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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 02, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
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sorry, this is a bit long but please bear with me cause i need to take care of this and i could really use you guys' expert advice. so i get a letter in the mail notifying me


that someone reported my car as having excessive smoke coming out my exhaust on I-80 in emeryville CA. aside from having no idea that there was even a problem, i found this news kinda disheartening. besides not wanting to be one of those guys with a smoking car, i know its an indication of some sort of problem.

at idle there is no smoke, but, in park, when i rev the engine high, i do get a bit of smoke. so i'm thinking i have a rich fuel condition... but i don't really have enough to go on at this point.

now, here's something that i feel may be somewhat related. soon after i bought the car a couple of months ago (71 SS 350, holley intake, edelbrock performer 600cfm) i began noticing a little misfiring, or stumble or an off rythm lope. plugs are good, wires are good, timing is good, air cleaner is clean. i'm worried that they may be something wrong internally.

more recently, i started noticing that when i'm driving on the freeway, once in a while, i'll hear a little bursting sound coming from the engine compartment, like as if its backfiring through the carb.

i haven't checked the vacuum yet - what kind of psi should i be looking for?

can anyone give me any leads as to what this problem could be?

again, sorry for the length of this post, and i appreciate anything you guys can suggest.

THANKS!



[This message has been edited by jstcruzin81Z (edited 11-24-2002).]
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 02, 06:03 PM
 
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is there a leak by your tranny yoke when you park your car? I had that happen to me once and it was smoking excessively, seems the output bushing came out and fubar my tailshaft
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 02, 04:19 PM
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I'm thinking valve train related. Maybe a burnt valve & worn guides. I say this because of the miss & backfire you have. Of course, you may have bad timing & wore rings. Have someone do a compression test & post the results.

Someone reports a smoking vehicle around berkely?? Gee, imagine that.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 02, 02:53 PM
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Where did the letter come from? The state DMV? BAAQMD?
Are they requiring you to get anything checked, or was it a "courtesy" notice?
I know our cars are exempt from smog checks, but if the state gets notice of a "smoking" car, they can require a smog check and everything that was required has to be on the car, plus it has to meet the requirements of the day!

With the new Smog 2 rules around the corner for us in the Bay Area, this could get ugly.

I'm asking cuz there are a lot of hidden laws out there just waiting to bite us!

joe

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 02, 03:07 PM
 
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i had a similar problem...turned out one of the plugs was gapped, causing erratic operation.


[This message has been edited by robbZ28 (edited 11-26-2002).]
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 02, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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the letter was from BAAQMD. the smoking vehicle prevention program. it just asked me to get it chacked and fill out a questionairre. it does say that if a law enforcement officer sees my car smoking for more than 10 seconds, they can give me a $100 citation.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 02, 03:40 PM
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First is it a '71 or '81 to match your screen name? If your car is smoking enough to prompt someone to report you I don't think it's a tuning issue. I think Steve is on the right track unless you have an oil leak that is dripping on the pipes and is burning. If it is a leak, when you hit a stop sign or red light you should know something is wrong. How much oil do you use? Well not you personally but your engine.

Some tests you can run would be a compression check and a leak down test. If you don't know what these tests are then you should find a friend that does to help you or find a mechanic to do it for you. If you are not burning or leaking oil then maybe your carb is in need of a rebuild, a blown power valve should give you idle issues more than driving issues...
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 02, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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its a 71 ss 350, the 81 Z28 was the car i had to get rid of a few months ago before i moved to california.

i am going through alot of oil, and there is not alot of oil on the ground when i have the car parked for a while. i changed the oil pan and valve cover gaskets about a month ago which solved most of the leaking, now i still get a few drops on the outsode of my torque converter underpan. i can't tell where that oil is coming from - the repairs i made are still clean - but its not getting onto the exhaust pipes.

the smoke is coming out my pipes, sometimes when i'm just starting, there's a puff of smoke that goes away when it begins idling regularly. but upon revving the engine higher, i do see some smoke... am i burning oil?

i don't know how to check the compression, or do a leak down test, but i suppose i can buy a compression tester from the autoparts shop and learn, rather than bring it to a mechanic, because when i brought it in a little while ago they said it checked out, plugs, timing etc., and all they did was raise the idle speed to fix the shake. they charged me $95 and then when i checked the myself i discovered that a couple of them were bad.

i kinda want to learn to do it myself, just so i don't get taken at the mechanic. or if someone knows a mechanic near livermore, tracy, or manteca that won't take me for a ride, please let me know...
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 02, 04:46 PM
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Sounds like your motor is just getting tired. Worn valve guides & rings is what it seems to me. You can buy compression testers at a parts store. No need to buy the real exspensive one since you may only use it the one time. They're simple to use. Pull a spark plug & thread the tester in the hole. Make sure it has a tight fit. No need to torque it but make sure it's all the way in. Pull the coil wire to the distributor. Open the butterflies on the carb all the way. The turn the engine over a couple times. spin it so you can get a good reading. It could be 3 revolutions, or 4 or 5. See what the gauge reads. Write it down along with the cylinder it was. The #1, 2, or 7. You know what I mean. I don't know how much a mechanic would charge to do this but I'm sure it would be alot more than the price of the tester and you should be able to do this yourself.
If I've left anything out I'm sure someone will step in. Please tell us what the results are. Good luck.

------------------
Steve
67 396 race car project
67 SS 396,4-sp mothballed for resto
67 RS 327,4-sp
72 RS 350/350, under current resto
69 4X4 suburban 350,4-sp
73 3/4 ton 454/400
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 02, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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thanks stevo, will try that out after thanksgiving weekend...

have a good one!
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 02, 12:57 AM
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See how nice, helpful, and friendly people are around here??? I don't care what everyone says about you SteveO. You're A-OK in my book, even if you are a grumpy old fart.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 02, 02:44 AM
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Sounds like the rear main seal in leaking down the fly wheel cover onto the exhaust.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 02, 04:53 AM
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People are talking? What are they saying Spames? C'mon man, you can tell me. LOL
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 02, 09:43 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jstcruzin81Z:
the letter was from BAAQMD. the smoking vehicle prevention program. it just asked me to get it chacked and fill out a questionairre. it does say that if a law enforcement officer sees my car smoking for more than 10 seconds, they can give me a $100 citation.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I work in an industry that is closely monitored by BAAMQD. I don't think I would voluntarily return that questionaire. Unless that form was required, I would not return it.

You WILL be added into their databse for possible future followup. The less personal info that BAAQMD has on you and your equipment, the better.

If I sound paranoid, I probably am!

just my .02

joe

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