New rig, New problems

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.

Apr 3, 2009
I got my ’78 with a sbc a few weeks ago, and spent the next week doing little things to get it ready to be a fairly reliable driver. I have driven it to work every day for the last week and a half with no problems. I am not a mechanic, but I feel like I am pretty good at figuring out mechanical issues. The only part that I thought still need some adjustment was the carb, it always seems to run a little rich. So I make small adjustments as I go.

But last night my wife was following me and she said that it was blowing white smoke, and smelled really bad. It can't be a lot of smoke because I have never noticed it when driving. I know her idea of smelling really bad is different than mine, but the smoke makes me nervous. My first thought is the head gasket, the PO only drove it about 20 miles in the last 3 yrs. (the alternator wasn’t even hooked up when I picked it up) So some of the gaskets might have dried up and started cracking when I started driving it on a regular basis. It has also been leaking oil, but I can’t find where it is coming from. It is dripping from the back of the transmission, so I figured it is leaking from the top and running down the top of the tranny and down.

I think I included everything. What do you guys think?
You should run a compression test on the engine. White smoke, aside from first starting up, is usually a sign of water in the cylinder. I am no mechanic either, but, I'd suspect a head gasket as well.
Both the oil and antifreeze look good. The antifreeze level is good, and oil level is a little low, consistent with the leak that I mentioned.
Edelbrock carb, according to my wife it smoked the entire drive, whenever I gave it gas. And it has dual exhaust, and it blew smoke equally on both sides.
do you have the engine venting to the aircleaner?

I guess I’m not sure what you mean. There is a hose going from the passenger side valve covert to the carb, and a vent on the driver’s side valve cover. I pulled the vent off, off the drivers side, and it looked to be full of crap.

Is that what you were asking?
yes thats the vent to the may have oil getting in the thru the carb...i think that maybe the smoke is really some carb cleaner thru the carb...then...try running with the vent off the carb to see if it is still smoking.

that tube should be cleaned out....does it have a pcv attached to it?
Okay, I’ll try that. But what would cause it? Once its cleaned out, should it fix the problem?

So I cleaned the carb and unhooked the vent hose from the carb. And it still smokes, but it doesn’t seem to be as bad. It made a nice whistling noise when unhooked. But, how can I prevent the oil from getting to the carb in the future, is it just the pcv valve that is bad?
if it is that then it will fix your smoke many miles are on the SBC?
According to the PO the motor only had around 100 miles on it since the rebuild. And I would guess I haven't put more that 200 on it since I got it.

the pcv is basically a one way check valve if it clogs then the pressure can build up in the case and force itself into the intake where air is supposed to be going back into the engine

clean it all up make sure it is not installed backwards and allows airflow one way only otherwise pick up a new one they are cheap

To me the fact that it is newly built is a little scary in case they messed up or missed something

the spark plugs should tell the story also
I just picked up a new pcv valve and swapped them. We’ll see if that makes a difference. It is running a little rich also, but I don’t have any of the proper tools needed to tune the carb, and haven’t had a chance to take is somewhere to have it done.
But the motor was also in the PO’s ’79 that he rolled, he put it in this one when he got it. I don’t know what that could do to an engine, but I would guess it could cause some problems.
It looks like the pcv valve fixed the smoking issue. I drove to work this morning, (15 miles) and when I got here I didn’t see any smoke. I will check again tonight when I get home. Thanks for all of your input.
And now I just need to get the carb tuned, now it won’t idle without wanting to die after 10 seconds.

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom