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Can any one tell me how a shade tree can tell if valve guides are out of tolerance?

Also I've read that gen I and II small block V-8s have an "oil trail" that can lead to the engine smoking,can this be explained?
 

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You have to have the valve springs off to check guide wear,, Once your springs are off I take a file and debur the valve, there will be a very small build of oil and at time around the keepers there will be a little bur, if you dont do this and there is a small bur you can damage the guide if you force the valve out,, so you will need a good valve, most are .341 in size (11/32) wiggle the valve top to bottom,, if there is play you will feel it,, or a snap mic is a great way also, my vortec heads (which both are cracked) had no wear in the guides,, I have done a lot of heads and i was disappointed they were cracked,, anyway thats the two best ways,, Matty man
 

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valve guides

sparkplugs will start fouling out. Because they will oil seep down into combustion cylinder. After truck sits over night when you start there will be a puff of smoke. pull plugs and when you find the bad cylinder you will know. It will be black and fouled. Check with mudzilla he found some great heads. he is on todys home page about there posts down from you'rs
 
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