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Thread: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

  1. #1
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    Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    Just picked up our car after many updates including a modification of the crankcase breather. Apparently on the later model 3000 there is crankcase ventilation which on my car had been routed through the valve cover, the valve cover having then been fitted with a "breather". Unfortunately the breather was venting engine oil in considerable quantities that was then cascading over the generator among other things. In discussing this with the shop, the decision was made to put a "blank off plate" over the current breather location and re-route the breather tube down towards the ground.

    Problem is, when we were almost home, I discovered that the "chase car" following me home had a windshield that was covered with oil! When I arrived home, after the car was shut off it delivered maybe a 1/2 pint or more of oil onto the floor of my garage.

    Contacted the mechanic who told me that it was "blow by" and that my engine needed to be rebuilt.

    Maybe. But the compression on all cylinders seemed good before he began work.

    It is almost like there is a vacuum that has been created and oil is being siphoned right out of the engine.

    Do I just need to pony up for a complete engine rebuild, or is there another possible scenario? If I can figure out how to upload pictures of the current configuration I will post them.

    Thanks in advance for any guidance.

    BTW, my mechanic was very negative about sending my brake servo to Power Brake Exchange, said it should only go to White Post Restorations. Any thoughts on that?
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    Jedi Knight Healey Nut's Avatar
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    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    Clearly your "mechanic" isnt familiar with Healeys . That vent hose should go to the rear carb so the vented fumes etc get reburned in the combustion cycle .
    Having said that if you do have a lot of oil coming from the vent hose then you are looking at a rebuild . Unless theres way to much oil in the engine ???
    "If it aint broke ....dont fix it "
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    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    Hutchster--

    Your mechanic and HN are probably right and there may be a rebuild in your future!

    The best and most informative way to check compression is to do a bleed-down which will show you not only how tight your combustion chamber is--or is not--sealing but also the source of leakage, if any. You can ascertain whether compression is bleeding off via a valve, head gasket or through rings, which I would venture a guess, is where your problem lies.

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  4. #4

    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    There is nothing wrong with venting the crankcase to the valve cover, that is how most are set up. It goes to a T joint the other side of which goes to the carbs. However, putting crankcase guck back into your engine isn't really a good idea, it was just a cheap environmental fix. Not sure what Hutchster means by a 'breather', but putting a filter on the exit side of the T is fine, although they need to be changed or cleaned regularly.

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    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    If it's chucking out that much oil I wouldn't want it going into the intake via the carb. I'd first see how much is actually coming out of the pipe by sticking it in a catch can rather than out on the road. Heavy breathing is one thing, loads of oil spurting out is another and might indicate crankcase pressure is building up somehow.

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    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    I installed a K&N oil breather filter on the tube going to the carb. I blocked off the opening in the rear carb. This way any oil residue is collected in the filter and does not clog the carb. Here is the link:

    http://www.knfilters.com/vent.htm
    Last edited by Mert; 03-20-2017 at 10:47 AM. Reason: add informaton

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    Jedi Knight RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    Hi Hutchster,

    First, welcome to our group.

    In reviewing your pictures and the blank placed in the valve cover by your mechanic, was a PCV-modification made to your engine ventilation previously and, if not, do you know the purpose being served by routing an additional crankcase vent tube to that portion of the valve cover?

    A while back, some installed a PCV into the intake manifold and, as part of that modification, a seal was added to eliminate original ventilation through the oil filler cap. As a result of a PCV installation modification, oil vapor created within the engine (mainly the crankcase) would be directed to the PCV and Drawn into the manifold to be combusted and exhausted. If the PCV has been eliminated incompletely and/or improperly from eliminated and partially retroacted to the original internal ventilation configuration of the engine, substantial oil vapor could be pressurized and pushed through other then proper engine orifices in quantities far greater then normal.

    I would go through the engine and reestablish what would happen if all tubes, connections, and seals (i.e. oil filler cap) are as original and non-modified before I would suspect further engine work need be done.

    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Great Pumpkin Keoke's Avatar
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    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    Check the "T" fitting on the valve cover it may be screwed in too far.
    Also if there is a PCV valve fitted get rid of it.
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    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    Here is my new PCV installation:

    IMG_0418.jpg

    My engine builder--who also happens to be a licensed A&P (airframe and powerplant) mechanic--was adamant that PCV was the way to go; he just didn't like my previous installation into the small vacuum port on the rear of the manifold (it required the rear carb to be set way rich). So far, only a couple hours on the engine stand and in the car--no miles--but the engine hasn't leaked a drop of oil. PCV systems do the best job of removing blow-by gases and water that form acids in the oil.

