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Old 11-13-2020, 11:02 AM   #1
Pinstripe
 
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Default Exhaust Fumes in Cab

Okay, so for a while now, I've been having exhaust fumes in the cab of my truck. There are several issues I believe. My truck gives off white/grey smoke regularly... I haven't done a compression test yet but I think it's the piston rings. It smokes regularly, it doesn't matter if the engine is cold or hot. If I'm stopped, I can press the gas and make it smoke.

The interior of my truck has had no carpet, and a lot of panels removed for a long time now. Around the shifter, there's only the ripped black rubber piece, so I can almost see the ground. Also, my exhaust system isn't very good. I had it fixed a few months ago from the catalytic converter back, but I don't think the guy did a great job. My catalytic converter is only about four years old but the guys said it's gone, there's rattling inside. My muffler isn't that great either.

The last time I checked for codes, I got code 33, which is the O2 sensor. I wasn't able to get it off, but I did end up cutting the wires to it and it's been like that for a while now.

My plan is to install a new O2 sensor, some new spark plugs, and maybe a straight pipe instead of the catalytic converter. If I install a new catalytic converter instead, should I install a new O2 sensor first so I don't mess up the new spark plugs and catalytic converter?

I don't plan on fixing the piston rings, it's just not something I want to do on this engine. A guy at an exhaust shop mentioned that even in a well sealed interior, you can smell exhaust leaks... well I've got bad piston rings, a crappy probably leaking exhaust system, and an unsealed interior! What should I tackle first? If my exhaust system is leak-free and my interior is sealed again for the most part, will I still be smelling the bad piston rings smoke regardless? The tailpipe comes out behind the rear tire, so when driving with my window open you can really smell it.

Thank in advance for any help you can offer.
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:44 AM   #2
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Check your pvc valve while you are at it. Is the heater control switch pushed to "recirc" position or "outside air"? The heater A/C outside air intake is under the cowl (between the hood and windshield) on the passenger side. I am not sure if it completely closes off outside air when in "recirc" position. Being from the "Great White North", I am sure you already know about the dangers of carbon monoxide build-up and how it will first knock you out, then kill you. Please do not die. When you crack open a window you are probably NOT getting fumes come IN the window, but rather creating a suction that pulls the fumes in from the smaller leaks. I would suspect the BOOT around the shifter. Mine has a plate under the boot with a black rubber sheet, I am guessing yours left with the carpet. I do not have much faith in the guy from the exhaust shop. White/ Gray smoke doesn't make me think of "rings" either. Perhaps someone else will chime in on how to figure out what IS coming from your exhaust. Water, unburnt fuel, maybe, but always remember, "Whadda I know?"
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Old 11-13-2020, 12:58 PM   #3
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That ripped shifter boot might be where a lot of the fumes are coming in. I would start there.
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Old 11-13-2020, 01:00 PM   #4
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OP: Stop hacking it up/doing illegal modifications/ignoring red flag signs; lack of proper repairs are threatening yours and others' lives, and damaging the environment. It's time for you to sell for what ever you can get, after disclosing all the issues to buyers. Then go buy a brand new truck.
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:19 PM   #5
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if your burning oil, your going to ruin a new cat before its time.. if you do not have testing where you live a straight pipe should work, I would replace the torn shift boot like yesterday... my .02
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:22 PM   #6
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I agree with nunya about the carbon dioxide. A four month old converter might still be under warranty. White smoke can be a sign of burning coolant, maybe a head gasket leak.

Maybe take the truck to a reputable exhaust shop and have them install a new port for the O2 sensor and ask them for a second opinion about your catalytic converter.

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Old 11-13-2020, 04:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinstripe View Post
Okay, so for a while now, I've been having exhaust fumes in the cab of my truck. There are several issues I believe. My truck gives off white/grey smoke regularly... I haven't done a compression test yet but I think it's the piston rings. It smokes regularly, it doesn't matter if the engine is cold or hot. If I'm stopped, I can press the gas and make it smoke.

The interior of my truck has had no carpet, and a lot of panels removed for a long time now. Around the shifter, there's only the ripped black rubber piece, so I can almost see the ground. Also, my exhaust system isn't very good. I had it fixed a few months ago from the catalytic converter back, but I don't think the guy did a great job. My catalytic converter is only about four years old but the guys said it's gone, there's rattling inside. My muffler isn't that great either.

The last time I checked for codes, I got code 33, which is the O2 sensor. I wasn't able to get it off, but I did end up cutting the wires to it and it's been like that for a while now.

