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Need help with excessive oil getting into cylinders on new build

Old 10-15-2020, 11:04 PM
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Default Need help with excessive oil getting into cylinders on new build

I could really use some help. I'll try to make this as short as I can (but very long story).

Last year I had my turbo street car engine freshest up and went from single turbo to twins. Same heads, crank, rods, block, oil pan etc. Basically only thing changed was new pistons, cam and I had the heads freshed up. All by what I would consider a very reputable builder and separate head guy. After 125 Street miles it started smoking from the tailpipes bad. Back of the car covered in oil. Didn't even drive it hard yet. Pulled engine and brought back to builder. He used profilometer(spelling?), and said cylinders were perfect. He rehoned and put new rings in.

Got it back and lasted 75 street miles when it happened again. Pulled engine and brought back again. New pistons had thin rings (.043 top and 2nd and 3mm oil) which I questioned when setting up the first build. This is a 100% street car. Had him put different pistons in(exact pistons I was running the last 10 years without issue) with 1/16, 1/16, 3/16 rings.

Had the engine built a third time and dynoed before it left his shop(he ran it NA with a carb-I run EFI with the turbos). Would be a tremendous amount of work to remove fuel injection and intercooler from the car to dyno. Ran perfect on the dyno, no oil on top of the pistons-great. Put it in the car and it lasted about 50 miles before it starts to smoke again AHHHH. Yank engine again.

This time I inspect everything very carefully and find the Eagle crank was slightly twisted. Ordered a new Callies Magnum crank, new Oliver rods, Dart Iron Eagle block, change Canton oil pan to a Moroso and bring back for build #4 thinking it was a windage issue from the second turbo drain hose hitting the crank counter weight. Build 4 he puts back on the dyno with no issues. I told him to really work the engine over on the dyno and he did. Install in the car again, and this time it starts smoking bad after 15 mins of idle and 6 street miles on the highway-did not even see boost yet.

Everything was checked out by multiple people with nothing jumping out.


Going to quickly explain the changes:

Build 1: New pistons-AP stainless top ring, napier second ring with 12lb oil ring (.043, .043, 3mm). Intake rockers removed and intake pressurized to 30-40psi with no signs of leakage
Build 2 : AP stainless top ring, napier second ring with 15lb oil ring (.043, .043, 3mm), heads completely inspected and guides opened slightly new valve guide seals. Intake rockers removed and intake pressurized to 30-40psi with no signs of leakage for a second time.
Build 3: New pistons- Moly top ring, cast second ring, with 15lb oil ring (1/16, 1/16, 3/16) new valve seals
Build 4: AP stainless top ring, napier second ring, with 16-18lb oil ring (1/16, 1/16, 3/16)

Intake manifold was checked for cracks and surface straightness to heads-perfect. great gasket crush-used ample rtv around ports to make sure it was sealed.
Turbos are bone dry on the outlet side-oil not leaking from turbos and going into the intake. All cold side piping bone dry and the upper part of the intake is bone dry. Intake ports soaked with oil, top of pistons cover in oil and head chambers covered in oil. Intake rocker hols doen bolts go through the intake port. (pressurized intake with no leakage). Resealed rocker stand hold down bolts on 2 different builds just to make sure anyway.
After last build I borrowed a carb and stuck it on and let it idle to make sure injectors weren't an issue with turbo not blowing into the engine. Smoked just as much.
Send injectors back to BUP AND Injector Dynamics after 1st build just to make injectors weren't washing the cylinders down.
After 1st build Installed 8 egts to datalog to monitor cylinders just to make sure I wasn't washing down the cylinders-yes full time EGTs on my street car.
All 4 builds were running E85 by me-pump gas on dyno. EVERYONE I spoke to said E85 wasn't a problem as long as tune was good-ran E85 for the last 7-8 years without any issues.
Running dual Wb's new sensors installed before 1st build and another new set after 1st or 2nd build.
Tried an 8mm valve seal on my 11/32 intake valves-no change.

Myself and a few others questioned the hone-seems very fine and probably was the same for 4 builds. To the eye looks like 400 stone. Not everyone agrees it's the hone.
I questioned the AP Stainless top ring as it seems to have mixed results on a street engine. I was told by a few that had the same issue to ball hone it with a 240 stone. I bought the ball hone and just couldn't do it to my new dart block. This weekend I brought the block to another very well respected machine shop on the East coast and asked them to give me a 280 grit hone. Pick it up the other day to see another fine hone (a touch coarser than before but still fine to the eye and finger nail. This was after I explained the situation to them. I asked what grit it was and he said 320 ahhh. He said he ran a fine stone on it for 2 wipes at the end so it looks fine. I ordered new Moly plasma top ring, cast 2nd and 21-22lb oil ring setup. I'm very tempted to run the 240 ball hone through it this weekend. Different ring manufactures and giving different opinions. One said the 320 finish was too fine for my new rings on the street. Another says the 320 would work. I'm also questioning the hone angle. It looks less than what is recommended.

I'm just about at my wits end. Anyone have any opinions on the cylinder finish and ring package? Anything else that could be checked?

Hone in below pictures look much finer/less aggressive in person. Hard to capture accurately.

