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I have a 2007 dodge ram 1500 4.7L V8 FFV. 136k miles. Oil changes every 3k, spark plugs were done at 135k. New air filter, new PCV valve, throttle body cleaned at 135k also. So i've been noticing my truck running rough so I check the oil and it's 4 quarts low, had just done an oil change 1500 miles prior. So i go ahead and add the oil it needs. After playing close attention for 3 weeks, I notice i'm burning oil (about 1 quart every tank) If I didn't doctor how much oil was in the motor it'd be dry by the time I'm due for an oil change. I was told by a mechanic friend that could be possible PCV valve, I check and it's bad (replaced 135k) Continues to burn oil. I try a quart of lucas oil stabilizer due to rough running and add a heavier weight 10w-20 m1 full synthetic high mileage. Still burning oil. I ask another mechanic about the plenum gasket, told that 1st gen 4.7L don't have them as the intake is a one plastic piece. I also have white smoke coming from my tailpipe after i changed the PCV valve, smells sweet like coolant. I'm mechanically inclined, so shoot me what you think it is. Thanks in advance.
 

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Do you do your own oil changes? I'm curious because this sounds like it began suddenly.

White smoke is an indication that coolant is getting into the combustion chamber. I would want to confirm this with a chemical test for combustion gasses in the coolant or a cylinder leakage test. I would also recommend removing a valve cover and checking for accumulated sludge which could impair oil drain back and cause it to enter the PCV system and get burned in the cylinders. Other possible causes are worn valve guides/seals, oil control rings, or cylinder condition.
 

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Do you do your own oil changes? I'm curious because this sounds like it began suddenly.

White smoke is an indication that coolant is getting into the combustion chamber. I would want to confirm this with a chemical test for combustion gasses in the coolant or a cylinder leakage test. I would also recommend removing a valve cover and checking for accumulated sludge which could impair oil drain back and cause it to enter the PCV system and get burned in the cylinders. Other possible causes are worn valve guides/seals, oil control rings, or cylinder condition.


The first oil change was serviced at a toyota dealership since that's where my mother in law works and it was free. They used conventional 5w-20. I've changed over to mobile1 full synthetic 5w-20. I plan on doing a wet and dry compression test this weekend to see if it's a head gasket. I can check a valve cover also this weekend after doing the compression test. The PCV I removed when I got the truck was extremely worn and would barely rattle. If I have a bad test on the compression test this weekend I'll most likely replace the head gasket(s) that are bad. Hopefully just one. If the valve covers have accumulated sludge because the previous PCV valve was bad, how would you recommend cleaning them? A solvent tank?
 

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If the heads are going to be off, I would have the cleaned by a machine shop with a jet wash, steam or something similar. Keep in mind that a compression test won't be able to locate a potential problem with the oil control rings.
 

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If the heads are going to be off, I would have the cleaned by a machine shop with a jet wash, steam or something similar. Keep in mind that a compression test won't be able to locate a potential problem with the oil control rings.


I figured I'd start with one possibility and troubleshoot until I find the problem. Dry and wet compression test for head gaskets. I'll clean the valve covers (i've heard a lot about sludge build up on these 4.7L) How would i check for bad oil control rings? I'm pretty handy and can do almost anything as long as I have a manual and time.
 

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If the heads are going to be off, I would have the cleaned by a machine shop with a jet wash, steam or something similar. Keep in mind that a compression test won't be able to locate a potential problem with the oil control rings.


I figured I'd start with one possibility and troubleshoot until I find the problem. Dry and wet compression test for head gaskets. I'll clean the valve covers (i've heard a lot about sludge build up on these 4.7L) How would i check for bad oil control rings? I'm pretty handy and can do almost anything as long as I have a manual and time.
 

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The only way to check for a stuck oil control ring is to remove the piston.

I'm just going to be doing a compression test this weekend and taking the valve covers off to clean them and get rid of sludge. How hard is it to remove the pistons to check them for stuck oil control rings?
 

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Alright. Thanks for all the info. This weekend I'll do the valve covers, compression (wet and dry) test. And if its a head gasket I'll replace it, if the compression test comes back positive I'll check the oil control rings. Also, I drove my truck yesterday about 20 minutes and when I got home the radiator cap wasn't even warm. Is that odd? The coolant reservoir is full and has been for awhile, not noticing any loss of coolant. Just the burning oil, white smoke with sweet smell at start up, and the 45mph hesitation but I think that's just an egr valve.
 

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I conducted a compression test (both wet and dry) when I changed the oil this past weekend. I removed all fuel injector connectors from the fuel injectors to disable the fuel system so the motor would not turn over as it was being cranked. I started at 1 and went to 8. Cranked the engine for 5 seconds (1 thousand, 2 thousand, ...) and recorded each reading on each cylinder. The only problem I had on any cylinders was cylinder 3, a dry reading of 60psi and a wet reading of 65psi. There has been a significant loss of coolant, about 3/4-1" from the fill line since I noticed the sweet white smoke about 2 weeks ago. Spring break in March I plan on removing the heads and tearing down the top half of the motor. I plan on replacing both head gaskets, the head if it is cracked, head bolts, timing chain, valve stem seals, lash adjusters, etc. All the items that come in the kit that rockauto and advanced auto parts suggest be changed if tearing the engine down that far. I'll have 9 days so I will document with video and pictures my progress, using cardboard to separate and keep track of bolts, research and a manual for torque specs, bolt patters, etc. I will continue to drive my truck as it is my daily driver and I have no other choice (gotta get to work somehow) It runs fine, shifts going uphill as most 4.7s do, but give it a little gas and it shoots up the hill. Can even increase speed going up hill, just burns my wallet a bit more. The engine does not overheat, no codes besides a "evap emission system" codes P0440 P0447.

The white smoke is only present at cold start up after not having been driven for a day. As it warms up it goes away, which leads me to believe it's a head gasket, as it warms the crack sort of seals itself. Please anyone correct me if I'm wrong as I don't have much experience with replacing heads but am looking to save that $1000+ of labor. I'll look at and take anyone and everyones advice (if it sounds about right)

I changed the oil Satuday 2/14 with M1 full synthetic 5w-30 and a fram oil filter. I checked the oil today and the level is fine, the oil is dark though. Not sure if this is from sludge build up on the valve covers as when I bought the truck the PCV valve was garbage.
 

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What was your outcome? I am having a similar situation with loss of oil. I dont think I have a head issue. I know i am leaking oil from the pan but not 3 qts between oil changes worth thats for sure, so something else is going on. I plan on swapping pans with a extra engine laying around and go from there.

I do see what looks like oil leaking from the driver side exhaust manifold on the front side behind the power steering pump. Its dark and wet could that be a sign of something?
 
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