Besides head gasket, what should I look at?

94 Taurus 3.0 98K miles - a few seconds of rough running (1 cylinder missing -- thought it was just the heavy rains), then copious amounts of mixed white and blue smoke. The smoke is not sweet-smelling, but
it is pretty nasty.
Idles ok, a little low. Seems to have full power.
No water discernible on the oil dipstick, but I haven't pulled the oil drain plug yet. And I haven't yet pulled the spark plugs.
Seems like head gasket, right? -- but the blue smoke? And to have it idle and run ok -- ?? This has me puzzled.
What else might I consider as the source of the problem?
Dave G.
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"Dave G" <dgayman(at)rcn(dot)com> wrote in message

Seems more like unburned oil to me. Usually blue smoke is unburned oil or fuel. You could also have an ignition problem. If it is unburned oil or fuel, this could ruin your catalytic convertor.
Jeff

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"Dave G" <dgayman(at)rcn(dot)com> wrote in message

thing in the AM? It very well could be a head gasket, and it doesnt have to have water in the oil to be the head gasket.
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Dave G wrote:

I have not seen it, but as i recall some 3.0's had head bolts snap. You need to pull the plugs and check it out.
Bob
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Interesting - esp. since (answering Scott's questions) the engine cranks/starts right up, runs ok, then suddently gets worse once the engine begins to heat up.
One way or another, obviously, I have to pull plugs and then the heads...
Dave G.
wrote:

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Any change in the level of coolant in the system?
I think the 3.0 engine had problems with the head bolts coming off if improperly torqued.. Actually, I think they had a problem with them just coming off period..
Cheers
Tony
97 Taurus 3.0 Vulcan 182,000 km
"Dave G" <dgayman(at)rcn(dot)com> wrote in message

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