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[T3] too much oil -vs- gas in oil

<x-flowed>OK, here's my question--

My daughter has let me take over her 1970 Sq FI stock as a project car, and I'm having a great time learning lots about FI, etc.

Started out running like a dog at 11 mpg. First discovered and fixed #3 cyl. broken injector wire, then replaced fuel rail, checked all injectors (replaced one at #3 cyl. due to cracked yellow cap at injector tip), found that all jets sprayed well, and fuel pressure was within spec. at 30 psi. Replaced rotor, condenser, points, plugs, spark plug wires, and several sensors (they tested OK, but were cheap) with new parts. Changed oil, replaced sump screen.

Still ran poorly, then checked compression one tank after new plugs (all cylinders within 110-120 psi, so OK), only to discover that plugs 2 & 3 were black with carbon--AHA!!--suddenly, the problem was revealed. Trigger points for FI not firing on one set of points. Cleaned them...much improved, but back to rough quickly, so replaced the trigger point unit entirely for $80, and I'm now getting 23 mpg, smooth running with POWER and speed! GREAT.

Now for my question (sorry to be so long winded):

My daughter has now provided paperwork which shows the following-
T3 was purchased in Idaho by my daughter with about "70,000 miles" (don't know if 170 or 270,000, etc.) in summer 2004, and has run poorly with all of above since she bought it.
Prior owner purchased it at "35,000" miles in about 1999 in San Jose, CA, just after a "lower end rebuild", and then put $5000 into a rebuild of cylinder heads, rings, valves, etc., paint job, and other stuff. Prior owner had regular maint. done regularly for a number of years, but may have given up once the FI problem developed (I speculate) and sold the car to my daughter.

I had always advised my daughter to "check the oil" but she always reported it was fine...but now my experience reveals that after two oil changes, with exactly 2500cc (measured) of 10W-40 the first time, and now Castrol GTX 20W-50 the second time 3 weeks later (got a bit nervous...no oil light problems until installed VDO dual output sender, which I understand is set at about 11 psi on its light lead, but the fuel pressure looked low at 5-10 psi at idle on the new meter, so upped to the Castrol, with improvement...less flicker and mostly ~>10 psi at idle), the KICKER is that the oil level is always too high, even after that last oil change. That time, I drained it while warm, then disconnected coil, cranked engine several times over the next hour to try to empty the other "chambers" or tubes, then let it sit draining overnight. Next AM, cranked again for good measure, then refilled with 1200 cc times two (2400cc total, measured) and confirmed oil at proper level between the "marks".

Then drove it only to discover again that after about 10 miles or so, oil was way above the marks! The other consistent finding is leakage at every stop (when I shut down engine and leave it) of a puddle of oil, perhaps 10-20 ccs. (I plan to actually measure next) beneath the head gasket area on the cyl. 3 & 4 side...I have replaced gaskets on both sides and checked valve lash (minor adjustments needed, but not bad).

Cyl. 1 & 2 side valve cover, when removed, dumped a fair amount of oil (100cc?), and inside there was mild to moderate evidence of varnishing, if I am using the term properly, that is areas of baked on film of dried oil in places, about 30% of the inside of the cover. Cyl. 3 & 4 side valve cover, when removed, dripped no oil (I realize now that it has been emptying regularly on its own), and had no varnishing, and the inside of the cover looked cleaner).

I'm getting 23 mpg now, and cannot believe that I am dumping gas into the oil in 10 miles or so at a rate sufficient to raise the oil level this much, especially since the valve cover is "venting" oil on a regular basis. In addition, there is no real smell of gas in the oil I've removed at oil change (my nose is not the best, but nothing I can sense). I know that it is possible to "overfill" at oil change, but I think I've done what I can to prevent this.

My next idea is to use a hand vacuum pump, like the MityVac I bought to confirm that the vacuum advance and air pressure sensors were working, and plan to use to bleed the brakes soon, to remove a volume of oil sufficient to drop the level to between the marks, then watch it again closely to see if it climbs again, and how swiftly.

I'd assumed that oil leaks are to be expected and not an issue unless the oil level drops or the oil thins. Is there a simple test to confirm the presence of gasoline in the oil, if that is the problem, or is an oil analysis necessary? Is the difference in the appearance of the valve cover interiors significant of anything I should worry about?

Betty is running great, and I'm really lovin' playing/learning/planning/dreaming. The wiper delay unit I ordered should be arriving from Velleman tomorrow, so will keep you posted about how that is going, and hopefully make up some diagrams if successful. I'm also exploring installing Rostra electronic cruise control soon, but one thing at a time.

Thanx in advance for your thoughts.

-- Will McCreight whmcc@attglobal.net Portland, OR (208) 661-6262 cell

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