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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I swapped engines from a 2011 LUJ to a 2015 LUV due to a cracked piston.
The new engine likes to burn oil until it gets to the bottom of the dipstick and then seems to be OK.
If I add oil to bring it back up to the normal range, It will just burn it until it is back down again.
It will have trouble starting sometimes taking 4 tries until it will stay started smoking all the while.
If I come to a hard stop or turn, it will misfires and smoke on re-acceleration.
Keeping the revs low seems to help. If traveling for while in 6th and drop it to 3rd to get on it, it will stumble and belch out a smoke screen. If I do that again right away, it is fine.
After the oil level gets low enough, everything is OK except for some stumbling at startup after sitting but the original engine also did that.
I checked and still have the PCV nipple in the intake and the PCV diaphragm seems to be OK.

When I first filled it after the swap, it took the expected ~4.5quarts.

Compression test - 197,206,205,210

Any ideas.
 

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Compression numbers are within acceptable range of each other. Very strange.

Did you, by chance, see if there's a different oil dipstick between the two? That changed between engine years on my old car; wonder if it could be the same for these as well. Oil fill spec itself from a pan drain and filter change is 4.25 qts (4 will usually do it in my experience).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Compression numbers are within acceptable range of each other. Very strange.

Did you, by chance, see if there's a different oil dipstick between the two? That changed between engine years on my old car; wonder if it could be the same for these as well. Oil fill spec itself from a pan drain and filter change is 4.25 qts (4 will usually do it in my experience).
I do not know if the dipsticks are different but the pan and valve cover look the same. I have heard there is a 2nd gen head but do not know the differences between the 2. The engine was more drained than what an oil change can do - it was empty - including the oil filter mount and attached heat exchanger. I poured in one of those Mobil-1 5 quart jugs and had what looked to be a little over a half quart left. I do not get it.

Also there is a small leak coming from the crank pulley so it is slowly making a "line" of oil on everything as it is flung out by centrifugal force. The alternator has a good amount and the belt is getting some which can't be good. I would not think the seal would be bad yet but I do not know if that is common on this engine. I could put the 5 rib pulley/damper back on and get a 5 rib belt and hope ribs line up and the leak stops.
This new engine has about 1000 miles on it so far.
 

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Shouldn't be burning oil at all unless you're significantly overfilled, and then you're looking at a host of other more serious problems. Something's gotta give. Who installed the engine?
 

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Also there is a small leak coming from the crank pulley so it is slowly making a "line" of oil on everything as it is flung out by centrifugal force. The alternator has a good amount and the belt is getting some which can't be good. I would not think the seal would be bad yet but I do not know if that is common on this engine. I could put the 5 rib pulley/damper back on and get a 5 rib belt and hope ribs line up and the leak stops. This new engine has about 1000 miles on it so far.
That sucks!
I want to say your leaking at the oil pump, its attached to that crank pully.
Im leaking their too but its a pinhole leak, maybe an oz every 5000 miles. My reason is i didn't seal the oil pan well enough so its leaking a bit by the oil bypass return.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is it getting into the intake? Or its just losing oil not burning oil.
It is definitely burning it. It stumbles, backfire, and I get clouds behind me. I noticed this morning that if it starts to stumble and back fire and I let off of the gas, it does not smoke. If I stay on the gas, it will smoke.

I changed the oil yesterday and it was down to the bottom of the dipstick lower cross-hatched area. I measured what I drained out and it was around 2.5 quarts including whatever drained from the filter. The problems go away when it is around the very bottom of the dipstick which I would guess is around 2 quarts. That cannot be right.:huh:
When re-filled, I put 4 quarts, ran the engine for 30 sec, and let it sit for 4 minutes. The oil measured to the bottom of the top cross-hatched area.

I connected my boost gauge to the crankcase and at idle, it is around 13 inches. On the freeway, it is still over 10 inches. Under boost, it never goes into positive pressure so I do not think it is excessive blow-by or a PCV issue.
I test drove it after the oil change and it drove OK but when I went to drive it 30min later, the problems returned.

Latest cold compression numbers are 206, 217, 220, 211 which is up from when the engine was first installed.
I was going to swap the valve cover with the old one but had to go to the hospital yesterday. My mother and her fiancée were 2 of the 3 pedestrians hit by some drunk @sshole in front of Shinola in Downtown Detroit.:cussing:

This weekend I will pull the intake to see if it has oil in it. If it does, that would explain why hard braking or down shifting after a long cruise is causing smoking. The oil could be pooling and then dumping down the ports when there is a deceleration or high-flow situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Shouldn't be burning oil at all unless you're significantly overfilled, and then you're looking at a host of other more serious problems. Something's gotta give. Who installed the engine?
I installed it. Not my first car to do an engine swap on BTW.
 

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Given all the info its sounds like a severely blown turbo. LUV and LUJ are identical. Things only change for the 2nd gen cruze LE2 engine.

I just put 5 quarts into my engine and drove for an hour. I had to take a full quart out before it registers on the dip stick. So 4 quarts seams to hitting that top crosshatch on the dipstick.
No smoking, nothing odd, it seams to handle alot of overfill.

