How do I tell if coolant's getting into the combustion chamber?

I'm working on my 79 TA with an Olds 403. It's got an Edelbrock Performer RPM & a Holley 750. It stinks to high heaven when running & there's smoke. I think it's
white, but it's hard to tell. I originally thought it backfired, blew the power valve & was running too rich, but now I'm leaning towards a coolant leak. There aren't bubbles in the coolant when running, but it does appear that the coolant level's dropping. The car did sit for quite some time. Is it possible that the seal around the intake manifold dried up? These things use a metal gasket that also forms the valley pan. Is there a sure fire, home-done way of telling if there's a coolant leak & if so, where it's coming from?
Thanks for any help.
Chris
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A freind's Ford truck was in the shop yesterday - they showed him a spark plug with evidence of coolant.
Chris wrote:

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Thanks. I'll pull the plugs in the next couple of days & take a look. I think I'll also get a compression tester.
Chris
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Take your compression tester and put it in each sparkplug hole and apply compressed air, watch for bubbles at the open radiator cap. IF so, you have a bad head gasket. If too much water is getting in the combustion chamber when if fires, it could bend a connecting rod by hydraulic force.
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I always do a leak down test on the cooling system...if you have a friend that has a tester, its simple..you fill the system, pump it to around 16lbs and wait. If there is a leak, it drops and you go looking for coolant..if its not on the block, or on the ground, its in the engine..normally..
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