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Old 06-28-2010, 10:07 PM
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Default Dirty, Oily Coolant - head gasket bad?

I set out to fix my timing cover oil leak this evening. First step was to drain the radiator and mop up the inevitable coolant mess; thankfully this time the spill was minimal. The coolant is not the shiny green color that it was when it was put into the truck a couple of weeks ago. It looks like it has oil in it, you can't tell in the picture but it has that oil in water sheen.



I checked the dipstick and it is not a milkshake. From what I understand a blown head gasket result in antifreeze getting into the oil, not the oil getting into the antifreeze - is this correct? What could cause oil getting into the antifreeze?

I have not yet checked anything else. I'm going to press forward with fixing the timing cove oil leak as I've already got the radiator drained. Once it is all back together, I'll warm it all up and do a compression test to see what it shows.

I'm fairly certain the head will need to come off - in addition to the compression test, what other checks should I do?
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:19 AM
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It looks like your coolant is cooked, like compression gases have baked or over heated the coolant. That said, has this engine used green coolant in the past? or did you use red coolant in a recent past drain and fill? Have you noticed any high temps or overheating of the engine while driving(especially up steep long hill?)
Oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil depends on where the Head gasket leaks or has lost integrity.
the oil like sheen, could be fuel being moved from the cylinder to the coolant with the compression leaks.
Yes I would see what your compression is. Be sure to listen as the engine turns over to see if two cylinders are communicating with each other. But just seeing the coolant, it looks like you have compression leaks into the coolant from the head gasket.
Great time to mill the head to get better performance out of the engine.
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by powderpig View Post
It looks like your coolant is cooked, like compression gases have baked or over heated the coolant. That said, has this engine used green coolant in the past? or did you use red coolant in a recent past drain and fill? Have you noticed any high temps or overheating of the engine while driving(especially up steep long hill?)
I don't know if the engine was ever run with red. One of the accessories I had to add to the engine was the block drain plug. I'm pretty sure the block was drained of any old coolant as we filled the cooling system with brand new green and with 16 quarts it filled the system and had just enough to fill the over flow about 1/2 way.

I've been watching oil pressure and temperature very closely and there has been no overheating on the temperature gauge. It takes a few minutes to climb up to temperature and then it holds there. As far a big hills, I've taken it up to 285 to the Indian Hills turn off a couple of times and it has run up the hill leaving Franktown heading east - truck runs great and no overheating.


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Yes I would see what your compression is. Be sure to listen as the engine turns over to see if two cylinders are communicating with each other. But just seeing the coolant, it looks like you have compression leaks into the coolant from the head gasket.
What would I be listening for to see if two cylinders are communicating with each other?

I've been mulling this over in my head and have a strong urge to move straight to pulling the head and seeing what is going on with the gasket and taking the head to be inspected, i.e. bypass buttoning it up to do a compression check - is this an ill advised step forward?
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:01 AM
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Ricardo, looks like the coffee at Javier and C's
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:06 AM
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maybe the block was all rusty and this washed it out?
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:31 AM
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could the oil cooler on the motor be leaking?
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:11 AM
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maybe the block was all rusty and this washed it out?
It is possible and that would be great situation.

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could the oil cooler on the motor be leaking?
This engine does not have an oil cooler.
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:21 AM
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Bummer Ricardo. If it's not running hot or blowing smoke, I would be tempted to just flush the cooling system and drain the oil and refill, then drive it some more and check to see if it's discolored again. Easy to do before pulling the head.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:42 PM
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What about just running distilled water for a day or two and draining it again to see what it looks like?
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:11 PM
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Hmmm. I seem to recall reading something in TT recently from Robbie about using a certain kind of detergent to clean engines. Might be a good idea in this case?
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