Water in exhaust??? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 30th, 03, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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I have a 396 in my 68 Camaro, just recently noticed a fine "mist" of some kind, on my rear bumper, especially after long drives. When I first start up the car, I see some condensation coming out of the tailpipes, but always assumed this was normal from just sitting for weeks at a time. I used to have the mufflers dumped behind the rear axle, and just recently had the tailpipes run right out of the back of the car, which is probably why now I'm noticing the "film" on the rear bumper. Car uses some water, but not much, maybe a gallon every couple hundred miles. What am I looking at here? Head gasket? Intake gasket? It's not isolated to one side either, there's an equal amount of film on both sides of the bumper, I've smelled it too, doesn't smell much like anti-freeze, or anything else for that matter? Could this me normal??? Ideas anyone?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 30th, 03, 05:48 AM
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Sounds like you may have a problem. You shouldn't be having to add coolant every
couple hundred miles. Could be alot of things. Cracked head, blown gasket, cracked cylinder wall, warped block deck. I would start by doing a presure test on the cooling system and then a compression test to issolate which cylinder your dumping coolant into. Also check your oil and see if you have coolant in the crankcase.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 30th, 03, 04:32 PM
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Water is a by-product of combustion...

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 30th, 03, 05:32 PM
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But hes loosing 1 gal of coolant in 200 miles. I think he has more than a just condensation problem from burnt fuel.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 31st, 03, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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I think Mr. C is right, although the gallon every 200 mile is just an estimate. I know it's not leaking from anywhere else, and this "film" on the bumper has to be coming from somewhere, I'm going to have the cooling system pressure tested, and then do a compression check, and go from there. I hope it's not a cracked block or head, that would really upset me, a head gasket I could deal with. Thanks for the help guys........Bob
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 31st, 03, 06:14 AM
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Just a thought:

Did anyone ever add a coolant recovery tank to your car?? If not, then the radiator is not supposed to be filled up higher than 2" from the bottom of the cap. If you fill it up to the base of the cap, then it will leak water out the overflow hose while you drive.

If your filling it to the proper level, then I agree with Mr C, you have an internal engine leak some where. Does the water vapor on the bumper feel greasy and/or smell like coolant??

Paul D.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 31st, 03, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hmmmmm. I always fill it to the top, there is not a "recovery" system perse. The tube that is supposed to go into the the recovery bottle, I have it run down into a hole, in the subframe I believe, which obviously exits under the car. Could it possibly go all the way under the car, and then back up onto the rear bumper?????
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 31st, 03, 09:14 AM
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Anything that leaks under the car will splatter all over the back of your car. Oil, trans fluid or water.
This is more noticable after highway speeds.
I would recommend a catch can anyways.


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 31st, 03, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
 
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It's funny you mention that, because the last several times I have driven it, it's been a few 100 miles at a time, all highway miles. I'll throw in a catchcan and see if it disappears! Thanks alot guys, this site is awesome!!!
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 03, 07:17 AM
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As already mentioned (these guys are good), when I was reading the original question the first thing I thought was if you had a catch can. Since you don't you can expect to lose water. There are two ways to run an over flow, 1: a catch can, which does just that catches the over flow. 2: A recovery tank, this allows the water to be syphoned back in as the water level drops in the radiator.

If you run a catch can, your water level will still go down and you will need to drain it periodically. The main difference is the recovery tanks have a hose/tube that goes to the bottom (or very close to it) of the tank. I modified my catch can into a recovery by adding a tube.

Some moisture in the exhaust is normal.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 03, 12:06 PM
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Forgive me if this has already been mention since I didn't read every post in detail. I saw a comment about pressure testing and wanted to recommend a different approach. Some auto mechanics have a thing that bubbles radiator gasses through a colored liquid. The liquid will change colors (blue to yellow I think) if there are exhaust gases in the radiator. That is probably the test I'd do.

-dnult

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 03, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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PDQuick, you hit the nail right on the head! Installed a temporary "overflow" jar (antifreeze jug), drove the car about 100 miles today, the rear bumper was clean as a whistle! What a load off my mind, this site is awesome!
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 03, 05:06 PM
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OK, good news!
Now you have a couple of options. Make sure you don't overfill the radiator and run about a 14-16 lb cap and use a puke tank for the occasional overflow.
Or, get a true coolant return system, some guys here make them out of old windshield washer tanks, or there are some real trick ones available at places like Summit, etc. Or your local parts store has a cheapie.
Lots of info here in the archives. Do a search.
Good luck!

Steve W
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"You can't always get what you waaant..."

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 23rd, 03, 02:17 AM
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Call me a skeptic....and I hate to throw water (pun intended) on all you happy guys here......but the catch-can addition does NOT cover losing a couple of gallons every 200 miles unless he is checking it every day and adding more? YOur system would not push that much out. I would believe that a tired radiator cap might be to blame, but it would push the same couple of gallons out into the bottle over the same distance...right? And.....he said that he simply changed the tailpipes to the rear....would it not shown up with the tailpipes exiting anywhere? I am not convinced by the story told yet. [img]graemlins/clonk.gif[/img]

My point is drive on and see what happens. Monitor it closely. I hope that's all it is tho

Steve "Jack'stands" Jack

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 23rd, 03, 05:14 AM
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You can pull the plugs and see what they look like. If you have light water intrusion froma crack or bad gasket the plug will be clean.

I would also try the chemical test mentioned above to see if you have exhaust gases in the cooling system. Chaep test that you should be able to get done at most any shop.

Joe

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