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5/21/12 12:29pm - Original Message: 'extreme oil usage (2 quarts in 200 miles)'
VikingVette
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Greer, SC - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Black with Viking mural painted under hood AM/FM/CB radio, T-top and a 2013 Cyber Gray Grand Sport Coupe, 2LT for my daily driver

Joined: 3/13/2012
Posts: 264

I know that I asked a few of you at the gathering about this, but I wanted to throw this out online too:

I had the great privilege of participating in the gathering in Charleston.  I had a ZZ4 put in my car about 10 years ago. I do NOT know how many miles are on this engine, but I am guessing between 10,000 - 15,000 miles. I knew that it had an oil usage problem because I have always had to add oil…BUT…it is a 4 hour drive from Greer to Charleston and I used 2 quarts.  After the trip to Savannah, I added two quarts and then yesterday when I got home, I added 2 quarts.  I do not see the “normal’ blue smoke that you think about when you see an oil burning car, but I do see it when I drop the hammer (numerous people at the gathering can atest to this...I almost killed Clint and Judith on the way to the Hunnley because for once, I got in front of Clint and that is hard to do), and especially when I fire it up.  The car does sit a lot.  I have not been able to contact my main mechanic, but I know from reading the online posts that there are a LOT of smart people on here.  I am hoping and praying that it the issue is in the valve train (maybe dried up valve guide seals).  I know that I am asking a lot with very little information and for that I apologize.  What do y'all think that the chances are that it is in the valve train and NOT the rings?  How long would it take a good mechanic (and my mechanic works on mainly Corvettes, especially older one) to pull the head on the right side to check it out?  I say the right side because early this spring, the car was back firing something fierce.  When he pulled the right, rear plug it was VERY fouled.  He was surprised that it even ran.  He did notice that the intake manifold right rear corner was not tight.  When he tightened that, he told me that he hoped that was where the oil was getting into the combustion chamber.  He said that a loose intake manifold can suck oil up and let it into the combustion chamber.  I truly/greatly appreciate any advice that y'all can give me so that my mechanic does not try to retire from one repair (I seriously doubt that he would…he is a good guy, but I also value all y'all's opinions HIGHLY).  One more very stupid question...if it is the rings, does he need to pull the engine, or can he get to that from the bottom? (see, I told you that I was a mechanical issue midget, and no disrespect towrds short people was meant by that comment).
 
Thank any/all of you for any opinions you may give,
David VikingVette Urke


____________________________________
Warning: The surgeon general has declared that it is NOT unhealthy to smoke your competition AND I just discovered that my corvette is a hybred.  It burns gas and rubber! 
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5/21/12 1:01pm - Reply: 'Re: extreme oil usage (2 quarts in 200 miles)'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
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Bad valve seals, or worn valve guides will usually show as blue smoke from the tailpipes on DEcelleration, not ACceleration.
A loose intake can definitely allow oil from the lifter galley to get sucked into the intake post of the head, and burn under ACcelleration.
A bad PCV valve could also cause smoking on acceleration, but worn rings, or damaged piston bores could cause a lot of blowby, even with a good PCV valve.
Does the engine "ping" at all under acceleration? If the pistons are slapping back forth in the bore like that, it makes it really hard for the rings to seal against the bores...

just some ideas..

Ken(kyster) changed a crankshaft with the engine in the car...on the ground...in his gravel driveway. So, yeah..it could be done, but it's not exactly the recommended procedure. I would go ahead and rip the engine out and do it, if that's what it needs.








|UPDATED|5/21/2012 10:01:58 AM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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Joel Adams
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5/21/12 1:15pm - Reply: 'Re: extreme oil usage (2 quarts in 200 miles)'
yostusota
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York, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 daytona conv. all original 350 350 380 4 sp w/air..and hard top

Joined: 5/18/2010
Posts: 1518
the loose intake might be a clue...if that one bolt or bolts on the intake coincide with the plug that was fouled then the intake may be the leaker..but you may have the other issues as well..a pcv valve is a cheap fix...the rings can be cleaned.but..have them do a leak down test on each cylinder before you do anything..really if the rings are shot then its not really worth fixing the intake if the rings are the big issue..unless you dont care about keeping some oil in the car to put in every once in a while..which if thats the case and you want to wait till next winter fix the intake gaskets and be done with it till then..if they are leaking..I had the intake gasket leak on mine a few weeks ago...burned a quart of oil in 60 miles...its much better now..can live with a little oil burn every 1k miles or so that its always been..

