Crankcase pressure / oil pressure problem

Old January 2nd, 2012, 08:24 AM
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Crankcase pressure / oil pressure problem


Problem #1 ~~ 53 Olds with a 455 and 700 R4. Engine (72 Block with C Heads) has about 8000 miles on it, bored 60 over mild cam, roller rockers etc. Crank is cut 10. at sustained speeds of 70 / 80 MPH. Engine builds crankcase pressure and blows oil out gaskets and seals ,oil blows out the pan gaskets , front intake seal, rear main etc. Don't see any oil coming out of the valve covers. On a 1500 mile trip from Florida to North Carolina used 4 Qts oil. Oil will also puddle on the timing case cover which I believe is coming out of the front intake seal. Mickey Thompson valve covers, left one has AC Delco PCV valve(tried three different ones), right one has breather. Plugs are burning clean (light tan color). I'm told by friends that follow when we caravan that it smokes a little equally from both tail pipes, I can't see it in rear view mirror. Machine shop was supposed to fit the rings and install on pistons, all I did was check for inverted rings and installed the pistons.
I removed PCV , Breather and dipstick and taped over the openings. Took off the oil cap and brought the RPM up to about 2000, Oil spits up through filler pipe. All I can come up with is a ring problem being equal in all 8 cylinders. This is the second 455 I've had in this car, the first one had an oil problem that nobody could figure out even after I tore it apart. I hope somebody out there can point me in another direction because my only option at this point is to pull the engine take it apart and see if I can find the problem. If I can't I will be forced to change my name and put a crate C#%&Y in . HELP HELP.
Problem # 2 Oil Pressure is good when cold 30 idle 55/ 60 on road. After it gets to operating temp Idle pressure goes down to 5-10 and 30 on road. Replaced the pump with a shimmed pump from Dick Miller. When I assembled the engine I plastguaged all bearing all were within specs 02000 or less.
Any help will be greatly appreciated
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 09:12 AM
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The first thing to be mentioned, though with the amount of oil being spat out and pressure coming from the filler neck it may be a moot point, verify the PCV hose is not restricted, and it is in fact going to a strong and constant vacuum source. The real thing to check is to see what cylinder and piston ring sealing capacities are like by doing a leak down test. Leak down tests can reveal a lot more sealing problems then a simple compression test. Compressed air is pumped into one cylinder at a time, and you then listen and feel for air escaping. This can be through intake or exhaust valves, or down past the rings, and be heard hissing out of the oil filler tube. If you are not to familiar with the procedure explained, by all means ask more, or the explanation can be found aplenty on the net. More can be the root problem here, but start with this, even going as far as oil pump volumes and clearances in bearings, though yours are in the area of where a 455 should be. Regards, Howie
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 01:47 PM
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A breather in oil fill tube will help. I would suggest a tear down. A lot of consumption/leakage with lower oil pressure, is not good.
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Vistabrat72 View Post
The first thing to be mentioned, though with the amount of oil being spat out and pressure coming from the filler neck it may be a moot point, verify the PCV hose is not restricted, and it is in fact going to a strong and constant vacuum source. The real thing to check is to see what cylinder and piston ring sealing capacities are like by doing a leak down test. Leak down tests can reveal a lot more sealing problems then a simple compression test. Compressed air is pumped into one cylinder at a time, and you then listen and feel for air escaping. This can be through intake or exhaust valves, or down past the rings, and be heard hissing out of the oil filler tube. If you are not to familiar with the procedure explained, by all means ask more, or the explanation can be found aplenty on the net. More can be the root problem here, but start with this, even going as far as oil pump volumes and clearances in bearings, though yours are in the area of where a 455 should be. Regards, Howie
Tried 3 differeny PCV valves, new hose, plenty of vacum. Will probably do the leakdown test before I do the inevitable and pull the engine.

Thanks,

Jim
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by joesw31 View Post
It sounds like the piston rings broke. The engine will need to be taken apart.
Thats where I'm at to, can't come up with anythig else.

Thanks

Jim
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by olds 307 and 403 View Post
A breather in oil fill tube will help. I would suggest a tear down. A lot of consumption/leakage with lower oil pressure, is not good.
I agree none of what I'm experiencing with this engine is any good.
and since it's the second one I'm really annoyed.
Since the bearing clearences were good when I put it together, before I do it again I'll have to research a way to get better pressure.

Thanks

Jim
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Old January 4th, 2012, 08:25 AM
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What weight of oil are you using?, too thin will give you the symptoms you are getting.

Roger.
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Old January 5th, 2012, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rustyroger View Post
What weight of oil are you using?, too thin will give you the symptoms you are getting.

Roger.
Using straight 30 Rotella

Jim
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Old January 5th, 2012, 10:52 PM
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What valve covers do you have?
Do you have factory style valve cover grommets?
Do you have a breather in the other valve cover?

I have found the cheap chrome valve covers use a closed grommet, of which you have to cut and open up.
Also the cheap valve covers have no baffle. So when you use factory grommets, you will suck oil.

