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Thread: What to do with an Oil-Burning Hog

  1. #1
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    Default What to do with an Oil-Burning Hog

    I have seen my oil consumption, and smoke from the tail pipe, get progressively worse over the years. It is as the point where I wonder if I'm going to be flagged for being a gross polluter and will be forced to (i) deal with the smoke problem or (ii) move to Arizona. I am posting a video that I took while driving up a mountain road. I was pushing it to make it smoke as much as possible (it's not usually this bad driving around town, but it is certainly noticeable, especially under a load.) I constantly have to clean oil off the paint around the tail pipe, the rear of the van is always covered in soot and if you brush up against the rear bumper you'll be bummed unless you are wearing work clothes. I add a number of quarts of oil in between oil changes, the coolant level never changes, I've tested and replaced the crankcase depression regulator, the injectors are new and the injection pump was rebuilt by a reputable group a couple of years ago. My question for the group is: what are the suggested options for a rebuild? I would like to stick with a naturally aspirated 6.2 - ideally a stock setup. I have looked at ordering an engine from Jasper's, I've looked at all the options on ebay, I've looked into local engine rebuilders. Any suggestions? The ideal solution would have dependability, stock parts, fuel economy and low noise. Thanks in advance!

    https://youtube.com/shorts/4-aeAsBzYTo?feature=share
    1992 Chevy G20, 6.2 NA

  2. #2
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    Oil consumption aside, a Diesel engine doesn't "burn" engine oil like a gasser. To a Diesel, oil is fuel. If it's going through combustion, it's getting burned. What you are seeing is either oil after combustion (in the exhaust) or cold combustion (retarded timing). Before considering a rebuild, find the problem. Start with a compression test. If it checks out, look into fixing the leak, such as valve stem seals (common, especially if N/A, with little/no exhaust manifold pressure). Install a pyrometer, and monitor the EGT before, during and after smokey periods. Check/advance the IP timing. Soot around the tailpipe is relatively normal. Oily bumper is more likely oil leaking UNDER the vehicle (rear main seal, etc.) and collecting there while driving at speed.

    An engine R/R is a major undertaking for most people, and a van is much more. If you can't DIY, then consider replacing the van entirely. The cost of a store-bought (or shop rebuilt) long block will far exceed the value of the vehicle, and that doesn't consider labor and ancillary costs.
    1985 Blazer 6.2
    2001 GMC 2500HD D/A
    dmaxmaverick@thedieselpage.com

  3. #3
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    I would try adding a can of Seafoam to your van's oil
    My electrician bought a used Toyota Camery for his wife.It used about 3 quarts between oil changes,which for a Toyota is excessive.He added seafoam to the oil a week before it's next oil change.
    Oil consumption went to almost not having to add oil between changes.He was happy with the result.
    90 Chev 3500 c/c 4x4,6.2na,400 auto,4:10 gears.DSG Timing gears,main girdle, isspro tach, pyro,boost,oil and trany temp.Dual Tstats, High volume peninsular pump,on shelf, Custom turbo and intercooler 85%complete. Change of plans for the dually, it's going to get a Cummins. Both trucks are Blue 90 4x4 crews

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Geez guys, thanks for looking out for me. It would be a shame/waste to replace an engine that really didn't need to be replaced. I was (and still am) interested in hearing peoples' thoughts on what the best options are for replacement, but if we also want to dive deeper into the issue I am having, that is cool too. Do we need to look deeper into whether or not the smoke is a result of oil? It's going to be oil, fuel or coolant, right? The coolant level doesn't change. I think we can conclude that is not the issue. The smoking was happening prior to having the injection pump rebuilt, and prior to the injectors being replaced. Neither one of those impacted the smoking (which has been getting progressively worse for a number of years.) I get approximately 19 mpg. Can we conclude fuel is not the issue? The tail pipes are covered in oil, the van body around the pipes and aft get oily quickly. It smells like burning oil. When you run the engine with the air filter housing removed, looking directly into the intake manifold, there is a huge amount of smoke coming through the crankcase depression regulator (which I believe means that I have a lot of blow-by.) I add 1 or 2? quarts ever 1000 miles. The smoke has a light gray/blue color. Seems like burning oil to me, but if you think there is a chance that it might be something else, please let me know. If it is indeed oil, then, worn rings, ineffective valve stem seals, coked rings and/or cylinders, anything else? A few years ago I rigged up an "auxiliary fuel tank" (which was just a bottle that I plumbed into the fuel system) so that I could run seafoam and liquimoly through the system. I ran the products at full strength through the engine for 15 or 30 minutes each, mainly at idle, but reving up to approx 1200? RPM at the end of the runs for a minute or two. No change with smoking, idle smoothness, or anything at all. I did a compression test a year or two ago. The results in six cylinders were all about 370 psi and in two of them they were over 400 psi. I'm not a pro, but this didn't seem way too out of line to me. I spoke with a seasoned mechanic about the results and he said it was possible that the two cylinders could have been "wet" due to oil in the cylinders, leading to inaccurate psi readings. When I changed the injectors I remember that two of them were oily compared to the other six. I really wish that I would have notated which cylinders had the oily injectors...but I didn't. I'm not sure how to test the valve stem seals. I have realized that there is a possibility that these are causing the smoking, or contributing to it. The smoking has a very high correlation with load. If I pull a trailer, go up a hill, punch it, etc, the smoking increases. The higher the load, the heavier the smoke. If you watched the video you will see that it is seriously smoking while going up that hill! The engine has 262,000 miles. There was a sticker on the dash that said "MOHE 152,354" when I bought it. I'm nearly certain that someone has taken the engine out previously due to all the denting of the metal around the engine, and I am guessing that the sticker has to do with some type of engine work being done (overhaul, heads?) at 152,354 miles. Those are some of the things I can think of that might help in your hypotheses. Thank you!

