A river runs through it - valve covers and PCV baffles
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, A river runs through it - valve covers and PCV baffles in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; This will be edited from the initial posting! I left in Ewill I hope that is ok Ewill . . ...
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    AJxtcman's Avatar
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    A river runs through it - valve covers and PCV baffles

    This will be edited from the initial posting! I left in Ewill I hope that is ok Ewill
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    had a 99 seville in today with 4.6 mtr has a oil consumption problem
    did the lower case half seal for leaking3000 miles ago came back performed ring cleaning prcedure2000 miles ago cust is still using regular unleaded fuel
    so i was looking around and pulled the pcv valve while it was running to check the valve operation.. don't know quite why i looked in the grommet hole or what i was looking for.. imagine my suprise when at idle i had oil running down the inside of the baffel plate at idle not a lot but it was wet .so out of the blue i wonderedwhat happens at 1500 rpm and above? .so i pulled the throttle open with my pen light in the grommet faceing the #3 hole side and low and be hold a river runs through it!! it wasless than a pen width away from the seated pcv valve and it was a 3/4 inch wide river!!!then i thought about it the 1-3-5--7 intake cam throws oil to the center of the moter(and if you have ever run a northstar with the rocker cover off it's a bath) just happening to have another moter of the same vintage i pulled it's rocker cover the baffel plate has a large gap on the up hill side ,very large gap around the bolt hole indents so i pulled the rocker cover out of the car and it was the same i pulled the 8 bolts out and run sealant 12346193 around the perimiter starting at the #3 side of the baffel plate along the uphill sidefull lenght .leaving the down hill side open and the in let over #7 cyclndr iam going to call back some of my other consuption cases and see if this was an isolated case(tac had a few supposedly loose baffle plates mine was not) or a root cause in the others.. also saw a 97 in today same complaint pulled the pcv out and saw nothing but timming chain (been awhile and don't have one apart anyone else seen this?)isen't it supposed to have
    a baffel as well?what stops the oil slung up from the timeing chain from being sucked out am i crazy? also the tec asistance guy told me that the crankcase should have zero pressure at all times just a thought to pass along calling all heavy duty guys is this just a fluke on this car or is it a bigger problem please respond p.s. the cust is going to keep me posted on consumption starting now as i think this is not an isolated case
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    Posted: Jul 27 2004, 01:59 AM

    Well, that's another thing I need to check on my friend's Aurora 4.0, referenced in another post.

    I don't know how similar the 4.0 and the 4.6 are... they look like the same motor. I've been completely away from Cadillac (and Olds, for the most part) since 1990.
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    Posted: Jul 27 2004, 05:26 AM

    I seem to remember that this is one of the issues you should check for with oil consumption issues. That is also the rason for the orfice instead of the PCV valve. It was covered on a broadcast last year, maybe a powertrain townhall if I remember correctly.
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    EWill3rd Posted: Jul 27 2004, 05:37 AM

    Technician Moderation Team

    Group: Service Technician Moderator
    Member No.: 1153
    Joined: 2-April 02

    I can't respond to your consumption question but I just wanted to verify for ROM that the 4.0 and the 4.6 are essentially identical save for the displacement which leaves only a handful of different parts.

    Thanks for the tip on what to check for oil consumption though!

    EWill
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    Posted: Jul 27 2004, 08:17 AM

    QUOTE (roadrunner @ Jul 27 2004, 12:47 AM)
    (and if you have ever run a northstar with the rocker cover off it's a bath)


    That's probably one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Everyone I'm sure has seen engines run with the valve covers off and the rockers doin' their thing. Northstars whip those cams around like nobody's business and throw horrendous amounts of oil around in the process. It's pretty neat for about 30 seconds until all that oil hits the manifold. But yes, there's supposed to be an orifice back there.
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    Posted: Aug 24 2004, 09:47 AM

    You'd think someone in Powertrain would be paying attention, these PCV baffles in the cam covers and valve covers have been somewhat of a problem for decades! The first ones I knew of were the old Chevettes, brand new in 1976, these first ones had a real appetite for oil which was traced to the PCV baffles allowing large quantities of oil to be consumed. Since then several other engines suffered the same thing or close to the same thing in the PCV system. Whenaretheygonnalearn!

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    Re: a river run's through it

    I have resealed many baffles and replaced a few defective PCV valves. I have had valves smashed or malformed when pressed together. The sad thing is A robot did not install it in the valve cover at the factory.

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    Re: a river run's through it

    Pull the PCV valve out of the valve cover. Get a small Mag Light and look into the PCV hole in the valve cover. Rev the engine to 2000 and look for oil running through this area. You should not see oil running though this area!!!!!!
    If you do you need to pull the rear valve cover and reseal the baffle.

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    Re: a river run's through it

    I happen to have a Valve Cover off an engine in my living room

    Loose RTV


    Lacking RTV You can see that it was sucking in oil.


    Baffle Lacking RTV

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    Re: a river run's through it

    In post 3 picture one, is that a molex connector in the background for a PC?


    As well, is that a 4.0 or 4.6 valve cover?

