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Thread: 88' 2.0 Headgasket? maybe...

  1. #1

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    Angry 88' 2.0 Headgasket? maybe...

    This is gonna be long winded, but i need to explain. Truck is new to me, I've had for less than a week. This morning when i started it lifter tick, and skipping. Let it warm up, rev'd her up and skip went away. I went to auto parts store, because i was planning on new plugs, and wires. I wanted to drive a little. So i stopped at Autozone and got some plugs, and also Marvel mystery oil. I added in parking lot, and started my 9 mile drive to a different store for the plug wires.
    On the way i could here the lifter noise come and go. I got to store, got parts. Now the good stuff..... It cranked over about 1/2 revolution and stopped. Being WTF! I tried again, still a heavy THUNK. I was able to roll backwards, in reverse to pop start. Nothing-just skidded to a stop! I rolled into a parking spot. Check oil- between marks on dipstick. I try the start several more times-Thunk! I call tow truck.

    As it sits, I try again. It starts cranking,and i get it fired up. Its skipping. So i shut it down. Get towed home. I'm thinking the timing belt jumped, and i need to pull the head. Well.... I immediately start the inspection: Oil ok, check coolant in radiator-None visible! So now i figure it siezed, and cool down allowed it to crank. But i still feel I need to check the timing belt. Remove cover= belts ok, Timing marks good. So now I figure I have lost compression in a cylinder. Check spark plugs #4 wet fouled, Check compression #1 120, #2 120, #3 120, #4 150 . So now more confused.

    So here is my theory, tell me what you think : Blown headgasket, coolant was so low that temp guage didnt read high. When i shut off truck,#4 filled with coolant- Hydro lock!! After 15 min,it leaked past allowing it to crank over. What do you think? Tomorrow i plan to fill coolant,new spark plug and see how it runs.

  2. #2

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    OK , some more thoughts. I suppose it could have seized up from overheating. I'm just baffled by the fouled #4 spark plug. I havent seen a plug coolant fouled. Also surprised that the compression wasn't lower in #4 . I think i will def. have to pull the head for a gasket and resurface. But I want to plan for worst case scenario. Is there a vendor in the PNW that might have a rebuilt, or new head for my truck? Also should I go for a head wio the jet valves? If so is there anything else I would need?

    Thanks for the help

  3. #3

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    Today I replaced the leaky waterpump, timing belt, ignition wires, and spark plugs.Filled cooling system. I was hoping for a miracle, but unsure. It fired right up... but was smoking like a chimney. Not blue, white. Also pressurizing the cooling system. Oh well, time to pull the head. It was ticking a little too.
    So I will pull the head, inspect and go from there. Hopefully I can get it re-surfaced, new gaskets,and lifters, valve seals,etc I sure hope the head isn't cracked.

    So much for buying a vehicle I don't need to work on.

  4. #4



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    Once it's fixed, it will last forever with just oil changes. They can be kinda pissy in the event they over heat. Many of us have owned our trucks for years. You'll see.
    Once you take the head off, be prepared for the worst that way it's not as bad when you maybe see a crack. This is just the nature of the factory heads and we all have learned this. It doesn't happen continuously because after we fix them we all have our eyes on our gauges from then on, lol. Call it paranoia or maybe being extra careful. Anyway, check for hairline cracks between valves and the MCA jet valves. Find a kit to remove them troublesome MCA valves. If you do have a crack, don't freak out. A good welder shop can fix it very easily and get you back running.
    Keep us posted.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the advice BradMph , I just ordered a Victor Reinz Headgasket kit. Any idea on where to get a Kit to remove the MCA valves? It sucks that this happened, makes me so mad! Being wet over on this side, I never noticed any leaking. And I never removed radiator cap to check. I would just look at resevoir, and it was always plenty full. I always watched the gauge.I feel it didnt show overheating, because it was so low that the sensor wasnt reading coolant.
    Luckily a co-worker of mine is an amazing TIG welder, and has reworked many cylinder heads. A simple crack weld would be a piece of cake. Is there anything else tht would need changing to remove the jet valves?

