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how to test for a blown headgasket



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Old 11-03-2008, 02:02 PM   #1
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how to test for a blown headgasket

last weekend went out and might have blown the headgasket. so far there is no oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil. the exhaust does not smell sweet or steam and after pulling the header doesnt look like there is any moisture in the exhaust ports.
the day after the run i took it for a drive and it overheated in 5-10 of regular driving with the fan on it shot to 230*. wheeling and driving it used to never ever get above 190* unless i was really on it then it might get to 210*.
but it got hot enough it was pushing water past the radiator cap.
so what are some tests i can do. or take it to have done to check for a blown headgasket.
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Old 11-03-2008, 02:23 PM   #2
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hmm

Does not necessarily have to be oil in the coolant for compressed gas or hot exhaust from the combustion cycle to find its way into the water jacket either from a blown head gasket and / or a cracked block or head. A simple test is to remove the radiator cap while the engine is still cool, crank the engine, allow it to warm up and watch for air bubbles in the coolant. You could also get a pressure reading cap from some automotive parts catalogs or at least you could a few years back. If it is putting enough pressure up to be blowing the water out of your radiator you most likely have a big problem. Be sure to have the head magnafluxed if you take it off. Of course to get the block magnafluxed is gonna be a lot of trouble.
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Old 11-03-2008, 03:15 PM   #3
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A compression test on each cylinder might shed some light on the problem also.
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Old 11-03-2008, 03:32 PM   #4
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already did that and it showed right around 170 for each cylinder.
i was told a pressure test on the coolant system or a leak down test is a good way i just don't know wehre to go that would do a quick check.
im gonna mess with it some and hopefully im lucky and just have an air pocket in my system
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:08 PM   #5
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shouldn't take more than a couple hours to pull the head on that thing. betcha you got a cracked head or corroded water jacket that's letting exaust gas leak into the coolant. if the bottom end checks out, get a head rebuilt with a good cam and new timing chain. it will be like a new motor. still gutless and foreign.. but new.
oh, when pulling the head, remember there is a bolt that goes down from the head into the timing chain cover. it sits down in a pocket and is always sunk in oil. it's not easy to find if you don't know it's there.
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:17 PM   #6
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230 hahahhahaha that's nothing. I guess I am lucky. I know I have pushed 320+ out at SORV last year one time. still runs strong. Mine was blowing fluids out the rad cap hose (no reservoir at the time).
I say give it a good flush .....check the thermostat to make sure it isn't sticking. or replace it just for peace of mind.
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on the average I say mine runs around 190-210 all day long.


o'yeah, make sure you have a over flow reservoir.
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:23 PM   #7
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i have an overflow and my t-stat is new replaced about two weeks ago.
im gonna put it back together and hope it just had a air pocket or something simple.
headgasket isn't a huge deal im just strapped for time with school
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:50 PM   #8
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Pull the cap, drive it straight up something so the rad is the highest point and let it warm up just to make sure all the air is out.

If you just replaced the t-stat you probably just have an air pocket
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:11 PM   #9
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well i've wheeled it twice since the tstat and it never got above 190*.
pulled the tstat and filled it back up with water and cranked it with the ignition shut off and with water almost to the top it will fill and overflow and when i stop a bunch of air pumps out.
i had a good mechanic tell me to try that one and so i think i'll be pullin the head to take a look
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:01 PM   #10
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My has been over heating from day 1. I have been hoping it is just because the fan was small. I put another fan on it, but have not got to test it yet to see if that will help. my is/was heating up slow, like 30 mins to over heat so I think it was/is a small fan. We will see when I get home.
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:05 PM   #11
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yota's came stock with a 195* tstat mine used to do the same thing until i put in a 180* tstat. it warms up slow and stays at 190*
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:34 PM   #12
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When I used to do this for a living, I used a J&S Block Tester and had near 100% accuracy with it. I just did a search for it and can only find UK Suppliers. There is a UK seller on eBay that has them as well. They work by detecting Carbon Monoxide in the cooling system. Very worth having around although the test fluid does have a limited shelf life. I'm puzzled why there is no domestic supplier however.
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