Head gasket trouble? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 02, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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In the last several weeks the temp gauge in my truck has been acting strangly. It has always run at the 1/4 mark when fully warmed up. In the last few weeks it has been running around the 1/2 mark on the gauge, and after driving for a while like this and trying to restart the engine it turns over slowly like the timing is too far advanced (it is still 12 degrees initial). Until today it has always run perfectly normal. Today I made a trip into town...the temp gauge stayed around the 1/4 mark until I was sitting at a drive thru...the temp creeped up to the 1/2 mark again and then the idle started getting funky...it still idled at 600 rpm in gear but sounded sick...like the carb was too rich (no missing). When I took off down the street I punched it and it bogged down pretty badly, but then took off like normal (got a nice sideways kick hitting 2nd gear ). When I backed off the throttle, it sounded all blubbery (not clean at all) and was surging off and on all the way home. When I punched it the temp immediately dropped back to the normal 1/4 mark. When I got home, it was still idling sickly...there is no black smoke coming out of the pipes at idle or when you goose the throttle. However, there is a rather sweet smell from the exhaust. It doesnt that thick, steamy smell like burning anti freeze, but it is sweet smelling. I didnt have time to trouble shoot it too much today, but I am thinking head gasket or gaskets. Any thoughts?

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'78 chevy truck-355, 9.4-1, vortec heads, XE268, vortec rpm intake, 750 edelbrock, flowtech headers and terminators.

'77 Nova-slowly progressing project.

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 02, 03:49 AM
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I would say depends if you've been losing anti-freeze.

The 1/4 mark is usually 180 degF, 1/2 is typically 210 degF.

You might measure intake crossover with temp gun to see coolant temp. Slowly remove rad cap to see bubbles from compression leaking into coolant. Clean and flush radiator, and restore with new antifreeze and de-minerized water. Thermostat may be acting up. Belt(s) tight?

Can always remove spark plugs, bring cylinder under test up to tdc and inject 100 psi of shop air into cylinder and check coolant for bubbles, then you know its a head gasket.

Good luck.......


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