Head gasket questions. UPDATED WITH PICTURES! - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


Engine Performance This section is for discussion on all engine building related questions.
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-02-2009, 12:13 AM   #1
Cpt. Slow
Thread Starter
iTrader: (25)
 
curly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 12,105
Total Cats: 518
Default Head gasket questions. UPDATED WITH PICTURES!

So after a spirited drive last night after I finally got a smooth running msq, my engine seemed to running strangely. Mainly a low idle, Subaru sounding engine note, and it was difficult to start after I shut it down briefly. I figured that because it was cold out (30*) and with all the ducting/heater core reroute stuff I have going on I was only running at 130*, the untouched cold start settings were to blame for it's hesitation to start. Came back after work this afternoon and it started fine, but still didn't sound quite right below 3000rpm. A short drive to the neighbor's driveway and back reviled that it actually ran OK. It still built 8ish psi by around 3500rpm in 2nd, at which point I turned around and went back home.

I ruled out the stupid, by checking that all 4 coils had spark, and checked that all 4 injectors were clicking with a screwdriver. Turbo was spinning freely, blah blah blah. Found some more interesting stuff in the daylight.

Symptoms:

White smoke out the exhaust
Black water droplets were forming where exhaust leak between manifold/turbo hit the fender.
Very tan oil on dip stick and under valve cover, with a tiny bit of foam
Very slight oil in water (running straight distilled water)

Any wild guesses as to what it might be?

Looks like I'm in for a head gasket change. Not terribly pissed, it is a second car, and the HG was the one thing I DIDN'T change during a recent engine refresh to fix some oil leaks.

My questions are:

1. What are the chances that just replacing the head gasket will be all I need to do?
1a. If you don't think it is, what else could be kaput?
2. Once the head gasket is changed, what do I do to rinse the oil from the coolant system (50/50ish mixture going in after this for winter), and the water from the oil system?
3. The head gasket isn't the original, I replaced it with one from a Shuck's HG that was included in a huge rebuild kit. Should the quality of the HG be in question if it's survived 30,000k of hard street miles with 5+ VERY hard track days on it? Or is it understandable that it blew. One of those track days was a greddy system, another was slightly modded (intercooler/bipes/o2 clamp) although without a wideband. All others were with wideband and I was easily staying below 13's at the MOST (usually low 12's). AKA: OEM or NAPA/Shucks HG?
4. Should I trust that a head gasket is all I'll need and do it in my driveway in the cold this weekend (no garage) or load my engine stand in my GF's Exterra, limp it 31.5 miles (mostly freeway) to her place and do it there, cause it might be rods/pistons/rings/head? That might be the logical choice no matter what, but it's a hassle lugging all the tools back and forth and I don't want damage it more by driving it over there.

Thanks for your help guys. If you think you need any pictures for proof of the foaming oil I suppose I could take some, but pending an actual oil drain I'm 99% sure it's coolant in the oil.
curly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 12:17 AM   #2
Murderator
iTrader: (76)
 
18psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 36,174
Total Cats: 2,575
Default

I thought I had "just a headgasket" problem when my **** blew. Boy was I wrong.
I would not suggest rebuilding in the driveway.

As for flushing out coolant system: use coolant flush stuff and lots of water.
For engine, they sell this stuff that's supposed to flush that out as well.

I think its headgasket from what little knowledge I have on the matter. But could be worse. After my mishap I never think of the best scenario though. I always prepare for the worst

Sorry to sound like a total downer
18psi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 12:19 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 91
Total Cats: 0
Default

pull the spark plugs and have a look to see if they show any signs of burning/pushing coolant.

Are your coolant hoses pressurized after a hard run in boost? What I'm asking is, is the cooling system being pressurized by combustion chamber pressures?
NoMiEzMX-5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 12:22 AM   #4
Murderator
iTrader: (76)
 
18psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 36,174
Total Cats: 2,575
Default

If it was wouldn't the hoses pop off or develop a leak?

He's got oil/water mix. That hg is done.
18psi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 12:23 AM   #5
Cpt. Slow
Thread Starter
iTrader: (25)
 
curly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 12,105
Total Cats: 518
Default

No worries, I'm going into this with a glass half full attitude. Christmas is coming soon, I can wish for rods or at least take whatever money I get from relatives to help offset the cost. They were needed anyways I figure.

I'm mainly worried about getting it to the GF's, and what additional damage may occur during that trip. I forgot to mention, but I'm planning on checking 1&4 and 2&3 cylinder heights to hopefully detect any bent rods. I'm also hoping broken piston ring lands will be easily detected and obvious once the head is off. Wouldn't a compression/leak down test be worthless for checking the pistons until the head gasket is replaced?
curly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 12:27 AM   #6
Murderator
iTrader: (76)
 
18psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 36,174
Total Cats: 2,575
Default

Pretty much. But I'd still do one. Wouldn't hurt. I don't think a bent rod would really cause anything like you're describing though. I would guess hg is done and possibly piston ringlands like you say. Maybe just rings.
18psi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 12:28 AM   #7
Cpt. Slow
Thread Starter
iTrader: (25)
 
curly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 12,105
Total Cats: 518
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMiEzMX-5 View Post
pull the spark plugs and have a look to see if they show any signs of burning/pushing coolant.
will do

Quote:
Are your coolant hoses pressurized after a hard run in boost? What I'm asking is, is the cooling system being pressurized by combustion chamber pressures?
Don't think so, would this be a symptom of a blown head gasket? I could check if people think it's truly necessary, but I'm pretty sure i have enough reasons to expect the HG.