  6. #6

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    I'm a little confused on how your radiator was low while your reservoir was still full? Blockage in hose? When I had a head gasket leak and was loosing coolant, I could smell it, sweet odor that was definitely noticeable.
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    silver seal carries the jet valve elim kits: http://www.silver-seal.com/
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by lush90 View Post
    I'm a little confused on how your radiator was low while your reservoir was still full? Blockage in hose? When I had a head gasket leak and was loosing coolant, I could smell it, sweet odor that was definitely noticeable.
    I checked my resevoir a few times, and it was always full. It wasn't smoking (white) to indicate a head gasket issue. No smell of coolant either. The resevoir was full from being pressurized by the head gasket leak... I think.

  9. #9

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    Definitely a blown head gasket, i just had the same thing a couple weeks ago. Its a bummer, but at least you know where its coming from, and brads right, once you get it together and running good you'll forever be enticed to check the temp sensor every 5 seconds....or so

  10. #10



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    Name:  mca.jpg
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    Just like these, maybe a little shorter.

  11. #11

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    Got the Head gasket kit today. I hope it is right, the box says 10/84-87. But Amazon fitment said it was good for my 88' . I plan to finish removeing the head on Sunday. It 70% apart, I need to get the hard to get at intake nuts loose. Any good tips for those? I believe its just the 2 hidden by the fuel pump underneath.
    Once those are off, its a piece of cake. I have the exhaust, and timing belt off.

  12. #12

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    Got the head off yesterday. #4 burning coolant. Starting to teardown head today, having issues with the jet valves. Do I need a special socket to remove these? If I can use a regular deep socket, what brand?

  13. #13



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    box end wrench?. They also have those socket ratchets with the hole through them for tall thread bolts.

  14. #14


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    May I suggest victor reinz gaskets. You won't be sorry.

    We bought a full gasket kit for Gabes 2.6 I was impressed with the quality.

  15. #15

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    @rickdees, Victor reinz is the gasket kit I bought. Thanks BradMPH, I was overthinking the process. I didn't even consider a box wrench. Today I plan on finishing teardown, head inspect. If needed I will cut the valve seats, if any are pitted,etc. Then it's off to machine shop for a resurface.

    Removed 1 of the jet valves, so wrench will work ok. I didn't get to work on it, so hopefully tomorrow. How do I know if a jet valve is ok? What gets serviced?
    Last edited by ADV RIDERAA; 01-28-2015 at 11:35 PM.

  16. #16

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    Got the head apart. #3 exh valve tip(stem) is pretty beat up, so i am going to replace it. Also a few of the lifters have some damage to the surface. So I am going to replace all of them. I don't see any visible cracks in the head-so it will get resurfaced.
    Has anybody used the BECK-ARNLEY exhaust valves ($5.85)? Or the Engine tech #L2000 lifters ($4.12ea) ? Or should I just get the parts from Mitsubishi? Or?
    Thanks for the help

    Ordered the exh.valve, and lifters today from Rockauto. Hope they are good(enginetech.
    Last edited by ADV RIDERAA; 01-30-2015 at 08:09 PM.

  17. #17

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    Picked up the head today from machine shop- resurfaced, and cleaned. Hopefully the exh valve, and lifters will arrive by Friday. I also forgot to mention it was already a rebuilt head- It had the rear freeze plug w/ the melt out center to verify if overheated for warranty purposes, mine was melted out .
    I hope I have no problems w/ the replacement exh valve fitting.

  18. #18



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    The valves should spin as the motor runs, sounds like you had a couple that were not turning correctly or bent a little?, and got hammered. They can leave little chip marks or work one side of the valve stem as you have probably seen.
    That is pretty sneaky what those machine shops put on the heads to service their warranty, lol.
    If your changing the oil with the new head (which you should) be sure and fill the new oil filter up with new oil too, until all the bubbles stop coming to the top. It will give oil flow a little head start to the head. Some people even will pump oil into the rocker rods for the initial start. Just take your time and you'll do fine. Re-torque after a few hundred miles and it should last a long time.

  19. #19

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    So finally cleaned all the valves up today. Wish I had done it sooner. All the intake valves looked like they were replaced when head was previously rebuilt, and the margin looked good. But.. the exhaust valves were cupped, pitted,etc., and there was so much carbon. So I think I am going to order 3 more exh valves- might as well do it right. And I need to check out the EGR to see if its working, or stuck from carbon.

