I recently pulled the head gaskets on my '98 RAM 1500’s 360 Magnum and after two weeks of waiting on the machine shop I’ve put everything back in and to torque specs. After a battle with the starter ending in pulling all the shims I painstakingly marked I got it to fire up. But, it is now idling roughly. I burped the coolant system, checked the oil level and removed some as it was slightly overfilled. I also had an exhaust leak so I checked torque specs on the exhaust manifold. All of this helped marginally but when I felt comfortable moving the vehicle I found that in gear with the throttle open it would sputter, idling it moves along just fine. The engine is pulling air weakly through the filter and I noticed it is blowing a little white smoke when given gas. My OBD2 reader doesn’t pull up any codes, I’m at my wits end. Any ideas!?
Blowing white smoke is not good. It sounds like you may have a head/intake gasket leak that is sucking coolant into a cylinder. That should be your first concern. Why did you pull the heads in the first place?
It was fine the first few months after I bought it but in June the oil pressure sensor started dropping, the oil level was low so I decided to change it. When I drained what oil was left in the engine I found it to be milky, classic sign of coolant and oil mixing. When I got into it I found the head gaskets were mostly made of stop leak and the heads had to be re-decked. Also found broken bolts among other issues. I used new gaskets and bolts throughout.
Did you check the heads for cracks? And did you clean the top of the block thoroughly with solvent?
Here are some tips for replacing head gaskets on the 360, hopefully you did them all:
I had actually found that moparts thread at the start of the process and it was certainly helpful. I have a feeling that my issue is on the intake side of things. The intake is pulling quite weakly.
“When I drained what oil was left in the engine I found it
to be milky, classic sign of coolant and oil mixing.”
If the oil pressure was getting low and that’s the reason for the head gasket job.
Why was there so little oil left in the engine upon draining it.
I would think that if you were experiencing lower and lower pressure, you’d be checking the oil level daily. Low oil pressure and then low oil level and you could have spun a bearing.
I think the engine might be toast!!!
You may have lower end damage due to oil starvation.