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Thread: Coolant doing weird things

  1. #1

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    Coolant doing weird things

    Hey people of the Mighty Ram,

    So I'm getting coolant bubbling out of my overflow tank.

    I'm not over heating, until a long drive the other day when I did due to coolant loss.

    But usually is running normal temp, when I stop can hear the tank bubbling over. Just keep having to top up rad once in a while.

    Weird thing yesterday, temp gauge was spiked, but had no heat blowing...Radiator didn't feel very warm. Lower rad hose was cool.

    A few people told me head gasket...Want to be sure before I assume that and decide if I'm going to take it on.

    Thanks alot!

  2. #2

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    The beginning sounds like a cracked head to me, pushing compression into coolant chamber and slowly pushing it out the tank. However last sounds like a large air pocket which would be more likely to a headgasket

  3. #3



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    Yup. Head needs to come off. Cracked warped bad gasket. No matter what it needs to come off. Also it will drink a tank of water over night is another sign. But bubbles = compression into cooling system. It will take a week for it to take a big crap. Then your screwed
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  4. #4

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    Shit alright, thanks guys.

    It's been doing it on and off for a while now, so definitely over a week, ...Although it seems more frequent now.

    My roommate is trying to convince me to just put in one of those gasket sealers, apparently his guy at lordco swears by the one product that is like $60 a bottle. I'm willing to try but I do worry it'll mess things up in there. Not sure I'm able to pay someone to do the head gasket + maybe head...And it'd be a big job for a guy like me. Sure I could get er done but it's a bit daunting.

    Anyways thanks for the input!

  5. #5



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    The way to test it is to take a coolant pressurizer test pump and put it on the radiator. Then start the truck. If the head gasket is gone it will self pressurize and the gauge will go up while you are looking at it.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmuirhead9 View Post
    Shit alright, thanks guys.

    It's been doing it on and off for a while now, so definitely over a week, ...Although it seems more frequent now.

    My roommate is trying to convince me to just put in one of those gasket sealers, apparently his guy at lordco swears by the one product that is like $60 a bottle. I'm willing to try but I do worry it'll mess things up in there. Not sure I'm able to pay someone to do the head gasket + maybe head...And it'd be a big job for a guy like me. Sure I could get er done but it's a bit daunting.

    Anyways thanks for the input!
    please dont, it will not help, just help clog heatercore and make a mess in the block

  7. #7

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    +1 on that. Those stop leak products are the things douche bags use to offload a car with problems. It's a band aid fix that doesn't last and comes back to haunt you when you finally decide to do the job properly. Hard to get out of the radiator and cooling system - you practically need to strip everything down and hot tank it to clean it out. A cylinder head isn't a great job for a novice mechanic to tackle but as long as you have a torque wrench and you set the timing belt right, it's only a matter of taking off the manifolds and undoing a handful of head bolts. Better if you had another head waiting to be bolted up.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the good honest advice dudes.

  9. #9

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    Just got a New head gasket, used 4d56 head out of a Delica. Head was pressure tested and came off a running vehicle without any issues to do with the head (probably should have had it planed but that's another story).

    On my drive to the new town I'm living in I stopped to check things out, saw that coolant was bubbling out the overflow again and the tank was full...ran to the point of it starting to get hot and stopped for the night. In the AM the reservoir was back to normal level, and I was able to drive again no sign of issues...still driving ok, so thoughts could be slow pressure build up on longer drives.

    So where I am now they don't have the tools to do a compression test on my diesel, and he didn't want to do the coolant pressure check with the pump as reccomended here. Can I just do a poor mans test with a balloon over the rad and if it inflates there's exhaust coming through?

    Mechanic said it could be my thermostat randomly closing, forcing coolant back out the reservoir. Would that happen?

    You guys are my saviors because many mechanics I talk to just seem like they don't know much about these diesels.

  10. #10

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    Never heard of a thermostat doing that, normally it would fail in the open position

    You can test this way

    https://youtu.be/JAJLMd46ySU

  11. #11

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    Did you verify no cracks in the used head? usually a new head is around the same cost as a used head shipped.
    Another possibility would be a crack in the block

  12. #12

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    Yes the used head was pressure tested, so shouldn't be any cracks, and the guy seems like a legit mechanic who knows these engines well...too bad I'm not near him anymore so can't talk to him easily.

