White smoke/coolant in oil - TCCoA Forums
TCCoA Forumsjournalist

Go Back   TCCoA Forums > Car Related > Engine - 3.8L & 4.2L
Register Arcade Gallery iTrader FAQ Members List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-16-2013, 10:20 AM   #1
eichenberg
1st Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Colorado Springs
Car: 1996 Thunderbird
Engine: 3.8
Posts: 27
White smoke/coolant in oil

So I am stumped and need some help. I have a 96 3.8. Two yers ago this April the head gaskets blew, so I tore it down and repalced the gaskets. Since then the engine ran fine. A little hot sometimes in the summer with the AC running and air temp near 100. Fast forward to December 2012 and when starting the car on a cold morning I notice white smoke. Have not drove it since and started tearing it down gain thinking head gaskets again.

Took heads off and the gaskets are in tact, no tears or breaks or anything to indicate they are blown. Visual inspection of the heads shows no cracks. I will admit the first time I cut corners and did not have heads shaved, just checked with a straight edge.

What is the possibility the heads could be cracked and I am just not seeing it? Could it be the block? Any ideas?

Talked to a machine shop and they would charge $50/head to shave them and $45/head to pressure check...trying to avoid spending $200 and finding out they are cracked and having to spend more money to buy new heads.
__________________
1996 3.8 Thuderbird
eichenberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sponsored Links
Advertisement
Old 02-16-2013, 11:22 AM   #2
RobertP
Seasoned PostWhore
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: carthage
Car: 95 tbird
Engine: 4.6
Age: 33
Posts: 2,421
Send a message via AIM to RobertP
It's the head gaskets, u never take a short cut always machine the heads
__________________
www.robstireandauto.com for all your car needs and parts
95 bird corn powered 735rwhp and 580 tq
86 bird vortech s trim
10.75 @128.38
95 bird - Vortech t trim
9.98 worlds fastest IRS 4.6 thunderbird
1/8 6.34@109.89
10.11 @ 139.19 best mph
1.47 best 60ft if I can get a full pass with this 60ftt
All made possible with Braincoating'™s ported manifolds
RobertP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2013, 11:26 AM   #3
Trunk Monkey
Professional Traveling Monkey
Lifetime Member
Super Moderator
 
Trunk Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Home sweet home: Charlotte, NC
Car: 1995 Thunderbird LX
Engine: '12 TF 4.6L - SVO
Posts: 9,571
Always a possibility that there's a fine crack but I doubt it.

Take Rob's advice and machine the heads, put it back together and sell it. Buy yourself a V8 Tbird and never look back.
__________________
Mods? Yea, I got mods ...
Air silencer delete, warp drive, dilithium crystals, flux capacitor, Slingshot Rubber band power adder, Moonshine & Gas, Leaf Blower Supercharger, Hamster Wheel & Hamster, Energizer Bunny generating 1.21 gigawatts, Mr. Fusion® Home Energy Reactor, hover conversion and a sextant celestial navigation system (The original GPS)
Best 1/4: 1,320 nanoseconds @ 670,616,629.2 miles per hour

"There isn't that much difference anymore between spacecraft, aircraft and modern automobiles..." - Keith Henry, NASA's Langley Research Center
See a list of my real mods and pictures of my car HERE. The true performance of my car was made possible by the Carolinas Crew Chief, RobertP at Rob's Tire & Auto.
Trunk Monkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2013, 01:47 PM   #4
SCTbird1994
Seasoned PostWhore
 
SCTbird1994's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Nor Cal
Car: 1995 Super Coupe
Engine: 4.6L DOHC
Age: 33
Posts: 3,539
Not the head gaskets unless the ring is blown or material is corroded, more likely Warped heads causing the gaskets to not seal properly. Cracked heads typically would cause a loss of compression instead of coolant leakage, they usually crack near or between the valves and spark plug area.

Always machine and pressure check the heads before re-installation, even if there is nothing wrong with the head. They can become warped if the head bolts are not loosened in the opposite of the tightening sequence as well. The re-surface gives them a nice bite into the new gaskets as well.

Better to spend $200 to make sure your heads are in good working order than to short cut and waste money on gaskets, coolant, sealer, and time .. although I usually just have the heads surfaced unless there was a reason to suspect the valves were bent.
__________________
ASE Certified: Master Auto Technician, Undercar Specialist, Advanced Engine Performance Specialist


Last edited by SCTbird1994 : 02-16-2013 at 01:54 PM.
SCTbird1994 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2013, 01:51 PM   #5
bowez
Seasoned PostWhore
 
bowez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: NEAR
Car: 93 SC
Engine: MPII 3.8
Posts: 2,140
Every shop I've dealt with cleans for free and stops there if they find a crack.
__________________
If all else fails get a bigger hammer!