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5/21/12 1:50pm - Reply: 'Re: extreme oil usage (2 quarts in 200 miles)'
VikingVette
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Greer, SC - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Black with Viking mural painted under hood AM/FM/CB radio, T-top and a 2013 Cyber Gray Grand Sport Coupe, 2LT for my daily driver

Joined: 3/13/2012
Posts: 264
Thank you for the input.  Joel, when I am at speed (55-65 mph) and I punch it, there is no pinging, BUT when I am accelerating up to that speed, there is a LOT of pinging.  I just talked to my mechanic.  He suspected bad rings last spring, but hoped that it was the intake manifold.  he did say that for some (STUPID) reason, that the rings on a ZZ4 were very thin....and if when it sat for the winter, even aif just a little rust got in there, it would snap a ring.  I cannot affor an engine rebuild right now and he did sday that as long as I keep oil in it and take it weasy (just for car shows) I would be OK as long as I didn't mind checking the oil constantly.  So, if the rings on the stock ZZ4 pistons are very thin, should I have it bored .30 over, and replace the pistions?  As long as he has the engine out, would that be the besttime to put a lumpity-lumpity cam in it (just for the sound).  Why don't you guys live closer to me??????Cry 

____________________________________
Warning: The surgeon general has declared that it is NOT unhealthy to smoke your competition AND I just discovered that my corvette is a hybred.  It burns gas and rubber! 
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5/22/12 9:41am - Reply: 'Re: extreme oil usage (2 quarts in 200 miles)'
Sarge81 Lifetime Member
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WEST SENECA, NY - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Blue Ice Met. w/pearl ghost flames TKO500 5speed. LS1 Swap 3.45 Dana 44.

Joined: 12/3/2001
Posts: 2376
It seems that the ZZ4's only share the same rings as the LT1/LT4 engines. The other crate engines 350 HO/ZZ series have different rings. You would think the "General" would use a common ring. Weird.

First I would do a compression check. If that checks out (some will disagree) I would proceed with a leak down test of all cylinders. And if that checks out I wouldn't just torque the intake bolts down. I would put a new set of intake gaskets in. These are composite gaskets with a rubber imprint. They distort very easy. I've personally replaced a couple dozen Vortec design intake gaskets on mainly '96-'02 trucks. The 8 hold down bolt pattern is a crappy design. I think if GM would have added 4 more bolt to the middle portion of the intake the failure rate would be lessened. jmo.

Pinging upon acceleration is not good for piston or rings. Could be to much advanced timing. Are you running premium grade gasoline? Keep us posted. Good luck. I hope its something simple.

Sarge


____________________________________

GEN III 5.7L "LS6" Engine swap
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5/22/12 11:24am - Reply: 'Re: extreme oil usage (2 quarts in 200 miles)'
VikingVette
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Greer, SC - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Black with Viking mural painted under hood AM/FM/CB radio, T-top and a 2013 Cyber Gray Grand Sport Coupe, 2LT for my daily driver

Joined: 3/13/2012
Posts: 264
I always run the highest octane gas that I can find.   I had it tuned 2 months ago and that was when the mechanic found that terribly fouled No 8 plug (right rear) and that was the corner wear the intake manifold was not tight.  He torqued them down.  If he has to go inside, would I be better off boring it our .30 over and getting new pistons with better rings?  What extra would that cost compared to new rings on existing pistons.  Could a warped intake manifold gasket alllow 2 quarts to pass in 4 hours of driving? 
 
Why can't I live closer to you, or Joel or Yostusota (or anybody smarter than me, which is a whole LOT of people)!!!!!!
 
