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dont eat the blue snow

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Detroitdan, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    so my Blazers sitting in the snow idling, I walk behind it and notice bright blue spatter in the fresh snow, coming right out of the exhaust. Not unusual to see a lot of moisture spitting out when it's cold, but blue? All I can think is I've got a head gasket going, and somehow the coolant burning through the motor is changing the dye somehow...doesn't make sense at all. I did just fill the washer fluid tank the night before, but I wasn't parked there, and I certainly didn't add it to the motor. I'm baffled. Call my buddy, he calls a GM tech, who says maybe oil? Nope, not blue smoke, that would make dirty snow, not bright blue like washer fluid. So he says to let it run with a bucket under the tailpipe, then take it to the lab, only thing he can think of. Not going to bother with that. I do seem to remember that on my way home from Walmart (where I added the washer fluid) it seemed like it was blowing more steam than usual out of the exhaust, but it was cold so I didnt worry much. Did help me to think maybe head gasket though.

    So later in the day we're in the shop working on the plow, I notice the washer tank is bone dry. Can't see or feel any holes or cracks in the reservoir, it's even dry underneath. Where did it go? I didn't use the washer fluid. It had to have leaked, right? Tank is fine. I half-heartedly trace the hose to where it goes behind some other hoses before going to the cowl. Tug on it, and it is connected where it belongs. Few minutes later, buddy is talking about it again and jokingly says, hey your washer fluid tube is connected right to the exhaust. He was joking, but I thought he was serious so I went and looked to see what he was talking about. Wow. Where it was hidden behind the other hoses and vacuum lines, I found a tee (a TEE!!) IN the washer fluid hose, connected to manifold vacuum. Holy crap, I solved the mystery of the missing washer fluid and the blue snow! All I can think is somebody was working with the big tangle of vacuum lines and got confused. I doubt anyone would intentionally want to suck fluid into their engine. I mean, I have seen water-meth injection for diesels, but this is a tbi 350. I have seen hydrogen injection using washer fluid pumps too, but why on earth would this truck be set up like this?? I suppose it could have been done intentionally, but who knows. Fortunately it seems to have been drawn through gradually enough that it got vaporized and didn't harm anything. Nothing in the oil.

    Anyway, seemed like a funny story, so I though I'd share.
  2. Jacobsmovinsnow

    Jacobsmovinsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    did you have it serviced somewhere. Thats a very interesting, funny story. Glad to here you diagnosed it yourself.
  3. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,149

    I would change the oil, if you were sucking washer fluid into the engine the oil may contaminated.
  4. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,968

    Did you notice any performance gains. You may be onto something:)
  5. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    actually, hydrogen will give you a little bit of a performance gain. I used to have a C10 with an LT1 in it, the header pipes interfered with the shift linkage, couldnt go into low 1 or 2, but drive worked fine. However, when it rained, the truck would always jump into neutral. Couldn't figure out why it only did it when it rained, until an old-timer explained the advantage of atomized hydrogen making the air intake charge denser and making for a slightly more powerful combustion burn. So the engine was able to twist a tiny bit arther in it's mounts, thereby nicking the shift linkage that extra 1/4 inch.

    I checked the oil carefully, both when cold and hot, I dont see or smell anything, still looks new. I probably will end up changing it anyway. Only was sucking it when it was running, so it must have been all turning to steam and going out the pipe. Hopefully if a little got past the rings it just cleaned up some carbon.

    I have been noticing a slightly high idle, and I figured I had a vacuum leak somewhere. Just didn't think it was sucking air in from the empty washer reservoir, and from the two jets on the windshield cowl. Maybe that was the idea, sort of a ram-air intake thru the washer nozzles
  6. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    One of my subs had a "TOY" truck not that long ago. It was a 97 reg cab short box chevy/gmc with a vortec 350 and super charger and all kinds of other go fast mods. One of the last things he did before he sold the truck was to install a wet-meth kit (i think thats what he called it). It injects a fluid mixture directly over the throttle body. The products used were washer fluid and gas line heat. I believe it has something to do with cooling the incoming fuel as it enters the combustion chamber. Any way, maybe your truck has been hopped up in the past, who knows??
  7. larboc

    larboc Member
    Messages: 86

    Atomized hydrogen when it rained huh?
    Disappointing, I sure wish we were doing a better job educating our youth.
  8. larboc

    larboc Member
    Messages: 86

    That's exactly it. Certain kinds of washer fluid contain a good deal of methanol along with some water. When boosting an port injected engine, especially if you aren't intercooling it, you get higher in cylinder temperatures and pressures which makes the engine more prone to knock/detonation. The high heat of vaporization of water and methanol lowers temps when injected, reducing knock/detonation and cooling incoming air charge which will further increase volumetric efficiency. The methanol also gives you more power as it burns without the need for as much air as gas. (IIRC methanol has a stoic AFR of 6.4:1 vs 14.7:1 for E0 gasoline).

    Pretty good setup for a boosted spark ignited engine.
  9. linycctitan

    linycctitan Senior Member
    Messages: 588

    :laughing: I almost fell off my chair from that line!!! Anybody know how to add this quote to my sig?
  10. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    you know, the smaller the tube the higher the velocity of the fluid or air passing through it. So a tiny little tube like a washer nozzle should have some crazy velocity;>
    Actually, what I had was a vacuum leak, sucking air out of my empty washer fluid reservoir.

    You know I was kidding, right?
  11. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    What do you mean?
  12. chevboy167

    chevboy167 Member
    Messages: 96

    HA! this misshap sounds like something the rice burners should try out! see how thoose 10-20$K motors like it!
  13. linycctitan

    linycctitan Senior Member
    Messages: 588

    Yeah, I knew that line was a joke, but damn funny!!:drinkup:
  14. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    I had an old dodge with this done to it. The guy would fill the washer res with coolant so when people were tailgating him he could "smoke them out" by hitting was washers. IT would pump coolant straight into the hot manifolds. It actually worked haha.
  15. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    once had a company truck with the nozzles bent forward to hose unsuspecting pedestrians