I have a 69 Camaro with a Chevy 350 small block. The block is a mild build up with the stock heads. I have owned this car for 6 months. I had a problem with the engin getting to hot (I thought). It was running at about 205 deg. After I shut the engin off, I would come back to my car (at least 1/2 hour later) and see antifreeze on the ground. I thought it was a cooling problem and put a hi flow thermosat in it (160 deg) and the correct radiator shroud. This worked for a couple of weeks. I also had oil leaking (just the residue) out of my #7 cylinder. My Header at this spot was loose so I tighted the bolts and no more leaking (I perviously had a light white smoke coming out of this spot). Last week, I smelled something burning and could see white smoke coming out of my exaust pipe. It is the same pipe as where I had the leak before (#7 Cylinder). I am burning oil (about 1 quart in 350 miles) and connot keep the radiator more then 1/2 full with out it spilling out when the motor is stopped (it will also overflow when the car is running with the level at approximatly 1.5" below the top of the radiator, below this level it only overflows when the engin is off). The smoke out my exaust pipe is white, and is much more noticable at slow speeds (idle). I also get a white puff of smoke when at idel I hit the gas. I pulled the #7 plug and it had light tan depsits all over the plug (electrode and metel arm). The Electrode was in good shape with no gapping or damage. It did have on one side what looked like smothing had been dripping on it ( heavyer depost on the one side, I do not know wich side with requards to the engin). My oil is nice and brown (no milky residue) and my anitfreeze is very green ( no brown stuff in it). I know I am not getting any water in my oil or vic a versa.
I am thinking it is ether the head gasket, head, or a piston ring. I have replaced a head before, but am by no means an expert. Is there something I can check before I tear the top end of my motor apart to see just what exactly is wrong? The overflow of the radiator and the oil useage are leading me to belive it is a head gasket. Any help would be greatly appreshated