SaabCentral Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Saabs on the road in Southern California are becoming increasingly rare—I’m hoping for some help to avoid adding to the casualty list.
Car: 2001 9-5 base model 2.3, just shy of 200K miles.
Problem: smoking from the exhaust, smells like oil
Background: turbo blew apart, LOTS of oil dumped into exhaust. Replaced turbo and, while I was at it, new rings, valve seals, head gasket, miscellaneous parts. Cleaned all the oil out of the intercooler (and there was a lot).
Good news: car started right back up, and runs pretty well.
Bad news: it will not stop smoking (although much better than it was at first, not surprisingly).
For months now, I have been convinced that the oil in the exhaust was simply taking a LONG time to burn off. I drove it for hundreds of miles with no improvement. So I took the exhaust system off, from the cat back; no visible oil, so I concluded that no new oil was entering the exhaust, but there was still oil hiding in the mufflers. I successfully drained out some oil by upending the exhaust, then ran degreaser through it, then actually was able to stick a powerwasher nozzle into each end. (I figured worst that would happen if I damaged something I’d just bite the bullet and get a new muffler.) Upended again, stuck the blow side of the shopvac on it, and let it drain a long time. Fair amount of crud oozed out. I actually did this twice, having put the exhaust back on with no visible improvement, and the second time swished gas around inside. (Probably not the smartest thing to do, but I was careful and made sure to get rid of all fumes.) This time water flushed through came out very clean, so I was convinced I solved the problem. Put the exhaust back on. Again, no visible improvement after another couple hundred miles.
I really do not think it’s oil in the muffler anymore. I did a compression test: 150-155 in all four cylinders. Spark plugs looked pretty clean—no sign of oil. No smoke at startup. That’s one reason why I assumed oil in muffler—had to get hot before it started burning off. But after some experimentation, the smoke appears to happen only when the boost hits the yellow zone of the gauge.
Any ideas or suggestions gratefully accepted. I have smog inspection due and I would hate to have to give up my Saab. Thanks for any help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response. I get conflicting information on acceptable compression results. I also have heard that 180 is where I want to be, but I also have heard that consistency between cylinders is more important. I did check with a local Saab specialist on my readings and he said they were good. I would be interested to hear what readings others get. But as you say, it's probably not the cause of my problem, especially since my plugs look clean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
Did you checked the non return valve connecting the valve cover to the throttle valve?
Also check that both valves in the PCV kit, which is hopefully already installed, are working fine.
Had the same problem except that the engine produced oil smoke it blew out the oil directly. One valve on the PCV kit was not working anymore/remained closed in both directions and therefore the crankcase was pumped up as the blowby could not exit the crankcase as soon as the white valve closed when switching to yellow boost pressure level.
https://www.esaabparts.com/saab/parts/55554444
https://www.esaabparts.com/saab/parts/9399973
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the suggestions. I did the PCV retrofit some years ago, and just now tested all three check valves--all blow one direction only (and are oriented correctly). I was really wishing it was going to be that easy . . .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
"new rings" = new piston rings?
100% sure they are all mounted in the right direction? exchanging the direction might lead to higher oil consumption as the piston ring could act as pump and delivers oil to the combustion chamber. But as your spark plugs are clean...
Might be helpful to check the turbocharger shaft play although it is new. in axial direction there should be no play.

Maybe remove the downpipe and check the color of the turbine wheel, if it is oily or black.
Or maybe just for testing purposes: remove the connector on the valve cover and let it breath to ambient just to be sure that this is not the source of the oil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yes, new piston rings. And I was careful about staggering the ring gaps and orienting them correctly.
Disconnected turbo from exhaust side just to make sure that there was no oil leaking directly into exhaust, and there was not. But that made me think: I cleaned the exhaust real well from the cat back, but maybe there's still oil in the cats that is continuing to burn? Although I don't know why it wouldn't be burning all the time once it got hot.
I'll try removing the valve connector next once I get things connected back up. But I am wondering whether I should try cleaning the cat since I have one side disconnected already.
Thanks again for your suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
1.
most probably cleaning of the catalyst will not help, catalyst should be the hottest part and should get rid of the oil very fast.

