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So about a month or so ago I was out for a drive and I went for a gear change (2nd to 3rd) and then got a slightly odd engine note and then WAY reduced power, but it was running, I pulled her over and the engine seems good, temps fine, oil pressure good, but just no power. At first I thought clutch, but just doesn't seem to be that, and now it runs a little odd, doesn't idle quite right and little bit of white smoke. There is no water in the oil, or vice versa. I did a compression test on all 8 and turned out very good, a minimum pressure of 150, and a max of 170. But something just isn't right. I wondering if I've blown a head gasket and it's just appearing in an odd form?? That or my only next guess is that I have a leak in the vacuum system somewhere and it's throwing the fuel and ignition timing all out of wack!! I don't know, and am wanting to hear any and all ideas from you all. Thanks - Nick
 

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it runs a little odd, doesn't idle quite right and little bit of white smoke. There is no water in the oil, or vice versa. I did a compression test on all 8 and turned out very good, a minimum pressure of 150, and a max of 170. But something just isn't right.

Is it as if it is misfiring? The white smoke usually indicates water getting into the combustion chamber. That does not necessarily mean headgasket - the key is to determine how water could be getting into the chamber.

Have you checked to see if you have any physical coolant loss?
Is it pure white smoke? or does it have a tinge of blue or black?


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I'm just going to fire off some random questions here....

If your exhaust system is a cross-over type and both cylinder banks are mixed in the muffler, then this question does not apply. But if your exhaust is seperate for left and right banks....is the white smoke coming out of one side or both?

Does the white smoke eventually stop...or does it continue even after the car is completely warmed up?

When you did the compression test, did you notice the appearance of the spark plugs? Was there one or two plugs with a different appearance than the rest?

With the car totally cold....remove the radiator cap, then put it back on. Now start the car and run for only a few minutes - not to the point of warming it up - then shut it off. Now remove the radiator cap again. If there's lots of pressure in the cooling system at this point, you can be pretty sure it's a head gasket. Also with the car running, sometimes there will be lots of air bubbles in the coolant flow from a blown head gasket.

From your description of the sudden power loss, I would assume the problem is electrical or possibly a vacuum issue as you mentioned. Definately check your ignition system, could be a bad coil lead wire. Perhaps one cylinder bank has lost fire....? This could produce the symptons you describe.

Please check things out and let us know.....
 

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I would check for leakage in the inlet parts, hoses gaskets and such things.
Start the engine and let it idle, spray “start gas” or whatever you call it in English around the areas where there are gaskets and vacuum hoses.
You know those “start help” aerosol cans?
If there is any changes in the behavior of the engine when you are spraying in an area you have narrowed down where the leakage is, if there is any.
 

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Guys...What about bad fuel. I'm not familiar with 308 plumbing. Can these cars get a slug of water thru the injectors? I agree with Tif...sounds like water. I suppose electronic failure of a bank is possible but I thought these cars were on a single coil.
 

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Start the engine and let it idle, spray “start gas” or whatever you call it in English around the areas where there are gaskets and vacuum hoses.
I hope you don't mean "Ether". Explosive potential is limitless.

Please do NOT spray flammable stuff around the engine bay while the engine is running or any electrical power source is evident.
 

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Quote from St. Bastage: "I suppose electronic failure of a bank is possible but I thought these cars were on a single coil."

I think Ferrari V-8's have almost always had 2 distributor caps, one for each bank. On a semi-related note, I've drive a Testarossa (2 dist. caps, one for each bank) and had the coil lead wire slip slightly out of the coil, but not enough to physically fall out, and the car would of course lose all power but continue to run smoothly with all gages showing normal. But I didn't get the whitish smoke like Tifosi is getting.

I guess we need some more feedback from Tifosi on how things are going....
 

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I don't know, and am wanting to hear any and all ideas from you all. Thanks - Nick
Hi Nick,

Long shot, but have you checked the brake fluid? I seem to recall brake fluid burns white but you need a power booster to fail which lets engine vacuum suck fluid into the cylinders.

Kon
 

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The 308 has manual brakes, no vacuum booster on these cars. But your point is an interesting one. I've also seen vacuum modulators on automatic transmissions go bad, allowing trans-fluid to be sucked into the engine, resulting in blue smoke out the tail pipe.
 

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I hope you don't mean "Ether". Explosive potential is limitless.

Please do NOT spray flammable stuff around the engine bay while the engine is running or any electrical power source is evident.
NO!

There is a specialy designed gas on the market for starting issues.
It's perfect for this type of problems too, searching for leakages.

I wouldn't whant him to blow his car into pieces. :D
 

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I use spray brake cleaner and spray the vacuum hoses and intake hoses when I am trying to find a vacuum leak. Brake cleaner will cause the engine to stumble and run rough. Brake cleaner is non-flammable.
 
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