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legion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Oil!

That smell...

I redid my ignition tonight. Distributor rotor and cap, coil, wires, and plugs. Well guess what I found the tip of each and every plug covered in? Oil. No wonder my idle is kinda rough. I've noticed white wisps coming out the exhaust when I first start moving...but it's been in the low 30s at the time too so I didn't pay too much attention.

Is bad piston rings the only thing that can cause this? Seems kinda weird they'd all go bad at the same time. If so, what do they cost to replace? If not, what are the other causes and what do they cost? Should I stop driving it immediately? Can I risk driving it the 30 miles to the shop?

...of burning oil!
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Old 03-21-2005, 06:49 PM
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Tons of people drive cars that burn oil.
Are you certain it's oil on the tips of the plugs? If it is, it will be kind of flakey, black, sooty, oily, etc.

Usually rings will go as a set, pretty even on all cylinders.
What are the compression numbers like?

White wisps from the exhaust says moisture, since it's been in the low 30's, that seems perfectly normal.
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Old 03-21-2005, 08:03 PM
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If you're burning oil, it's much more likely to be your valve stem seals than your rings, unless your car has well above 200K on it. Only then have i heard of rings in a 944 wearing to the point where it starts causing problems.

A compression check will tell. If your compression is fine, valve stem seals. If your compression is very low, then rings.

Since you have a 16 valve car, valve stem seals are not going to be cheap, simply because there are so many of them. It can be done without taking the head off the car using one of those air-hold tools, but with 16 valves to do it might be just as easy to remove the head. It's also a good time to replace your chain and tensioner as well. (both should be really cheap, since all the same stuff needs to come apart if you're doing valve stem seals)

If you're trying to tackle it yourself, it's not that hard, just time consuming. Somebody must make a valve spring compressor that can fit the 944S / S2 / 968 head. I couldn't find one, i ended up fabricating something for my 968 rebuild, but it didn't work terribly well.

If you can pull and reinstall the head yourself, you can find someone to rebuild it. Here's one place: http://www.andersonmotorworksinc.com/2005/products_16valve944s.htm I don't know how their prices compare but for that price they're replacing valve guides as well, which are likely to be worn at this point as well.

Good luck
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Old 03-22-2005, 05:55 AM
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I was wondering if it could be coming from the cylinder head instead of the pistons. I can get a hold of a rebuilt "S" cylinder head for around $900, but I don't trust myself at this point to install it.
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Old 03-22-2005, 09:42 AM
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I just talked to the shop. The owner all but guaranteed me it was the valve seals. He said that he would replace the whole set (all 16) for $800.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:17 PM
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oil

I also have issues with possible oil burning. have 87 n/a. Do seals all of sudden go bad? Would a bad seal cause the car to run rough? The car does not smoke when cold only when it get's hot... confused.
Old 03-22-2005, 03:10 PM
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I only had the car for about a month before I put it in storage for the winter, so the seals may have been bad when I bought it. The mechanic also thinks the idle is rough because of bad engine mounts.

From what I understand, the seals will leak oil into the cylinders when the car is cool, but not when it is running. Therefore, when you start it up, the oil burns off--so it only smokes in the beginning.
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Old 03-23-2005, 04:43 AM
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Well, I dropped the car off at the shop yesterday. The shop owner's new theory is that my problem is the cam cover gasket. I like how his ideas get progressively less expensive to fix! Anyway, I'll let you know what he finds.
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Old 03-30-2005, 04:30 AM
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I always like to hear worst case scenario up front.. That way there are no unpleasant surprises.. And if anything, after putting $$ aside for a potentially expensive fix, I still have money left over for pizza.
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Old 03-30-2005, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
The shop owner's new theory is that my problem is the cam cover gasket
Yep. Cheap fix. Just needed a set of valve cover gasket that includes 4 spark plug hole seals under the valve cover.
Just did mine 10k miles ago.
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Old 03-30-2005, 08:26 AM
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I don't get it. How does that gasket-set leaking let oil into the cylinder?

As long as you're replacing those gaskets, you might consider also replacing the grommets that seal the valve cover bolts.
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Old 03-30-2005, 04:27 PM
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gtroth wrote:
Quote:
I don't get it. How does that gasket-set leaking let oil into the cylinder?
the oil cannot drip into the combustion area with the spark plug installed.
what can happen though is when the spark plug hole gets really filled up with oil (really filled up) when the seals are no longer sealing due to excessive heat, shrinkage and hardening, when you remove the spark plug, oil will drip down into the tip and will look like the tip is wet with oil.
sorry, for not clarifying.
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Old 03-31-2005, 02:19 AM
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Yep, that's what I think happened. My sockets had oil on them when I was removing the plugs, so it makes sense to me. I'm going to talk with the shop owner today and get the real story from him.
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Some Porsches long ago...then a wankle...
5 liters of VVT fury now
-Chris

"There is freedom in risk, just as there is oppression in security."
Old 03-31-2005, 04:28 AM
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