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Username Post: Oil usage        (Topic#351482)
Mike7231 
Poster
Posts: 7

Reg: 06-08-18
06-08-18 04:40 PM - Post#2736346    

I have a 1954 belair, with a 235 ci engine, 52,000 actual miles. I have had the head rebuilt, new valve guides, seals, seats, and new intake valves. It was smoking quite a bit when you let off the accelerator. That problem has been solved, smoke gone. Cylinder walls looked good, minimal wear. My problem is oil usage. About a quart every 400 miles, no leaks, no smoking. Plugs are burning white, no fouling...Any Ideas? I am using 10 40 synthetic blend for high mileage engines..



 

Shepherd 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1371

Loc: Lake George, NY
Reg: 11-11-15
06-08-18 05:10 PM - Post#2736348    
    In response to Mike7231

A leak down test will determine ring seal condition, keep in mind this does not check the oil ring efficiency. Make sure your road draft system is working, built up crankcase pressure can cause oil consumption.



 
rrausch 
"14th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 13870
rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
Reg: 04-07-03
06-08-18 09:15 PM - Post#2736367    
    In response to Shepherd

Are your crankshaft seals leaking? Reason I ask is the synthetic blend--synthetics in older engines and gearboxes have been known to leak, reason being their molecules are more uniform and smaller than regular oil.

1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
Mike7231 
Poster
Posts: 7

Reg: 06-08-18
06-09-18 03:34 AM - Post#2736370    
    In response to rrausch

I see no visible oil leaks. I check under the car everytime I pull out of the garage. Front and rear seals do not appear to be leaking. The synthetic blends are supposed to help with seals oil n older engines, keep them pliable, and prevent leakage. One of the reasons I switched to the blend..



 
2blu52 
"17th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 18521
2blu52
Age: 85
Loc: Montana
Reg: 03-12-02
06-09-18 05:54 AM - Post#2736374    
    In response to Mike7231

How do you use the car. Daily, short trips, long drives, city driving, or highway driving. Some information would help. Also I do not know that the new synthetic oil you are using will effect the rope seals used prior to 1955 in these engines. When I was a kid (wow) a car that used no more than a quart of oil in a thousand miles was considered to be in pretty good shape.

"PEACE IS THAT GLORIUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


 
rrausch 
"14th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 13870
rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
Reg: 04-07-03
06-09-18 06:19 AM - Post#2736375    
    In response to 2blu52

If it ain't leakin, then it's burnin' the stuff, or it's going out the road draft tube.

1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
Mike JW 
"6th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1315
Mike JW
Loc: Arroyo Grande, CA
Reg: 01-19-06
06-09-18 07:15 AM - Post#2736389    
    In response to Mike7231

If you have a dual diaphram fuel pump check the diaphram that assist the wipers could be cracked and sucking oil out of the crank case.



 
2blu52 
"17th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 18521
2blu52
Age: 85
Loc: Montana
Reg: 03-12-02
06-09-18 08:12 AM - Post#2736392    
    In response to rrausch

  • rrausch Said:
If it ain't leakin, then it's burnin' the stuff, or it's going out the road draft tube.


And if that is happening then the filtered cap on the rocker arm cover needs to be cleaned. A quart in 500 miles of good warmed up engine driving, might now show up on the spark plugs.


"PEACE IS THAT GLORIUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


 
Mike7231 
Poster
Posts: 7

Reg: 06-08-18
06-09-18 10:10 AM - Post#2736401    
    In response to 2blu52

My wife and I like to take weekend trips in the old car. 200 miles one way maybe. 60 to 65 mph.. Not a daily driver. I hadn't checked the road draft tube. Gonna look a little deeper when we get home from this trip. About 500 miles total this time..1 1/2 qts of oil, 19.5 mpg...



 
bobt 
Contributor
Posts: 178

Loc: colonial heights va
Reg: 06-28-14
06-09-18 01:05 PM - Post#2736421    
    In response to Mike7231

Fact, The oil is going somewhere. I think that a quart every 400 miles is too much. I'm sure if you were burning it, you would see some smoke. A teaspoon of oil will produce a lot of smoke. Have you checked your dipstick length? You could have a incorrect or shortened dipstick due to loss or breakage and you might be over filling the crankcase and the excess would be pushed out while driving at high rpms. When you park the car after a trip, put a piece of cardboard under the engine and transmission. An engine leak can drip at the transmission after driving at high speeds. Also remember that it is normal for these ol' stovebolts to drip a little.I use about 1/2 quart between oil changes. It is also normal for some drips coming out of the puke tube.



Edited by bobt on 06-09-18 01:14 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
2blu52 
"17th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 18521
2blu52
Age: 85
Loc: Montana
Reg: 03-12-02
06-09-18 01:33 PM - Post#2736424    
    In response to Mike7231

  • Mike7231 Said:
My wife and I like to take weekend trips in the old car. 200 miles one way maybe. 60 to 65 mph.. Not a daily driver. I hadn't checked the road draft tube. Gonna look a little deeper when we get home from this trip. About 500 miles total this time..1 1/2 qts of oil, 19.5 mpg...