As far as the oil leaks, that could be just bad assembly. The front of the intake is a common problem. If they did any machine work, you should just use silicone on the front and rear of the intake. When you use the rubber seal, they always push out and leak. As for the oil out the filler tube, that may be from the machine shop forgot to put the baffle in for the filler tube.

I would say if you have problem piston rings, you would have a bad running engine. Also you should see the problems on the plugs when you pull them.

Show us some pic's of your engine and car.

Gene
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Old January 6th, 2012, 09:22 AM
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Nephew had the same problem - turned out the rings never 'seated', and just got worse.
Didn't foul the plugs, but they were always a dark grey.
Replaced the rings - no more problems.
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Old January 6th, 2012, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 64Rocket View Post
What valve covers do you have?
Do you have factory style valve cover grommets?
Do you have a breather in the other valve cover?

I have found the cheap chrome valve covers use a closed grommet, of which you have to cut and open up.
Also the cheap valve covers have no baffle. So when you use factory grommets, you will suck oil.

As far as the oil leaks, that could be just bad assembly. The front of the intake is a common problem. If they did any machine work, you should just use silicone on the front and rear of the intake. When you use the rubber seal, they always push out and leak. As for the oil out the filler tube, that may be from the machine shop forgot to put the baffle in for the filler tube.

I would say if you have problem piston rings, you would have a bad running engine. Also you should see the problems on the plugs when you pull them.

Show us some pic's of your engine and car.

Gene
Have Mickey Thompson Valve Covers, with baffle. One has breather and the other has PCV. Also using correct grommets

Haven't figured out how to add pictures yet
Thanks,

Jim
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Old January 6th, 2012, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickman48 View Post
Nephew had the same problem - turned out the rings never 'seated', and just got worse.
Didn't foul the plugs, but they were always a dark grey.
Replaced the rings - no more problems.
Thats what I'm thinking. What kind of rings didn't seat and what did he replace then with?

Thanks,

Jim
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Old May 15th, 2012, 12:24 PM
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Stop right there

Buddy I dont even OWN an Olds, but I created an account here just to chime in on this issue. I am a Ford man, and just recently shelled out the cash to replace my old 302 (thats a 5.0 to the kids lol) because of "blow by" also known as oil going all over creation. Had myself a pretty little 5.0 H.O. roller motor put together to slap in my old 76' F100, and low and behold we are only about 1000 miles in, and I got "blow by" AGAIN???? I dont think so, this is a new block, pistons,rings, rods, heads, ALL of it is new. What is the ONE thing that made its way over to the new engine? My MICKEY THOMPSON VALVE COVERS. Thats what I was searching when I stumbled on your site here (by the way, I love Oldsmobile, I learned everything I needed to know about life in an old Cutlass Supreme my best buddy drove, QUADRAJET SON! LOL) and found you are having the exact problem I am. Do NOT rebuild or let these guys tell you its the rings, though you posted this a while back I understand you may have already wasted that cash. You will most likely do what I did and move your nice valve covers over as well. I cant blame the oil blow on them but I CAN say this, my old engine did the same thing when I added those covers man. I went today and grabbed a new breather cap, pcv valve and all, and If that doesn't do it im going back to stock covers. Im telling you man, it HAS to be the covers! Mine are set up just as you described too.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 04:04 PM
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Use baffles.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 01:38 PM
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Thanks for the input.
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but I have been away and haven't been able to log in to the site.
Haven't pulled the engine or done anything major to it yet. I have just been driving it and tinkering with ways to make it breath better. I have to do something with it before Fall when I have plans for a couple of long trips. I bought another car and am busy getting that ready. I bought it so I will have a car to drive while I pull the engine on the Olds.
I Don' see how the Mickey Thompson valve covers could cause the problem but I will definitely swap them out for a stock set I have. I'm willing to try anything. Will let you know how I make out.

I am really to the point of doing the unthinkable and putting a 350 crate Chev in it. I hate to go that route, but after two unsuccessful attempts with olds 455 engines, how far can I go.

Thanks Again

Jim
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Old June 11th, 2012, 06:41 AM
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Have you done a compression check? I would not rule out the valve covers, but ????.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 06:12 AM
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Yes, I have. 180 to 200 lbs in all cylinders.

Thanks for the reply

Jim
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Old June 12th, 2012, 06:31 AM
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Did you do it wet and dry? Also have you fixed the vacuum leaks, as these will contribute to not having enough pos ventilation? On my 330, I had a similar issue, so I ran the normal pcv in passenger side valve cover, and a mopar style breather in drivers side with a hose running to the air cleaner base. I also upped my oil viscosity to a 20-50.

Make sure your oil on top of the heads is draining properly and not building up under the valve cover. Also make sure your idle speed is around 750ish. What is your vacuum at idle, and at say 3000 rpm?

