Checklist for 300 engine that was smoking

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Newferd
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Checklist for 300 engine that was smoking

Post #1 by Newferd » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:00 pm

I install flooring and a friend/installer has his old 1994 E150 van for sale. Has new tires and he want's $500, mainly because he had engine issues and said he isn't all that mechanical. Engine is a 300 with an overdrive automatic. I've rebuilt a couple Chevy 350's and gone so far as to port some brand new heads, so greasy fingers don't bother me. I don't know anything about Fords so I'm here to learn whatever I can before making the purchase.
He said he was on the highway headed to a job site and when he looked in the rear view mirror he saw "smoke" and immediately pulled over shut it off and called a tow truck.
His friend told him it was the rear main seal blowing oil on the exhaust. That's all I know about it so far.

I figured before trying to start the engine and look for oil pouring out the rear of the engine, maybe pulling the plugs first to see if they all look good and the same. I haven't looked under the rig yet and haven't opened the motor cover. The van is alongside his garage setting in the grass and setting at a slight tilt. I checked the dip stick for engine oil. It was low, but not excessively low.
I think his engine was leaking oil from the rear main for a long time and he thought maybe the rear seal "blew", when he was driving, whatever that means............. I thought the a rear main seal leak simply gets worse and worse until you can't deal with it any longer.

His description of seeing "smoke" can mean a lot of different things. I think he said the engine has about 150,000 miles on it.

When I go over next week to take a closer look at the van, what's the best order of things to add to my check list? I might have to jack one side up and put some blocks under the tires to see the underside of the rig. It's been setting for quite a while........... 6 months for sure and probably a lot longer.
Thanks in advance.

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Shorty
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Re: Checklist for 300 engine that was smoking

Post #2 by Shorty » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:42 pm

I had a ford pickup once that blew the coolant line that goes to the throttle body on an efi engine and hosed the coolant in a stream right on the exhaust manifold. Made for a sudden spectacular cloud of smoke that seemed to indicate catastrophic failure. I would advise to look at coolant level as one of the checks you perform.
85 F150 on 78 bronco frame C6 np205 welded dana44 front, trussed posi nine inch rear. EFI exhaust manifolds into one 2 1/2" rolls on 35x12.5x15 Maxxis Trepador.

Newferd
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Re: Checklist for 300 engine that was smoking

Post #3 by Newferd » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:05 pm

Looking for things to check before starting the engine. That's a good one. Thanks.

jason832
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Re: Checklist for 300 engine that was smoking

Post #4 by jason832 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:11 pm

Tighten all of your coolant hoses first. Wipe down everything you think might leak so it's dry. Start it for a few seconds and have a look.

Newferd
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Re: Checklist for 300 engine that was smoking

Post #5 by Newferd » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:47 pm

The guy said it leaks oil, so I'm bringing a tarp and some carpet scraps and a bag of kitty litter to contain whatever happens. I'll definitely look the engine over well before we try to start it including all the hoses.
Two responses and both mention coolant connections. Are hose or coolant issues a common problem with these engines? Are rear seal issues common? It's the original stock '94 300
Do these engines have any common issues or problems. I've read up a little bit and people say that they are almost bullet proof.
The fella is out of town til Sunday. If I have time, I'll stop by and get the battery because I'm sure it needs charging.

What should I be looking at compression wise? I have a compression tester and a leakdown tester.

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THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
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Re: Checklist for 300 engine that was smoking

Post #6 by THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:24 am

If it has sat around for 6 months or longer the battery is toast. Better bring another.
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Newferd
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Re: Checklist for 300 engine that was smoking

Post #7 by Newferd » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:33 am

All I need is for the battery to start it to see how it runs. I have a good charger. I'll check the batteries date. Thanks, that's on my list. I never thought about the battery condition. I'll check the batteries age.
I had a friend that intermittently used her Chevy S-10. The battery became dead every month or so when she made a run to the city dump. The glove box light was always on because the door didn't close all the way. Each time, she had to get it jumped to start it. I bought the truck and the battery charged just fine once the glove box light switch issue was corrected.

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