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Old 01-07-2016, 01:57 AM   #1
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Help 84 Holiday Rambler broke down in Eureka 65k miles

Hi all I bought a nice 84 holiday rambler presidential 30 model for 500 $ spent a month or more remodeling the inside its sweet . I am now on a voyage to mexico from northern wash . Fixing problems along the way . But today I was 1 mile from eureka calf and looked in the mirror and saw whitish smoke pouring from the exhaust I stopped at the first place I could. it seems that oil is blowing into the exhaust manifold on the passenger side . I also just had transmission seviced for leaks 400 $ but no joy and now see a large crack in the bell housing I am now at antich auto waiting till morning to have them look .. initial prognosis intake manifold gaskets ? Its a chev 454 with a turbo 400 auto transmission .. has any one any useful info on these issues on a chev chassis?
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:42 AM   #2
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Jib151, before you commit to intake gaskets, you say you just paid $400 for transmision leak repairs? Did they remove the transmission to change the front seal? If so then more than likely they cracked the bellhousing, it wasn't cracked since 1984 and they would have tried to sell you a repair on it if it was cracked when they pulled it out! Also the Vacuum Modulator very possibly no good on the transmission and the motor could be sucking transmission fluid into the motor through that vacuum line going to the intake manifold , causing the smoke!!! You can check that yourself just trace the steel line from the transmission modulator to the intake, remove it and plug the line on the intake side and run the motor for a while , also if they overfilled the transmission with fluid , it can be sucked into the engine and smoke!!! If they try to sell you on big repairs they are probably screwing you! Bobby
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:22 AM   #3
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I had a modulator valve go bad on a 70's vintage Ford van and over a distance of 30 miles my engine sucked the transmission dry through a cracked diaphragm in the modulator. I didn't know that GM used the same type of system. It poured out enough smoke that it looked like one of those old mosquito sprayers. Fortunately, I made it to an auto parts and replaced the modulator and ATF in the parking lot.


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Old 01-07-2016, 10:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jib151 View Post
Hi all I bought a nice 84 holiday rambler presidential 30 model for 500 $ spent a month or more remodeling the inside its sweet . I am now on a voyage to mexico from northern wash . Fixing problems along the way . But today I was 1 mile from eureka calf and looked in the mirror and saw whitish smoke pouring from the exhaust I stopped at the first place I could. it seems that oil is blowing into the exhaust manifold on the passenger side . I also just had transmission seviced for leaks 400 $ but no joy and now see a large crack in the bell housing I am now at antich auto waiting till morning to have them look .. initial prognosis intake manifold gaskets ? Its a chev 454 with a turbo 400 auto transmission .. has any one any useful info on these issues on a chev chassis?
jib151
"Whitish" smoke from the exhaust is most often an indication of a coolant leak into a combustion chamber, (or chambers).
Oil smoke is "blue", (while "black smoke" indicates a rich gasoline/air mixture.
Sadly "white or blue smoke pouring from the exhaust" of your Chevy 454 is more than likely caused by a serious engine problem.
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:55 AM   #5
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modulator most likely cause of your problem. The cracked trans case is not so uncommon. If it has gotten you to this point shifting okay I would ignore it. Does the engine miss?



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Old 01-07-2016, 02:56 PM   #6
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+2 on a bad vacuum modulator on the transmission. I had an old Suburban with the Turbo-400 that the modulator ruptured and it blew massive smoke, more white than blue - remember it's trans fluid not engine oil.

