blown head gasket test? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 06, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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blown head gasket test?

hey guys,

I'm reaching my wit's end with my car and the current issues i'm having. i'll start with a little background.

My heater core started leaking and i had to drive about 40 miles this way. block then on the last mile of my trip the fan belt shredded and motor got really hot, i'd say atleast 230* ... So I get it home eventually and put in plugs in the water pump and intake to bypass the heater core since i can't change it right now. Car still ran hot and was spiking between 200 and 220* i heard bubbling in the motor and knew there was air somehow getting in. I changed the intake gaskets thinking they were not well and the thermostat and the fan clutch. Now my car is still running between 180-210 occasionally hitting 220 when idling. I have been cruising below 1/2 throttle on all these tests and when i gave it 3/4 throttle i'm seeing white smoke behind me, kinda smells oily. I recently changed my cam and springs so i don't know if i could have hurt a valve seal or something.

Right now i'm looking for methods to single out and trouble shoot the problem, Would a leakdown test tell me what i want to know? what are some tell tale signs that you have blown a head gasket? the car idles and runs below 1/2 throttle fine and i dont see anything leaking out the tail pipes, but not sure if that's somethign to look for or not. in any case, any recommendations are greatly appreciated.

thanks
Rick

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 06, 01:04 PM
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Re: blown head gasket test?

Quote:
My heater core started leaking and i had to drive about 40 miles this way. block then on the last mile of my trip the fan belt shredded and motor got really hot, i'd say atleast 230*
A red light means STOP...the heater core u could have got away with stopping and by passing the core ...or keeping the water topped up.
Fan belt shredding....the red temp light comes on around the 230 deg mark.
It will take only a sew 100 yrds for the engine to over heat, and not much further to start to do serious damage...a mile..well thats way too far.

Checking blown head gasket
1/Fill raditor, leave cap off, and watch for bubbles
2/ Pull the plugs, look for a plug that is very clean, also use a torch to look at the top of each piston, this will also be clean.
4/ Take a 10 to 20 mile run down the highway, somewhere between the 5 mile and 20 mile the temps will slowly creep up to hot, often going down hill or pulling onto localraods the engine may cool down a little
5/Get the local workshop to run a radiator CO gas check.

6/ Run a compression test, this may also show ring/piston damage. u are looking for cylinder(s) noticably lower than the rest.

I can never figure how with anything else ppl when they see a red warning light they turn the applance off...when they see a red light at a intersection they stop...but a red light on a engine they keep going, and cross their fingers....

Bottom line...the engine is screwed.
Bottom line...the engine is screwed.

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 06, 01:19 PM
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Re: blown head gasket test?

White smoke sure sounds like you took out a head gasket. Indication of water getting into combustion chamber.

Dennis
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 06, 01:25 PM
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Re: blown head gasket test?

Are you losing coolant also? White smoke usually is from water burning through. In addition to what Step said, a dead giveaway for a blown gasket or a cracked head is by unusually fast pressure building in the radiator hoses as soon as you start it up.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 06, 02:14 PM
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Re: blown head gasket test?

There is a test that most automotive shops can do. They pull some air from the top of your radiator through a colored liquid. If exhaust gases are present in the cooling system, the liquid will change colors.

A leak-down test will likely show it as well. You'll have to leak-down test all the cylinders and compare readings. It is likely that two adjacent cylinders will show leakage - it is common for the gasket to blow out between cylinders.

Dave
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 06, 10:11 PM
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Re: blown head gasket test?

Quote:
There is a test that most automotive shops can do. They pull some air from the top of your radiator through a colored liquid. If exhaust gases are present in the cooling system, the liquid will change colors.
That is this

Quote:
5/Get the local workshop to run a radiator CO gas check.

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 06, 06:35 AM
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Re: blown head gasket test?

Right you are Steptoe. Sorry to dupe your post.

Dave
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 7th, 06, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: blown head gasket test?

thanks for the advice on diagnosing the problem. and not that it really matters, but i didn't drive it home that last mile, i waited until 1am for a buddy to pull a belt and bring me one, i just know it saw that temperature as i was pulling off the road. either case nothing can be done for the past, but i'm planning on pulling the heads and having them checked out.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 7th, 06, 09:16 PM
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Re: blown head gasket test?

Simple test--look for bubbles in the antifreeze in the radiator while it's running. If it's losing compression through the cooling system with a blown head gasket, that's a dead tipoff. But it doesn't always happen--just a thought. Good luck!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 06, 08:21 PM
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Re: blown head gasket test?

by all means,perform a leak down test on all cyls at TDC compression stroke.You can also look for bubbles in the radiator without the water pump tricking you.A cavitating impellar will deem the test mute.You also could apply the leak down test with a coolant presssure gage that will build with a head gasket leak.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 06, 10:58 AM
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Re: blown head gasket test?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steptoe View Post
A red light means STOP...the heater core u could have got away with stopping and by passing the core ...or keeping the water topped up.
Fan belt shredding....the red temp light comes on around the 230 deg mark.
It will take only a sew 100 yrds for the engine to over heat, and not much further to start to do serious damage...a mile..well thats way too far.

Checking blown head gasket
1/Fill raditor, leave cap off, and watch for bubbles
2/ Pull the plugs, look for a plug that is very clean, also use a torch to look at the top of each piston, this will also be clean.
4/ Take a 10 to 20 mile run down the highway, somewhere between the 5 mile and 20 mile the temps will slowly creep up to hot, often going down hill or pulling onto localraods the engine may cool down a little
5/Get the local workshop to run a radiator CO gas check.

6/ Run a compression test, this may also show ring/piston damage. u are looking for cylinder(s) noticably lower than the rest.

I can never figure how with anything else ppl when they see a red warning light they turn the applance off...when they see a red light at a intersection they stop...but a red light on a engine they keep going, and cross their fingers....

Bottom line...the engine is screwed.
Bottom line...the engine is screwed.

It is not a CO check, It is a HC check
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 06, 02:39 PM
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Re: blown head gasket test?

u are right l had been working on emissions on a engine...CO got stuck in my head lol

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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