the stock pan to be able to use the better gaskets with the valley pan. Much improved.

Also, no synthetic. Conventional oil only.
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  #7  
Old 02-11-2020, 04:29 PM
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lazarat lazarat is offline
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Ok thanks Doc C I learned about the lash adjustment and quickly quieted the offending valve noise, there is one on the other side not as bad will get to that later.

Thanks also snopro and doc on the PCV issue, not ready to pull the intake yet I am just cufflustered on why it was designed that way in the first place.

Will a valve cover placement help? I noticed the baffle plate inside the valve covers.

There is a youtuber that showed how he eliminated the oil problem on his by eliminating the PCV and leaving two breathers. Ya gotta love youtube.

Now another test drive. The priests next door are probably praying I find a new hobby. this thing is loud.
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazarat View Post
Will a valve cover placement help? I noticed the baffle plate inside the valve covers.
Yes. Breather in one valve cover, PCV in the other. Plug the valley port.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lazarat View Post
The priests next door are probably praying I find a new hobby. this thing is loud.


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Old 02-11-2020, 06:22 PM
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:19 PM
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Yes. Breather in one valve cover, PCV in the other. Plug the valley port.






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