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Milky Oil In Rocker After Not Draining Water Before Removing Head

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#1 jezjsa

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Posted 11 March 2024 - 05:48 PM

I've found a few threads regarding milky oil but probably not with what i have just done. Sad face.


Back story...
I've put a 12g940 cylinder head on my 988, using 2 BK450 head gaskets and a compression plate inbetween.

Started the car... runs well... sounds better (i think).. but i was getting white smoke out the exhaust when revving on the drive... seemed ok at idle though.

Also compression across all 4 cylinders was the same.

 

I thought the white smoke may have come from some kind of water escaping from one of the water ways under one of those gaskets.

 

So, i decided to remove the head and check them.

 

Here lies the mistake i made - i didnt remove the bottom hose to drain the water BEFORE i unbolted the cylinder head.

And water went everywhere!

 

So... cleaned off best i could, went with one gasket and some gasket sealer around the water ways (without the compression plate and second gasket) and fired her up - now even more white smoke when revving and also now at idle as well.
Took the rocker off and noticed creamy oil too.

 

 

Is it simply a case that because water no doubt got in where it shouldn't, that i just need to drain all the oil, and refill with fresh oil, then let it run for some time or something else?

 

Cheers.



#2 DeadSquare

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Posted 11 March 2024 - 07:22 PM

The very short answer is "YES".

 

Motor oils contain detergent, which is there to ensure that any water that gets sucked up, has a bit of lubrication with it, but it is not intended to cope with a head full of water cascading past the pushrods.

 

White yuk in the rocker cover is quite common in Minis that do lots of short trips in cold weather.  Combustion product, ie water, get past the rings and into the oil where the churning gears mix them into salad cream, some of which gets flicked off the rockers where it congeals inside the rocker cover.  Incidently, it wasn't so noticeable in a Morris Minor because the gears weren't churning in the sump.

 

Presumably the "white smoke" that you mention, didn't stink of oil and dispersed rapidly into the air, which formed your diagnosis of water vapour ?

 

In hot weather and long runs, the Mini copes with this condensate because the quantity of water doesn't build up sufficiently before it evaporates out of the Heinz.



#3 lsto

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Posted 11 March 2024 - 07:41 PM

If I was you I'd do an oil and filter change with some cheap engine oil, drive the car for a few days and change the oil and filter again to get the worst of the coolant out.
White smoke can be steam as you suggested. I would have gone for a drive, got the engine nice and hot to see if it clears.
If your not losing coolant a bit of steam from the exhaust when cold wouldn't bother me too much. Modern fuels do seem to contain a lot of moisture and the time of year doesn't help.
If it was a head gasket issue it would tend to run a bit lumpy but if it ticks over nice and doesn't loose coolant I wouldn't worry. Give it a flush and let us know how you get on. Good luck.

#4 Quinlan minor

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Posted 11 March 2024 - 07:46 PM

Check that you're not losing brake fluid.



#5 jezjsa

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Posted 12 March 2024 - 09:15 AM

The very short answer is "YES".

 

Motor oils contain detergent, which is there to ensure that any water that gets sucked up, has a bit of lubrication with it, but it is not intended to cope with a head full of water cascading past the pushrods.

 

White yuk in the rocker cover is quite common in Minis that do lots of short trips in cold weather.  Combustion product, ie water, get past the rings and into the oil where the churning gears mix them into salad cream, some of which gets flicked off the rockers where it congeals inside the rocker cover.  Incidently, it wasn't so noticeable in a Morris Minor because the gears weren't churning in the sump.

 

Presumably the "white smoke" that you mention, didn't stink of oil and dispersed rapidly into the air, which formed your diagnosis of water vapour ?

 

In hot weather and long runs, the Mini copes with this condensate because the quantity of water doesn't build up sufficiently before it evaporates out of the Heinz.

 

To be honest i can't remember if it smelt of oil the first time, what would that indicate?

 

If I was you I'd do an oil and filter change with some cheap engine oil, drive the car for a few days and change the oil and filter again to get the worst of the coolant out.
White smoke can be steam as you suggested. I would have gone for a drive, got the engine nice and hot to see if it clears.
If your not losing coolant a bit of steam from the exhaust when cold wouldn't bother me too much. Modern fuels do seem to contain a lot of moisture and the time of year doesn't help.
If it was a head gasket issue it would tend to run a bit lumpy but if it ticks over nice and doesn't loose coolant I wouldn't worry. Give it a flush and let us know how you get on. Good luck.

 

Yeah i wish i had taken it for a drive once i'd put it all back together, live and learn.

 

I'm going to go buy a a couple of oil filters and some more engine oil from Mini Spares... then take it for a run if it stops raining.

 

I'll update this post on how it turns out after all that.

 

Thanks for the advice as always!



#6 DeadSquare

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Posted 12 March 2024 - 01:57 PM

Oily smoke that clears after a bit, can be a sign of worn valve guides.  Oil from the inner walls of the rocker cover, trickles on to the head when the engine is not running.  When the engine starts on tick-over, the piston vacuum can suck oil down the guides and it burns as white smoke.

 

Badly worn piston rings can let oil that is splashed up the bores, continually find its way above the piston, where it burns as white smoke that doesn't clear.

 

As Isto advises, a less expensive but High Detergent oil, will be fine if you can get the engine hot for half an hour on half dozen trips.



#7 jezjsa

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Posted 12 March 2024 - 04:56 PM

Oily smoke that clears after a bit, can be a sign of worn valve guides.  Oil from the inner walls of the rocker cover, trickles on to the head when the engine is not running.  When the engine starts on tick-over, the piston vacuum can suck oil down the guides and it burns as white smoke.

 

Badly worn piston rings can let oil that is splashed up the bores, continually find its way above the piston, where it burns as white smoke that doesn't clear.

 

As Isto advises, a less expensive but High Detergent oil, will be fine if you can get the engine hot for half an hour on half dozen trips.

 

Is there a simply easy way to check for worn valve guides?



#8 Quinlan minor

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Posted 12 March 2024 - 05:20 PM

Smoke on start up, which clears.

After warm up, run it hard up a long incline. Before you reach the top, suddenly take your foot fully off the throttle, while looking in the rear view mirror. If you get a cloud of smoke, most likely your guides/guide seals need attention.

These are the best indications that I know of.



#9 Lplus

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Posted 12 March 2024 - 05:56 PM

Oil burning produces blueish smoke, not pure white.



#10 jezjsa

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Posted 12 March 2024 - 07:13 PM

Im pretty sure it was white.
Just waiting on new filter to arrive!

#11 jezjsa

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Posted 15 March 2024 - 04:02 PM

Just an update on this...
ive drained all the milky oil.... let it drain overnight.

fitted a new oil filter and new oil and now after a bit of running... no white smoke what so ever. Very happy.

 

Will change the oil and oil filter again after a few runs as suggested.







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