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Discussion Starter #1
Have a small block car that consumes a bit of oil. PCV valve seems ok, doesn't seem like blow by is a problem. Has a bit of smoke on start-up after sitting for awhile. Checking the plugs reveal that #1 and #2 have a bit of oil on them, the rest are dry.

My plan is to remove the intake and check for leaks before getting into the valve seals.

This is a very fresh 383 (2k miles) with Dart IE 200 heads and Performer RPM intake. Fel pro 1205 gaskets.

My question is, is there anything else I should be checking or methods to test for possible leaks to determine where the oil is going without doing much teardown?

I find it curious that #1 and 2 are the problem. Like maybe the front part of the intake didn't get sealed all the way.
 

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Check the valve seals. If the engine is fresh they may have not been installed correctly.

Don't think it's a gasket problem if it only smokes on startup.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just getting back to this now but I'm taking the car to my mechanic next week but before then I was thinking of pulling the intake off and see if I have any oil leaking past the gaskets and to see what the intake valves look like. Would that be a logical step to take before paying for someone to look at this issue? The mechanic will be doing a leakdown test.

I recently took a longer trip in the car and it burned quite a bit of oil. The thing is its not so bad that its noticeable, doesn't appear to be excessive blowby and recently only #2 plug has shown any real signs of oil control issues.

Used roughly 1 quart in 350-400 miles of mostly in town driving. I do have 4.10 gears with a th350 so I'm cruising around town at elevated RPMs and on the highway at 3k -would it be normal to use some oil in that case?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Took off the intake tonight and I see oil pooled on top of all the intake valves that are closed (2 were open enough that the oil couldn't pool I assume). From what I could tell from the intake gasket it looks like it may have been leaking at the bottom of the intake ports.

SO... is this an intake gasket issue or would all the valve seals and/or guides be allowing too much oil? Looking at the valve stems, they seem dry. Seems like the oil just pooling on top of the valve and wicking its way up a bit and then stops.

Dart IE 200 heads purchased new when the engine was built a few years ago. 2300 miles on the motor.
 

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If the valve stems look dry then its not the seals... Sounds like the intake gasket at least and the possibility of the rings, but i think it may just be the intake gasket. Install the new gasket but still have the leak down test done to eliminate anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here are some pix of the intake and the valves. some valves had more oil pooling on them than others, but these were the worst. What do you guys think of the gasket -was it leaking?

http://s283.photobucket.com/albums/kk310/cdunson/intake/?albumview=grid

I put it all back together with new gaskets and surprisingly, it didn't smoke on startup. Will drive it some this weekend, see how the oil consumption goes. Still taking it in for a leakdown next week.
 

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Casey,

I think you found the problem (intake leak) but also make sure you are not sucking in oil from your PCV, also it looks like it may be running a little rich from the looks of it...

Just make sure that the carb is responding to the mixture screw adjustments, if its not then you are to far out from your transfer slots and butterfly's (idle speed screw may be to high) and it will put you right in the main circuit instead of the idle circuit.

Just some heads up that i just went threw.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Another thing I noticed this morning looking at the pix is that I was using FelPro 1206 gaskets which have slightly larger ports than the 1205 that I just put on. Which is correct for a SBC 383 with Dart IE 200 heads and performer RPM intake?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just to wrap this up.. After fixing my intake gasket leak and finding that I had used the incorrect gaskets the oil useage and smoke on start-up has disappeared. However I'd also had problems with the following: run-on, poor idle, rpm dropping too far from neutral to drive, hesitation when hitting the throttle and plug fouling. I was somehow able to compensate somewhat with carb and timing adjustments but now that this internal leak is gone, its like a new motor.. all these issues are no more. Having dealt with these issues for over a year I am a happy camper. My mechanic agreed the intake gaskets were the issue and suggested I not waste any time/money with further tests.

So if you have a laundry list of symptoms like this, don't wait as long as I did to check the intake if all else fails.
 

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Casey thats great news congrats.... I just went threw the same thing as far as chasing some carb problems and smoking.

Its all good now after 5 months with a bad coil, sucking oil down my PCV and my carb not set up correctly (by me) it was so far out of its transfer slots it would smoke like a pig.

Best feeling when it all comes together and now its all fixed.
 
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