Last edited by underpsi68; 10-16-2020 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 10-15-2020, 11:26 PM
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Old 10-16-2020, 06:36 AM
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It seems to me that if it has been dynoed quite a few times with no problems and then every time you put it back in the car with the turbos you start having a problem then the "problem" is most likely with the turbo setup ?? Modern rings really seal up pretty easily and the smooth cylinder wall finish is pretty normal. It looks like there is a ton of oil on the back of the intake valve in that one picture ? Where is that coming from ? Have you changed anything else in the entire combination ? Camshaft ? Intake ?

You might want to post your question over on "Speed Talk" too. Lots of engine builders there.
https://www.speed-talk.com/forum/
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Old 10-16-2020, 07:41 AM
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im a thinking to much crankcase pressure /too much oil on top? how about a vacuum pump to keep less pressure in crankcase?
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Old 10-16-2020, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by BillK View Post
It seems to me that if it has been dynoed quite a few times with no problems and then every time you put it back in the car with the turbos you start having a problem then the "problem" is most likely with the turbo setup ?? Modern rings really seal up pretty easily and the smooth cylinder wall finish is pretty normal. It looks like there is a ton of oil on the back of the intake valve in that one picture ? Where is that coming from ? Have you changed anything else in the entire combination ? Camshaft ? Intake ?

You might want to post your question over on "Speed Talk" too. Lots of engine builders there.
https://www.speed-talk.com/forum/
It definitely points to the turbos. The turbos are bone dry. When the seals leak, it could be on the exhaust or compressor side. If it was leaking on the compressor side the complete intake tract/ piping would have oil on it. Every pipe feeding the engine is bone dry, including the turbo itself. (Brand new Precision turbos- not that a brand new turbo couldn't have issues). If the turbo exhaust wheel was leaking oil it wouldn't get into the cylinders like this. It would smoke like a bandit though.

Yes that is oil that puddled up on the closed intake valve after the engine was shut off. Crazy amount.

I did change cam, but very similar specs. .565/.565 238/242 on a 115 separation. No over lap to speak of. Same intake.

The few things that were changed were the turbo kit, can and pistons.

Same shop did the hone 4 times. That's why I'm suspect of the hone. Probably the same guy did the same thing each time. Have many people telling me it's the hone, and many saying is not the hone. I'm really at a loss right now. Spoke to quite a few people that had the same issue with the Total Seal AP stainless top ring. Ball honed, installed new rings and new had another issue.

I'll post this over on Speed Talk thanks

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Old 10-16-2020, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by boostbros View Post
im a thinking to much crankcase pressure /too much oil on top? how about a vacuum pump to keep less pressure in crankcase?
I have 2 good sized breathers, one on each cover. Same setup I used for the last engine with single turbo. These builds weren't even leaned on when this issue popped up.

After 2nd build builder suggested vac pump. This is a 100% street car. From what I have read, the vac pump won't last and they have issues. IMO the pump would just mask the problem plus I don't have any room to mount one.
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Old 10-16-2020, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by BillK View Post
It seems to me that if it has been dynoed quite a few times with no problems and then every time you put it back in the car with the turbos you start having a problem then the "problem" is most likely with the turbo setup ?? Modern rings really seal up pretty easily and the smooth cylinder wall finish is pretty normal. It looks like there is a ton of oil on the back of the intake valve in that one picture ? Where is that coming from ? Have you changed anything else in the entire combination ? Camshaft ? Intake ?

You might want to post your question over on "Speed Talk" too. Lots of engine builders there.
https://www.speed-talk.com/forum/
i must agree with billk,i don,t think the oil is getting past the rings.the oil on the back side of the intake valves makes me think the oil is coming from the intake tract somehow.
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Old 10-16-2020, 09:29 AM
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Do the sparkplugs show signs of burning oil? photos?
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Old 10-16-2020, 09:49 AM
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If you do install a vacuum pump I have a nice HD 12 volt one that Im pretty certain near new if not new. About the size of a small alternator.

Just an fyi.
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Old 10-16-2020, 12:16 PM
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Thanks for all the help so far.

I know everything points to the turbos or intake leaks. Everything was checked out multiple times by many very good people. Intake gasket has nice even crush. Intake to head surface angle checked (with in 1*). I did not send turbos in for inspection but spoke to company on the phone. They agreed if the compressor side was dry, the source of oil wasn't the turbo.

In my mind I keep going to the hone and/or rings. Spoke to a few people that very similar issue. Said new rougher hone with different rings, some even used the same rings over, and oil problem went away. This is probably my last go with it. Want to try to find the cause. Also wondering if it is the oil rings.

Had numerous conversations with another member on this site, and he thinks it could be the oil rings. A friend of mine is very close to a very well respected marine local engine builder (highly respected on this site also) and he instantly said oil rings. He said needs to be 22-24lb. I'm not saying it's not the oil rings but it's a crazy amount of oil. I have a new set of Total Seal rings at my house now that supposedly have 22-26lb oil rings. Just order a different set of rings from JE that are suppose to be 21-22 lb. I am going to install each and do the pull scale test to see what each comes up.

Attached are a few more pictures. Can see the intake rocker stand bolts were sealed well. Intake gasket good crush. I have more pictures of very oil color tinted spark plugs.

Also forgot to mention head spring pockets were cut deeper to make room for taller spring. From memory the were cut around..100. Have to measure to verify. I looked at the pockets and nothing jumps out like a crack etc. I put alcohol and brake clean in the pockets with springs removed looking for and leakage in the ports, nothing. Same valve guides are before.

Oil can only be coming from rings, intake gasket or valve guides.




Last edited by underpsi68; 10-16-2020 at 12:29 PM.
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