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    Re: a river run's through it

    Quote Originally Posted by Crown Vic Owner View Post
    In post 3 picture one, is that a molex connector in the background for a PC?


    As well, is that a 4.0 or 4.6 valve cover?
    I am building 3 Northstar Fiero Harnesses and that is the real reason for the 4.6L in my living room.

    $800 a piece. So that would be a Fiero connector

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    Re: a river run's through it

    I know my PCV is sucking in oil because my intake manifold is full of sludge and it's always nasty behind the TB.
    How difficult is it to pull the rear valve cover off and fix that? I'll have to check the PCV thing but I bet that's what it's doing. I'll post back and see if a river is running through mine
    I'm still interested in doing the ring cleaning procedure anyway since it has over 100k miles on it, it might do some good.
    Getting all that nasty crap out of my intake would be nice. There's literally 1/8" of sludge in there and it keeps coming back. THat doesn't seem right to me, even for a dry intake system.

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    Re: a river run's through it

    Hey, AJ.............Put together a leaking PCV baffle, throttlebody crud buildup, some oil in the engine valley, and what do you get ???

    A fair percentage of Northstar oil consumption complaints with no apparent mechanical failure !!!!

    BINGO !!!!!

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    Re: a river run's through it

    Yea.. It's a good indication if the intake is full of sludge and the TB is always black on the inside. It also makes some smoke out the exhaust sometimes that smells funny probably because it's sucking oil and trying to burn it with the gas.. Ahh well! Hopefully this will fix my problem.. I will let you know as soon as I have a chance to look at it and I'll take pics when I fix it.. Probably sometime next week.

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    Re: a river run's through it

    Well I pulled out the PCV and the grommet and shined a light in there and there's no river going through it. THat doesn't mean it doesn't flow through when I'm driving around or turning corners or something but it's not doing it at idle or revving the engine 2-3k rpm in neutral. I was thinking of installing a catch can on the PCV and seeing how much oil it collects.. that would be a good reference point. Also, could the engine be vaporizing the oil in the crankcase so that it gets sucked out the PCV? I think that's what the ring cleaning thing was supposed to fix?

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    Re: a river run's through it

    My mechanic complained about how tricky it was to remove the rear valve cover on my 99 STS.
    Is it that tough to get off while the motor is in the car ?

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    Re: a river run's through it

    dj......I think you have to pull some cradle bolts (and maybe the fan/radiator assembly) and tilt the assembly forward.

    Foos......The positive crankcase ventilation system is actually supposed to suck all the nasty combustion product vapors: oil, acid, and water, out of the crankcase. Engine oil runs HOT at proper temps: above 210 degrees, so you get some vapor there, too. The engine and cooling system is designed that way so that the above nasties "boil" off during normal operation. If they didn't, we would be back in the pre-60's situation of excessive crankcase sludge, which is really acidic tar. Did you know that, for every gallon of gasoline you burn, you liberate close to a gallon of water? It's all hydrocarbons in one form or another, and some of it blows by the piston rings, also perfectly normal. What's a jet aircraft contrail (condensation trail) mostly made of ?

    Soooooo..... a certain amount of crap buildup is, unfortunately, bound to occur, and the cleanup is part of proper engine maintenance.

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    Re: a river run's through it

    Yea I know.. I just think that mine is very excessively doing this which is causing lots and lots of sludge in the intake, and the oil is always really nasty even after 3000 miles. That's not how it should be :/ I built engines in the past and they didn't run as nasty as this one or burn nearly as much oil. I'll try a catch can but I think the ring soak treatment if I can ever find the TSB for it might help. The car was babied for 50k miles until I bought it from the guy and started WOTing it every time I got on the highway :> :>

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    Re: a river run's through it

    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409 View Post
    Hey, AJ.............Put together a leaking PCV baffle, throttlebody crud buildup, some oil in the engine valley, and what do you get ???

    A fair percentage of Northstar oil consumption complaints with no apparent mechanical failure !!!!

    BINGO !!!!!
    This is a 93 to 99 problem as far as I know.
    They relocated the PCV valve in 00. Guess why?
    That was another thing they fixed

    Quote Originally Posted by foos View Post
    Well I pulled out the PCV and the grommet and shined a light in there and there's no river going through it. THat doesn't mean it doesn't flow through when I'm driving around or turning corners or something but it's not doing it at idle or revving the engine 2-3k rpm in neutral. I was thinking of installing a catch can on the PCV and seeing how much oil it collects.. that would be a good reference point. Also, could the engine be vaporizing the oil in the crankcase so that it gets sucked out the PCV? I think that's what the ring cleaning thing was supposed to fix?
    Many reasons to sludge up the intake

    Quote Originally Posted by dwight.j.carter View Post
    My mechanic complained about how tricky it was to remove the rear valve cover on my 99 STS.
    Is it that tough to get off while the motor is in the car ?
    The rear Valve cover is by far the easiest and quickest

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    Re: a river run's through it

    Well I don't have to much to worry about my car now is a 2000 so it has a good engine.
    And I noticed with this one it burns so little oil I usually only have to top it off once between oil changes.

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