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Thread: Smoke/steam coming out of oil filler?

  1. #1
    seanef26 Guest

    Unhappy Smoke/steam coming out of oil filler?

    Ok...86 Cougar 5.0. Was hearing some kind of air leak coming from the passenger side of engine (back towards firewall) near or below valve covers. This weekend I changed my upper intake gasket and valve cover gaskets to see if it helped, but it didn't. I can hear the air escaping from somewhere but can't find it. Then I noticed yesterday that if I take my oil filler cap off while car is running, there is white smoke or steam coming out of it (like a locomotive steam engine). Steam is coming out at a pretty good rate, but car doesn't seem to be performing that badly. Also, when I took my upper intake manifold off to replace gasket, oil was up in it where it probably shouldn't be. Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Smoke/steam coming out of oil filler?

    Sounds like blow-by.

    Do it look like a choo choo? Take your hand and cover the oil fill and see if there is any presure behind it. More presure the worse it is.

  3. #3
    seanef26 Guest

    Default Re: Smoke/steam coming out of oil filler?

    Yes, it looks like a choo choo. What is a blow-by? What needs to be replaced to fix it? Really expensive?

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    Default Re: Smoke/steam coming out of oil filler?

    Check to make sure your pcv valve is good, and properly installed. Non-functioning pcv can promote blowby with excessive crankcase pressure. Might be what that "hissing" sound is you hear.
    '97 Ranger 3.0
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  5. #5
    zpyro Guest

    Default Re: Smoke/steam coming out of oil filler?

    blow by is when the piston rings don't seal like htey should, so when the air/fuel is compressed as the piston goes up, some of the air/fuel goes past the rings into the crankcase. from there it goes wherever oil goes, i.e. the valve covers.

    do a compression check, there's likely at least one cylinder that's lower than the others. after checking compression on a cylinder, put a few drops of oil in through the spark plug hole and check again. if the compression goes up, the rings are goin bad.

    you have to take the engine out in order to change the rings, obviously. so isn't something that can be done in an evening.

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    Default Re: Smoke/steam coming out of oil filler?

    Quote Originally Posted by seanef26
    Yes, it looks like a choo choo. What is a blow-by? What needs to be replaced to fix it? Really expensive?
    Blow-by is when oil sneaks over to the other side of your piston rings into the combustion chamber. Usually requres that you replace the piston rings, which means tearing apart your engine. How many miles are on it?

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    Default Re: Smoke/steam coming out of oil filler?

    Quote Originally Posted by zpyro
    blow by is when the piston rings don't seal like htey should, so when the air/fuel is compressed as the piston goes up, some of the air/fuel goes past the rings into the crankcase. from there it goes wherever oil goes, i.e. the valve covers.

    do a compression check, there's likely at least one cylinder that's lower than the others. after checking compression on a cylinder, put a few drops of oil in through the spark plug hole and check again. if the compression goes up, the rings are goin bad.

    you have to take the engine out in order to change the rings, obviously. so isn't something that can be done in an evening.
    You beat me to it by a few seconds!

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    Default Re: Smoke/steam coming out of oil filler?

    blow by is when the piston rings don't seal like htey should
    I know that, I was just giving another suggestion. He says he has air escaping from the back of the motor, if you don't vent the crankcase, the pressure is gonna go somewhere...lol
    '97 Ranger 3.0
    88 Tbird Sport
    5.0 SO, stainless shorty headers, true dual exhaust w/ Magnaflow mufflers. KYB struts from '04 Cobra, KYB shocks. 5lug conversion from '00 Mustang, front and rear springs from '04 Cobra, subframe connectors, drilled and slotted rotors, '97 Mustang GT rear sway bar, '03 Mach 1 wheels. Maximum Motorsports caster camber plates, sequential taillights.140 speedo and halo head rests. Started work on new motor...


  9. #9
    seanef26 Guest

    Default Re: Smoke/steam coming out of oil filler?

    I took off the oil cap and put my hand over the opening and the pressure buildup is not bad. I can barely feel it on my hand when I take it off the spout. Car has 106k miles. Everything else is in really good shape. Very little rust, great interior, mechanically sound (except for the obvious problem). I hate to just let it go, but if it's not something I can do myself, I don't know if I want to spend $1000+ to have it fixed. Any suggestions or ideas on how much this will run me?

  10. #10
    seanef26 Guest

    Default Re: Smoke/steam coming out of oil filler?

    Cougarman:

    It doesn't have a PCV valve. It has a hose going from the oil fill spout to the upper intake manifold, and that is all cleaned out and clear.

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