'94 Montero, White Smoke AFTER Head Gasket Change

First off, this is a great community.

Second, I really could use any advice anyone has out there. I just finished a two month long process of changing a head gasket on my 94 Montero. I haven’t run the car much, few minutes here and there, just testing it out.

My question is how long should white smoke be coming out of my tailpipe? And should I let the car sit and idle for a while to burn it off? Just kind of at a loss. If it isn’t the head gasket, (and all the other gaskets I replaced along the way) way else could cause the white smoke? I read something about a PCV valve. Possibility?

Any help comes with great appreciation…

Thanks Cartalk community.

Did you check the cylinder head for flatness using a precision straight edge and feeler gauge?


If the engine is running well and the oil looks good you need to carefully operate it at a high cruising speed to boil and burn out the coolant that has puddled in the catalytic converter and muffler. If, after a few miles, the smoke(steam) clears and the coolant looks OK, the oil is OK and the gauge indicates all is well then likely all truly is well. If in a few weeks you experience a power loss it may be the catalyst. It often fails soon after repairing a blown head gasket.

How much white smoke (steam) are we talking about and what is the ambient temperature outside?

Well, I went ahead and drove it a couple of blocks to fill the tires and the smoke stopped, but it still runs rough and there is a slight burning smell. Could be timing. Also, I still don’t get a lot of oil pressure on my gauge, and I see a drip so at this point I think it is time to take it to the shop and get this thing running again…