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1974 (W107/R107) 350 SL
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4 Posts
I had the exact same with turned out to be leaking brake fluid to the vacuum booster sucked into the vacuum line and straight into the intake manifold. Huge cloud of white smoke but no effect on engine performance and only on steep hill to a lookout. Happened twice on the same hill. Frighten the heck out of me the first time as I thought the motor had blown.
Col
 

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'92 W124 230E Auto
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162 Posts
I had the exact same with turned out to be leaking brake fluid to the vacuum booster sucked into the vacuum line and straight into the intake manifold. Huge cloud of white smoke but no effect on engine performance and only on steep hill to a lookout. Happened twice on the same hill. Frighten the heck out of me the first time as I thought the motor had blown.
Col
True, this could also be a cause. Dropping brake fluid levels with no obvious leak would be a sign of leakage into the booster.
 

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1981 380 SL Arctic Blue
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14 Posts
Hi, I'm brand new to this forum, but thought I'd share an issue that I'm experiencing with my 1985 380SL to see if anyone could provide me some insight and advice.

I purchased the car about 2 months ago from a private seller. The car has 71,000 verified miles.

The issue that I'm experiencing is that the car pumps out giant billows of white smoke from the tailpipe whenever I drive down a very steep hill or park the car on a very steep hill and then drive it.

I had the mechanic check the camshaft oil rails and replace the automatic transmission vacuum modulator based on suggestions I read on this forum. The oil rails were fine and no automatic transmission fluid was found in the vacuum lines.

The mechanic I took it to said that I might need to get a valve job to fully remedy the problem. Is there anything else I could look at before doing a full valve job? Has anyone had any luck solving an issue like this by just replacing the valve seals? Doing just the seals only will cost about 1/3 of doing the full valve job. At 71,000 I wouldn't expect the engine to need a full valve job.

Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated! thank you!

-David

View attachment 2608000
Hi David. Same thing happened to me this summer. I'd double check the oil tube rail on the driver side that feeds the cam. Mine looked good when I took off the valve cover, but when I touched the rail it popped right out. Of you look at the inside of the valve cover you will see a "shelf" to block the oil..but at the side of the firewall is open...and at radiator side is a tube that goes to the carb...if the rail is blowing excess oil it splashes up and runs down to the carb when you're tilted. I smoked out my whole neighborhood! Thought my engine was blown.
 
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