Get this engine used? How many miles?
My first turbo didnt really have much play, and it even made full boost. But it smoked like you described, even with pulling 2.5 quarts on an oil change, reduced smoking on low oil. Tho I had a PCV issue that caused my turbo failure. Doesn't sound like yours is failed. But what could have killed the turbo...

I have no way of testing for turbo seal failure. The engine burns away the evidence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Given all the info its sounds like a severely blown turbo. LUV and LUJ are identical. Things only change for the 2nd gen cruze LE2 engine.

I just put 5 quarts into my engine and drove for an hour. I had to take a full quart out before it registers on the dip stick. So 4 quarts seams to hitting that top crosshatch on the dipstick.
No smoking, nothing odd, it seams to handle alot of overfill.

Get this engine used? How many miles?
My first turbo didnt really have much play, and it even made full boost. But it smoked like you described, even with pulling 2.5 quarts on an oil change, reduced smoking on low oil. Tho I had a PCV issue that caused my turbo failure. Doesn't sound like yours is failed. But what could have killed the turbo...

I have no way of testing for turbo seal failure. The engine burns away the evidence.

Would a blown turbo seal cause a misfire?
Wouldn't it smoke whenever it is under boost?
It would really suck if the seal happened to fail at the same time the piston cracked.
The engine was an assembly line extra. so effectively 0 miles. I re-used my original turbo which has 43K miles on it.
 

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At least some of the symptoms indicate a bad PCV valve. I know you said you checked it and it seemed to be ok but a cheap way to ruled it out is to simply replace it. They are cheap enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
At least some of the symptoms indicate a bad PCV valve. I know you said you checked it and it seemed to be ok but a cheap way to ruled it out is to simply replace it. They are cheap enough.
I will try my old one to see if there is any difference.
 

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Valve cover PCV diaphragm regulates crank case vacuum pressure to -0.5 psi, where the intake will pull -8 psi which would suck in all the seals! This thing rarely fails.

The PCV valve in question would be the one in the intake manifold.



From your observations tho it sounds like it is in place, but always worth a second look.


Would a blown turbo seal cause a misfire?
No, it hasn't in my
experience

Wouldn't it smoke whenever it is under boost?
Yes, it will smoke alot
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Valve cover PCV diaphragm regulates crank case vacuum pressure to -0.5 psi, where the intake will pull -8 psi which would suck in all the seals! This thing rarely fails.

The PCV valve in question would be the one in the intake manifold.



From your observations tho it sounds like it is in place, but always worth a second look.


Would a blown turbo seal cause a misfire?
No, it hasn't in my
experience

Wouldn't it smoke whenever it is under boost?
Yes, it will smoke alot
The nipple is still in place.

It smokes less if I drive it hard which makes me think it is not the turbo.
 

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This is a tough one...
places it can leak oil;
Pistons rings (low compression)
Valve guide seals (Oil stains in the runners)
Turbo (leaks oil under boost turbine side)*When my 2 stock turbos failed it was an event where it went from fine to full smoke screen.
HeadGasket (Rare: stock uses a multi-composite high temp metal gasket, only time it fails is if you loose coolant and run for awhile)
And it wouldn't be the PCV in your specific case thats been checked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I would expect a bad head gasket to also show up as low compression.
The only thing I could think that it would be is the valve guides. That would explain the hard starting.
How they would go bad so soon is a mystery.
I was also thinking maybe the turbo compressor side but that should cause oil to pool in the inter-cooler and piping. They are not dripping oil like when the piston failed on the previous engine.
 

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I would expect a bad head gasket to also show up as low compression.
The only thing I could think that it would be is the valve guides. That would explain the hard starting.
How they would go bad so soon is a mystery.
I was also thinking maybe the turbo compressor side but that should cause oil to pool in the inter-cooler and piping. They are not dripping oil like when the piston failed on the previous engine.
Is there a giant blue poof when starting after sitting for some time? Pretty much a tell-tale sign of valve seal wear on an OHC engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Is there a giant blue poof when starting after sitting for some time? Pretty much a tell-tale sign of valve seal wear on an OHC engine.
Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
On Saturday, it was blowing a small but constant amount while idling at a light after getting off of the freeway. No misfires like when at startup.
I may use an inspection camera in the intake ports to see.
I may also point my dash-cam backwards to get some video of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well I found out the path of the oil consumption. It is being sucked in through the PCV system. If I pull off the corrugated tube that goes from the PCV port on the manifold (that leads to the turbo inlet) and put a breather on, the engine stops burning oil. That also stops the crankcase from being under a vacuum which causes the front main seal to leak. I tried replacing the dampener and seal but it appears to be designed with an outwards facing flap that seals better under vacuum. Next, I will replace the seal with a standard spring-loaded one that does not need vacuum to seal.
The PCV nipple decided to go AWOL a couple weeks ago. A sudden whistling/squealing under boost was my sign.
I blocked off the hole where the nipple was with plastic epoxy. Intake was not removed, just sprayed some carb and brake cleaner while engine was running, shut off, swabbed with some clean q-tips, and applied the epoxy with clean q-tips. 2 coats took about 20 min.
I connected a catch-can to the manifold port and the tube that went to the turbo then tapped off of an existing line for vacuum and used a low cracking point check valve.
This was all put together with parts I already had lying around.
Now to find out how/why so much oil is making past the oil separator in the valve cover.
 
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