    All engines have some blow-by. If the pressure isn't sufficiently relieved by venting or PCV the oil will find a way out. I tried some aftermarket air filters that had a very small vent with a 90deg bend in them, which couldn't do the job and I ruined a valve cover by over-tightening trying to stop the oil coming out past the gasket. Aircraft piston engines with a faulty seal around the crankshaft behind the prop will puke oil overboard due to the crankcase being pressurized. Unless you really want to rebuild your engine, run another compression test. If compression is good your problem is blockage somewhere in the piping from the sump. No offense, but I think the hose routed back over the engine looks like crap. I don't know who your mechanic is, but from what you've written I'm not impressed; it sounds like he's trying to sell you an overhaul.

    This is the first derogatory comment I've heard about PBE, and I got positive feedback from several Healey owners before taking my dad's '46 Chevy truck's booster there. We were happy with their work, and I visited their shop. The tech had several Girling boosters on his bench and was very proud of his work. White Post has a good rep, but they're also very pricey.

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    Jedi Trainee red57's Avatar
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    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    Blow by would normally be a lot of vapor but not a lot of oil. I would check the rocker shaft and rocker bushings. Take the valve cover off and start it, oil should just dribble out of the rockers but if there is a spray of oil out of the rockers then the rocker shaft and bushings need replacing. If the rockers are worn the large volume of oil flying around inside the valve cover will get pushed out the breather along with any air being vented and could account for the oil everywhere. This is where I would start the diagnostics.
    I agree with Michael, do a leak down test, it will tell you a lot more than a compression test.
    Dave

  11. #11
    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    I agree you need to look at the rocker shaft and rocker arms for wear. It's a common Austin problem. If oil is spraying out of the bearings, it will go out that hose and onto the ground in mass quantities.
    John, BN4

  12. #12

    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    I agree with Keoke, the Tee fitting in the rear part of the valve cover can not be screwed in too deeply.
    also Mert has it right. Here's the way I configured mine about 10 years ago. Also we have had some really lengthy discussions about this before. Here's a link to one of them.

    http://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/s...ection-for-one

    Realize that the crankcase must be vented. If you are just circulating the crankcase air around and thru some hoses and back into the crankcase you are not venting anything and you will build up pressure and blow out gaskets, which of course drops oil all over the floor, etc.

    The Oil fill cap on the valvecover is a vented cap.

    Most mechanics in the everyday shops don't have a clue about crankcase ventilation.

    Even if your engine is worn considerably and has a lot of blowby, it can still run very well if the the crankcase is vented. In the old days they blew it out the down pipe and it smoked alot but still ran well.

    Even in the old days with a road draft tube (down pipe) the top of the engine had a vent opening. It usually was in the oil fill pipe or valve cover.

    Ray, (RAC68) makes very good points here.
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  13. #13

    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    [QUOTE=Bob_Spidell;1046691]Here is my new PCV installation:

    IMG_0418.jpg

    . PCV systems do the best job of removing blow-by gases and water that form acids in the oil.

    Bob's mechanic is quit correct here. (he must be the exception to my previous statement about shop mechanics ) But you must have a ventilation system along with the recirculation system. For the PCV valve to suck air in, it must come in from some where. Usually a vented cap or a hose stuck into an air cleaner.
    About TV Shows-
    "...you really can't restore a car in 10 days. I don't want to watch a race where people have to restore it in a week. It's not going to drive, and those cars never work. In real life, it takes years to get it right. " Jay Leno.

  14. #14
    Jedi Knight RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    Hi Bob,

    Now that's what I call a proper Healey PCV arrangement. What PCV have you chosen for the setup? I wonder if an Oil Catch Can installed between the valve cover "T" and PCV also help improve performance by extracting heavy vapor and oil/water condensation prior to gasses passing through the PCV.

    100_1550.jpg

    If, as many have suggested, much of the oil is coming from worn bushings on the valve train, I would still question how Hutchster's engine ventilation is arranged and, if a previous PCV setup was installed, has the oil filler cap been returned to being vented? Just think what a mess it would cause if the valve train was leaking and the filler cap was sealed!!!

