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  1. #1

    Default 92 4.3 Whit Smoke

    Just bought a 92 1500 with a 4.3 and it has white smoke on start up. I have been searching around and have read that it could be a head gasket. Im ineed of some advise... I'm states away rigt now and only have 5 days to fix this before I have to take a 1,800 mile road trip. what should I do to fix this? Buy new heads or just gaskets? how likely is It to be a cracked head? thanks All

  2. #2


    Welcome to the club. Could be valve guide seals.

    2005 Chevy Silverado Z71 Crew Cab
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  3. #3


    Usualy you get white smoke because its burning coolant. It very well could be a head gasket and over the time its sitting its allowing coolant to leak into the cylinder and so when it starts up its burning off all the coolant. Does it seem like your coolant is low or you have to keep adding some? Start with checking your coolant level but as for replacing the head gasket(s) its hard to tell what one is bad so your probably better off just replacing both of them. I doubt that the heads are cracked. It could easly be a head gasket which I think the 4.3s are somewhat known to have ones that go bad and cause it to burn a little coolant. My 4.3 does but not really bad its not noticable and I only have to top it off every month or so.

    Also does it smell like its burning oil? Like silverado said it could also be valve guide seals which arnt as hard as you think they are to replace. I would verify that its either oil or not. If it smells like its burining oil valve guide seals. If not probably coolant. But if you take your heads off you might as well put new valve guide seals in it anyways as there not very expencive and you can rent all the special tools you need at an autozone.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Crispyt; 07-01-2011 at 09:43 PM.
    1995 C1500 4.3L 2WD. JET TBI Spacer, JET stage 1 chip, 10mm Taylor custom wires, Pulstar Iridium Pulse Plugs.
    260k miles and still going strong...

  4. #4


    Well I thought It would be coolant aswell. Issue is Im miles away from it and a great road trip back to home when I get it. so If it is uncomon to have heard of crack heads on these 4.3s then I can count on head gaskets being the problem.

    Next question is do 1992 heads have pressed or screw type rockers?
    Last edited by WorkTruck 4.3; 07-02-2011 at 08:14 AM.

  5. #5


    Anyone??? Any advise is welcome

  6. #6


    I would do a cylinder leakage test before I pull a head and make sure that is the problem and if so which head has a leaky gasket, I tend to agree with
    silveradotrailblazer on the vlave guide or even more common ore valve stem seals. leaky cylinder heads tend to leak and continue to smoke even after startup, the exhaust should have a sweet smell if it is anti freeze.

  7. #7


    Ok Bigg Ron that sounds like a plan. If I have to remove the heads and replace them how long should it take? 4-6 hours is what Im thinking IDK
    WorkTruck In Progress:whip:

  8. #8


    If you do the head gaskets, I would recommend having them checked for warppage at a machine shop, if the have any warppage they can resurface them, also would recommend new head bolts. But try the cylinder leak down test first, if you dont understand how to do this just ask. I dont think you can do it in 6 hours but you never know. I would like to see the chiltons time on that.

  9. #9


    Well I thought a 92 4.3 would be pretty simple/ not so complex. All I want Is to not to have worries or break down on the 1800+ trip back with the truck. if I did the heads what gasket would I be lookin to replace? intake, heads, throttle body? thats what I can put together in my mind
    WorkTruck In Progress:whip:

  10. #10


    I wish you the best of luck, but buying an unknown 20 year old truck and taking a 1800 mile road trip 5 days later might not be wise. I would drive it as much as possible in the next few days and watch the oil and coolant closely. You might be able to do both heads in six hours if you are well setup.

    You'll need head gaskets, intake & exhaust gaskets, and thermostat, dist, etc. You can get a head gasket set with everything you need and more.
    When you hear hoofbeats, look for horses not zebras.

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