93 SC Tbird
MPII w/ Plenum,90mm MAF, 85mm TB, 40# Injectors, 255 lph FP, Double IC w/fan, SCT Chip (Tuned by Jerry),3/4" Raised Top, F52-TT TC, SilverFox AOD 550, SPT-R VB
96 1/2 XR7 Sold and Salvaged
93 5.0 Tbird
bowez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
renello79
Veteran Poster
 
renello79's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Villa Park, IL
Car: 89 Super Coupe
Engine: 3.8 SC
Posts: 821
Timing cover is possible, I had it happen to my SC. I caught it on my SC because I was mixing coolant into the oil,.
__________________
Phrum Steve

89 Thunderbird SC 3.8SC W/ Factory manual
http://photobucket.com/SCno1

94 Thunderbird LX 3.8 N/A Automatic
http://s1200.photobucket.com/albums/...Bird%20No%203/
sold, sadly

95 Thunderbird SC deal pending
renello79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2013, 03:06 PM   #7
SCTbird1994
Seasoned PostWhore
 
SCTbird1994's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Nor Cal
Car: 1995 Super Coupe
Engine: 4.6L DOHC
Age: 33
Posts: 3,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by renello79 View Post
Timing cover is possible, I had it happen to my SC. I caught it on my SC because I was mixing coolant into the oil,.
Timing cover wouldnt cause the coolant to enter the combustion chamber and burn out of the exhaust .. it would just ruin the bearings.
__________________
ASE Certified: Master Auto Technician, Undercar Specialist, Advanced Engine Performance Specialist

SCTbird1994 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2013, 04:06 PM   #8
Bangster
Seasoned PostWhore
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tucson AZ
Car: 1997 Cougar Sport
Engine: 4.6
Age: 44
Posts: 3,532
Any other indicators?

I have my 89 apart for the same thing. One spark plug, when I removed it, was clean, all others had 70,000 worth of carbon. That same cylinder the piston and combustion chamber are clear of all carbon.

It wasn't an obvious blow through like the last time I did the head gaskets (::sigh: but I can see where the gasket is delaminating, I can only assume that is where it was leaking combustion gases (and pressurizing the the cooling system) and introducing coolant into the cylinder (white smoke).

I kinda wish I hadn't taken on this project, I should have just junked it and spent my time on my wrecked 97 Cougar or my newly bought 97 Mark VIII.
__________________
--
97 Mark VIII LSC/Silver/Gray leather
97 Cougar 4.6 Sport/White Opalescent Tricoat Metallic /Gray leather down but not out?
89 Cougar LS 3.8/Oxford White/Gray velour/HG need replaced AGAIN
00 Grand Marquis LS/Vibrant White/Gray velour
63 Falcon 302/black and rust/shed isn't moving
82 F-150/Oxford White/dumb VV carb doesn't pass emissions
Bangster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2013, 04:17 PM   #9
SCTbird1994
Seasoned PostWhore
 
SCTbird1994's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Nor Cal
Car: 1995 Super Coupe
Engine: 4.6L DOHC
Age: 33
Posts: 3,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bangster View Post
Any other indicators?
Indicators like you mentioned, exhaust pressure in the coolant - bubbles in the radiator, you can use a sniffer in the coolant system also. Or do a compression / Leakdown test.
__________________
ASE Certified: Master Auto Technician, Undercar Specialist, Advanced Engine Performance Specialist

SCTbird1994 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2013, 05:01 PM   #10
Bangster
Seasoned PostWhore
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tucson AZ
Car: 1997 Cougar Sport
Engine: 4.6
Age: 44
Posts: 3,532
This is what I saw:








__________________
--
97 Mark VIII LSC/Silver/Gray leather
97 Cougar 4.6 Sport/White Opalescent Tricoat Metallic /Gray leather down but not out?
89 Cougar LS 3.8/Oxford White/Gray velour/HG need replaced AGAIN
00 Grand Marquis LS/Vibrant White/Gray velour
63 Falcon 302/black and rust/shed isn't moving
82 F-150/Oxford White/dumb VV carb doesn't pass emissions
Bangster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2013, 05:38 PM   #11
eichenberg
1st Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Colorado Springs
Car: 1996 Thunderbird
Engine: 3.8
Posts: 27
Thanks for the replies. I plan on doing it right this time, learned my leason.
__________________
1996 3.8 Thuderbird
eichenberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2013, 10:01 PM   #12
renello79
Veteran Poster
 
renello79's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Villa Park, IL
Car: 89 Super Coupe
Engine: 3.8 SC
Posts: 821
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCTbird1994 View Post
Timing cover wouldnt cause the coolant to enter the combustion chamber and burn out of the exhaust .. it would just ruin the bearings.
I was talking mainly about the coolant in the oil, as for coolant in the combustion chamber then that really narrows the options. Head or head gasket.
__________________
Phrum Steve

89 Thunderbird SC 3.8SC W/ Factory manual
http://photobucket.com/SCno1

94 Thunderbird LX 3.8 N/A Automatic
http://s1200.photobucket.com/albums/...Bird%20No%203/
sold, sadly

95 Thunderbird SC deal pending
renello79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 04:16 PM   #13
nall_one
PostWhore
 
nall_one's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Hickman Nebraska
Car: 95 T-Bird 40th Ann
Engine: 4.6 SOHC
Age: 26
Posts: 1,230
sure looks like someone put some headgasket sealer in that system >.>

if you plan on putting that back together definitely machine the heads smooth, and have a valvejob done. slap it all back together with new headbolts and go get yourself a couple of gallons of distilled water and Prestone Clean. those galleries shouldn't be plugged like that. you can expect a heatercore failure if indeed their is sealer in the system...

and don't forget to change your oil again after a few hundred miles. make sure you get all that coolant out before it wipes the babbitt off your bearings.
__________________
RUST!! eating away at me more than the rear fender wells
95 Deep Jewel Green 40th Anniversary Bird / Stock SOHC 160k FRPP PI intake swap, filter relocated! 97 Mk8 4R70W, Jmod, 3L27 / energy susp rear spindle, and cobra arm bushings, Tru-Cool Max/radiator cooler bypassed, 93 Mk8 shaft, and LCAs, 225/60r16 Michelin Defenders on Windstar twin 5spokes, Vogtland 1.6drop springs, Tokico Blues, PBR, and rear-disk swap, 89 SC swaybars
nall_one is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


 
Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.