If it is a blown head gasket or intake gaskets the exhaust will smell like coolant. The nose knows!
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Old 01-07-2016, 05:02 PM   #7
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Hell in the pre EPA police days old mechanics used to pour Auto Trans fluid down the carbs to open things up, made lots of white smoke!!!! Bobby
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:19 AM   #8
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Wow thanks everyone for your insight and comments . Ok I spent overnight at the repair shop they did a leakdown test on the motor I had170 # on all except #7 it was 155 and did a borescope on that one and said it was scored in one line otherwise the cly still had nice crosshatch but an oily spark plug .. they recomended a new engine and trans package at a quote of 11k .. not being of the wealthy class hence a 500 $ rambler . I rambled out of there and left a trail of smoke to an rv park 1.5 miles down the road to assess my options . Which seem to be few ! My plan at this point is drop the oil pan to access the piston connection crank tear down the top end pull the offending piston inspect and replace the rings replace gaskets and hope I can make it run again ? Meanwhile the transmission leak looms next . Now I wonder if its possible the new vac modulator failed and is sucking tranny fluid in to the motor as well ? Were else is the fluid going ? But that crack is pretty big and only appeared after the work installing the modulator and pan gasket ? I called and asked the shop if they jacked the rv up or used a lift .. the jacked it up on one side .. could that cause a crack ?
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Old 01-08-2016, 05:00 AM   #9
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I dont know if I would tear into the engine for 155# of compression on one cylinder. That is not all that bad, if you were at 90# then thats another story. Is it is missing on that cylinder? Sure those guys want to sell you a new engine and trans, scoundrels! Have you check the modulator vacuum line like suggested? Wish you well
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Old 01-08-2016, 05:31 AM   #10
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155 is good
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:28 AM   #11
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Now wait a minute, in your original post you said that you just paid $400 to fix a tranny leak. Now you say they also changed the modulator at the same time the crack in the bellhousing showed up and in your last post you say the tranny is leaking again. By the way , that shop is so full of it! Less then 15 lbs psi difference means not a damn thing on a 65000 mile motor, if it was 50lbs i'd get to thinking , anything over like 125 will fire and the oily plug could be valve seals that have dried out due to age. Here is a idea, pull the vacuum line off the modulator and plug it at the intake side, manually shift the transmission , clean or replace the oily plug and drive it around! Find another mechanic! Bobby
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:49 AM   #12
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You also said you observed smoke coming out of the passenger side, which is the closest point to the vacuum connection on the intake for the modulator, if the fluid is not on the ground it is in the motor logically! And the #7 cylinder on a chevy is in the back on the left side, the motor is slanted back so any oil in the top will get sucked into the back cylinders due to worn cracked valve seals . I'm betting on a A) Bad modulator B)Overfilled transmission C)Valve seals , you are listening to a shop that just wanted to charge you $11000 for a job that should probably cost only 10 times what you bought your rig for! You haven't pulled the vacuum line to check that but are talking about opening a motor up on the side of the road to rering one piston, not critical thinking inho. Bobby
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:22 AM   #13
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Listen to FastGlassMan, I've done my own mechanical work on nearly everything I own since I was about 12 years old, that's 56 years and everything Bobby says is correct. BTW I've had several engines with bad valve seals and it always manifests itself with a smoky exhaust (before cats) and fouled plugs in the rear cylinders because of the engine slant and subsequent oil flow to the rear. BTW valve seals can be replaced without removing the heads. 155lbs compression is plenty for your cylinder to fire properly (like DEano56 said when it gets down to 90lbs, then you need to start worrying). Those old boys were trying to screw you!


Steve


BTW last May I installed a factory rebuilt long block engine assembly (rebuilt block and heads) in my RV and the rebuilt assembly cost $1899+tax, other costs ran my parts cost up to $2240 total and it was a lot of work. Still it wasn't even close to $11,000 (but I didn't replace the tranny). However, based on what you wrote I doubt that you need a new engine (mine had failing bearings discovered through an engine knock and subsequent motor oil lab analysis I had done).
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:25 AM   #14
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There is zero reason to tear down YOUR engine.

Good enough compression and it is not a race car or daily driver so leave that dog napping.

Check all fluids to see what is changed...If it is consuming it it must come from somewhere.

If the tranny is now cracked and some professional (anyone who receives payment for services is one...) worked on the tranny then back them into a corner on it.

If you do not already have one get a bore camera from harbor freight so you can look very close at that crack.

If shiny inside new if oily gunk inside not new.
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