My plan is to install a new O2 sensor, some new spark plugs, and maybe a straight pipe instead of the catalytic converter. If I install a new catalytic converter instead, should I install a new O2 sensor first so I don't mess up the new spark plugs and catalytic converter?

I don't plan on fixing the piston rings, it's just not something I want to do on this engine. A guy at an exhaust shop mentioned that even in a well sealed interior, you can smell exhaust leaks... well I've got bad piston rings, a crappy probably leaking exhaust system, and an unsealed interior! What should I tackle first? If my exhaust system is leak-free and my interior is sealed again for the most part, will I still be smelling the bad piston rings smoke regardless? The tailpipe comes out behind the rear tire, so when driving with my window open you can really smell it.

Thank in advance for any help you can offer.
Let it idle warmed up. Check for smoke. Wait count to 55 then hit the gas.. see smoke now? its the valve seals of viton not the valve guides.
With my 94 2.4 it was just the valve stem seals. Theres a sticky to replace them maybe the rope trick.


I used bars leak valve seal additive. The smoke is alot less. I had small amount of smoke for 10 years before I decided id had enough.
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Old 11-14-2020, 03:17 AM   #8
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Yes, take care of the torn shift boot. That allows a ton of air to enter the cab.
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Old 11-14-2020, 09:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinstripe View Post
Okay, so for a while now, I've been having exhaust fumes in the cab of my truck. There are several issues I believe. My truck gives off white/grey smoke regularly... I haven't done a compression test yet but I think it's the piston rings. It smokes regularly, it doesn't matter if the engine is cold or hot. If I'm stopped, I can press the gas and make it smoke.

The interior of my truck has had no carpet, and a lot of panels removed for a long time now. Around the shifter, there's only the ripped black rubber piece, so I can almost see the ground. Also, my exhaust system isn't very good. I had it fixed a few months ago from the catalytic converter back, but I don't think the guy did a great job. My catalytic converter is only about four years old but the guys said it's gone, there's rattling inside. My muffler isn't that great either.

The last time I checked for codes, I got code 33, which is the O2 sensor. I wasn't able to get it off, but I did end up cutting the wires to it and it's been like that for a while now.

My plan is to install a new O2 sensor, some new spark plugs, and maybe a straight pipe instead of the catalytic converter. If I install a new catalytic converter instead, should I install a new O2 sensor first so I don't mess up the new spark plugs and catalytic converter?

I don't plan on fixing the piston rings, it's just not something I want to do on this engine. A guy at an exhaust shop mentioned that even in a well sealed interior, you can smell exhaust leaks... well I've got bad piston rings, a crappy probably leaking exhaust system, and an unsealed interior! What should I tackle first? If my exhaust system is leak-free and my interior is sealed again for the most part, will I still be smelling the bad piston rings smoke regardless? The tailpipe comes out behind the rear tire, so when driving with my window open you can really smell it.

Thank in advance for any help you can offer.
The stuff that can kill you HAS no smell. Carbon and unburned gasoline has the smell. Carbon monoxide doesn't. I bought a 63 Chevy back in the 1980's that almost killed me. Carbon monoxide can do weird things to you. I was driving this thing and out of nowhere I started crying for no reason and feeling weird. Luckily, I figured out what was going on in time and got that car stopped and away from it. But it was a close thing. I was five minutes or less from death, no kidding. Scared the holy shit out of me. I got SO pissed I sold it the next day. (They were cheaper back then so no big deal.) I never smelled a thing, by the way. Just the carbon monoxide was getting into the car. I did warn the new owner.

You can tell if it's the rings or poor combustion by running your finger inside the exhaust pipe when the engine is cold:

1) Grey powder: Fairly normal stuff.

2) Black powder: Incomplete combustion, failed emissions part(s), or needs comprehensive tune up. Or both.

3) WET and black. Oil getting past the rings. This is how you tell. For sure. Make sure it is oil and not just water and black powder. Water is a normal byproduct of the cat converter system. (You probably knew that)

If the truck is not blowing oil, the first thing is to get that exhaust system fixed and not leaking. That stuff can kill you in minutes and you won't even realize what's happening. Scary stuff. Even 35 years later, I don't like thinking about that damn Chevy. LOL...still upsets me.
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Last edited by XoXSciFiGuy; 11-14-2020 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:34 AM   #10
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Sorry for the late reply, and thank you for all the suggestions everybody. I will be using some of your ideas!

I don't believe I'm losing coolant, so I think the head gasket is fine. I do need to fix the shifter boot, and check the inside of the exhaust pipe when it's cold.
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