From the mechanical dumb-bell!!!! 
 
going through life is tough, but it is even tougher when you are mental midget (NO offense to any small people that might be members)


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Warning: The surgeon general has declared that it is NOT unhealthy to smoke your competition AND I just discovered that my corvette is a hybred.  It burns gas and rubber! 
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5/22/12 11:47am - Reply: 'Re: extreme oil usage (2 quarts in 200 miles)'
yostusota
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York, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 daytona conv. all original 350 350 380 4 sp w/air..and hard top

Joined: 5/18/2010
Posts: 1518
Ok..to answer your question on pistons..yes..pull the motor to have it bored 30 over..you can replace the rings on the existing pistons if you like but labor would be almost the same as replacing them with over sized ones...the difference would be ..parts cost of new pistons and machine shop cost of boring the block..I'm sure you would have the heads done too plus the cam you were talking about..this is worst case money wise scenario..cheapest..do the compression and leak down..that will tell you the condition of the motor..it may be that you need intake gaskets and that's it..would explain the detonation too with an intake leak...I wouldn't worry about it until you get those tests done... Rich.

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5/22/12 12:48pm - Reply: 'Re: extreme oil usage (2 quarts in 200 miles)'
aceinthehole Lifetime Member
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Valley Springs, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1978,Metalic Money Green W/Gold emblems,TH350 w/gear splitter,black & grey interior.1978,two tone,Metalic Rootbeer & gold ,Doeskin interior,auto. trans. 1981, Silver w/mirrored T-Tops,4 spd, charcoal interior.

Joined: 11/20/2005
Posts: 3618
 David, did we establish that you're not using synthetic oil or too thin a viscosity ? I used to go through a quart every 500 mi. when I used 10w40, had to go to 20/50. 'Course you've got other issues but I just thought I'd mention.

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Jimmy B.
Just can't wait to get on the road again.

 
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5/22/12 4:20pm - Reply: 'Re: extreme oil usage (2 quarts in 200 miles)'
VikingVette
Former Member
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Greer, SC - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Black with Viking mural painted under hood AM/FM/CB radio, T-top and a 2013 Cyber Gray Grand Sport Coupe, 2LT for my daily driver

Joined: 3/13/2012
Posts: 264
I had been using Mobil 1, 10W-30, but at the station nearest the hotel in Charleston, they of course did not sell Mobil 1, so since I knew the engine was already sick, I used Castrol GTX, 20W-50.  When I had a 454 powered motorhome, that stuff worked wonders concerning heat buildup in the "doghouse".  So I had hoped that the thicker oil would slow done the hemmorage, but DAD-GUMMIT....NO IT DIDN'T!!!!!
I had passed along all of the ideas broached here to my mechanic via e-mail.  He did tell me that yes, he could do a leak down test, but remember, he just worked on this engine two months ago.  He saw how badly fouled No. 8 plug was.  He doubts that it is the intake manifold because of the amount of oil and his past experience with the thin piston rings on a ZZ4 (stupid rings).  He said that he would hate to charge me for the testing and then still have to tear the engine down.  He has a very good reputation of NOT screwing people.  I even had the idea of buying a basic ZZ4 block and having him just switch all the components to the new block.  If I bought a new short block, I would still have the same weak link, the thin rings.  He did give me a ball park quote that included boring the cylinders out .30 over and new pistons with new rings (get rid of that weak link).  The estimate was for $3,500.  We also discussed replacing the cam just for the lumpity-lump sound and that would basically be material cost and very little labor becasue the engine is already out and it will be torn down.   The labor cost would be about the same if I bought a new short block and had him transfer the components.  I had wanted a Griffan radiator installed next spring and the A/C fixed, but now that will have to wait until 2014 so it will be working for the next National Corvete Caravan to the museum.
 
 
So I am soliciting donations........well, I had to at least try!!!!Cry  By march of 2013 I should be able to save up the money.
 
thank you all for your input, I learned a lot.
 
David "da MEAN Viking" 
 
 


____________________________________
Warning: The surgeon general has declared that it is NOT unhealthy to smoke your competition AND I just discovered that my corvette is a hybred.  It burns gas and rubber! 
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