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Old 05-11-2008, 13:14   #1 (permalink)
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390 starts burning oil after a couple miles

Newbie. Have 63 tbird with 390.

Engine starts OK. Drive first few miles OK, then starts smoking bad - blue/white smoke - believe oil. Smokes constantly. Engine seems to be running OK.

I checked the vacuum line going to tranny - dry.

Any ideas ?

Thanks for any thoughts - I'd like to try to isolate /narrow down problem.

Thanks !
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Old 05-12-2008, 17:26   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 390 starts burning oil after a couple miles

Is the smoke comming from the exhaust or is it blowing from all over the place.
If it's from the exhaust you may have internal problems. If just blowing all over it may be just a gasket leaking on to the exhaust. If you see oil all over the engiine and drivetrain you might want to have it pressure washed so that you can find any leak. If smoke is comming from exhaust, you might have some failed rings, or valve guides. Do a compression test and watch to see if any of the the cylinders leak down, if one or more lose compression then you'll have isolated where the problem is.
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Old 05-12-2008, 20:39   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 390 starts burning oil after a couple miles

Thanks for note. No external oil leaks, block is dry. Smoke comes out back of exhaust - exhaust is sealed.

No smoke at startup. Drive 5 miles, smokes continuously.

If ring problem- the engine would smoke at startup, right ?

Someone said the oil return ports in head might be plugged - oil not returning fast enough, pooling in head under valve cover. Possible ?

I'll try to do compression test this weekend.
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Old 05-12-2008, 21:45   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 390 starts burning oil after a couple miles

Could it possibily be a bad PCV valve sucking oil?

If the oil is pooling in head under valve cover could it be sucking under the umbrella stem seals through the guides?

Like kdtrucker said run a compression test. All 8 cylinders should be about the same. If you find one or more alot lower than the others, squirt a little oil in the cylinder and test again. If pressure comes up then you know the rings are worn.
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:54   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 390 starts burning oil after a couple miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwko View Post
Could it possibily be a bad PCV valve sucking oil?

If the oil is pooling in head under valve cover could it be sucking under the umbrella stem seals through the guides?

Like kdtrucker said run a compression test. All 8 cylinders should be about the same. If you find one or more alot lower than the others, squirt a little oil in the cylinder and test again. If pressure comes up then you know the rings are worn.
If the rings were worn, it would start burning oil at startup - correct ?

It does not burn at startup. Starts smoking after about 10 minutes or a few miles of driving.

I do not know if 63 had PCV. Below is link to picture of my engine - there is a large line going from the block behind the engine (around bell housing) to the intake manifold. Line is outlined in red on picture.

There is no PCV valve in that line that I can recognize - unless the metal "hexagonal" thing in the line is a valve ??

Thanks !!!

Image of 63 thunderbird crankcase ventilation ? - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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Old 05-14-2008, 07:24   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 390 starts burning oil after a couple miles

It shows a PCV valve available for the 63 T-Bird 390. I'm not sure where it will be located but I have found a pic Manufacturer Info
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Old 05-14-2008, 07:36   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 390 starts burning oil after a couple miles

Thanks ! I also found below - shows a used PCV valve like you sent.

I'm running downstairs now to see if I have one of these animals....

SlideShow.html
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Old 05-14-2008, 07:46   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 390 starts burning oil after a couple miles

Here are some photos from a 67-68 T-Bird shop manual. I could not come across a 63 but I bet this will be close.

edit** on second thought, this is probably very different than a 63.





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Old 05-14-2008, 13:54   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 390 starts burning oil after a couple miles

I believe the 63 still used the basket breather and road draft tube. The breather basket is stuffed with a coarse steel wool type material found in the back of the intake. The road draft tube was simply a tube bolted to the top of the intake (over the breather basket) and ran down to the bottom of the engine and vented fumes under the car. Most of those old tubes rotted away and it might have been replaced with a PCV setup of some sort.
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Old 05-14-2008, 17:21   #10 (permalink)
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Exclamation Re: 390 starts burning oil after a couple miles

1963 had a PCV valve. 1961 was the first year in California only, 1962 for all the other states.
Here's your picture modified.

Just unscrews. jwko's picture is from later years, when the PCV got moved to the valve cover.
P.S., Someone painted your motor the wrong color. The valve covers and air cleaner should be gold, and the rest of the engine should be black (except the carb, throttle linkage, fuel pump, belt driven accessories)
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