white smoke and a knock/tick noise?? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Ralph
 
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white smoke and a knock/tick noise??

Hi,

I have a 396 BBC and once it warms up, white smoke comes out of the passenger side area. It does have a fuel-ish smell to it. The carb is street demon carb which is brand new. I also hear a ticking noise on the passenger side when the engine warms up. I just bought the car from some one who claims the long block was a rebuild one that he bought and he installed the rest, but never tuned the carb.

How much trouble am I in? I've done some searches online and I've seen different opinions ranging from a head gasket issue to just a the carb running too rich,but I figured I'd ask here as well.... any tips or things to check would be greatly appreciated. I'm fairly new to this so any direction would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 10:34 AM
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Re: white smoke and a knock/tick noise??

Are you loosing coolant? If so head gasket

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 10:53 AM
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Re: white smoke and a knock/tick noise??

Sounds like a multitude of issues. But it is hard not being there in person. None of which should be a huge issue unless you ignore them. It sounds like you definitely need to tune the carb, possibly a rebuild kit. The white smoke after warmup is most likely a bad head gasket, or a severe exhaust leak.
A new gasket kit for a motor is only about a $150. It's not hard to do. It does take a little research and a good torque wrench. The ticking noise is probably a lifter (could just be loose), which can be checked out while replacing the head gasket.
If you do everything yourself you are only looking at a couple hundred dollars. If you pay a mechanic, their hourly rate is going to eat you alive and you will probably have to pay about $2000. Best thing is to find a reliable mechanic that likes to work on old cars and they should be able to give you a quote. But there are plenty of threads on here to walk you through the process.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 11:32 AM
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Re: white smoke and a knock/tick noise??

Agree with the two qualified and experienced members above: with the exception of tuning the carb. Do not tune it until you take care of your other issues. If it is new it doesn't need a rebuild.

Since you are doing a heads off over the fender buy a thicker head gasket than the stamped steel factory version. Something like a FEL-PRO 502SD Gasket set.

You can not use stamped steel gaskets unless you deck the block and surface the head to get two flat parallel surfaces for it to seal against. This is why you are reworking the previous owners work in my opinion.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 11:59 AM
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Re: white smoke and a knock/tick noise??

does the oil look like chocolate milk?

if so you have coolant in oil (and DO NOT run engine)....and a blown head gasket....assume R side since that is the white smoke side from exhaust

+1 on FelPro head gaskets
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 12:26 PM
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Re: white smoke and a knock/tick noise??

Is the smoke in the engine compartment or from the exhaust?

Steve
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 01:14 PM
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Re: white smoke and a knock/tick noise??

I'd throw a can of radiator stop leak in it and drive it. If the smoke goes away then you know it was coolant related and that you need to replace the head-gasket. If its not loosing coolant then I say valve guide seal letting oil pass by and smoking. If it were mine I'd pull the plugs on that side and see if you can narrow it down to one cylinder.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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So I pulled some oil from the oil pan to check.. there is NO coolant in the oil, but their is fuel. Does that mean it’s just getting to much fuel from the carb? Or could I still have a blown head gasket?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: white smoke and a knock/tick noise??

Quote:
Originally Posted by eville View Post
Is the smoke in the engine compartment or from the exhaust?
engine compartment on passenger side
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 01:48 PM
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Re: white smoke and a knock/tick noise??

There is no direct path from the carb to the oil pan for fuel to follow except past a cracked ring. You can borrow a compression checker and a small portable air compressor from your local Chinese tool store. If you have no compression, it's smoking (blue white smoke), and making a noise; you are scoring your cylinder wall with a broken ring (which there is no fix for other than a full rebuild with new over sized pistons).

There are as many things that can go wrong with an engine as there are parts inside the engine. It takes an experienced mechanic to diagnose the problem correctly the first time. And it can not be done over the inter net. That mechanic with a bay full of tools and diagnostic equipment must be where your car is. So I suggest taking it to an authorized Chevrolet dealership after you visit a few and look for some grey haired mechanics.

New mechanics are computer programmers that R&R parts depending upon what a computer tells them. Your car no hablar digital, so it can not talk to a computer. New mechanics have never seen a car with a carburetor outside of a movie or a car show. Old mechanics have repaired more cars than they can remember, and can spot a problem in a moment based upon experience.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 02:19 PM
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Re: white smoke and a knock/tick noise??

white smoke from the engine compartment is usually oil smoke (should have a blue tint).
The ticking could be a million different things, mostly likely unrelated to the smoke and could be a lifter, an exhaust leak or something much worse.

Steve
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 06:26 PM
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Re: white smoke and a knock/tick noise??

if it is in the engine compartment it very well could be external to the engine. Oil leak on the header that smokes when it heats up? What does it smell like? Check for an oil leak from your valve covers. Ticking? Any number of things on these older engines. Soft tick, loud tick, speeds up with engine RPM?

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 07:08 PM
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Re: white smoke and a knock/tick noise??

why don't you do a video and show as what it does

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 18, 04:04 AM
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Re: white smoke and a knock/tick noise??

If you are seeing smoke from the engine compartment, you either have an oil leak (I'd suspect a valve cover gasket, or manifold gasket or crack in manifold/headers), or you may have a coolant leak that is somehow getting onto the hot exhaust. Are you loosing coolant over time?

Ticking coming from the passenger side; could be a stuck lifter or rocker arm/lifter out of adjustment. Is this big block a manual or hydraulic lifter type engine? Manual lifters require adjustment from time to time. Or, a broken valve spring, bent rocker arm, loose rocker bolt (stripped maybe), or a bent valve can cause the ticking, creating "slop" in the adjustment. If the valve cover is leaking oil, it may have been because a previous owner was trying to correct the ticking noise due to what I mentioned, and reused the valve cover gasket when valve cover was reinstalled, and is now leaking oil onto the exhaust manifold/headers, causing the smoke you are seeing.

If you're mechanically inclined, remove the passenger side valve cover, and see if you have anything broken or bent, if it looks OK, check the adjustment (valve lash) of each cylinder. This will require you to rotate the engine to get each cylinder (one at a time) to its TDC (Top Dead Center) position, and then adjust the valve lash by tightening/loosen the rocker arm nut. Hydraulic lifters are easier to do; manual lifters require the engine to be warmed up, then you use a feeler gauge to adjust a gap between the rocker arm and top of valve stem. By using a large wrench and correct socket, you can rotate the engine from the lower pulley/harmonic balancer to get each piston (one at a time) to its TDC position (both valves will be closed).

Not hard to do if this is what is found to be the reason for the ticking sound. In any event, use new valve cover gaskets if the valve covers are removed, especially if they are leaking, and causing your smoke issues.

Never argue with an idiot; they'll only drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

Last edited by bucko; Dec 14th, 18 at 04:26 AM.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 18, 10:30 AM
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Re: white smoke and a knock/tick noise??

Ralph,

The ticking sound on the passenger side of the engine and fuel in the oil could also be a bad fuel pump. They do make noise on occasion and when the diaphragm inside is worn out, they can tear and allow fuel to go into the engine crank case. There is an oil drain back hole at the bottom of the fuel pump cavity that goes right to the crank case. Ticking could also be an exhaust leak at the manifold/header to cylinder head connection. Smoking could be from an oil leak getting onto the exhaust. No coolant in the oil is a good thing. Leaking oil also gets blown around when you drive the car which could easily make it's way to an exhaust component.

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