Quote:
If it was wouldn't the hoses pop off or develop a leak?
Clamps are all fairly new, a lot of the little lines have been eliminated, and the gaskets are all new. Blown HG or not, it'd take a lot to develop a leak. There was a bit of oil in the PCV line that I've never seen before. at the time I figured it was a bad valve (shitty NAPA 323gtx valve). That could be pressurized oil though from a blown HG, yes?
curly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 12:31 AM   #8
Murderator
iTrader: (76)
 
18psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 36,174
Total Cats: 2,575
Default

I don't think that's what he was talking about. Usually a leak in the combustion chambers would pressurize the cooling system and if pressure raises enough teh weakest link in it (usually a hose) will pop off or blow up. My turbo water line blew up when mine **** itself.

I don't think the pcv valve has anything to do with this. Just my
18psi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 03:15 AM   #9
Elite Member
iTrader: (8)
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Posts: 2,732
Total Cats: 3
Default

Dude get in on those cheap rods from neogen in his partout thread. I sure wish I could right now...

Good luck with whatever this problem ends up being. Someone local (guy I got the tranny from) showed me an 01 block with 2 cracked cylinder walls...was just n/a too. 2 headgaskets and a rebuilt head didn't fix it so he just replaced the whole engine.
wayne_curr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 03:34 AM   #10
I'm Miserable!
iTrader: (16)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: where most people are Utarded
Posts: 1,323
Total Cats: 0
Default

Curly, I have a complete 1.6 OEM gasket set if you need it, PM me if interested.
zoomin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 08:43 AM   #11
Cpt. Slow
Thread Starter
iTrader: (25)
 
curly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 12,105
Total Cats: 518
Default

Thanks zooming, I might take you up on that. Fel-pro's fairly reputable, and their head gasket is only $48, I'm going to see if O'rilley's has one available after work, if not I'll PM you.
curly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 09:55 AM   #12
Boost Czar
iTrader: (61)
 
Braineack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Chantilly, VA
Posts: 72,833
Total Cats: 1,786
Default

Every time I've started dumping black water goo crap out my exhaust I've eventually needed a new shortblock...
Braineack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 11:07 AM   #13
Moderator
iTrader: (11)
 
sixshooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 15,654
Total Cats: 1,559
Default

--Compression test and leakdown test to diagnose problem. Without that info everything is mere speculation.
sixshooter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 01:54 PM   #14
I'm Miserable!
iTrader: (16)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: where most people are Utarded
Posts: 1,323
Total Cats: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
Thanks zooming, I might take you up on that. Fel-pro's fairly reputable, and their head gasket is only $48, I'm going to see if O'rilley's has one available after work, if not I'll PM you.
I think I might have an extra head gasket in the garage as well if you want it, but the complete gasket set could come in handy.
zoomin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 02:19 PM   #15
Elite Member
iTrader: (13)
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tigard, Oregon
Posts: 3,908
Total Cats: 0
Default

So you reused the same headgasket you had on with your track overheating adventures this year?!?
cueball1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 03:01 PM   #16
mkturbo.com
iTrader: (24)
 
shuiend's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Charleston SC
Posts: 13,775
Total Cats: 1,106
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
Thanks zooming, I might take you up on that. Fel-pro's fairly reputable, and their head gasket is only $48, I'm going to see if O'rilley's has one available after work, if not I'll PM you.
I paid $26 for my Fel-Pro headgasket from AutoZone. So $48 seems a bit high to me.
shuiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 03:07 PM   #17
Boost Czar
iTrader: (61)
 
Braineack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Chantilly, VA
Posts: 72,833
Total Cats: 1,786
Default

hell i spent $40 at Rosenthal for my OEM one...
Braineack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 03:47 PM   #18
Cpt. Slow
Thread Starter
iTrader: (25)
 
curly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 12,105
Total Cats: 518
Default

Interesting. There was a cheaper HG at shucks, wasn't felpro though, dunno if I'd trust a $28 HG anyways. I may end up getting the oem one if it's only $40.

Cuelball, yes I did reuse it when I took my engine out, although I never took the head off, just the oil pan and valve cover. I never thought my overheating problems were HG gasket related. Or are you saying the over heating warped the head. That's another issues altogether that I hadn't thought of...

So you guys think it'll be ok to drive 30 miles to the gf's garage? I'll pull the head and figure out if I want OEM/shucks/zoomin head gasket at that point.
curly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 04:05 PM   #19
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 91
Total Cats: 0
Default

The drive should be OK if the oil/coolant isn't mixing too much. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to rent a cooling system pressure tester from a parts store and to check to see if your cooling system is holding the proper amount of pressure or not.

You can also dye the coolant and check with the light to see where its leaking/seeping.

Nomie
NoMiEzMX-5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 04:27 PM   #20
Moderator
iTrader: (11)
 
sixshooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 15,654
Total Cats: 1,559
Default

If you are getting ANY water in the oil you cant drive it. Everything will be fucked - junk the motor when you get there. But a little oil in the water won't hurt it. Oil will lose all of its film strength when you add water so you cant drive it without ruining everything that is oil lubricated, from the crank to the cams.
sixshooter is online now   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Project Gemini - Turbo Civic on the Cheap Full_Tilt_Boogie Build Threads 57 07-19-2017 05:11 PM
Time to start learning and play with tuning The Gleas MEGAsquirt 3 10-01-2015 10:30 AM
Bad head gasket or ? shooterschmidty Engine Performance 8 09-30-2015 11:28 PM


Tags
head gasket

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:28 AM.