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Username Post: 78 malibu(didnt know which decade to pick)        (Topic#281946)
Forum Newbie
Posts: 1

Age: 26
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Reg: 06-01-12
06-01-12 06:44 AM - Post#2232139    

i am having some really odd problems with my 78 malibu. not sure if its a 305 or 350 right now but all of my plugs are fouled and it appears to be burning oil on one side of the motor(true duals). i dont know what is going on because the car pulls just as hard as ever but the little bit of smoke is starting to annoy me. it has a lifter tick but i doubt that would foul the entire set of plugs. any suggestions? mods are just a mild cam, intake, and 600cfm carb. thanks for the help in advance.

78 malibu, cam, intake, carb, m21,and an 8.5 possitrac


Senior Member
Posts: 1517

Loc: North Coast, Ohio
Reg: 12-19-01
06-03-12 11:02 AM - Post#2232916    
    In response to cujo45

For the future you need to scroll down to the "Chevelle-Beaumont" main heading to the "78 -83 Malibu" subheading for more specific support.

But your probem is more general. Two things to investigate are the compression, but more likely, valve stem seals. Valve stem seal leakage will be more pronounced at start up, when leeting up on the throttle while driving. No idea of your background so I'll suggest getting a service manual that outlines how to perform compression test. Thes manuals generally have a good diagnostics section to assist inb diagnosing the problem too. The valve stem seal issue is a simple one but you would need to remove the rocker arms and valve spring caps/retainers. Also, when reassembly, you would need to know how to adjust the rocker arms. Not a job to start out on with out a firm understanding of the steps. Part of this would be to measure valve stem side clerance (side-to-die wiggle). If the guides in the the heads are bad, the seals will not help. It would be time to the machine shop or another set of heads. I'd also advise seeking out the guidance of a local in lieu of internet advice so he can help you through it, possibly loaning some tools, such as a spring compressor. The reason I elaborated one the valve stem seals is because I'd bet it the likely problem. If it is, it's a cheap repair if the only thing you need to buy is the seals and possibly valve cover gaskets.

Super Senior Member
Posts: 14491
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Reg: 11-27-04
06-06-12 07:57 PM - Post#2234217    
    In response to 55MAS

If it is the stock engine, it is not a 350. The 350 was only available in the El Camino. It may not even be a 305. GM switched to a smaller V8 around then and it may be one of those. You should have an emissions label under the hood or on the core support identifying which one it is.

As for the problem, it could very well be bad valve seals. It is a common problem. Another common problem is the oil drains in the heads getting clogged with gunk and the oil sits in the top of the head due to poor drain back. When the oil sits there it will start to seep past the seals and will burn in the combustion chamber and possibly foul plugs. Since you have to pull the valve covers anyway, that would be the first thing to check. If the passages are clear then inspect the seals themselves as well as the other things mentioned.

Friends don’t let friends drive Fords.

1999 Silverado Z71 4X4 extra-cab short bed
1983 Malibu Fauxmad - tubbed
1978 El Camino Kustomized
1972 Monte Carlo
1957 210 handyman wagon
1957 Nomad sport wagon
1957 Cameo Carrier

Richard Martin 
Dedicated Enthusiast
Posts: 5568
Richard Martin
Loc: Davis Islands, Florida
Reg: 06-12-03
06-07-12 05:14 AM - Post#2234289    
    In response to wagonman100

1978 Malibu wagon engines:



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