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Old 12-01-2008, 09:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Blowing White Smoke at Cold Start

I upgraded my 2005 FLHTI. My buddy and I installed new cams (Andrews 21G), 95ci pistons (Screaming Eagle & Screaming Eagle gaskets), and a power commander (downloaded close map to match my set up). Had the cylinders bored to match the pistons and the heads cleaned and new seals installed. Everything else was left stock. All was good for the first 500 miles. Now Iím getting white smoke coming out of the exhaust at cold start-up. It last for a about 30 seconds and then goes away. Too much smoke to be condensation. Everything else is okay, no funny smells, bad noise, or bad throttle response. Does anybody have any idea? Maybe bad valve stem seals on the heads?
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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White smoke from condensation occurs at startup on a cold morning, and is most pronounced at idle, until the engine heats up enough for it to go away.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well since you're not water cooled - rules out a blown head gasket, and it doesn't smell - sounds like good ole condensation to me.
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ya think oil entering the cylinder from a valve guide seal leak on an intake valve
might mix with incoming gasoline well enough to burn so clean it didn't smell
much or look like oil smoke?

Maybe after the valves get hot, the leak would stop?

If that was true, you could probably tell it soon, by oil consumption, and ash on your plug tips.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I vote valve seals

05's were noted for valve seal issues...my .02
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff1200 View Post
05's were noted for valve seal issues...my .02

Agreed.


Check the rear cylinder spark plug for fouling. My buddy had the same issue with his 05 ultra and it fouled out the rear plug but its a piece of cake to get to. He got to the point before he had it fixed that he would change out the rear plug a couple of times on a long ride.

Like Dave said having the upgrade done throws a monkey wrench in the works.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkmann View Post
White smoke from condensation occurs at startup on a cold morning, and is most pronounced at idle, until the engine heats up enough for it to go away.
It was in the mid to high 70's when I started the cold motor. Could it be condensation at these temps? I'm still thinking valve oil seal issue.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathang View Post
If that was true, you could probably tell it soon, by oil consumption, and ash on your plug tips.
Thanks! I only have about 60 miles on her since I noticed. I'll keep an eye on the oil and I'll check the plugs in a few.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What color were the valve guide seals you put in? PN #18094-02 (all black) are known to have a leak issue. These were superceeded by PN 18094-02A (black with orange top) which are supposed to cure the leak.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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It's possible.... definitely possible, Nathan. Usually worn valve giudes do this, although I'd find it hard to believe that his seals are shot in 3 years. (Not saying it's not possible, though.) Also, according to his words, they went bad in 500 miles, right after the upgrade. Too coincidental, to me.
I had the heads cleaned and new seals installed with the other upgrades. I had an old timer wrench do it. I would put money on it that it was a defected valve seal (because I had him install the seals with the noted issues) before it was poor work of my wrench.
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In this case, it appears to have started AFTER the upgrade. (500 miles after) It makes me wonder about ring-gap, and if there's a cylinder that's not sealing, or leaking down. I'd suggest a compression test of both cylinders, dry and wet methods.
We measured twice and cut once before we installed the rings on the pistons. We had two eyes on the gap of the rings. Hopefully this is not the issue. I'll look into the compression test. I assume it would let me know if I has a cylinder not sealing?
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Originally Posted by Dave63 View Post
FYI.....smoke at start up can also be caused by an overly soaked airfilter element, that's draining oil vapors overnight, (bike leans to the left) into the air intake. If you've done little to anything to vent off some of the blow-by that you get on these engines at higher speeds, this is a distinct issue. Enlarging the return holes next to the heads and venting the oil vapors somewhere OTHER then into the intake can avoid it as well.
I just cleaned my air filter before I put one mile on the upgrade. Ran fine for 500 miles. I don't think this is the issue but I'll take a look at it. Hopefully I'm not blowing excessive oil in the air box.
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