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Old 10-03-2017, 01:43 PM   #1
mpasiuk
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Default Oil Burn Smoke. Solved. what I did.

Hello everyone, I own a 1999 SL2 DOHC 1.9L w/ 303K miles(synthetic oil every 3K miles since 103K miles, when I bought it). Runs perfect but started burning oil/smoking about 6 months ago. The smoke got so bad that I'd choke the poor workers at the fast food places when I went through the drive through.
Smoke: occurred during idle, but much worse when accelerating from a stop.
Oil Burn: Started at 1 qt/1500 miles and got to the point 1qt/300 miles.

I read all the forum posts and they were a great help. I figured I'd return the favor by posting my results.

What I did:
First tried the MMO, per the posts I read. Removed all the spark plugs, poured 2 oz per cylinder and let it sit for 2 hours. Afterwards, I placed rags in each of the spark plug holes then cracked to remove any MMO left in the cylinders. Re-installed the spark plugs and started the car. Initially, huge amount of smoke resulted from the exhaust, but after it cleared I didn't notice any improvement form the oil burn smoke or reduction in oil consumption (drove the car 5K miles)
Tried this twice.

I decided to change the valve stem seals. Things I did:
1. remove the timing chain, cam sprockets, and camshafts. (I'm not going to get into detail on how to do this since there are many posts. I will tell you about the tricking things I encountered. a) Crankshaft pulley bolt: I bought an electric impact gun and bolt came off instantly. b) timing chain cover: make sure all bolts removed (including two in the middle of the over.. 8 mm bolt and 10mm bolts). Also take your time break free the timing cover.
2. Once everything removed(Timing chain, cam sprockets, and camshaft), I used 1/4" dia nylon rope to keep the valves from dropping. Lowered the pistons I was working on, fed the nylon rope through the spark plug and once filled rotated the crank until it stopped moving and rope pushing against the valves. Next I used Lisle 36050 Valve Keeper Remove/Install tool (amazing tool!) Made removing/installing the valve springs super easy. Used Betooll HW0107 Valve Stem Pliers to remove the seals (again super easy). Then repeated the process to the other 3 cylinders.
3. installed a new timing chain/cover (followed directions on posts I found on the this forum)
4. Re-installed all accessories.(tensioner, idler pulley, power steering pump, crank pulley).

Result NO more smoking!! Success. I just finished this job so not sure on the improve of the oil burn, but I'm sure back to a normal amount.

I know I left out some details, but if you have any questions please let me know. I know a lot of people suffer from oil burn and smoking. I hope my results help a little.

Job just takes time, but relatively cheap. seals just $20 from Rockauto. tools $70.

Good Luck Everyone!
Mike

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Old 10-20-2017, 01:14 AM   #2
TomM96
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Default Re: Oil Burn Smoke. Solved. what I did.

Thanks Mike-

I think the higher-mileage cars lose more oil thru the valve-stem seals.
Mine got worse after 200kMiles...

Thanks for calling out the tools used.

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Old 10-20-2017, 07:06 AM   #3
mpasiuk
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Default Re: Oil Burn Smoke. Solved. what I did.

I hope this thread helps someone. My oil burn increased steadily after 200k.

Quick update: after a few thousand miles of driving, still no smoking and oil burn went back to a respectable 1 at every 1500 miles. Before the valve stem seal replacement it was 1 at every 300 miles.

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Old 10-20-2017, 09:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Oil Burn Smoke. Solved. what I did.

That's an awesome first post!

...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 124k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 10-20-2017, 07:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Oil Burn Smoke. Solved. what I did.

I changed the valve stem seals on mine and didn't get any improvements. I ended up swapping a j/y engine that was low mileage.

The big difference is that valve stem leaks tend to happen as the car sits so smoke when you start. Piston ring leaks tend to happen under load. So if you see smoke on acceleration its definitely not the valves.

-Robert

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Old 09-20-2018, 02:13 AM   #6
rickcrickc
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Idea Re: Oil Burn Smoke. Solved. what I did.

I really appreciate your posting this as I have been dealing with hungry oil consumption.
Bought at 148k mi, 2002 sl2, I decided to go the seal replacement. At the time of purchase the engine didnt smoke but it was using oil ... and doing the usual refirb of an old Saturn, I included a Kreen soak & and added 3 oz per qt.. This engine was a dirty mess. Drained the oil & added a wix filter with castrol synth. Now it smokes badly. Compression was 185 -187 psi across all after the oil change. Im at 3000 f above sea level. Seems the removal of the engines gunk opened up previously clogged passages! Thats the risk one takes .. good for some paths, bad for others. I concluded that I opened up the previously clogged seals.

Doing the seal replacement, Id like to add some additional observations. Getting the rope in the cylinder is tricky but iif you twist it as you feed it in, it cooperates better. Put your finger in the hole to guide the rope. Sometimes the rope will not hold up all the valves ... this requires an ocassional "do over" where you need to take the rope out & try again. Also, lifting or lowering the engine helps to get tools onto some of the bolts.. iit is rather tight doing the job in place. Have a few different choices for sockets, etc.. I only took off the water pump pulley but left the pwr steering, altrenator, air con, etc. in place. On reassembly before putting the belt back on, I ran the starter, plugs out, fuse pulled, full oil filter, to make sure oil was flowing in a low stress state.

The old seals were hardened, crusty, & no longer clamped the valve shaft. Ugly. I used some graphite grease on the new seal lips prior to install. I also installed a new chain set... after 148k, it was using almost all of the tensioner range.

Motor now does not smoke. Thanks again for your inital write up.

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Old 09-20-2018, 01:47 PM   #7
mpasiuk
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Default Re: Oil Burn Smoke. Solved. what I did.

Glad it helped!

Update: My Saturn is now at 339K miles (36k miles after Valve stem seal change). Still no smoking and oil burn now a manageable 1 Qt/1500 miles.

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Old 09-20-2018, 03:56 PM   #8
Keblar
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Default Re: Oil Burn Smoke. Solved. what I did.

So glad this thread got bumped. It's a great addition that I might have missed.

I might give this a try down the road. I don't burn much but there is a little smoke sometime, particularly at startup. Switched over to synth oil and that seemed to help some.

When I did a leak down test, there WAS a little compression loss on 2 cylinders (2 and 3 I think), and one had more than the other, but the hiss really sounded like it was coming from higher up at the valves, not the cylinders. Don't have a stethoscope so I can't really say with more certainty.

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