Are you running a mechanical or electric oil pressure gauge?
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Old June 12th, 2012, 07:16 PM
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Compression test was done dry. No vacuum leaks. Like you I have PCV in one valve cover and breather with hose going to air cleaner in the other. Using straight 30 oil. Checked vacuum a while back. don't remember the readings but they were OK Oil returns are not plugged

Thanks for the reply

Jim
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Old June 14th, 2012, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by foreverolds View Post
Thanks for the input.
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but I have been away and haven't been able to log in to the site.
Haven't pulled the engine or done anything major to it yet. I have just been driving it and tinkering with ways to make it breath better. I have to do something with it before Fall when I have plans for a couple of long trips. I bought another car and am busy getting that ready. I bought it so I will have a car to drive while I pull the engine on the Olds.
I Don' see how the Mickey Thompson valve covers could cause the problem but I will definitely swap them out for a stock set I have. I'm willing to try anything. Will let you know how I make out.

I am really to the point of doing the unthinkable and putting a 350 crate Chev in it. I hate to go that route, but after two unsuccessful attempts with olds 455 engines, how far can I go.

Thanks Again

Jim
Oh no you didn't...

So, if you toss the 455 can I have it? I don't need one...but I'd like to build another one for giggles.
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Old June 15th, 2012, 06:16 AM
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Have you gotten any farther with this issue?
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Old June 15th, 2012, 11:13 PM
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If you are a BIG Rotella fan, try some 15W40.

I would put some Valvoline 20w50 not street legal racing oil in it and a bottle of ProLong oil treatment along with a good oil filter by Wix or Napa Gold or even a K&N.
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Old June 16th, 2012, 06:48 AM
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Right now I would not recomment the Racing only oil in it as it does not have any detergent in it. It may make matters worse. There is a VR oil for street use!. Rotella has dropped their ZDDP levels to conform to the new EPA standards, so if you use it suplement it.
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Old June 16th, 2012, 08:07 PM
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You can't have this one. If I pull it out, I would be determined to tear it apart and find the problem.
However I have the first 455 engine that I had in this car disassembled somewhere in the garage. I considered using that one for an anchor. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Thanks for the reply

Jim
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Old June 16th, 2012, 08:11 PM
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No just been tinkering with it. Been busy doing some work on another car I bought.
Toward the end of next week I will probably swap out the valve covers as discussed in an earlier thread. I don't see how they could be the problem but it's worth a try.

Jim
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Old November 30th, 2012, 08:13 PM
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It's been a long time coming, but I wanted to be sure of the results. I don't expect many of you to believe this, I sure as heck didn't see how this would have a major impact on the problem but here goes. As I mentioned earlier that before pulling the engine, I would try changing the Mickey Thompson valve covers as suggested by Carter 777.. Well I put a stock set of valve covers on and immediately saw a difference. The amount of oil coming out of the fill tube was considerably less when I brought the engine up to about 2000 RPM in the garage. Now remember I would get raw oil spat out over the firewall, plug wires etc. I then took the car out on the interstate for about 15 miles round trip. No oil. About a week later when I had more time I took about a 50 mile ride. No oil. Still not convinced I waited for my next long trip. Went about 250 miles round trip. No oil spitting out of filler and minor leaking from rear main and pan gasket. Took another 350 mile trip, same results. No ,oil spitting out of fill tube, minor leaking rear main and pan gasket which is probable due to damage done to gasket and seal from the excessive crankcase pressure that started this whole problem. Engine still uses more oil than it should with 11000 miles on it, but it is bearable. I probably will still pull the engine to address the oil consumption problem, but I am no longer under pressure to do it. At a rod run or show I can now open the hood without having to wipe down the engine compartment
This may or may not help others and I know there is no real explanation for it but it may help someone with a similar problem

Thanks for all the responses and listening

Jim
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Old November 30th, 2012, 08:26 PM
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So, there was no passage in the valve cover for the PCV to draw thru?

Or, under severe blow-by conditions, the other cover had no passage for the gasses to exit the crankcase and get to the air cleaner?
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Old November 30th, 2012, 08:47 PM
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Glad to hear your issue has been resolved and without having to tear things apart and incur alot of costs. Please let us know what you find out
about the valve covers. I for one would be interested in knowing what the
problem with them is/was.

Again congrats on a good resolution....

Nufo
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Old December 1st, 2012, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Octania View Post
So, there was no passage in the valve cover for the PCV to draw thru?

Or, under severe blow-by conditions, the other cover had no passage for the gasses to exit the crankcase and get to the air cleaner?
I can see this as a the culprit. I just can't see it being anything else.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Octania View Post
So, there was no passage in the valve cover for the PCV to draw thru?

Or, under severe blow-by conditions, the other cover had no passage for the gasses to exit the crankcase and get to the air cleaner?
To clear this up -- With the mickey Thompson Valve Covers, I had a PCV in one valve cover connected to manifold Vacuum. The other valve cover had at one point just a breather then I changed it and piped it to the air cleaner. Had the same results blowing oil. I now have the same set up only with stock Olds valve covers, no oil problem. The only difference I can see between the valve covers is the Mickey Thompson's have a baffle of about four inches square below where the PCV and Baffle go in the valve cover. The stock valve covers have a more elaborate baffle built in to the valve cover. The distance between the bottom of the PCV and the baffle is about 1/16 ' less on the Mickey Thompson's but I wouldn't think that would have any effect.
Again I know this is hard to believe but these are the facts.

Thanks again

Jim
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