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Masani
01-31-2013, 03:04 AM
Issues: Head gasket changed. Smoking, and coolant in oil.


A week ago I was sitting at a light when my engine started idling rough and white smoke started clouding out the exhaust. Obvious head gasket gone bad. The engine was still cool as I had only been driving for a minute, on flat ground, at night. So I drove the rest of the way home as I was just a couple blocks away.

A day later I ordered a head, intake, and exhaust gasket. Took the head off while I waited for them to arrive. Cylinder 3 was flooded with coolant. The head gasket itself looked fine. A little area that looked like the gasket had failed, letting the coolant through.

I saw no visible warping so I just cleaned the old gasket off and got started on putting the new one on. Followed the book, used copper gasket spray, used proper torque and torque order, all that jazz.

Anyway, here's where I'm in the shit. I start up the engine and it starts smoking. A decent amount of smoke, while idling, that smells odd. It didnt smell like it would when its running rich. Nor did it smell like vapors or emit an intense cloud of white. I was beginning to think I fried a ring or something.

So I check the oil and its full of coolant again!! I don't get it. Could it have been that there was a large pocket of coolant stuck in the oil passages somewhere? But how would that explain there being enough coolant to turn 3.5L of oil milky?

Do I need to take the head off again to sort this out. Help! D:

Murgatroy
01-31-2013, 03:14 AM
How long have you let it run? If you had all sorts of coolant in the engine and exhaust, it is still there till it burns out.

Masani
01-31-2013, 03:28 AM
Yeah, but what about the coolant in the oil? The fresh oil?

Murgatroy
01-31-2013, 03:38 AM
When we put Chaos latest engine in her, it had a BHG when we installed. We had to flush the coolant and the oil two or three times to get it all clear.

buffalohunter7321
01-31-2013, 03:39 AM
Check the rad and see if the coolant is low. Also do a compression test on your #3 cylinder. It could be a cracked head or block.

Masani
01-31-2013, 04:05 AM
When we put Chaos latest engine in her, it had a BHG when we installed. We had to flush the coolant and the oil two or three times to get it all clear.

Well, that fills me with hope. :P Going to get some more oil and no-smoke. Let's see if I can flush that coolant-oil out. :\ And get that smoking to stop.

Doowstados
01-31-2013, 10:36 PM
Before you get more oil, do the compression test. If you don't have proper compression then putting more oil in will just be flushing more money down the drain.

93celicaconv
02-01-2013, 01:54 AM
Yeah, I would do a compression test as well. Was the engine in any freezing temperatures with plain water in it? Did it overheat recently? Sounds like a cracked cylinder wall. I suppose the head could be cracked, but it would be unusual to be dumping coolant in the oil so quickly this way. Would be great to spin the oil pump to pump oil throughout the engine for an hour or so to see if you get any cross comtamination (without the engine running), but the 4A-FE oil pump is on the crankshaft, which makes this impossible.

Masani
02-01-2013, 09:02 AM
I'm not sure about anything cracking as it only gets as cold as 50 degrees, give or take. And there was no way I had overheated in a quarter mile of easy, downhill driving.

Masani
02-01-2013, 09:04 AM
Thinking I need to retorque the head. Any logic in that?

93celicaconv
02-01-2013, 12:50 PM
Thinking I need to retorque the head. Any logic in that?

No. If the thinking is the headgasket gave way, retorquing the head bolts won't repair a failed headgasket. By-the-way, you can't visually check the head for warpage - we are talking about flatness within 0.005" across the surface - not something you can see if you are within that spec across the entire surface.

You should check compression pressures of all 4 cylinders again, and let us know what those are. At least make sure cylinder #3 is where the obvious issue is again. You will probably need to remove the head, really check the block/cylinder walls very carefully to see if there are signs of cracks in there. If none, take the cylinder head in to a shop and have them pressure check the head of signs of an internal crack. If none, have them rebuild the head (valve seals, lap the valves, resurface the headgasket surface of the head), then with a new gasket kit and new head bolts, do a reinstall.

Otherwise, go out and swap in a known good 1st Gen 4A-FE engine.

Masani
02-02-2013, 01:52 AM
I'll get on that compression check. But something just doesn't sound right. The engine was cool, not cold, and had only been driving for a quarter mile or so. And to have anything crack or pop? hmm

UtahSleeper
02-02-2013, 02:07 AM
It could have been happening over time. Not all cracks come from overheating. There are a few stories of 3s blocks cracking just cause.

KoreanJoey
02-03-2013, 02:27 AM
By-the-way, you can't visually check the head for warpage - we are talking about flatness within 0.005" across the surface - not something you can see if you are within that spec across the entire surface.

This is what a machined straight edge is for...

Masani
02-07-2013, 04:30 AM
Alright, compression tests went well. averaged 165 across. And with fresh oil, still, coolant in the oil. Should I suspect a faulty head gasket? Or a cool engine warping? :\

Car_Barn_Bandit
02-07-2013, 04:44 AM
A crack happening between oil and coolant jackets wouldn't necessary fail a compression test. Do you have oil in the coolant as well?

Masani
02-07-2013, 07:03 AM
No, only coolant in the oil.

buffalohunter7321
02-07-2013, 06:01 PM
Yes I would be suspicious of the HG and also have the head checked at a shop for warp age and pressure checked since you have it off. And I know that this might sound odd but the head might check out good and all, but the block could also have the problem of warp age or a crack. That is the only [ways] of coolant getting in your oil. But than you have to ask your self is this worth all the expense and time and trouble against the price of the automobile!!!!

85gtsblackman
04-02-2013, 02:32 AM
Just get a good used motor