Will Max Live swell teflon valve seals?

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Jun 19, 2002
I apparently have oil getting past my new teflon valve seals, but I wont have the time to replace them for a month or two. I'm considering running valvoline maxlife to reduce the oil burning over that time. So, do you think running maxlife will swell teflon seals? Also, would there be any problems running maxlife in a rebuilt (<10 mi) engine? I read here that once you run maxlife, you need to replace the seals if you go to a non-high mileage oil, but I really don't buy it.
I agree with DickWells. Nothing will swell Teflon seals except heat. Teflon is not affected by any known additive in engine lubrication chemistry. Were the seals installed correctly, were the seal bores reamed correctly without anglular offsets?. Sound more like a mechanical misalignment. BTW, solid Teflon (the high temp stuff) acts as a lubricant.
I installed the seals my self a little over 1 year ago. I didn't crank the engine until Nov, so I really don't remember what I did for the install. I never heard of reaming the seal bores, so it was definately not done. I thought the only thing I had to make sure of was that the guide was machined down to .530.
ChrisA, It appears everything was done correctly for your engine installation. Some things to check: 1. Are you sure the valve-stem seals are leaking? Are we burning blue smoke during high vacumm conditions (IE, deceleration or Accl. pedal letoff)? 2. Do we have the correct PCV valve installed? Is the PCV valve stuck open. If so, the PCV valve may be creating a higher than normnal vacuum condition at idle when manifold vacuum is high.
Since this has gotten off topic and just between MoleKule and I, I'll take it to private messaging.
OK, as requested, here is a cut and paste of my message I created: Here is my story: I have a recently rebuilt 383 SBC with about 6k miles. I'm burning/leaking about 1 qt per 650 miles. I know I should stop the external leaks first, but they appear to be minor and I am seeing oil (by using an oil dye and a black light) in the intake manifold, so I'm going to get it fixed first. One of the first things I did was pull the PCV setup and put in a breather at each valve cover. I realize that a PCV system is better, but I need to isolate my oil in the intake problem. I also have changed the intake manifold gasket a few times and I have verified with the oil dye that oil is not getting past the gasket and into the manifold. The only way I can think that oil is allowed in is through the valve seals. I cannot see any smoke at startup, on accel or decel. I have side pipes and I angle my mirror so I can see the driver side pipe. The plugs get really oil fouled. The 1&2 are not bad. The further towards the back of the motor, the worse the plugs are fouled. 7 & 8 will get the point where they almost look like black velvet. This is one thing that points to the valve seals. Anyway, thanks for at least listening. I have been chasing this problem down for several months and I've been too busy with work and family to really concentrate on it.
You should do a leakdown test. I'd guess rings or improper cross hatching of the cylinder walls. Valve seals generally smoke at startup, then stop. The blow-by is an indicator of poor ring sealing. I'd definitely stay with the PCV system. I know you said it's a temporary thing, but running with no PCV will shorten the life of your engine.
I'm sort of stumped on this one. It could be the valve stem seals and of course, if you have a CAT you may not see oil burning, even if you have not broken any rings. The worse oil coating on the plugs as you get toward the rear of the engine must mean something, but what? I had an older Chevy truck with a modified 327 which I rebuilt and the the thing burned oil for 3,000 miles, then quit. I attributed that to ring sealing. Was running dino for break-in then, then switched to synth. Any of you other guys have any ideas?
I would give careful consideration to how well the oil is draining back down from the heads. I am wondering if there is some reason the valve seats are being flooded such as clogged return passages or improper or wrong head gaskets blocking some of the drainback. The plug fouling getting progressively worse from front to back seems to point this way. By the way. did you put a high volume oil pump in by any chance? Good luck, RW
Chris A I have a few comments and statements that will be somewhat random. A true Perfect Circle PC style/brand seal can be easily torn during installation,,really easy to do that and there are other brands that use a Viton material and yet another that use a Flouropolymer material. When you said it was a 383 the alarm went off as there are mant of them out there burning oil and for many reasons. To get things started do you run a 6.0 rod or a 5.7 and what brand and part number piston did you use? What cylinder heads do you have as well? There are many variables here and I believe I have seen them all when it comes to the 383 stroker motor,,I think I can help you with this. A true Perfect Circle seal is for racing only and will allow virtually no valve stem lubrication unless reamed lightly before install. Take a BB Chevy for example,we run a 3/8 drill bit through them in reverse rotation when used on the street. You have what we call a "shaker motor" and I am thinking the problem might lay in the ring package but need more info AKA mountainmotor [ July 01, 2002, 11:34 PM: Message edited by: dragboat ]
VaderSS, I may have some ring sealing problems, but I'm mainly concerned with the oil that shows up in my intake manifold. When I had my manifold off this weekend, I could also see some oil pooled on the closed intake valves. I don't see how the rings could play a role in this, so I'm not looking at them right now. I will probably do a leakdown before and after I change the valve seals since I'll already have air in the cylinder. MolaKule, this is on a '69 Vette without any cats. dickwells, I do have a HV oil pump, but I can clearly see through the oil fill hole and I do not have any drainback problems. I check with the car in neutral varying the RPMs from idle to 3000 RPM holding the RPMs for about a minute. dragboat, I have the 5.7" rods, KB100 7cc valve relief 383 pistons, and AFR 195 heads. I did buy the heads used and I needed to swap the springs to match my cam. At that point, I also installed the Comp Cams 503 valve seals. This was my first time changing valve seals, so I may have messed it up, but it didn't seem like it was possible to mess it up short of installing the seals upside down. Mountainmotor, huh, then you may have read some more of my saga in the C3 section of the Corvette Forum? I also have recently pulled my rocker studs and sealed them up to no avail.
As far as Maxlife swelling the seals, I don't think it'll be much of a concern, as it's not the typical type of seal sweller in Maxlife, but they simply add a small amount of esters into the mix for their slight seal swelling abilities, much like a lot of synthetic oils use to counteract the seal shrinking properties of PAOs. So it's not an agressive chemical like the ones used in the stop leak type products. (see the other thread going here right now for more info on those stop leak products)
Based on your posts here"I have not read the other forum thread" it sounds as is you have damaged a seal on install because of the oil pooled on the valve as you have stated assuming you are absolutley not sucking oil into the intake manifold which still seems likely as well.The seals rip very easily when pushing the valve through them. Those little sleeves they give for install help are testimate as they last like 3 valves and are wasted. Another thing to think about is blow by,those 1/16,1/16, 3/16 rings are not know for their streetability and I assume you already know of the increased top compression ring gap that the KB piston requires to keep from breaking the ring land and also hoping you have file fitted so the rings are not butting at operating temp causing excessive crankcase pressure and loss of oil control. Other than that and to just keep plugging along until you find the problem the only other thing I have to offer in terms of help is since the heads are used and you don't know how much they might have been milled and along with whether or not the block was decked Felpro sells a angle gauge Part # 2520 to check for proper angle on your "V" motor. If the angle was off 5 degrees on a 2.75 tall intake flange that would be a .025 gap or mismatch,,tough to seal if angle is not correct,,take a small leak and alot of crankcase pressure and ,,well you know what I mean. Hope you get it worked out.
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