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Thread: Diagnosing head gasket failure OR something else?

  1. #1

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    Diagnosing head gasket failure OR something else?

    Just my luck. I'm in the midst of diagnosing head gasket failure. Went to work last night, seen some smoke in the mirror and pulled over, smoke just a rolling (hasn't overheated at this point). Since I know the radiator isnt that great, i went ahead and turned the heat on full to get the heat out from the motor, and i got no heat! So I turn truck off, check the radiator, its low obviously, put in what coolant I had, half a jug maybe. Seen a lot of smoke come from the exhaust flange gasket, bolts were gone. weird but whatever. So i figure the smoke was coming from a toasty felpro gasket. took it to work, no overheating, came home, no overheating, still smoked. Picked up a new gasket put it on, still smoking. So....What Have I got so far.

    Lots of white smoke indicating burning water.
    no overheating. slightly went past the op temp but came back down to op temp.
    Hesitation upon idle/take off. runs fine getting up to and at speed
    Oil is NOT milky. However, I did see very small rubber pieces on the dipstick.

    Whats next. Compression test. I will post results with-in the hour. Pretty discouraged at the moment though. Had it running great other than the low oil pressure problem. But I don't see the two being directly involved. However, while I was under the truck messing with the new flange gasket i did noticed some oil on the bell housing, not a lot like before the rear seal repair.

  2. #2


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    Mine was only leaking the water jacket into the cylinders, not into the oil, that is a lucky failure and not catastrophic. the big test is when you compression check, or better yet leakdown test... check for air bubbles in the radiator... you see bubbles, call and order your new head gasket.

    This one shows which cylinder was boiling the water (#2)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    When the head came off I found this, after doing the leakdown test. By pressurizing the cylinders I also pressurized the water jacket, forcing water into the cylinders where the head gasket was leaking.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3

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    OK. Not exactly thrilled with results, but results none the less.
    Compression test. Each cylinder was tested 3 times, checked for hose fitment and tightness and verified.

    Cylinder #1 150 psi holding.
    Cylinder #3 130-120 psi holding at 30 seconds.
    Cylinder #5 150-135 psi holding at 30 seconds.
    Cylinder #6 139-125 psi holding after 30 seconds.
    Cylinder #4 WATER. Took the hose out, emptied it, probably less than 1/8th cup of water.
    Cylinder #2 Nothing. Goes up to 130 psi, drops back down to 0, no water.

  4. #4

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    on my way to advance now to pick up the head gasket and everything else I need.

  5. #5

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    You've got a v6. May as well do both gaskets, have heads checked for warpage unless you've got a straight edge. Go ahead and get the seals for the back of the heads. They love to leak oil and all rotating seals since the timing belt and such has to come off and i'm sure the seals are shot at this age. I know the 2.4 and 3.0 DOHC use the same lifters. Not sure if the 3.0 SOHC uses lifters. If so get a set of lifters. Mine in my 2.4 the tops were worn off down to the metal inside, no coating.

  6. #6

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    This is anew motor. Only 8k on it. Done by some shop my dad likes. Should done it myself but whatever. Im just doing that side of the head and intake gasket which honestly, I think is the main root of cause.

  7. #7



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    Compression is way way low in your test. Yikes, rebuilt motor too? I know where you should be going...back to the rebuilder. That looks like work to me, I hope you can get it all figured out.

  8. #8

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    Where I should be going is writing a statement & finding a lawyer. I am more mechanically inclined that most people think, I'll do the work myself from now on. but, got the new head basket on, head bolted down, timing belt lined up. Far as I got before I ran out of day light. I'll have it done tomorrow.

  9. #9



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    Filing a report with the BBB, Consumer Affairs, RipoffReport are some goodies. BBB works with you and can possibly get some return for you. Just some suggestions. You should file at least with BBB about the mechanical work to warn anyone else that uses them and it puts a mark on them.

  10. #10

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    Fixed!

  11. #11



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    Quote Originally Posted by BradMph View Post
    Filing a report with the BBB, Consumer Affairs, RipoffReport are some goodies. BBB works with you and can possibly get some return for you. Just some suggestions. You should file at least with BBB about the mechanical work to warn anyone else that uses them and it puts a mark on them.

    The business must be a member of the BBB otherwise your wasting time. But the Burrow of Consumer Affairs deals with licensing of auto shops and everyone must be licensed..
    Members come and members go, But the board keeps track of them.
    Check out the Fear Monger by
    clicking HERE.

    The MightyRam50 site is sponsored in part by On Site Concrete Inc.

  12. #12

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    Your info says you're in NC, how far are you from the beach? If you aren't far just bring it to me next time lol

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