2.
turbo shaft is free of noticable play?
3.
Just for testing when the big tube from the valve cover is off: disconnect the tube from the middle connector and close it with your finger. When you blow into the tube from valve cover you should here bubbles in the oil pan and air should come from valve cover. When you close the valve cover with your finger and get it off the before closed tube air should escape by this tube. This test I used to find the defect valve, but your ones should be ok, but give it a try.

4.
As the old turbo was blown: did you checked for anything in the return tube for turbo oil? In the short metall connnector (https://www.esaabparts.com/viewparts.php?searchpart=1&section=311045036 #23A) I found the piston ring of the turbo. But I think there should be no further material available which could block the entire tube, but I do not know to which level the turbocharger disintegrated?
5.
Does the oil smoke immediatly start when you hit the yellow zone? Could be either pressure related which I assume should be fast or temperature/load related which might be a little bit slower. But I can not tell you if the difference is 1s or 5s.

6.
Small tubes on the trottle body 100% correct connection? The one below the water tubes should be connected to the valve from valve cover, the other one to the electric valve which controlls the pneumatic bypass valve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Good point on #1.
#2: yes, turbo shaft seems sound, and no sign of oil leaking.
#3 and 6: will check when I get back to the project tomorrow.
#4: Turbo did completely blow apart. Found pieces everywhere, but I think I got them all. I ended up replacing that hose to the oil pan, and I dropped the pan and cleaned everything when I did the piston rings, so I should be good on that.
#5: This is a hard one to answer. When I am at speed on the highway, I cannot see the smoke. So on my last long trip out, I first drove very conservatively (gradual acceleration), then pulled off and checked: no smoke. Back on the highway, now pushing it hard up hills, pulled off again, and there's a fair amount of smoke now coming out. Maybe next time I'll get someone to follow me and I can be more precise.
I'll post back after checking out #3 and 6. Again, thanks for your valuable suggestions and interest in helping me try to figure this out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Years ago we blew a turbo on our 1985 900 turbo.

The cat got full of oil and it took lots of driving to stop the smoking. You had to get the cat up to temperature and just let it burn off. After a few days of running the smoke went away.

I think it was 3 to 4 days. of running.

That would be the first thing I would try. Drive it for while before tearing anything apart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,889 Posts
When my son dumped a lot of oil in the 99 LPT exhaust when his turbo blew it took about an hours of driving "hard" at highway speeds to get rid of the oil. But it wasn't months, it was a couple of hours. It sounds like you've done that, although as redaero-wagon says make sure that you get the cat good and hot, otherwise it won't work.

If that's not the issue there are only a couple of things that can cause this:

  • oil in the intake coming from either the PCV or the turbo on the intake side
  • oil coming from the valve train down the valves and into the cylinders
  • a blown head gasket allowing oil (or coolant that could be the smoke as well) to get into the combustion chamber

how much oil is it using per hundred or thousand miles?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks to both. The only thing I can be sure of is that I have driven it a LOT (hundreds and hundreds of miles, maybe a couple thousand by now, over a few months, mostly long highway trips at speed) to burn out the oil, then did all the exhaust cleaning as mentioned in my original post. It certainly has gotten a lot better since the initial startup after the turbo install, but still getting smoke after a hard push.

I literally just finished with a block test, and the fluid stayed blue, so I think it's not coolant-related.

At this point my registration is about to expire, so I'll take a shot at the smog inspection and see what happens. Since it doesn't smoke at first maybe I'll luck out. Although I'm getting a "cat not ready" on my OBDii . . . No codes though.

Thanks again to everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
489 Posts
You probably won't have any issues with a smog test if you're not getting any codes. Fix the cat monitor by giving the car a long drive before the test.

If you had a real problem with oil burning I'd expect you to see it show up on the dipstick after several hundred miles.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top