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Head gasket ?

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 16 Feb 2010, 05:58 pm
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Default Head gasket ?

Last month my water pump failed on my '02 PT. Had it replaced by our mechanic and he also found my radiator cracked. In all, I got a new radiator, water pump kit (including timing belt), thermostat, and hoses. I haven't drove much since repairs cause I took it in for inpection and it failed for bad lower control arms. Last weekend I replaced them along with Eibach lowering springs, Energy busing kit, and KYB shocks and struts. Started the car up after the install and it overheated in the driveway while warming up. I checked the coolant when it cooled down and it was low...none in resivoir and low in radiator. I added some 50/50 (thinking back this was several years old...don't know if significant). Was doing well until came to stops and would start overheating again. Would cool back down at highway speeds. I took back to the mechanic for further insection of cooling system work and he said he had bad news. He could smell gas in the coolant. Pop the cap and there it was...gas. hmmm. He also mentioned how he could see the gas separating from the coolant in the radiator (this is why I question age of coolant). He said this was only the second car he had ever seen do this and is convinced it has a blown head gasket. I decided to pick the car up and tackle the replacement myself since I was drained from funds on the previous repairs/upgrades. Before getting underway I wanted to check the operation of the fan. The fan was working. I was surprised I had let run for 30 minutes and the car had not overheated yet. So I closed the hood and continued to watch the temp guage. Temperature guage was looking excellent, but then I heard gurgling from under the hood. I popped the hood and could see the coolant boiling in the resevior and steam coming from around the thermostat housing. I am gonna double check the thermostat. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Just want some other opinions before I try to tackle the chore of replacing the head gasket. Thanks!
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Old 16 Feb 2010, 06:06 pm
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Default Re: Head gasket ?

What does oil look like? If it's muddy/murky looking/foamy, yeah, head gasket.
(after running, look in oil cap, and dipstick).
Doing head gasket is nearly as much work as the timing belt.
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Old 16 Feb 2010, 08:05 pm
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Default Re: Head gasket ?

I would make sure there's no air in the system, sometimes that's all it is. With coolant in the system you really wont see steam, that is normally from water splashed on the engine from you or a garden hoes etc. I guess if its real cold you might see some. Coolant really doesn't steam off.

First make sure its full. before you move to part "B" LOL
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Old 16 Feb 2010, 10:04 pm
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Default Re: Head gasket ?

Do a compression test and a vacuum test. Post your results because I have found that there are a lot of sharp people on this forum and they can save you a lot of headaches as they have me in the past! Tearing down the engine is a lot of work.
Good luck
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Old 16 Feb 2010, 11:29 pm
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Default Re: Head gasket ?

Maybe the Radiator has a partial blockage or something. Does the oil look normal? Changing a head gasket is a major engine repair so hopefully it's something else and that mechanic was looking to hose you. Are you sure the fan is going on all the time when it's suppose to because the fan is an issue on the PT.
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Old 18 Feb 2010, 08:44 am
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Default Re: Head gasket ?

I changed the oil last night and it looks black, but had kind of a foamy/bubbly surface to it. Looked kind of like a thin liquid was mixed in slightly. Head gasket is definitely no small undertaking...the service manual says I have to remove the timing belt to replace the head gasket.

Last edited by bds02pt; 18 Feb 2010 at 08:46 am.
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Old 18 Feb 2010, 08:50 am
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Default Re: Head gasket ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by driveability View Post
With coolant in the system you really wont see steam, that is normally from water splashed on the engine from you or a garden hoes etc. I guess if its real cold you might see some. Coolant really doesn't steam off.
I had steam rolling from under the hood the time it dumped the water pump. Smelled and looked the same this time too.
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Old 18 Feb 2010, 10:20 am
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Default Re: Head gasket ?

Sorry Bro it don't sound good
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Old 19 Feb 2010, 04:07 pm
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Default Re: Head gasket ?

Oh well...if it wasn't for bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all. Good thing I love my PT or I'd fix it with a match . Saturday morning the fun begins. Any day that includes beer and tools is a good day in my book. Figure I need a head gasket repair under my belt so I don't feel like a fool next time I'm hanging with some older gear heads too. I'll post my findings/experience later.
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Old 19 Feb 2010, 10:24 pm
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Default Re: Head gasket ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bds02pt View Post
Oh well...if it wasn't for bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all. Good thing I love my PT or I'd fix it with a match . Saturday morning the fun begins. Any day that includes beer and tools is a good day in my book. Figure I need a head gasket repair under my belt so I don't feel like a fool next time I'm hanging with some older gear heads too. I'll post my findings/experience later.
Good luck Bro
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