    Ray(64BJ8P1)

  15. #15

    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    Ray, is that your car in your last pic? It looks like a very viable installation. i am curious to know where the hoses go that are going out of the lower portion of the picture. It appears that the ends that we can see are connected to the oil catch can and the other is routed to a port on the intake manifold which I will assume has a PCV valve in it. But what about the other ends?
    Thanks.
    About TV Shows-
    "...you really can't restore a car in 10 days. I don't want to watch a race where people have to restore it in a week. It's not going to drive, and those cars never work. In real life, it takes years to get it right. " Jay Leno.

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    Jedi Knight Healey Nut's Avatar
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    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    Bob , im intrigued by your PCV mods .
    The PCV outlet goes to some sort of valve/manifold but is hidden in the pic behing the copper heater tube . I see you also have tubes going it the carb spacers . I assume these are where the PCV products eventually enter the combustion cycle .
    Do you have a close up/ better pic of the manifold where the PCV outlet connects to it .
    I see you also have a vacuum connection to the manifold so the PCV valve will operate .
    "If it aint broke ....dont fix it "
    " Thats not an oil leak ..........its a special automatic British rustproofing system "
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  17. #17
    Darth Vader
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    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    Quote Originally Posted by RAC68 View Post
    ... Now that's what I call a proper Healey PCV arrangement. What PCV have you chosen for the setup? ...
    I don't know! It's the one that came with the BCS kit when I bought it years ago; if anyone knows what it is please inform us all.

    re: "But you must have a ventilation system along with the recirculation system."

    I thought so too, but my engine builder thought this arrangement would work fine. I know, when I installed the PCV system initially my oil loss was cut in half; I suspect air is pulled through the main rear main bearing and elsewhere. Not ideal, I agree; I may install a breather filter and re-route the valve output. I want to see how this arrangement works first.

    He also talked me out of installing the rear main seal I bought years ago; said there was no way to drain back the oil that got past the 'reverse Archimedes screw' oil slinger.

  18. #18
    Darth Vader
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    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    Quote Originally Posted by Healey Nut View Post
    Bob , im intrigued by your PCV mods .
    The PCV outlet goes to some sort of valve/manifold but is hidden in the pic behing the copper heater tube . I see you also have tubes going it the carb spacers . I assume these are where the PCV products eventually enter the combustion cycle .
    Do you have a close up/ better pic of the manifold where the PCV outlet connects to it .
    I see you also have a vacuum connection to the manifold so the PCV valve will operate .
    It's not a 'manifold,' per se, just a 3-way fitting so that the flow from the crankcase can be divided to the two tubes that go to each carb. The garage is shut down tonight, I'll get a shot tomorrow. It's nothing tricky, just a way to balance the vent flow to both carbs, so they can run the same mixture setting.

  19. #19
    Jedi Knight RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    Vette,

    The lower hose is connected to the Girling power brake servo. The oil catch can's output tube, on the side, is just connected to the rear air cleaner. I had originally designed the catch can's output to be connected to a PCV but was concerned about its potential affect on my brake booster if a shared manifold port were created or, if an additional manifold port was drilled, what the affect of both vacuum draws would be on the rear carburetor. However, reviewing Bob's arrangement, I can see how drawing on both carburetors would provide an even, consistent, and sufficient vacuum draw to move even heavy vapor contaminants from the engine.

    However, selecting an appropriate PCV has always seemed a random choice and one primarily made for hose fit. Way back when the first PCV's began to appear on Healeys, someone selected a unit installed on an AMC Eagle Premier I6 ...if I remember correctly...and these units should now be scarcer then hens teeth. Although I do like the idea of using a PCV, the uncertainty of selecting a properly sized PCV and its potential affect on the nearby draw for my brake booster had stopped me from moving further. Although Bob's setup eliminates my booster draw concern. the proper selection of a PCV still remains.

    Ray(64BJ8P1)

  20. #20

    Re: Uh Ohh, Oil All Over The Floor

    I know we have been over this before before, but if you just stick a PCV valve tin the Healey set up hat is not the same system as a PCV valve on a more modern car because on the Healey there is no air intake into the PCV system, that results in negative pressure which those that have installed one believe helps keep oil in the system. Personally I do not like the idea as it is not a real PCV system.

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