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Discussion Starter #1
My '84 smokes really bad when I first fire it up.....any idea what's causing this? Hope it's nothing too serious. Is'nt there a product called "no smoke" or something like that? Should I give it a try? Thanks guys!
 

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Your valve seals are worn, or brittle and cracked.

The quick and cheap fix is to replace the valve seals. The more expensive and longer lasting fix is to pull the heads and have the valve guides replaced in addition the the valve seals.
 

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Most every Dodge van that I have had including my current '86 has blown some black smoke on a cold engine start up in cooler weather. I always figured it was a choke problem as it usually corrects itself after the engine warms up.

As asked above, what color is the smoke?
 

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White smoke?
Doooooooooooooooooooooh!

White smoke can indicate coolant is getting into the combustion chambers.
Check the level in your radiator.
Check your oil for cloudy milky white spots.
Did it overheat recently?

You might be able to fix it with new head gaskets and intake manifold gaskets.

It could just be steam, which is normal under certain weather conditions.

Coolant in the cc can wash oil off the cylinderwalls. It's best not to operate such an engine even when al rebuild is already necessary, and planned.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just had the radiator replaced.....it has smoked on start-up since I bought it, just seems to be getting worse.......are you saying I shouldn't drive it? Holy sh!t.
 

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Spend 25 dollars and have your oil analyzed. They can confirm if there is coolant in in, and if there is, no you shouldn't drive it anymore. Sorry.
 

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if you suspect coolant in the oil run a cylinder leak down test which can help diagnose a head gasket problem or a cracked head

a crack in the block/cylinder wall is not unheard of but not likely

white "smoke " from the exhaust, in cooler weather, is not smoke but is in actuality condensation; in the same manner as you can see your breathe on a cool/cold day

If the smoke is white,get someone else to fire up the truck from cold while you stand in the cloud of white smoke. If it smells like the smell of someone frying maple bacon, then you are burning ethylene glycol which is the active ingredient in antifreeze and you need to investigate the source
 

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R u loosing coolant, that would be a sign of it being burnt in the engine. Does the smoke stop after the engine is warm or does it continue, if it stops its just normal condinsation, if it continues then u may have a problem.
 

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If he were burning coolant it would happen all the time and not just at start up. I stand by my burning oil and bad valve seals diagnosis.
 

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Wouldn't worn valve stem seals cause blue smoke, not white?
I though a surefire indication of worn valve stem seals is a blue shortlived cloud on accelleration, after idling at a redlight for a while.

I'll theorize that he's got a blown head gasket that leaks a significant amount coolant into a cylinder or 2 or 3 after shut down. When running the leak is not so significant as to cause a continous white cloud.

He did indicate he replaced the radiator, perhaps he thought the lowering coolant level was the fault of the radiator when it was getting burned in the CC.

What color do sparkplugs turn when firing in the presence of coolant? Maybe this could be the simplest , cheapest test to rule out my theory.
 

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Pull the plugs and look at them... If one has no deposits (steam cleaned) on it you can be sure there is a coolant into combustion chamber leak.
A large enough leak and you will run out of coolant or end up bending a rod do to hydro-lock when attempting to start-up in the morning.
 

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landyacht318 said:
Wouldn't worn valve stem seals cause blue smoke, not white?
Correct, but you'd be surprised as to how many people mistake cold start blue smoke for white smoke. The reason this confusion happens is that the condensation you get on a cold start mixes with the blue smoke causing it to lighten significantly. If there were a leak between the combustion chamber and the cooling system, the overflow bottle usually does just that...overflow.
 

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B-300 said:
If one has no deposits (steam cleaned) on it you can be sure there is a coolant into combustion chamber leak.
Actually, that's just the opposite of what you will find. If you see heavy whitish to brown deposits on a spark plug, it's an indication of coolant in the combustion chamber.
 

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Im siding with Alloro, valve seals do wear on these engines, and a lot of people do mistake that start up puff as being white, when it really does have a tint of blue in it
 

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Taking Sides?!

Nobody said anything about taking sides! :D
If I were forced to take a side and put money down, I too would yield to Alloro's greater knowledge and experience. 5 years ago I couldn't point to a picture of a camshaft.
Really until the OP comes back and fills in some blanks were all just pi$$ing in the wind.

Is the smoke blue or white?
Is the start up smoke actually both white and blue smoke?
Does it smell like maple bacon?
Does it smoke blue on accelleration after idling?
How much oil does he use over a thousand miles?
Is he using coolant?
What do his plugs look like?

Probably freaked out Scottay with dire diagnoses and he's rocking in a corner somewhere in a semi catatonic state mumbling,
'Stem seals leaking, coolant in combustion chamber, head gasket blown, ahhhhhhh! White smoke, blue smoke, maple bacon arrghhh! MMMMM maple bacon."
" Steamed and spotted plugs!! What the he{{ is that supposed to mean!!!"
" Stem seals leaking....."

I remember on some other forum some guy kept overheating and then kept losing coolant and overheating and everybody concurred that he'd blown a head gasket or worse. A month later he writes back and says it was simply a faulty radiator cap.

I do remember that before my engine rebuild my blue cloud upon startup would appear white in colder weather.
 

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What if he has maple bacon actually coming out of the exhaust, then what?
 

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Get the toast and eggs ready! :D :gr_patrio
 
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