Disappearing (burning) oil - need ideas, please help newbie

danez71

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The valve seals keep too much oil from going down the valve stems and getting burned in the cylinders.

The valves themselves seal against the seats in the head - that's what allows good compression.

Two very different parts of the valve, stem seals vs. valve seating.

Worn valve seals are very likely in this. They can be replaced. The dealer doesn't want to diagnose this, because it's a lot easier to replace the entire engine than to go down the path of "well, valve seals didn't work, so, let's try rings" and you get all upset at the cost.

How mechanically inclined are you? Got any buddies that can do a valve seal job? I would start there..

Forgot to mention. I've helped build a cpl motors as a kid. Fairly mechanical. I've changed VC half shafts do my own oil changes.... never done breaks but have help a few times and know I could if I had to. Fixed washing machines and dryers...

Just moved half way across the country and dont have friends yet, lol. I have family but they count on me to fix thier stuff.
 
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If still burning at 1qt/400 miles,

What do y'all think & recommend?
1) Add a quart of oil every 400 miles.
2) Stop taking a 20 year old 200,000 mile truck to the dealer for repairs, and stop spending any more money on it. So you have to spend an extra $75 a year on oil. You make that up by not having to take it in for oil changes. How much does one visit to your dealer cost to tell you it needs a $10,000 engine?
 
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To answer the above question, yes. You can have bad valve seals or bad oil control rings, or both and still have good compression, Saturn's were known for that.
 

danez71

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A junkyard engine is another gamble, you would be better either fixing yours or spending the labor on a crate motor, not a junker with unknown issues.

The valve seals are not that hard to do. Or find a shop to do it. Use an air compressor to keep the valves up , or the old school trick is ; put the cylinder just below tdc and feed as much rope/ cord as you can through the spark plugs hole. The rotate the engine by hand till that cyl is at tdc. That holds the valves up while you change the seals. An afternoon of work but other than your time, a cheaper approach.

I don't think seafoam is helping you here. You are adding pale oil to the fuel, that's more oil to burn in the combustion chamber. May lead to more carbon in the head.
I agree about the junkyard motor. I dnot like the idea of gambling $3500 with an unknown engine and mechanic. At least at the dealer I'd get a 100k warranty that will probably last at least another 150k and could climb the dealer food chain if things go sideways.

If I could find a mechanic that is capable of doing rebuilds I'd go that route. The shop I talked to about the junkyard motor swap doesn't rebuild motors. They do motor swaps often enough but dont rebuild. They do brakes, water pumps, radiators, exhaust, AC, etc. and motor swaps

Regarding your comment about seafoam in the tank... I did wonder about that. I was going to run a cataclean type product afterwards. Lol... haven't tried that yet.

To be clear, I understand I'm nt fixing anything by using miracle juice from a bottle.

A new truck is in the plan in about 5 months when I have a garage to park it in instead of on the street with potential hail damage.

At that time I need to decide if I sell it with full disclosure, buy a junker motor, buy a crate motor, or just keep feeding it oil and use it for a beater farm truck tilling dies and then sell it as a parts truck. The rest of the truck is in great condition.
 

danez71

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1) Add a quart of oil every 400 miles.
2) Stop taking a 20 year old 200,000 mile truck to the dealer for repairs, and stop spending any more money on it. So you have to spend an extra $75 a year on oil. You make that up by not having to take it in for oil changes. How much does one visit to your dealer cost to tell you it needs a $10,000 engine?
Lol... thanks. Seriously.

To keep feeding it oil has been my plan for that last 5+ yrs. I kept telling my wife it's cheaper than a new or rebuilt motor. And it kept passing smog check up to last Sept so I let it ride.

Now I'm in east TX and they don't have smog test in my county and I should pass vehicle inspection with no problems from what I'm told.

I change my own oil... (agreeing with you)

I only took it to the dealer for diagnosis. $150 to tell me... compression good, pages worth of misfires on the report ... buy a new motor.

Still runs pretty well, pulls well, and idles best after driven longer.

Your plan mimics my plan but I think I got carried away with additives. They became addictive. I've already backed waaaaaay of those and I'll use the $ to buy oil i.nstead
 

danez71

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To answer the above question, yes. You can have bad valve seals or bad oil control rings, or both and still have good compression, Saturn's were known for that.
THANK you. Appreciate the info.
 

danez71

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What's everyone's thought as to how many seafoam to crankcase treatments should I do to have a reasonable chance of the piston oil rings be clear?

Once that's done, I'll try to find a happy medium with thicker oil and feed as necessary till death do us part. Maybe run cataclean once as 1 last hurrah.
 