    And, at some point, please let me know what the best options are for replacement! It might be worth it to me. Thank you!
    1992 Chevy G20, 6.2 NA

  6. #6
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    Have you been using the same oil in it for the time you have owned it?
    I have had diesels that do not like certain oils,or actually they love the oil and consume it.Changed the brand of oil and the consumption slowed down.
    Toss a can of seafoam in the oil and see what happens.And try ATF, also Marvel mystery oil.
    Personally i would be trying a few different additives as you have contemplated replacing the engine so you have nothing to lose and might get lucky and unstuck the rings.
    90 Chev 3500 c/c 4x4,6.2na,400 auto,4:10 gears.DSG Timing gears,main girdle, isspro tach, pyro,boost,oil and trany temp.Dual Tstats, High volume peninsular pump,on shelf, Custom turbo and intercooler 85%complete. Change of plans for the dually, it's going to get a Cummins. Both trucks are Blue 90 4x4 crews

  7. #7
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    I've used numerous types of oils over the years and I can agree that some lead to more smoke than others. The cheapest, off-brand stuff smoked the most. I've been using synthetic for a couple of years and it smokes less than some but there is not a huge difference. No matter what I've used, there is fair amount of smoke. I've tried a couple of no-smoke additives, which I think helped a bit, but there was never a large difference no matter what I've tried.

    "as you have contemplated replacing the engine so you have nothing to lose" - Good point! Not a lot to lose if you're going to replace it!
    1992 Chevy G20, 6.2 NA

  8. #8
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    Could it be the PVC valve? Mine was really dirty and was pushing oil out of the valve covers. I thought my rear main was leaking, removed the dust cover and the rear main area was dry. Started looking and found the oil coming from valve covers. Cleaned PVC valve, and replaced the gaskets, no more leak. Be worth a shot to clean the PVC vale and see what happens, its an easy job.

  9. #9
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    Synthetic oil will leak more than dino oil. Might try Shell Rotella my 94 K2500 6.5 liked it the best.
    Do you find any oil on exhaust pipes anywhere?
    "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."
    -Patrick Henry


    A5150nut
    2006 K3500 D/A
    94 6.5 4x4 5spd Sold

  10. #10
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    RudyJ, thanks for the response. I checked the crankcase vacuum, which tested to spec, and changed the PCV (AKA crankcase depression regulator) anyway. It didn't help.

    a5150nut, thanks for the suggestion on oil. I have used Rotella. No matter what I have used, I get a lot of smoke. I have tried additives with some level of success, but the additives don't "fix" the problem and the heavy smoking tends to come back within a couple thousand miles of adding the additives. I do have oil that comes out the end of the exhaust pipes. The pipes are covered, inside and outside, around the exhaust pipe tips. There is also oily residue that ends up on the side of the van and on the bumper around the exhaust pipe tips. I also have a lot of deposits (carbon deposits?) that end up all over the back doors of the van.
    1992 Chevy G20, 6.2 NA

  11. #11
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    I remember hearing stories from truckers when i was young...
    That wrenches would add Borax into the intake air to get the diesels to set rings when they had an engine that used a lot of oil,especially after a rebuild
    90 Chev 3500 c/c 4x4,6.2na,400 auto,4:10 gears.DSG Timing gears,main girdle, isspro tach, pyro,boost,oil and trany temp.Dual Tstats, High volume peninsular pump,on shelf, Custom turbo and intercooler 85%complete. Change of plans for the dually, it's going to get a Cummins. Both trucks are Blue 90 4x4 crews

  12. #12
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    I ran across this the other day. Don't know if it would help or not, but if you're getting ready to toss in the towel, what do you have to loose?
    (Dr. Lee - any thoughts?)

    Cummins super fancy oil
    The Constitution needs to be re-read, not re-written!

    If you can't handle Dr. Seuss, how will you handle real life?

    Current oil burners: MB GLK250 BlueTEC, John Deere X758
    New ride: MB GLS450 - most stately
    Gone but not forgotten: '87 F350 7.3, '93 C2500 6.5, '95 K2500 6.5, '06 K2500HD 6.6, '90 MB 350SDL, Kubota 7510

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon6.2 View Post
    I remember hearing stories from truckers when i was young...
    That wrenches would add Borax into the intake air to get the diesels to set rings when they had an engine that used a lot of oil,especially after a rebuild
    I have heard the same BonAmi or Comet kitchen cleaner
    "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."
    -Patrick Henry


    A5150nut
    2006 K3500 D/A
    94 6.5 4x4 5spd Sold

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