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Seating Piston Rings...(Smoking Issues)

Discussion in 'New Edge Cobras' started by ElscottHavoc, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. ElscottHavoc

    ElscottHavoc It's all your fault. Established Member

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    Okay, so I finally got my car back from the builder. I just wanted to share what my problem was, his thoughts, and then get some feedback.

    First of all, he's guaranteed me that if there is a problem and that if this smoking issue persists to bring the car back and he'll take care of it. The job isn't done until it's done.

    So, prior to me getting the vehicle there were around 230 miles on tripometer, which he said was pretty close to the amount of mileage he had put on it. Anyways, the thing is smoking. It's hard to tell because of the weather, but it is oil because you can rub it off and it has that distinct smell.

    The builder used stainless rings, which he said are usually pretty hard to seat and will take awhile, but once they are the results are better for my application. Should work well under high load, boost, last longer, etc...

    He checked the valve guides and they were fine, but did replace the seals. The PCV assembly was replaced, and the air/fuel ratio checked out fine on the dyno. The car runs great.

    It's hard to put a number on how bad it's smoking, but I'd say out of 1-5 (5 being the worst) it's between 2-3. He said it was getting progressively better over time, and that I should just continue to drive it, preferably under some higher loads (aka spirited driving) and eventually they'd seat themselves, maybe even in 500 miles. Right now we're running Gibbs Break In oil, which is like a 10w-50 if I'm not mistaken.

    Because of the weather, I don't feel terrible about the smoke yet, because everyones cars are smoking a bit, mine a bit more though. The smell is what really gets me and is embarassing.

    I just wanted to know what you guys thought. Even though he's promised to fix it, I was just wondering if everything he said seemed accurate as far as the piston rings were concerned. I've heard the moly rings seat quick, chrome rings take forever, but I don't know much about these rings. Just some thoughts on the issue would be appreciated, thank!
     
  2. TwinTurbo4vGT

    TwinTurbo4vGT Slowest GT alive :) Established Member

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    beating on it for a bit is the best way to seat rings.
     
  3. gmsux

    gmsux Denial ain't just a river Established Member

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    I'm going to go with something is wrong either with the build or PCV system. Ring seating takes 10-20 minutes on a properly built motor. Check the intake to see if it is pulling oil in and causing the problem, temporarily install breathers in both VC's to eliminate that as a potential cause. 10-50 is really heavy oil, it should be using 5w-30.
     
  4. Brutal Metal

    Brutal Metal Active Member Established Member

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    Yeah the oil is too thick!
     
  5. Finaltheorem47

    Finaltheorem47 I'm a Lead Farmer Established Member

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    Piihb


    The way I learned to seat the rings were: drive it hard!
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  6. Chris _Scott

    Chris _Scott NA FTW Established Member

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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpyLOGt9N4w"]YouTube- 2000 Cobra R new engine break-in[/ame]

    This looks correct to me.
     
  7. RPM4DAZ

    RPM4DAZ Because stock sucks!! Established Member

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    It sounds like the honing of the cylinders didn't quite match the ring type. It happens from time to time. The stainless rings can be a nuisance to seat. We used to have this problem on the airplanes sometimes. The break in oil is designed for looser built racing engines and has a lot of zinc in it too. Just go get some regular old Castrol 10-30 oil and a new filter. Put some break in additive from Comp or Crower if you like ( it a zinc additive ). And go drive it for a while. Drive briskly, go through the rpm level too. Just don't go wide open throttle for a few hundred miles. The exhaust should clean right up for you. DO NOT USE a non detergent oil...
     
  8. 19blkcbra99

    19blkcbra99 New Member Established Member

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    i have a very similar issue going on right now with my ride. had a motor built, (dont know ring details) but it is smoking fairly heavy and i am going through about a quart of oil every 750-1000 miles. this has been an on going deal and the motor has been (rebuilt) several times. any ideas on what might be the cause.
     
  9. ElscottHavoc

    ElscottHavoc It's all your fault. Established Member

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    well thanks for the help. just curious, when you say they're a nuisance to seat, how many miles are we talking. and wheres that threshold between the steel rings seating or the cylinders glazing over. yesterday the smoke wasnt terrible, this morning after starting the car it wasnt terrible, but this afternoon for lunch break i drove the gas station and by the time i got there it was smoking pretty good on idle. then upon restarting the car it was smoking heavily until a accelerated...

    i would have thought the smoking would have gotten progressively better but it seems to vary.
     
  10. ElscottHavoc

    ElscottHavoc It's all your fault. Established Member

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    i heard there was a guy who had a rebuilt 3v in a 4.6l that had the issue, and that when he drove from iowa to texas at 85mph it was finally cured...but who knows what the deal was with that...

    i would do a road trip, but i dont think running at the same rpm for too long like that is good until the rings have seated, maybe im wrong...plus im leary about driving that far if it could cause more issues
     
  11. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer 4cams aren't better then1 Established Member

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    I see no reason for stainless rings, but use some regular castrol 5w-30, and go out there and OPEN THE THROTTLE. Put some load on this thing.

    You should be fine.
     
