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Author Topic: Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it  (Read 2150 times)

attkrlufy

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Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it
« on: May 14, 2008, 12:15:21 PM »

Wanda and I are back from our Wheeling-Philadelphia-Ithaca-Wheeling road trip.  Good thing the alternator blew three days before.  It would've sucked to have been stranded in central PA or upstate NY.

Things I noticed I need to address:

At 60mph I get around 18 mpg.  Not good.    I've gotten 20+mpg at that speed in the past.  My deteriorating carb/spark situation is starting to feel extravagant and wasteful.  Especially with 87 octane near $4/gal.

The car bucks/shakes like crazy between 35-50 mph under light throttle.  I used to think it was a spark/fuel problem 'till I noticed A) it's only the car that shakes.  The engine never actually sputters and B) it does it EVERY time EXACTLY between that speed range.
I'm now thinking it's a transmission issue.  It's especially bad up hills - but it will happen on any inclination.  I can get Wanda to stop bucking like a bronco by pressing on the throttle.  I think the only reason it stops doing that around 50 is because to get it up to that speed I need a good amount of throttle to begin with.  Plus if the transmission's slipping, that might explain the worse highway mileage.  What do you guys think?

This one has me confused:
My oil starts looking like chocolate mousse after driving at highway speeds for about an hour.  I'll check the oil levels on the dipstick, and the WHOLE of the dipstick shaft is covered in this foamy, brown substance.  If I wipe the dipstick off, put it back in, then take it out again, the entire stick is again covered.    What's going on?  Is air getting in?  Do I have a blown headgasket?  What is causing my oil to resemble a dessert topping after taking it on the highway?  That can't be normal - I've never seen it before.


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Herman

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Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2008, 12:49:09 PM »

ok, most obvious question; What kinda oil did you use?
Did you also put in an additive. Made by Lucas Oil perhaps?


Arlen Vander Hoff

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Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2008, 01:55:37 PM »

My brother from the Mother land beat me to it. I was gonna ask what kind of oil are you using?? Do you have any white smoke coming from the exhaust?
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attkrlufy

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Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2008, 02:07:42 PM »


Ummmm.....Mobil 1?  Chevron?  Bit of both?  Nothing off brand, though.  No additives.

No white smoke, either.  Waaaaaaaayyyyy too much carbon - but nothing white out the tailpipe.

attkrlufy2008-05-14 19:08:19
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Steve

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Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2008, 02:46:00 PM »

I have a hundred questions.
 
Is this like a milky white looking on the dip stick?
Could it be you have mixed oils too many times?  I hear Mobil 1 doesn't like that.
Have you been loosing any coolant?
 
Back to the first issue. . .
Pull the trans dip stick and smell the fluid.  If the 900 has been slipping, it will smell.  The fluid will be a redish brown.  But if the lockup is slipping, it may not.  Those converters were known for lockup problems.  That was the first year for them on the full size.
 
Is the car in Converter lock-up when you experience this vibration?
How's the trans mount?
When's the last time the trans was serviced?
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Butch Houghton

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Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2008, 07:25:58 AM »

If you wipe the Dipstick & put it back & pull it right back out is it still milky...or does it look like regular oil again.    If it's still milky then there's definitely water in the oil.    If the oil looks okay then there's still some kind of Condensation going on creating the milky oil just on the dipstick.       Could be a blown headgasket but then it could just be a bad Intake manifold gasket too since there's water flow in a SB intake.    Bad intake gasket could go along with the cars deteriorating running too.  Just a thought.

I agree with Steve,   Tranny symptom sounds like a Lockup Converter shudder.    A Fluid7filter change (if not done recently ) would be the first thing to do.  If not then a rebuilt converter ( if it's found to be bad for sure ) would be the fix.

Wouldn't hurt to check the Trans mounts too & even U-joints just to eliminate them as the source.

Butch


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attkrlufy

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Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2008, 07:26:42 AM »

Regarding oil:
Maybe it's because I've mixed oils - though, I never really had a problem with that in the past.  I didn't really think it would be a problem under normal driving conditions.
 
