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Discussion Starter #1
My 1989 Bentley Turbo R (~120k miles) tends to create a little puff of blue smoke upon cold start-up, followed by a significant tail of condensation or steam that persists until the vehicle reaches normal operating temperature. A lot of cars produce condensation when it’s cold out but this car produces it almost irrespective of the weather, it smells a bit of gasoline, and the initial puff (only first turn-over of the engine) is certainly smoke.

28501

No warning lights, no problems once the vehicle warms up, has never overheated under my
Operation...but I am concerned this is evidence suggesting a leaking head or something else requiring immediate attention.

Any suggestions?
 

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Does the exhaust smell of petrol? There are several tests for head gasket issues. Headgasket failure will usually exhibit many of the following: Adding coolant, bubbles and exhaust smell in the overflow tank, a very rigid top radiator hose (indicates higher than normal pressure), whitish smoke from the exhaust almost continually.
There is a certain amount of condensation within the exhaust especially with motorcars not driven regularly, but for a period of time thereby heating the exhaust enough to burn off internal condensation when the motor is switched off.

However the the Turbo's will attract a heavy foot, and have a documented history of head-gasket failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Exhaust smells of petrol a bit yes.
Haven't checked for those other symptoms.
I really only run the car like once a week so the condensation isn’t as much of a concern as the puff of bluish smoke on startup.
 

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Puff of bluish smoke on start-up might indicate leaking valve seals. Another test to help confirm same would be to attach a camera to view the exhaust output (or have another driver follow you) and find a long downhill slope followed by a steep incline, cruise downhill then give it plenty of throttle when you reach the incline, a puff of blue smoke on uphill acceleration would possibly indicate valve seal leak. It wouldn't be an immediate terminal problem but it would cause more than normal oil consumption and a build-up of carbon in the cylinders which could lead to more serious issues later on if not rectified.
 

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correction, I should have said "valve stem seals". There are many youtube videos that describe the symptoms of valve stem seal failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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Clean your flame trap , but if it's not using coolant stop worrying, , later cars had more head gasket problems.
Mike
 

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A simple test is to put a cooling system pressuriser on the cooling system up to cap pressure and see if it holds and if pressure does not rise during engine operation your head gaskets are good.
 

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Yep. flame trap would be the most obvious place to start, I'd overlooked that, haven't cleaned mine for a couple of years, that's now been added to my list of service items to attend to.
 

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Flame trap is a very important classic maintenance.
When the filter is too dirty, rust or dammaged, it should be replaced with seals.
Many people do it too late, it could even be dangerous.

On turbo cars, the replacement is scheduled on official maintenance.
 

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I posted the following some years back:
Flame Trap on Oil Filler - The Need to Clean It

The later SZs went to a slightly different "steel-woolish" flame trap based on what's shown in TSD4700, so I imagine it's disposable. If anyone happens to have that part, I'd be curious to see what it actually looks like. From the diagram I'd suspect that the "torching method" would not be applicable, that's for sure.
 
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