  13. #13

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    It keeps pointing towards a thermostat issue. Cold bottom hose, radiator is cool to touch, no heater. They don't always fail the way you expect them to - I've had them jam partially open, had the centre of one bend out of alignment, jam fully open, the works... You have nothing to lose buying a new thermostat and gasket. Easy enough to test by dropping the old one into boiling water and watch what it wants to do (or doesn't do...) Cheaper than a cracked head. Hopefully this is the easy fix you need to get back on the road.

  14. #14

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    Alright thanks guys, sounds like I should do the T-stat just to rule that out. I am now getting hot air flow from heater, running temp is lower than it used to be(before new head/gasket) and seems to take longer to warm up first thing (just an observation). Also noticed lower hose was still cold after a drive yesterday.

    Any chance cooling system hasn't been properly bled after head was done? I've ran it with rad cap off, as well at high rpm with cap at first stop.

    Pretty weary of the situation cause I'm getting visual bubbles out the overflow tank, and a few people have told me the only thing that could do that is exhaust in your cooling....And hoping to pin it down so I can tell the mechanic if he botched the job.

    This is a long thread I know so really appreciate the feedback so far.
    Can't give up on this baby, I'll admit I'm attached.

  15. #15

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    Whatever the fault is, it's not a deal breaker. The bubbling through the coolant could be an exhaust leak into the system (it could even be rectified by a head gasket re-torque, don't know...) but it would be frustrating to off load your pride only to see the new owner driving it a week later after an easy fix. Keep us posted

  16. #16

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    So I managed to get a compression test:

    said just under 300 psi on all cylinders. Which seemed fine...although my manual does say should be no less than 324. Seems ok?

    And I put a pressure tester on my radiator...within ten minutes of running it had pressurized to 30 psi, the max it could read. So something is definitely pressurizing my coolant....but left the shop still unsure of what's causing it.

    Crack in the block? May re-torque head.

    Thanks again

  17. #17

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    One thing that has been overlooked - the water pump. What shape is it in? It would explain no coolant being pushed through the heater.

  18. #18

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    Not sure about that one, how would one test the shape of the water pump?

    I am getting heat now though

  19. #19

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    see if they have a combustion leak tester similar to this
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/3323665...=ps&dispItem=1

    You leave radiator cap off, and plug top with this, with the blue chemical in the container. if combustion gases blows through it, the fluid changes color (reusable liquid, after putting regular air through it it changes back)

    Sounds to me like a cracked head, you wont lose compression numbers from it, it wont start opening up typically until the engine is heated up

  20. #20

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    UPDATE:

    Got my hands on a combustion leak tester kit...which showed no results of fluid changing color. It even had enough pressure to blow through the tester I did not have to use the hand pump or vaccum line. I tried it out of my exhaust pipe to be sure, and it turned yellow instantly.

    So if this means that I have no issues with head/gasket leaking compression, what else would be forcing coolant to bubble out?
    Feeling good if this means that it's only something to do with the cooling system and not engine.

    Thanks again

  21. #21

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    Do you have a watercooled turbo? turbo could be pushing boost into it.

  22. #22

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    Pretty sure it is not water cooled.

    Cheers

  23. #23

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    if its oil only, the only other thing i can think as a possible cause would be if the head is cracked in the intake chamber, and allowing the turbo to push air into the coolant. But that would have to be a fairly big crack to allow that much that easy

  24. #24

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    This is possibly a dumb response, but check that your radiator cap isn't bad or too low pressure. Mine has been having that problem, it doesn't overheat, and it runs great, but after a long drive I start overfilling the overflow bottle.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by dancinggecko View Post
    This is possibly a dumb response, but check that your radiator cap isn't bad or too low pressure. Mine has been having that problem, it doesn't overheat, and it runs great, but after a long drive I start overfilling the overflow bottle.
    Dont think so cause it's bubbling up when running with the cap off as well

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