  12. ElscottHavoc

    ElscottHavoc It's all your fault. Established Member

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    Edit: Oil pressures are fine. I was wondering if it had anything do with it, but as you can see by post below, all numbers I have are normal.

    I plan on doing an oil change tomorrow, I've been romping on it pretty good without much success. The smoke seems to be worse when taking off, and revving the engine at idle, and when revving it seems like the car kinda bogs, it's not a smooth rev. I can't tell if there is much/any smoke under acceleration because I'm going faster enough that I can't tell.

    Also, I went through nearly a full tank of gas in less than 150 miles. I was driving pretty hard sometimes, but that seems pretty pathetic even so. Basically, a full tank of gas lasted me 3 days, and it usually lasted me at least 5 or so even with a heavy foot.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  13. 99COBRA2881

    99COBRA2881 Piss on Fox Sports1 Established Member

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    That's normal oil pressure, this question was just asked by another member a few days ago. I quoted my reply.

     
  14. ElscottHavoc

    ElscottHavoc It's all your fault. Established Member

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    Okay, then...well, let me do a cliff note:

    Rebuilt Engine Smoking Heavily from Exhaust:

    - Forged Internals, bored .30 over, new Stainless rings, gaskets, etc. Originally, car blew piston from detonation! The car did not have any issues with smoking until the piston blew, but now the smoking is even worse after the rebuild
    - Builder said that heads were in good shape. The valve guides were good, the seals were replaced, and of course the head gasket as well.
    - The PCV assembly was also replaced.
    - At this point I have a little over 300 miles on the new engine, a good portion of it I would consider mildly hard driving. I've been through the entire RPM range, under a variety of loads, and I would assume the rings would be seated by now.
    - The car sometimes doesn't smoke as much as it does other times.
    - The smoke is gray with a hint of blue, smells like oil, and leaves a black oily residue on the exhaust tips.
    - Under load, the car pulls fine without a hiccup, however, when freely revving the smoking is the worst and fills the entire area with smoke. The smoke appears when taking off, under idle, and also quite heavily when first starting the engine.
    - When free revving the engine, the car seems to want to bog or miss instead of just rev smoothly. It almost feels like a backfire or misfire or sorts, but under load this does not occur.
    - Prior to the build, the car used to rev up unnaturally high, but I took it to the tuner and that was resolved, but I have read that contaminates in the intake can cause problems as well. I'm going to reset the battery tonight and hopefully reset the timing overnight. Tomorrow I will change the oil to Castrol GTX 5w-30 with a standard Fram filter to see if there is a difference. Originally, I thought the mechanic said the Gibbs Break In oil was 10w-50, but I found some paperwork that states 10w-30. On the safe side, I'll spend the money and just see what happens when I use 5 qts.
    - Builder wanted to give it more time and miles and see if it improved, stating the stainless rings were harder to seat, as well as a variety of other possibilities, but that if the problem persists to bring it back and he'd look into it further.

    There's the information so far. Hope we can get somewhere on this. I think I'm bringing the car back to the builder Saturday as I don't really want it back until it's fixed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  15. 99COBRA2881

    99COBRA2881 Piss on Fox Sports1 Established Member

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    FRAM... Really? I know FRAM is a cheap filter but atleast throw a WIX on there. Doesn't have to be an $11 Mobil1 or K&N, just not a FRAM.
     
  16. slo984now

    slo984now AKA 01yellerCobra Established Member

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    FWIW, I have stainless rings in my motor and it never smoked.

    +1 on the Fram. I lost a motor during a cam break in because of a Fram filter.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  17. ElscottHavoc

    ElscottHavoc It's all your fault. Established Member

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    Haha, I went down to the local store and that's all they had. I've always ever used Mobil 1 oil and filter, but this time I just wanted to change the oil real quick and see how it responds before I take it to my builder. I'm still going to at the end of the week I think. I was honestly too lazy to head into town, so I went and bought the stuff in hopes I could do it before the sun went down. Unfortunately, I got home and the drive was blocked by a guest in our drive way...so I just decided to wait until tomorrow.

    I think I've narrowed it down though to a blown valve seal. I'm thinking perhaps even the new seals couldn't take the pressure and blew out. Either way, I think my best bet is just to bring it back and say "listen, I paid to get the engine rebuilt and to stop smoking, I don't want the car back until that is satisfied".

    But, in lieu of your guys' responses, I'll just forget the FRAM filter...I can bring it back. I'll head into town tomorrow and get a Mobil 1.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  18. gmsux

    gmsux Denial ain't just a river Established Member

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    While it is possible a VS went out, it's just not likely as the VS by itself is not fully responsible for whether an engine smokes or not the Valve Guide has a part in that too. If the heads were not smoking before they shouldn't be now. I'm going with oil in the intake or a ring problem. Could've broken a ring during piston install.
     
  19. ElscottHavoc

    ElscottHavoc It's all your fault. Established Member

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    Mmkay, well...then, I suppose we'll just leave it to what the builder can find out. I just figured it was the valve seals, but who knows...thanks for the help!
     
  20. NeoTokyo

    NeoTokyo New Member Established Member

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    Those rings need to be BEAT to seat correctly.
    Check out how Nissan breaks in the GT-R motor.

    That vid of the 5.5 GT motor break in seems right too! :D
     

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