I am going with a leak some where. the drip pad or pan advice is good. Also if you have not, put the car up in the air and with a good light look along the frame, drive shaft, exhaust pipes etc., to identify a leak location. My 52 had a small drip, it was moving back and blowing off the engine onto the exhaust pipe which left no drips under the car.


"PEACE IS THAT GLORIUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


 
Mike7231 
Poster
Posts: 7

Reg: 06-08-18
06-09-18 04:37 PM - Post#2736441    
    In response to 2blu52

This particular year didn't have a filterd oil cap. The valve cover has about 4, 1" long vent slots in the valve cover itself. Dipstick is the right dipstick as well. Only a drip or 2 when the car sits in the garage after a trip. Nothing abnormal for these old engines. Will be looking at the road draft tube this week..



 
2blu52 
"17th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 18521
2blu52
Age: 85
Loc: Montana
Reg: 03-12-02
06-09-18 04:52 PM - Post#2736443    
    In response to Mike7231

My apologies, thinking ahead of myself. I had a filtered cap on my 216 to aid in airflow and to clean at least some of it up.

"PEACE IS THAT GLORIUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


 
RAM_51 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4914
RAM_51
Loc: Yakima, WA. USA
Reg: 12-28-02
06-09-18 06:51 PM - Post#2736447    
    In response to Mike7231

If oil is leaking from the car while you are moving, [road draft tube, rear main, etc] it will be flung onto the trunk of the car as it exits from underneath. Check your deck lid for spots of oil. You can actually see these if the car / truck is a little dirty as the oil will be absorbed into the dusty surface and be more visible.

1951 Fleetline
'51 Fleetline DeLuxe 2 DOOR SEDAN (Fathom Green)
'51 Styleline Special BUSINESS COUPE (Shadow Gray)
'53 6500 Dump Bed (Oxidized Red)
'50 Styleline DeLuxe 4 DOOR SEDAN (Mist Green)


 
Gene_Schneider 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 12147
Gene_Schneider
Loc: Wisconsin..USA
Reg: 09-27-02
06-09-18 07:08 PM - Post#2736448    
    In response to RAM_51

400 miles to a quart is normal for that engine. Chevrolet used rather weak rings and 1953 Power Glides and all 1954 engines would use that much oil. In 1954 an engine would normally use a quart in 1000 mils or so when new.
Oil or additives will prevent modern seals from hardining but not "repair" neoprene seals that are 50 years old. Your rear main seal is graffited rope.
In 1954 it was normal to replace rings in many engines by 50,000 miles.

ChevGene 1934 Master sedan 1939 Master DeLuxe Town Sedan 1950 Styline DeLuxe Power Glide 1957 Nomad 283 PG 1963 Corvair Convertible


Edited by Gene_Schneider on 06-09-18 07:09 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4286
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
06-10-18 10:51 PM - Post#2736559    
    In response to Gene_Schneider

Hi Guys, to add to what Gene said, this is not the era of clean low oil consumption engines. Also bear in mind that if it just drips a couple of spots at standstill that may well increase when driving as the pressures are up.

A single drip every 400 yards soon mounts up to quite a lot of oil.
If it isn't making a mess on your drive and it runs nice, jut top it up as required.

But just keep monitoring it as you have been doing. Modern cars are a complete paradigm shift from the correct way to maintain and drive classic cars. It ain't no appliance, she's a real car.

Cheers kiwi



48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

"They made a desert and called it peace." Tacitus


 
Mike7231 
Poster
Posts: 7

Reg: 06-08-18
06-15-18 03:20 PM - Post#2737068    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

Thanks for all the replies! I have had several old chevys with the 235 engines, but that was back in my teens, almost 40 years ago, when I could barely afford to keep them going as daily drivers. I picked up this 54 about 3 months ago, in great condition, just needs a little attention that I was expecting, and can now afford to give. I have found low compression, and probably going to do a complete rebuild in a few weeks. I have always believed in boring, at least .010, just to get all cylinders at the same bore. Any suggestion otherwise? Or other advice??



 
2blu52 
"17th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 18521
2blu52
Age: 85
Loc: Montana
Reg: 03-12-02
06-15-18 03:31 PM - Post#2737070    
    In response to Mike7231

If the machine shop is going to assemble the engine be sure that they are familiar with "old stuff".

"PEACE IS THAT GLORIUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


 
Mike7231 
Poster
Posts: 7

Reg: 06-08-18
06-15-18 04:17 PM - Post#2737074    
    In response to 2blu52

I will be doing the rebuild, and I have a machine shop that knows older vehicles, and does great machine work. As I said, I've had several of these engines, and have rebuilt a few, as well as small block chevy engines. Just always looking to learn something....



 

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