    Is there anything else to check, besides the carb that causes excessive carbon?
    Thanks

  20. #20

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    Re-assembled today. Fired right up, held it on a high idle until thermostat opened. Was smoking quite a bit from the coolant in exhaust. It subsided, but not totally. I hope it goes away with time, and isn't a problem.
    I am going to pull the valve cover, and re-torque the head. Is there a way to check/adjust jet valves when cold? Or do i have to adjust when hot? I started to adjust #1 when the head was off, then realized the lifters weren't pumped up-so i didn't adjust. Also idles really low now, so it's time to mess with the carb.

    So I do have a concern, When torquing head bolts. The #7 bolt (rear most,driver side) had a different feel to it. Binding,..something. I am concerned this might have happened with the previous reseal, and is causing the head gasket to fail prematurely. I want to remove the bolt to inspect, make sure the threads,etc are ok. Do you think removing 1 bolt, and reinstalling will make my head gasket leak? Its really bothering me, but i dont want to cause a problem possibly.

    Thanks
    Last edited by ADV RIDERAA; 02-16-2015 at 10:22 PM.

  21. #21



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    If you replace the bolt, probably best done cold. It may be a good idea to release all the bolts so its done evenly. Sometimes the bolts just feel weird like that also. As long as it torqued to specs you should be ok. My advise would be to go with your heart on this one.
    The smoke out the pipe is probably a few things, besides the residual water, there probably oil and whatever else that found its way into the combustion chamber, pipe and cat. Keep an eye on temps and maybe your plugs to see how it's burning the fuel. If you haven't checked timing, that would be also good.
    Why didn't you remove the MCA Jet valves?
    As for adjusting...do what the manual tells you to do.
    There are a few ways to adjust valves and the book gives it basically. With mine, I have to adjust every single valve and I do them one at a time. I will ratchet the motor around and when the rocker is in the heel center of the base circle on the cam, then I adjust that rocker.
    I find center on the cam heels for each valve and adjust them individually which takes quite a while but with non hydraulic rockers, it keeps them the most quiet. The books have you adjust 4 then rotate engine 180 and do the last 4 if you have adjusters on all the vavles, but sometimes rockers are on the clearance ramps and not at their most relaxed gapping postions. You shouldn't have to worry about this though since you have a stock cam.

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    Did you run a tap in all the bolt holes before you reinstalled the head? That is the best way to prevent bolts that don't torque right. I agree with BradMPH - untorque them all in sequence, pull the one with the issue, clean the threads on the bolt, then retorque them in sequence. Then retorque them again in 500 miles.
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  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by pennyman1 View Post
    Did you run a tap in all the bolt holes before you reinstalled the head? That is the best way to prevent bolts that don't torque right. I agree with BradMPH - untorque them all in sequence, pull the one with the issue, clean the threads on the bolt, then retorque them in sequence. Then retorque them again in 500 miles.
    I forgot to bring a tap home, so I wire brushed the bolts ,sprayed with brake clean. sprayed the theaded holes, and blew out cleaner.Then oiled bolts up and threaded of them all in, They went all the way in ok. When I was torquing the head, all bolts, washers were lubed w/ motor oil- threads,and washers.
    Last edited by ADV RIDERAA; 02-18-2015 at 08:19 AM.

  24. #24

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    [QUOTE=BradMph;38373]If you replace the bolt, probably best done cold. It may be a good idea to release all the bolts so its done evenly. Sometimes the bolts just feel weird like that also. As long as it torqued to specs you should be ok. My advise would be to go with your heart on this one.
    The smoke out the pipe is probably a few things, besides the residual water, there probably oil and whatever else that found its way into the combustion chamber, pipe and cat. Keep an eye on temps and maybe your plugs to see how it's burning the fuel. If you haven't checked timing, that would be also good.
    Why didn't you remove the MCA Jet valves?
    As for adjusting...do what the manual tells you to do.

    I kept the MCA valves because they were in good shape. Put new O-rings, seals on them. I will follow manual for adj. I must say reinstalling fuel pump was a bi*** ,im sure I will have an oil leak.

  25. #25



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    I had to put a plate over mine when I removed it and it leaked bad until I applied silicon RTV on the gaskets and re-installed the plate.
    When they leak they will make a big mess all down the side of motor and starter and oil pan. Not pretty.

    Isn't it fun with that pushrod, lol.

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