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Discussion Starter #1
Well, got some real bad news today. Had my car put in the shop thinking I had worn out the plugs/points. Come to find out, as usual, it is a more serious problem. My mechanic says it's o.k. to replace the plugs and points, drive the car, and we would know more about whats causing the problem by how long it takes for the performance to begin to fail. I'm concerned this would cause more damage but he says it would most likely begin to run bad before anything more serious happens. From what I gather, not being very knowledgble about engines, there's an incredible amount of oil and sludge blocking the plug area(?). He says it could be rings or pistons. I should have written this all down because now I'm kinda in shock trying to remember everything he said. Should I even be driving a car knowing there is a bigger problem lurking? or is it o.k. to drive it and observe how it reacts after a while? I totally trust this guy, just want some feedback... man, I didn't think I'd be spending this kind of money on my '69, right in the middle of having a '68 restored. I should have taken up stamp collecting.
 

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Oil sluge, rings or pistons, something wrong. He is a mech you trust, and you don't know
much, his boat, shop, daughters braces payment is due. IF it just started to get sludge
could be a coolant leak onto oil. Could be an intake gasket, or something real bad.
 

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Sorry Mark - you, and the mechanic, lost me ...
Is the engine worn out causing oil to foul the plugs?
Is the there some internal damage or noise causing an issue?

A 'good' mechanic can performa series of standard test to determine the condition of an engine - not just tell you to 'drive until it really screws-up' (or whatever he said ... ).
Test's like 'Compression' (to test cylinder efficiency), 'Leak-Down' (to test how well the rings and valves are sealing) 'Oil analysis' (to test for odd contaminants in the oil) and inspection with a 'Bor-O-Scope' or other optical device to actually look into the cylinders and see what's going on will tell you exactly what the problem is and what needs to be done to fix it - maybe even without "serious" and Big expenses!

Could be something as simple as the valve guides are worn and you need to install a set of PC type seals to prevent excess oil use, to effectively 'fix' things until you (and the engine) are ready for a major overhaul.

Why is I'm hearing lots of mechanic stories lately ... :sad:
 

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Man that sucks,

Just like John mentioned above with all the test should give you a better feed back then we can... What kind of money are we talking about..
 

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Ugh. That stinks, Mark. However, as a person who has just gone through a ridiculous restoration, when it rains, it pours, so it seems.

Personally, I think there's 2 smart things you can do here: 1) Find someone who is incredibly knowedgeable about engines and get a 2nd opinion after checking it out; or 2) Go the safe route and pull the engine and tear it apart. This isn't a '92 Ford Taurus we're talking about here (no offense to '92 Ford Taurus lovers). I'd rather be safe and tear it down than to run it and deal with possible further damage down the line. I've known some mechanics, and while they might be good with engines and repairs, they don't necessarily treat a vintage car as I think it should.

Anyway, that's my .02.
 

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You're getting some very good information here Mark. Propper diagnosis is key! Not an answer like "It could be this or that". Why throw another set of plugs and points in it, the plugs will only foul once more. Unless this was you're daily driver and you needed to get around. Does not seem like the case at all. Take good notes, and if you don't understand something the mechanic says, have him say it again. How many plugs are getting fouled and which cylinders are they? As mentioned, a second opinion may be helpful. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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Compression and leak down tests. That will tell you a lot. If those tests come up good and you are oiling the plugs, like was mentioned above, valve guide seals with is not too bad of a job.

Wasn't there a test to pressurize the cooling system and see if it was leaking into the cylinders or was it air pressure into the cylinders and see if you have bubbles coming out of the coolant tank?

alan
 

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Mark! Right now, go out and check your dipstick. The oil should be clean or nearly so. White is very bad. Now!
And I can be down tomorrow to help. Oh no, wait,,,, I'm racing this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks guys. actually, he did say there were diagnostic tests he could run. He just really seemed to think whatever damage was done had been done and the time it would take for the plugs to foul again would dictate the overall problem. I was thinking about it and also wondered why put new plugs in, only to eventually fail while waiting to see what the bigger problems are. Going over there tomorrow. will have more info tomorrow.
 

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thanks guys. actually, he did say there were diagnostic tests he could run. He just really seemed to think whatever damage was done had been done and the time it would take for the plugs to foul again would dictate the overall problem. I was thinking about it and also wondered why put new plugs in, only to eventually fail while waiting to see what the bigger problems are. Going over there tomorrow. will have more info tomorrow.
Well it could be bad plug wires, valve guide or a intake gasket but worst case would be rings... Try the new plugs and keep track which cylinder or if all cylinders are leaking oil residue on the plugs.. Its pretty easy to check and record your findings after the new plugs are installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
GAME PLAN: The guy doing the bodywork on my '68 is best friends with the guy that built the 383 stroker for it. Even though he does mostly body work, he's very knowledgble about these types of motors. I'm taking it over to their shop tomorrow after the new points/plugs are put in. He says he will first check the valve guide seals and take it from there. He states he and Tom (NELSON RACING ENGINES, free plug) would help me out. FEE: 12 pack of beer, unless it starts getting ugly.
 
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