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  • white smoke/ trans fluid up date.

    started the car today and still has white smoke coming out the exhaust but diminishes some but comes back. Trans still burps fluid out dip stick tube. Changed the vac mod. No change in smoke problem. Checked to see if brake fluid is getting in the booster, it is not. Checked vac lines for fluid (brake or trans fluid) no trace of fluid. Changed oil and filter no water in oil, nice and clean. I would suspect bad head gasket but no water in oil. Checked trans fluid level and fluid is barley at end of dip stick( due to burping out dip stick tube). Rad is brand-new and right now just running water for coolant. I just can't figure this out. That's why we have this forum. So I need some help please, thanks, Larry.

  • #2
    You don't have to have water in the oil to have a bad head gasket. You can have water going straight out the exhaust depending on where the head gasket leak is. I've had that happen a couple of times. As for your trans issue you may have an internal blockage causing the pressure on startup. I suggest you take the pan off and see if the fluid and filter are clean. I've seen transmissions that have sat become loaded with sludge. As a note try to stay with the same thread. You have multiple threads open with the same topics.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

    https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #3
      Is this maybe a blocked breather on transmission? Mind I don't know why trans fluid would be causing smoke from engine. Maybe valve stems need replacing?
      Last edited by stubbie; June 7th, 2020, 07:44 PM.

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      • #4
        thanks to all who had suggestions. When I get time I'm going to pull the trans pan and check the screen and go from there. Thanks again, Larry.

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        • #5
          It's hard to believe that these issues are cause by one problem. But I'm going to bounce some things off of you. White smoke is almost always coolant. do you have the means to a coolant pressurization tool? This could allow you to pressurize your system without the engine running so you could find a leak. A coolant leak directly into the cylinder usually results in a poor running engine with low compression in that cylinder. No you don't always have foamy oil with a blown or improperly installed head gasket. Do you have the carb spacer with coolant lines running to it? That could be a cause or possibly the intake manifold or intake manifold gasket. What is the history of this car? Did you put it together? Did it just one day start doing this? Do you have the means to check the line pressure on your transmission? New parts can be bad too so don't rule out the radiator.

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          • #6
            You can buy a cheap coolant pressurization tool at Harbor freight or rent one at Oreily's

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            • #7
              Mitch thanks for your answer. When I bought this car it was a "double basket case" that my wife says I should have left where I found it Lol. The car has a fe 390 and is a 1969 f100 motor. The carb is a 2 barrel in which I rebuilt as the kit came with the car also came with many new and nos parts. Someone said the vac. mod. will cause this white smoke problem. I changed it and it still smokes but not as bad. Another said check vacuum lines for trans or brake fluid (also checked the brake booster for fluid) every thing good there. The brakes need to be bled but the brake pedal gets real hard a few minutes after starting that's why I have not tried to drive it yet. The trans fluid burps out the dipstick tube (back pressure?) The first time it did this the fluid got on the exhaust manifold and I had a small fire. As far as the carb, there is a spacer under it. Maybe I'll check with Oreily's and do a test. Also I think I'll drop the trans pan and clean the filter, this I was told could cause pressure build up. Thanks again, Larry.

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              • #8
                Trans fluid going to/from the radiator are at low pressure. Of course they would be because a radiator can't take a lot of pressure. Since this is a new radiator I would start there. Your C6 also has a vent. I am surprised fluid is coming out of the fill tube before coming out the vent. It's always a good idea to drop the pan, clean it and install a new filter with new fluid. Two things kill automatic transmissions; dirt and low fluid level. If you're uncomfortable poking around your trans, bring it to a shop where they are familiar with the C6 (not many are).

                If your brake pedal is getting hard that is the sign of a bad booster. So is white smoke, especially intermittent white smoke. The diaphragm inside of boosters go bad over time. The vacuum line is high on the booster. Sometimes brake fluid will reach that port and cause white smoke, then it won't. This depends on the rate of leak. If your booster is doing this it is a breach of TWO problems; a leaky master cylinder spool and a leaky booster. Both are common. - Dave

                BTW, John is right. Keep your posts in one thread so we can find them.
                My latest project:
                CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                --Lee Iacocca

                From: Royal Oak, Michigan

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                • #9
                  I'm not sure if Larry still has the original COM in his '64 or a C6. I don't think he said which he has.

                  John
                  John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                  Thunderbird Registry #36223
                  jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

                  https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                  • #10
                    I'm with everyone else on checking the vent in the transmission to make sure it's not plugged. Have you done that? Another quick thing, have you gotten down to take a whiff of the smoke coming out of the back? Does it smell like burnt coolant? Burnt oil? something else? How long does it smoke after you start it? I don't mean get down there and breathe it until you pass out, just a whiff.

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                    • #11
                      Another thing. If you got an FE out of a '69 F100 and it's a 2 barrel. Chances are good it's a 360.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks everyone for the advice. The trans is a c4. The motor is a 390 according to the metal tag on the head bolt and the numbers on the intake. As far as the smell, there doesn't seem to be any, course my old nose isn't what it used to be lol. I did checked the vent but will check again. I'm still going to drop the pan also and replace the filter as soon as the weather gets better, lots of rain. An old timer retired mach. told me if brake or trans fluid got in the intake theres problebly still in the exhaust and will have to "burn off" because it still has some residue in the pipes and mufflers. Thanks again and I'll keep it on the same thread, Larry.

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                        • #13
                          Larry I'm most surprised to hear you have a C-4 behind the 390, that trans is usually reserved for the Windsor and Cleveland Ford motors, 351 and smaller.
                          A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

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                          • #14
                            Well I'm not the sharpest tack in the box lol but I'll have to check the tag on the trans when the weather allows. I saw the tag and wrote the number down awhile back but can't remember where I put it. But it seems to me it was a c 4 maybe a c3. It dose have a separate bell housing, if that makes a difference. Thanks for replying, Larry.

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