OMG, Chris... you must have fallen through the cracks! Let me make this up to you, no charge!
Just a few questions to start...
Sorry to have failed you Chris. If you'd give me a chance, I think we can get your car burning gas again!
Good work! You found something that happens so seldom on the 3.0 I wouldn't have expected it. Rotor burn-through does happen and it can be a bear to find if you don't check for spark at the coil AND at the plugs. It can sometimes be caused by a burned out plug wire which induces the coil to build to maximum output... enough to blow a hole through a solid chunk of plastic. These coils are pretty strong!
The white smoke is most likely engine oil, Chris. That's the book on the 3.0 engine from that time period... they tend to burn oil. Like you said, it's done it before but you probably had a bit of an accumulation of oil in the exhaust ports from the prolonged period of no-start. The smell of the smoke is the best way to tell what the composition is. Engine oil has a distinctive smell that can be duplicated by dripping some on a hot barbecue grill or exhaust manifold. Antifreeze has a butter-scotchy smell to it and the smoke tends to evaporate as it exits the tailpipe, where smoke simply dissipates as it floats away.
Technically, you're not burning all this oil inside the engine... it's coming down the exhaust valve stem(s), being burned as exhaust leaves the engine. Because you found deposits on the spark plugs, you may have some oil being burned in the combustion chambers, but I'd bet the majority is from the exhaust guide problem.
What happens is the exhaust valve guides drop down into the exhaust port. They're made of a different metal than the aluminum heads and tended to lose some of their fit from expansion/ contraction of the head, falling into the engine. Once they dropped so far, the valve seal was popped off the top of the guide and oil had free reign to pour through as it pleased. The oil tends to show up more after a prolonged idle period, when the relatively low exhaust temperatures couldn't burn the oil off completely, allowing a buildup. You'll see considerable smoking for a few miles, then a sharp decrease as the backlog is used up.
Repair for this always involves cylinder head removal to correct the guides that have dropped. If you find a cylinder head that has three good guides, an alternate procedure to keep them in place is (was) available, involving cutting a slot in the lower outside of the guide and fitting it with a retainer clip. The special tool for that was something the dealer had at one time but may be hard to locate at this point.
The guides that fell out will need to be removed. With the head off, the valves are removed on the exhaust side and the guides are pressed out. Revised parts with the groove and clip already installed are then pressed in and the valve seats are then cut to ensure the valve will seat properly using the new guide, then the head is reassembled and reinstalled.
If it's been more than 70K miles since replacing your timing belt or water pump, the while we're at it fairy is sure to visit, running the bill up a bit... but it is a good time LOL!
I'm glad you gave us another chance, Chris! Glad to hear the good news and as always, feel free to write back if there's anything I can help with.
It depends on what's coming out of the tailpipe, Chris. Oil smoke in no way indicates a head gasket problem on the 3.0 engine. Antifreeze... does.
If you're opposed to sniffing your exhaust (understandable lol), watch the visible emissions as they enter the atmosphere. Antifreeze will outright evaporate, disappearing within a few feet of the exhaust tip in summer temperatures, leaving no trace... it's a vapor.
Engine oil will keep diluting into the air as time and distance from the car accumulates and never really disappears... it just gets thinner. It will be visible in calm air up to 15 feet away sometimes, depending upon the "tonnage" it's burning.
If it's running OK now with no misfire, I'd cautiously recommend you drive it while keeping close track of coolant and engine oil so that it doesn't run low again. Listen for odd knocking noises that weren't there a week ago in case actual damage had been done to the engine from low oil levels. Given that engine oil has already been seen dropping, it's likely to be your mystery smoke.
The blown-thru rotor may have actually done you a favor, Chris, by killing the engine and causing a top-to-bottom underhood check LOL! My feeling is that you're in no worse shape now than before the engine stalled.
No need, Chris! Thank you for the offer, but like I said, it's on me.
JA is made up primarily of professional people that work a day job and pick up a question here or there as they can. It was unfortunate that Matt had to opt-out of your question, but sometimes life intrudes.
I'm glad to have helped in some way, and wish you all the best.