I have a pinhole leak in the very top of the radiator so I do lose coolant when I fill the radiator completely.  But the coolant level always stays consistant when the coolant is below the hole.
 
Yes, on the dipstick, the oil is milky and foamy.  However, the oil itself isn't showing signs of sludge, I don't see white smoke out the tailpipe, I haven't seen oil floating in the coolant, and the oil level isn't higher due to coolant pooling in the pan.
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Steve

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Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2008, 07:45:24 AM »

You either have a bad head gasket or a leaking intake then.  Better get on that right away or you can kiss all the bearings goodby.
 
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. . . . Butch and I were on the same page.
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Snotty

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Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2008, 08:23:45 AM »

Per your loss of MPG, does your car have a cat converter?  I saw a 2-4 mpg loss on my 318 van for two years.  Then, the cat started making a noise so I replaced it.  The van now gets 19-20 as it used to, with no other changes.

Just a suggestion.




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attkrlufy

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Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2008, 08:32:11 AM »

Crap.  I've noticed a bit more valve tick recently - it's probably related.
 
Regrading the tranny:
I had the torque converter replaced a few months ago because it went bad.  It SHOULD have been fixed.  But the speed made me think "torque converter" as well.  The speed when the shudder occurs - 35-50mph - isn't that around when the converter locks up?
 
I don't think it's the U-joints because when I got the tranny worked on I took a look, and the mechanic and I both thought the U joints were fine.  THat was only 6 months and 400 miles ago.  I doubt much changed in that time span - but I'll look just to be sure.
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Steve

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Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2008, 10:24:39 AM »

It could be a weak Cylinder causing the shake too.  Hard to tell
 
Does it idle smooth?
 
Check to see if you are getting extraudinary steam or pressure in the radiator.  The gauge may not be showing hot, but it may be blowing compression into the cooling system as well.  I have an 86 doing that right now.
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Herman

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Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2008, 10:27:07 AM »



Ditch the oil and put in new from 1 brand only.  That's the main problem IMO.
The lifter ticking is this airated oil in there, cauing the lifters to collapse slightly.

Are you also sure you didn't overfill the oil?
If the crankshaft is turning in the oilbath it will also knock air into it, causing the same issues.

BigBlockMopar2008-05-15 15:28:21

Steve

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Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2008, 02:11:13 PM »

Yes  But not make the oil a milky white.  I bet if he looks, he'll see water beads on the dip stick and heavy condensation on the oil filler cap.
 
We are still assuming it is as he describes it.  I don't have anything I can take pictures of to show him an example
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attkrlufy

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Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2008, 07:56:42 AM »

I don't know if I saw condensation - or what it would look like even if I saw it - unless it was literally dripping with beads of water.  The problem is I don't plan on driving it long distance on the highway for another month or so - so I'm going to have to wait before I show you guys some pics.

Maybe it's not something as serious as a head gasket?  What about the valve cover gaskets?  If they were bad wouldn't it cause the same frothing phenomenon?  I ask because I've been taking a hard look around the engine and my left valve cover gasket looks pretty smushed, splayed, and in otherwise crappy condition.  There's lots of what looks like fresh oil weeping around it, too.


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Steve

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Observations:oil foam + shake the car, not stir it
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2008, 10:55:08 AM »

No. . Not the valve cover gaskets.  There is no connection to the crankcase and any water.  They won't cause foaming either.  All they do is keep the oil in the engine.  Without them, you'd have oil all over the place.
 
You may not have to take it on a trip to get the milky look now. . . . Let is idle a few minutes then look.  If it's white, let's see it.
 
Remember, oil floats on water.  When it separates, the water goes to the bottom of the pan.  That's the first thing the bearings see before it grabs oil.  Depending on how much water is in there of coarse. 
 
Do the idle test and lets see the dip stick.  If it's like that, I don't suggest driving it at all until it's fixed.
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