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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just trying to learn as much as I can as I have no experience..... I have a fresh 396 with about 2k miles on it and it is consuming what I feel is excessive amount of oil...1 quart per 200 miles. I can smell it while driving and was told it may be a ring not seating. So I pulled the spark plugs today to see what cylinder is having the problem and all spark plugs look as if they are burning oil.. are all my rings bad on this fresh build? or is there something else going on I need to look for? I am hopeful of an less expensive fix than bad rings thanks in advance for your wisdom and replies.
 

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You can try this, change oil to a non synthetic. Take the warmed up car out to a safe place in 2nd gear run the engine to 5500 rpm in second gear and let off the gas and let the car slow down on it's own (don't use the brake!), let the engine get below 2,000 rpm and repeat 3 or 4 more times, then drive the car normal for a few miles and repeat the session one more time then take it home. Let cool overnight and do it again. I would give this method 3 or 4 days in a row, so it would take like 4 days to get enough runs in and cool downs to help seat those rings. If you engine oil consumption isn't taken care of you need to look elsewhere. I have done this with success.
 

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Did you build the engine or somebody else ? What exactly was done to the engine ?
 

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I would run a non-synthetic oil in the 396 for about 5 to 10K and then try the synthetic again.
Am I missing something ? Where are you guys seeing that he is running synthetic oil ??
 

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I didn't see syn being used either but I agree don't use syn for at least 2K miles
 

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I had a fresh 454 with about 3K around town miles. Drove it from Houston to Kansas City for a show and it burned oil all the way running a constant 2,800-3,000 rpm. On the way home... no oil use at all. I suspect I never drove it hard enough to seat the rings and the high speed run did it. I'd take ddeennnis' advice before doing anything else..
 
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I have seen some valve covers stick the PCV hole right over a rocker arm.
It will spray oil at the PCV valve and get sucked in and burned.

Another issue I experienced on my own vehicle was some 817hydraulic lifters i got liked to allow too much oil to shoot through the pushrods.
It would put so much oil under the valve covers that it could not drain back quick enough.
I drove less than 20 miles to stick it on the wheel dyno and my oil gauge went to nearly zero and then fluttered back up
on a turn on the highway.

I got off and pulled into a parts store popped the hood and checked the oil level.
I had to stick 3.5 quarts in my 5 quart system.
I just stuck that cam and lifters in the night before.

Yep those lifters and cam came out and no more issues.
Every plug was soaked in oil.
With the valve cover off and engine idling the oil would spray over the fender and 2 feet away from the car on the drive way.

Never seen that much oil mess in such a short time.
 

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Are you sure it was oil on your spark plugs? If you are running rich your plugs will be black.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The motor was done by a local shop and I am running valvoline VR1. I haven’t really ran the car to hard yet. I will take the car out and run it as described by ddeennis..thank you for your replies...
 

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My engine builder said he broke in my motor on the dyno. He said change the oil after 500 miles and put in anything I want as long as it's 20w-50w. I went with full synthetic Torco and I'm approaching 700 miles with no issues. Why do you guys say don't run synthetic until you've clocked a bunch of miles? I've never heard this...
 

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All oil is atleast partially synthetic anymore except for some racing and break in oils. You need to drain the oil and fill with a break in oil like Brad Penn specifically designed for break in. A lot of times if the rings Don't Seat immediately like they're supposed to it will take a long time for them to seat but using the break-in oil and loading the engine will help
 

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The motor was done by a local shop and I am running valvoline VR1.
Have you called the shop and asked them about it ? That should be the first thing you do. What kind of warranty did they give you ?? Modern rings are pretty stupid proof. Unless they did something really wrong the rings should have been "broken in" as soon as you started the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
i will get in touch with the mechanic who put the motor in the car for me. He is always busy and why I asked for advice here first. I will get this figured out and will keep you guys posted. Just was looking for some direction to maybe resolve this on my own.
 

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Have you called the shop and asked them about it ? That should be the first thing you do. What kind of warranty did they give you ?? Modern rings are pretty stupid proof. Unless they did something really wrong the rings should have been "broken in" as soon as you started the engine.
This up here^^^ and the only other thing I can think of is pulling oil in through the lifter valley under the intake.
 

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1qt/200 miles is excessive and I would imagine there would be visible smoke. I would call the builder as mentioned but it wouldn't be a bad idea to check out the PCV systems also as mentioned. Maybe eliminate it for a while.
 

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Check the intake bolts. Sometimes they need retorquing after run for a while and will suck oil through the intake ports
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just got home…put a wrench on the intake bolts and I think they need to be re torqued.. don’t have a torque wrench so I’ll have to pick one up tomorrow…
 

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The main thing to keep in mind is if you expect the engine builder or the installer to stand behind their work, you really should not be doing anything at all without talking to them first, especially the engine builder. This includes tightening the intake. Call the engine builder and tell him what is going on and ask him what to do !!!!!!!!!!

That is what I would expect a customer to do if they had an issue with an engine that I built. If you start messing with it on your own dont be surprised if the engine builder wont help you if there really is a problem with what he did. I would never leave somebody hanging but there are plenty of engine builders out there that will if you start messing with things without asking them first.

Thats my opinion,
 
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