View Full Version : 500 miles per gallon...of oil.

04-26-2001, 11:49 AM
Now that I've been using the van to go back and forth to work (mostly interstate miles), I've noticed that after 500-600 miles in three weeks, I've burned off 4 qrts. of oil!

The van doesn't leak a drop or smoke other than a little puff when you start it up after a few days of sitting.

My wife thinks it's either the valve guides or the rings. A few others I've talked to have concurred on this assessment. What do you think.

I'm not going through any radiator fluid either, which leads me to believe it may not be heat related (no, I don't have gauges).

Could the type and weight motor oil I'm using have anything to do with the problem. I've been using 15W-50 Mobil 1 synthetic.

I'm hoping I don't have to implement an oil I.V. drip to get to Branson!

04-26-2001, 07:24 PM
I was told that synthetic oil doesn't burn like conventional oils, no smoke. And that you shouldn't use it unless you start out from new or rebuilt. Your rings may be letting that thinthetic blow by. Look on the bottle and see if the oil mfg. has a hot line. The engine didn't burn oil before the change did it. Try going back to the 30wt. regular for a month.
Good Luck.

04-26-2001, 09:34 PM
We have 2 vehicles with high miles ( 180K &
230K ) and I run 20/50 in both with good
results. I agree with ahighdiver, that synthetic is scary thin, but a friend who
uses it tells me if you use it from day one,
the engine will stay very clean and show less
wear than with regular oil.

04-26-2001, 10:31 PM
We went thru the oil delemma with the model T's they just don't like the new stuff. Some of the addatives would attack the magnito coil and short it out. Some new oils have graphite compounds which would coat the flywheel magnets and gunk things up. anyways I just use 30 or 40 wt oil in my old van it leaks a little. Don't laugh about the IV, I had a guy give me a 62 Econoline panel van that had a 2 gallon oil can wired to the side behind the drivers seat it had a valve and copper tube down to the doghouse plummed to the valve cover. Disregard the beginning of this message unless you got a model T motor in yer van.


04-27-2001, 07:36 AM
Based on everyone's advice, I'm going to give the van a 30-weight blood transfusion this weekend. The 15W-50 has worked very well in my Camaro but I guess the van just doesn't seem to like it much.

Thank you all for your input again.

04-27-2001, 06:05 PM
Careful, single weight oil is probably a bad choice.

Your wife is most likely correct, it sounds like you have valve guide and/or seat issues. And if this is the case, you could be generating a fair bit of excess heat in the head and in th valves. This heat will really cook that straight 30 weight fast and leave further deposits on those valves. Not to mention you will only get about the same mileage out of your oil as that heat will break the oil down quickly.

I strongly suggest you go with a 20w-50 as it will not burn as easily and will help you with your sealing problems.

Valvoline also produces a great oil called Max Life designed for higher mileage engines. I've had it in my Cordoba and it has improved mileage, performance and helped to seal the gaskets.

Good luck

04-28-2001, 11:13 PM
Yep smiley put in the 20W50 that should be standard in warm weather anyway........add a can of STP thick too and see hown it is.

The old rule used to be 1 quart evey 400 miles is not considered buring oil at all.......just the high/normal.

If your consumtion rate stay higher than that?

I vote for valve guides........If you are keeping the motor get another head and redo it completely valves and all......then just swap it in an afternoon..........if you are not keeping the motor then switch to Walmart 10W30 (83 cents here probably 50 cents there) and just BURN the stuff up!

The motor could last Years like that.


04-29-2001, 09:21 PM
Beware the "cylinder head only" rebuild. Generally speaking, if your valves are in bad shape, so is your block. If you rebuild the head and reinstall it on the old block, you'll drive up the pressure, causing more oil to get past the rings. This will cause you to have endless problems fouling the plugs. Just rebuilding the head almost never works.

04-30-2001, 09:36 AM
Thanks for all the input. I'm going to move to a 20W-50 oil and see how things go. If it doesn't go well, I'm going to pull the 250, put a 327 in, rebuild the 250, and put in my '66.

All I need now is a few thousand dollars!

04-30-2001, 11:30 PM

Good point.....I've never done a headas only rebuild but that makes sence........I know that has happend to me (similar) where the rad hose blows......fix that it blows the rad, then the pump.........

Smiley the 327 sound like the plan!!

I sold my old 230 for $50 when I pulled it.......if you can do the same that's 50 towards it http://www.vcvc.org/ubb/smile.gif


05-01-2001, 04:44 PM
Yeah, I know all about the cylinder head rebuild. I did the head only, against the advice of my engine rebuilder and he was right: my plugs were oil fouled within a week of installing the new head. So, I ended up needing to pull everything apart again and have the block done too. It didn't cost me much more, but it was a big waste of time. So, I would never recommend rebuilding just the head.

05-01-2001, 07:42 PM
I did the head rebuild on the 68 way back when, 6 months later it looked like the van was on fire when it was running!

If I remember correctly, your 68 has a stick shift, right? Be sure to have a V8 flywheel, bellhousing, clutch and correct starter. The six banger stuff may work, but is a little light duty for a 327.

Try a little Marvel Mystery Oil in the six and see if it helps. This is a stop gap measure, but it got me thru a winter once when I couldn't do an engine swap.