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Old 07-06-2023, 03:13 PM
74TripleE 74TripleE is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Saskatchewan
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Default 440 Smoke!

First time poster, and new to Dodge big blocks. I’ve got an issue. I purchased a 1974 motorhome on a Dodge chassis a few weeks ago, mainly for the pristine condition of the home itself. Unfortunately the motor part of that deal has a smoking problem.

Upon startup it smokes a bit of white and seems to only run on certain cylinders, and spits out lots of black condensation/fuel (not sure which) once it warms up a bit/throw some rev into it, it seems to idle more evenly.

As it it warms up the black liquid disappears, but it continues to smoke white, perhaps even more than it does when cold. It seems to smokes a bit less when you rev on it a bit.. Black smoke comes out when you hammer it and disappears when the revs catch up, no big deal, surely just excess fuel. Not sure if i’d say it smells sweet like antifreeze, but it could be i suppose (lung issues don’t like smelling exhaust lol). The dipstick sort of smells a bit like gas, i fear the worst.

I should also add that it leaks about everywhere, so the oil consumption issue i’ll greatly attribute to valve cover gaskets. I wonder if i should be pulling this engine to rebuild. I would like to pull it and go over it/reseal on a stand anyways…

Any ideas? Never had a smoke issue on any of my small block chevy’s/big block olds or any of my gas farm engines. It also starts hard when HOT or been sitting, seems to need the starter engaged for extra few seconds to “catch” after it fires. I can post a video of a cold start to warm idle if it helps. Thanks!

Last edited by 74TripleE; 07-06-2023 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 07-08-2023, 10:12 AM
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creative1 creative1 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pittsburg, KS
Age: 71
Posts: 461

white 'smoke' is either coolant or transmission fluid. mopar has no vacuum applied anywhere in the transmission, so you can rule that out. the 'black condensation' is almost certainly soot (from an over-rich fuel mixture) mixed with coolant. other indicators of fueling problems: oil smells like gasoline. gasoline diluted oil is a bad thing. it also contributes to oil loss, because the oil is thinned.

you should pull the spark plugs and see which are wet. keep them in order so you can identify the bad cylinders. if they dry off in a minute or so, they are wet with gas. if they still look noticeably wet in a couple of minutes, it is coolant. this would indicate a blown head gasket or cracked head/block. yes, these engines can be cracked in such a way that they dont leak coolant into the oil or oil into the coolant. i have seen a cracked head that was so bad it blew the top off of a radiator but it didnt mix coolant and oil. iit the engine has a thermoquad carburetor, get rid of it and replace with something else.

a primary cause of these engines having cracks is overheating. cracked heads can be replaced. i don't know about now, but a few years ago, it was cheaper to buy the aluminum 'Stealth' cylinder heads from 440 than it was to buy remanufactured iron heads, and those stealth heads are GOOD. if the block is cracked, well... 600 (or so) pounds of cast iron makes a hell of a paperweight. if the problem is simply a head gasket issue, those are easy (relatively) and cheap. you can get a head gasket set for a big block dodge from rock auto for about $80. complete gasket set for less than $150. be aware that neither of these contain intake manifold gaskets.
Where are we going?... And why am I in this hand-basket?
84 D250/440/3.54:1 dana 60/16" wheels, 31" tires/A-727trans/3" header mufflers/weighs 5000 lbs/13.22 sec @ 103+ mph.
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bit , black , issue , smoke , smokes

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