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Blown Head Gasket?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by lt1yj, Dec 31, 2001.

  1. lt1yj

    lt1yj 1/2 ton status

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    I just got back from a 1000 mile trip and had to put in 1 gallon of antifreeze twice on the way. The motor is a '99 Vortec 350 with ~70K on it.

    I've had it running in my garage for about an hour and there is no coolant leaking on the floor. No water in the oil either. There is a whitish cloud coming from the tailpipe but it doesn't really smell like antifreeze, but it smells bad. There is also a lot of liquid in the tailpipe.

    I'm pretty sure it's a head gasket, but is it possible it's an intake manifold gasket? Any other ideas?

    How do I tell which bank/cylinder is leaking if it is a head gasket? remove sparkplugs and look for ?

    Thanks for your help in advance!
     
  2. kim tate

    kim tate 1/2 ton status

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    I lost the head gasket on my 5.7 at 70,000 miles. Had the same symptons you do. Engine ran great but noticed loss of coolant. Ocassionally, the temp gauge would climb to 250 and then drop quickly to about 160. I kept thinking I had a bad thermostat.

    My problem was coolant leaking into the cylinder and then pushed out the exhaust. I had some white smoke but only a faint sweet smell.

    Have a radiator shop test your coolant for exhaust gas blowby. Maybe someone on this board knows if there is a litmus test that will let you make this diagnosis yourself. You can also run your engine at high rpms with the radiator cap off and see if exhaust gas forces coolant out.

    Have you looked at the spark plugs? Does one look different than the rest?
     
  3. Ovrtym

    Ovrtym Registered Member

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    When mine blew a head gasket I had the same symptoms - coolant loss, excess moisture from the exhaust, etc. I knew it was a head gasket so I didn't bother to look at the plugs. When I pulled the heads the top of one of the pistons was "steam" cleaned, it looked like it was new, one nice and shiny and seven with carbon buildup. If there was some way of looking at the pistons through the plug hole you would probably see the same thing.
     
  4. lt1yj

    lt1yj 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I called 3 local dealers and they said head gaskets failures are pretty rare. They also said the intake manifold gasket at the #8 cylinder is pretty common.

    Either way I'm pulling the intake so if I find a leak at the intake I may not pull the heads. First I'm going to pull the spark plugs to see if any are discolored. I hope to find the #8 cylinder is the problem but if not I'll probably be pulling the heads also.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    I GAARRRRUUUNNNTTTEEEEEE thats a blown head gasket! [​IMG] Sorry to say! I have done a few of these on my old Vortec engine... three to be precise! Once the factory gasket went, it just seemed that anytime you beat on the engine just a little too hard, the head gaskets would go. 3rd time, I cracked on of the heads, and sold the truck after replacing the engine. I'd had enough...

    Good luck, and have fun tossing new gaskets in! Its not that tough of a job if you have a garage and a few basic tools, you can certainly tackle this job on your own. $100 for the full gasket kit, $20 for beer, and $50 for a decent garage heater, and you will have new head gaskets in no time! [​IMG]

    <font color=red>GOT MUD???</font color=red>
    My license plate reads:<font color=blue> 8 YR SUV</font color=blue>
    454/TH400/NP205 - 14BFF/D60/w/ 4.10s - 36" TSLs
     
  6. 95 Silverado

    95 Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    you do realize that an intake manifold gasket leak will not let coolant into the cylinder. if it is the intake it will leak into the crankcase, or to the exterior of the engine. if you are actually getting coolant in the cylinder it has to be a head gasket or cracked head, which usually results in excess pressure in the cooling system. run the engine with the radiator cap off and the radiator full to the neck, a leaking head or gasket will usually cause pockets of air to surface at the radiator neck .

    '95 Chevy Silverado 1500
    5.7 V8-NV4500- 3.73 rears
    See My Toys: <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/wdb172454>http://community.webshots.com/user/wdb172454</a>
     
  7. 75K5

    75K5 1/2 ton status

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    I agree it sounds like a headgasket.

    If you have an autozone nearby, go but a headgasket testing kit. It's like $35 and it's basically a cap with some hoses that goes on your radiator. I don't remember how it exactly works, but I've used it on two super coupes I've had and it accuratly found bad headgaskets.

    The other option is easy, and even more reliable. do a compression test. Those kits are cheapo, and it's not difficult accessing the spark plugs.

    Brian
     
  8. lt1yj

    lt1yj 1/2 ton status

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    There is no external leak, but the local dealer said they have seen a couple of these leak from the coolant passage to the intake port on the #8 cylinder. I'll find out on Saturday!

    I don't have any experience with either intake or head gasket leaks so I'm on the learning curve.

    Thanks!
     
  9. lt1yj

    lt1yj 1/2 ton status

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    Just got everything torn down. Head gasket between #3 and #5 cylinder. Only a slight leak to the #5. The inside of the engine was a mess with a watery/oily sludge. I got everything I could get to in the intake, heads, lifter valley and distributor but without tearing the whole motor down I won't be able to clean the rest of it up.

    Does anyone have a recommendation to get the rest of the sludge out? I'm planning several oil changes in the next few weeks but I don't think that will get it all.

    Thanks again for all the help earlier!
     
  10. k5king

    k5king 1/2 ton status

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    drain ALL the oil and mess out of the oil pan.then pour diesel fuel over everything ,honestly ! it will clean up almost all of the sludge,and it's not as volitile as gas.then if you want to go even further,,you can try to prime the oil pump, through where the dist. goes,and run the diesel through the entire motor,let it sit and drain it,put fresh oil back in AND A NEW FILTER !! then change it after a week. you should be ok after that. if you want you can change it once more even.


    <font color=purple>ANYBODY LOSE THEIR JEEP????????[​IMG]
    I JUST FOUND ONE UNDER MY BLAZER!!!![​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]</font color=green>
     
  11. Blazer_Boy

    Blazer_Boy 1/2 ton status

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    CLEAN THAT MOTOR! My dad's blew a head gasket and I overhauled the top end. The leak was so bad though that it got into the oil and toasted the bearings.

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/bigkern76>The Blazer Boy Page</a>
     

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