Hurricane smokes oil: Health jeopradized

Raymod

Bigger Hammer
Jan 13, 2016
85
Maryland
First Name
Eddie
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
Greetings,

My '61 wagon, while in good general health, has decided to take up smoking. Not through the tail pipe (at least not that I've noticed), but through the oil filler pipe. I don't have a thermometer to check the coolant temp (next on the to buy list), but the radiator is full; still, the engine did seem hot after I took it out today.

I've had the wagon for about three months and have done little to it (no garage: winter excuse), but it runs really well. I changed the oil when I first got it. I plan on dropping the pan and taking off the oil filter housing and cleaning both thoroughly soon.

Drive train is all original, engine has 80k miles if the OD is to be believed. Judging by other clues and the general condition of the Willys, I can believe it.

Thoughts?
 

Lookout Ranch

Well Oiled
All-Star
May 9, 2015
5,518
Sierra Foothills
First Name
Kurt
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
Does yours have a draft tube coming out of the valve cover or does it have a PCV system?

If a PCV system, check to see it's working properly before you get too carried away. If a draft tube, is it smoking from there also?

A lot of smoke from the crankcase usually indicates pretty severe blow-by via the rings or valve stems, but that is usually accompanied by smoke from the tailpipe.

It would be a pretty simple matter to get something that would let you take the engine's temperature. Might be worth it if you're concerned that it's running hot.
 

Raymod

Bigger Hammer
Jan 13, 2016
85
Maryland
First Name
Eddie
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
Hi L. Ranch, thanks for the input. The filler tube comes out of the block steering side of the mighty Hurricane motor. Didn't know an old engine like this one would have a PCV system. There wasn't a lot of smoke out of the filler pipe when I stopped, just kinda wafted out...
 

edudley

Well Oiled
Mar 24, 2011
1,559
Indianapolis
First Name
Eric
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1960
Certainly too much blowby can result from worn out piston rings. But don't draw that conclusion with some further testing. I bad head gasket can also cause compression to enter into the water jacket and or into the oil system and crankcase causing blowby. Do a compression test and see what you learn. I like to see each cylinder within 10% of all others. A headgasket is far cheaper tan a ring job. Good luck
 

Lookout Ranch

Well Oiled
All-Star
May 9, 2015
5,518
Sierra Foothills
First Name
Kurt
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
Hi L. Ranch, thanks for the input. The filler tube comes out of the block steering side of the mighty Hurricane motor. Didn't know an old engine like this one would have a PCV system. There wasn't a lot of smoke out of the filler pipe when I stopped, just kinda wafted out...

The reason I asked is I bought a later model Super Hurricane engine to rebuild, and instead of a draft tube coming out of the valve cover it had some sort of PCV set-up. Normally, the crankcase would vent out the draft tube, so when you said yours was venting out the filler tube, it raised the question of why.

Given your latest description of a little smoke wafting out after you've stopped, it doesn't sound like there's anything to worry about. I'd say monitor the coolant level, keep an eye on the temp, and maybe do the compression test if there's reason to suspect anything.
 

Herk

Precision Fit
Dec 24, 2011
703
Boise, ID
First Name
Nate
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1960
So a little steam coming out the fill cap might not be cause for alarm. How long had the engine been running? How long had it sat since it was last run, and was there any wet weather during this time? Does coolant "disappear" from the radiator? This could just be condensation cooking off out of the oil (a good thing). Drive the vehicle for a couple hours and see if that clears it up. It's important for an engine to be run at temperature for a good length of time regularly to drive off any moisture from the oil. Engines that see a lot of short trip driving will generate a tan milky film ("flubber") inside the crankcase. The "flubber" is acidic, and will turn into sludge over time. This is why engines that see a lot of stop and go short trips tend to develop sludge and leaks over time.
 

Raymod

Bigger Hammer
Jan 13, 2016
85
Maryland
First Name
Eddie
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
Some really good ideas here. That's why I love this site - thanks to all! Dropping the pan and investigating further this weekend.
 
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