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Thread: 1990 Mighty Max engine problem

  1. #1

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    1990 Mighty Max engine problem

    My dad bought a 1990 Mighty Max (2.4 i think) a few years back and it was running fine but after putting about 5000 miles on it it blew a head gasket and overheated we managed it home and dad ended up putting a new head gasket on and having the head machined while the head was off we seen that #3 cylinder had a about a 2 inch scar on the wall. We went on and replaced the head gasket and got it running again.. Ever since then it's been burning oil and loosing coolant, its not leaking the coolant anywhere so where could I be going.. It never runs hot we road anout 5 miles without any coolant in the rad one night and i didnt run hot... It's smokes a good bit, white smoke and a bit of blue, the smoke smells sweet... Where's the coolant going and how can I fix it...

  2. #2



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    Pull the head again - either the head gasket blew again, the head cracked, or the block cracked. If there is no water - the motor will never show it has overheated - the temp sensor needs the water to read the temp. The 2 inch scar is probably why it burns oil, although the valve guide seals may also be bad.
    Pennyman1
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    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by pennyman1 View Post
    Pull the head again - either the head gasket blew again, the head cracked, or the block cracked. If there is no water - the motor will never show it has overheated - the temp sensor needs the water to read the temp. The 2 inch scar is probably why it burns oil, although the valve guide seals may also be bad.
    Ok will check it out thanks fr the tip.. Also the front tires keep getting eatin up on the inside, it's been aligned multiple times with multiple sets of new tires on the front and they keep getting eatin up.. What's my problem there...

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    The 2.4L blocks are pretty tough. Odds are your head is cracked. Since I've been on this site I've personally had head problems and seen some in other members. However that scar could be a crack. If you took the head off without doing valve seals shame on you. That's a given when you take heads off. Tire wear is front camber. Could Possibly be worn shocks. Replace them if theyre leaking oil (residue covered in dirt) also there's shims that are installed from under the hood to the upper control arms behind the bolts to adjust camber. I have a box full of em from my old 94 toyota pickup. They fit alot of older mini trucks. Rockauto sells them in packs of 25. I think I payed $90 and i've got about 7 different inch sizes and between 10 and 50 of each.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by recian View Post
    The 2.4L blocks are pretty tough. Odds are your head is cracked. Since I've been on this site I've personally had head problems and seen some in other members. However that scar could be a crack. If you took the head off without doing valve seals shame on you. That's a given when you take heads off. Tire wear is front camber. Could Possibly be worn shocks. Replace them if theyre leaking oil (residue covered in dirt) also there's shims that are installed from under the hood to the upper control arms behind the bolts to adjust camber. I have a box full of em from my old 94 toyota pickup. They fit alot of older mini trucks. Rockauto sells them in packs of 25. I think I payed $90 and i've got about 7 different inch sizes and between 10 and 50 of each.
    Well when we pulled the head we took it to a machine shop to get surface machined and they said everything looked ok nothing wrong with the head...

  6. #6

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    Sorry for double posting.. (Again?!?!)..... but how would I go about adjusting the camber, how do I know when it's set right...

  7. #7

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    If that's the case then I'd lean toward a bad head gasket. I'd yank the head and put a straight edge to the block and make sure it's not warped. Did you clean the block til it was perfect before putting the new H/G on? Any debris or inperfections could have caused you to have an issue. And the oil galleys run through the head gasket so there could be something under the gasket letting coolant and oil into the combustion chamber. A good leak down test would tell you this for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frixmatthew View Post
    It's smokes a good bit, white smoke and a bit of blue, the smoke smells sweet... Where's the coolant going and how can I fix it...
    white smoke its burning coolant. blue smoke means its burning oil. do a compression and leak down test like recian mentioned would help narrow things down.

  9. #9

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    You ran it hot for 5 min without any water in it, you may have warped the head.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by sleeps View Post
    You ran it hot for 5 min without any water in it, you may have warped the head.
    No when the head gasket blew and started running hot we were right at a store and stopped to put some water in it and let it cool down

  11. #11

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    Little update... Dads aid he got up yesterday morning and was gunna take the truck somewhere and checked the oil and it was milky and grey... I know water got in the oil, so maybe this here can give a little hint of what's wrong

  12. #12

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    Milky and grey you've got water in the oil. That water is breaking it down and could be wearing out the engine causing the grey. If it was mine I'd be considering pulling the motor to have the block checked. If it's very grey or slight copper I'd pull the engine just to replace the bearings. It can be done in the truck but it's harder. Have the deck checked for being straight and magnafluxed for cracks. I'd be worried about a warped deck or a crack. I think it's odd that the machine shop cut the head. They don't usually do that. Some shops bolt em to a hot table and straighten them out since most alum. heads have low enough tollerances they can't be machined. Not every shop has that kind of equipment tho. It's possible it was minor warp.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by recian View Post
    Milky and grey you've got water in the oil. That water is breaking it down and could be wearing out the engine causing the grey. If it was mine I'd be considering pulling the motor to have the block checked. If it's very grey or slight copper I'd pull the engine just to replace the bearings. It can be done in the truck but it's harder. Have the deck checked for being straight and magnafluxed for cracks. I'd be worried about a warped deck or a crack. I think it's odd that the machine shop cut the head. They don't usually do that. Some shops bolt em to a hot table and straighten them out since most alum. heads have low enough tollerances they can't be machined. Not every shop has that kind of equipment tho. It's possible it was minor warp.
    Well I knew when he said that the oil was milky there was water in the oil.. But. Think it was carquest that maćined the head surface..

  14. #14

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    If I was you I would have the head checked again by a different shop, because some shops rush the work to put out volume ,not quality

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    Not to mention that about all I'd have carquest do for me is machine flywheels. I've had good luck with that. But other machine work I'd rather send to a professional machine shop.

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    Carquest where I'm at does not do any machine work,only thing they do extra is make custom hydraulic lines

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frixmatthew View Post
    Little update... Dads aid he got up yesterday morning and was gunna take the truck somewhere and checked the oil and it was milky and grey... I know water got in the oil, so maybe this here can give a little hint of what's wrong
    I don't understand why no one here will tell you that engine is toast. It's a reman candidate, and nothing else. How much was milled off the head by the high-school machinist at Carquest? What good will it do to plane the head if the block deck isn't square? What was the extent of the damage to the #3 cylinder? WHY did the head gasket blow more than once?

    Too much cook-booking, and not enough rolling up your sleeves and getting to basics. Take it apart, LOOK AT IT, measure the tolerances, and FIX what you KNOW is broken instead of what you think MIGHT be broken.

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