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To me it sounds like you have both a valve seal issue and a piston ring issue. I’ve had a few Chevys years ago with valve seal issues and they would smoke like no other on startup, and when accelerating after idling for a couple minutes. I’m talking a huge cloud of smoke. I bet your rings are contributing to the issue and the truck is smoking constantly while driving.

Are you losing coolant at all? The 5.3 was known to have a cracked head during the beginning years. Normally the only complaint is coolant loss but it’s still worth investigating.
 

danez71

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To me it sounds like you have both a valve seal issue and a piston ring issue. I’ve had a few Chevys years ago with valve seal issues and they would smoke like no other on startup, and when accelerating after idling for a couple minutes. I’m talking a huge cloud of smoke. I bet your rings are contributing to the issue and the truck is smoking constantly while driving.

Are you losing coolant at all? The 5.3 was known to have a cracked head during the beginning years. Normally the only complaint is coolant loss but it’s still worth investigating.
I dont disagree with the valve and piston rings but......

Only a little smoke at morning start that looks like steam but is probably smoke. I never see smoke while driving or idling at stop.lights or drive thru after it's warmed up.

That's what most odd to me and has me puzzled.... there is no visible smoke while driving, just a little smoke during moring start, and no oil on the ground, no visible oil leaks looking from underneath and only weaping dusty oil all around valve cover when looking from the top... but it's not wet. With as high of oil consumption as I have, it seems like I should see wet oil somewhere or see smoke beside the little bit at start up. So puzzling to me base on what I think I know about how motors work.

The smoke smell from the engine compartment when I turn it off went away when a stopped using Restore (blue stuff in metal can that's super thick). Thats what has discouraged so far from trying something thicker than 10-30 with very occasional 10-40 as top off when 1 qt low.

Truck has never lost any coolant except when the water pump went bad 15 yrs ago. I never have to add coolant... not a drop has been added in 10+ yrs since last coolant exchange to G05 collant and resevoir still at full mark as of 3 days ago.
 
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What's everyone's thought as to how many seafoam to crankcase treatments should I do to have a reasonable chance of the piston oil rings be clear?

Once that's done, I'll try to find a happy medium with thicker oil and feed as necessary till death do us part. Maybe run cataclean once as 1 last hurrah.
None. Seafoam is just mostly pale oil ,alcohol, and some naptha. Burning oil in the fuel will not help oil control rings. May make it worse.
 

danez71

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None. Seafoam is just mostly pale oil ,alcohol, and some naptha. Burning oil in the fuel will not help oil control rings. May make it worse.
No no... i was asking about seafoam in the crankcase to clear the piston oil rings.
 
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No no... i was asking about seafoam in the crankcase to clear the piston oil rings.
Why add a thinner oil to the oil? You will only burn more oil. Alcohol and naptha are just not enough of a solvent to clear coked oil rings, if thats the problem.

$8 a can for a simple concoction is a waste of money in your case.

You've gotten good advice in this thread from many. If you are only keeping the truck 5 months why waste any extra money on it. I wouldn't.
 

danez71

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+1 only keeping it 5 months? Spend nothing on it other than adding oil.
Thanks. Nice to get some consensus. That's been my general plan but I think got carried away with additives inatead of just buying more oil with the money.

In about 5 months I'll buy new and make a decision to 1) sell it with full disclosure or 2) pay for attempt to fix or replace motor to keep it longer or 3) just keep feeding it oil and have a beater farm truck till the final death of it & sell for parts to 'pick-a-part' type place.

Option 1 & 3 are most likely.
 

danez71

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Why add a thinner oil to the oil? You will only burn more oil. Alcohol and naptha are just not enough of a solvent to clear coked oil rings, if thats the problem.

$8 a can for a simple concoction is a waste of money in your case.

You've gotten good advice in this thread from many. If you are only keeping the truck 5 months why waste any extra money on it. I wouldn't.
Thanks. That's what I needed to know about seafoam in the crankcase and coked oil rings.

I truely appreciate eveyones reply. I may be an optimist but I'm also very much a realist.
 

danez71

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Piston Soak with Berrymans
Ivery thought about that but guess if seafoam in the crankcase doesn't work to clean coked piston oil rings then a berrymans piston soak might not clear coked piston oil rings either.

Maybe I'm wrong.....?
 
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If you only plan on keeping this truck for another 5 months, an $8 can of Seafoam in the crankcase isn’t going to set you back much. The Seafoam may actually help clean out the piston rings if they are in fact carbon clogged. You have nothing to lose.
 
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