289 oil consumption - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019 Thread Starter
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289 oil consumption

I just rebuilt my 289 original engine about 2000 miles ago. The cylinders are +.030, crank -.010 and standard valves, hardened seats, new guides and seals, mild Comp cam. Still running zinc additive in conventional 10w30 oil.
I'm having a problem with it using about a quart of oil / 500 miles. The plugs look OK, Tips are clean and insulators mostly white to gray, none are wet. The exhaust tips are black inside and dry, no oil film on back of car. No drips or leaks under car. Occasional puff of smoke on startup.
I'm thinking it's either
1) rings not seating. I was as meticulous as I know how to be on gapping and staggering ends during rebuild.
2) valve guide / seals leaking
3) pcv sucking oil into carb. Valve covers have a baffle plate horizontally but not vertical.

Any ideas in isolating cause or suggestion of another reason I might look at?

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019
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If you were using that much oil then at least one or two of your plugs would be coated or that fouled up that the engine would start missing.
Stem seals would result in a fair bit of blue smoke at start up.

Are you sure you are using that much oil?
When you filled the engine, did you run it until warm so that the oil made it's way into the oil filter?
Then check the level again and refill to just below the full line on the dipstick.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019 Thread Starter
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Yes, I'm sure of the amount of oil used. I'm puzzled why the plugs aren't fouled also.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019
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The plugs aren't fouled because you are burning the oil.

I'd double-check your PCV system first, because that is cheap and easy. Are you getting a good strong vacuum for your connection? Normally this is with a large diameter opening at the base of the carburetor (below the throttle plates). This should give high vacuum at idle. Fresh air intake working? Is the PCV valve functioning? Make sure it's not in backwards. Oil screen is important. Make sure it's clean. Next, temporarily change out the black rubber hose for a clear tube and see what is going on. Only do this for a short period while you are looking at the running engine, because the clear stuff isn't made for engine temperatures.

On my last build my rings did not seat, and along with having to add oil all the time I left a trail of smoke running down he highway. More engine load = more smoke. It turned out that the cross hatch pattern wasn't aggressive enough, and the cylinders all had to be re-honed.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019 Thread Starter
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There isn't an oil screen. That is something new to me. The clear hose is a good idea.
Good info. Thanks.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019
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An oil screen is usually built into the "breather" that sucks out of one valve cover. It is basically a coarse "brillo pad" without the soap. In fact you can buy a stainless steel scrub pad at the supermarket and use that. Oil vapors coalesce on the mesh then drip back into the engine.

On this diagram it would be on the right side below the PCV valve.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019
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A very minor, picky point: the breather on my '66 that I've owned since '66 is not connected to the air cleaner. The important point is that the breather is there and is working.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019
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Ford used a "brillo-pad" type mesh for the road draft tube engines but deleted that detail when they went to PCV c1965. There should be a baffle inside the valve cover to deflect oil from directly hitting the PCV valve. For '66 the standard, non-CA cars used a breather that was not connected to the air cleaner. It was just a ventilated cap in the valve cover opposite the PCV hose that you pulled out to add oil to the engine. It was '68 when the breather was normally connected to a hose for emission purposes.

Your problem reads like an incorrect hone on the cylinder walls resulting in your rings not seating. With the correct hone and using moly rings the rings will seat nearly instantly when you first start the engine.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019 Thread Starter
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I have the breather on the passenger side that is connected to the air filter housing via a 3/4" hose. I'll check it to be sure the screen is clean. The pcv is connected to the bottom port on the carb and there is a baffle in the valve cover under it.
I had the machine work done by a very reputable shop. I certainly hope you're wrong on the hone work in the cylinders. If the rings were in fact not seated wouldn't there be significant blow-by and wouldn't the oil get dark colored quickly? I'm not seeing either.

Thanks for the input.
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If you are running chrome rings, they usually take a little longer to seal. I'd run a cold/hot compression test. You should have had new valve stem seals at the time of rebuild so this shouldn't be a factor.
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With it only being 2k miles, you might still be okay. The important thing is to vary your engine speed, and not just drone on doing one speed. To seat properly, your rings need to experience wear cycles. Acceleration burns heats things up and forces the rings hard against the bores, and then decel creates a strong vacuum and cooler temps which helps lubricate and washes away the particulates. You could probably even run some full throttle blasts at this point, but I would avoid prolonged top-end runs until it seems a bit happier.


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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019 Thread Starter
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Thanks.
I'm leaning toward it being a pcv issue vacuuming oil into carb. There isn't any blow-by to speak of and the oil color remains acceptable.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019 Thread Starter
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Just a shout out to all who replied. Thanks. My problem was solved by changing valve covers to 2.5" tall covers with larger oil baffles. I had aluminum covers with small baffle plates that weren't efficient at stopping oil from entering pcv. Oil consumption is zero now.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Thanks for this thread! I am having the same problem with my 66 289. Iíve never rebuilt the motor but I did restore the car a year ago (summer 2018), which hadnít been run in 30 years. The car is a 6R that had the CA thermactor EEC system which I removed. I put in a new pcv valve and hose and have the original oil filler cap with a breather hose to the air cleaner. I recently replaced all of the valve stem seals as they were dried out and coming apart which caused the oil pump to seize. I replaced the oil pump also. The valve covers are original. Besides using a lot of oil, I notice the air filter gets dirty very quickly. The engine runs very good and doesnít smoke at all except when itís cold at first start. Iím suspecting the oil is slowly being used through the carb via the breather and pcv. Any thoughts on putting new valve covers without hoses to the air cleaner/carb adapter plate (pcv)?
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmallee View Post
Just a shout out to all who replied. Thanks. My problem was solved by changing valve covers to 2.5" tall covers with larger oil baffles. I had aluminum covers with small baffle plates that weren't efficient at stopping oil from entering pcv. Oil consumption is zero now.
My congrats!!!! Good job on troubleshooting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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