Blown head gasket symptoms? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:52 PM
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Question Blown head gasket symptoms?

Ok, so I've known I've had a blown head gasket for a while now. I've got money saved up and am going to do gaskets and studs soon. For a long time it has puked coolant, cap went bad, heater control valve has failed twice, so it's putting excess pressure into the cooling system and just breaks the next weakest link. Lately it's developed a much worse leak but I haven't been able to find it yet, it drips right on the front pumpkin but I can't see from where.

And this morning, I happened to be standing outside of it when I remote started it and saw some smoke, not water, I'm thinking oil, it was kind of dark grey/blue. It's never had even the slightest puff of smoke before. I've seen water smoke come out of another truck that had a blown EGR cooler, it was white. I did the EGR delete and oil cooler replacement, full system flush and swap to ELC-1 coolant last winter. I checked it again after work, did the remote start from outside and no smoke, so it seems to be overnight after it sits maybe?

Lately I've noticed that my oil temps are running high if I drive very far, like coolant temps in the 180's and oil temps up to 210-215 on a long drive running 70-80mph. I've checked and the oil is full. Wondering if it had something to do with the headgaskets or maybe the new oil cooler finally picked up the rest of the leftover old coolant and clogged? It's never leaked or burned a drop of oil since I've had it for almost 2 years. It's an '05 with almost 150k miles.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:17 PM
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A ruptured EGR cooler can and will steam coolant out of your exhaust and pressurize your cooling system. It can also hydrolock your motor! It is good practice to replace your oil cooler while you are in the valley doing an EGR delete/coolant change. 180 degrees is a little cool (may be a sign to replace your thermostat soon) but even at operating temp (ECT 188-192) your EOT would still be 20-25 degrees higher... get in there and replace it before you damage anything else.

Two of the most tell-tale signs of leaking HGs is coolant system pressure (relieving cap, white residue around degas cap) and loss of heat in cab. If you have a trailer or a large hill, work the engine once its up to operating temp. After the truck has been working, if you let off and idle or coast and the heat in your cab cools down this likely means combustion gases are filling up your cooling system. Since the heater core is one of the high points in your cooling system, the gases gather here first displacing the hot coolant in your heater core... luke warm or cool air instead of hot air!
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:30 PM
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Just look for the tuner. If you find one then: Yup they're blown. LOL
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotta_gofast View Post
A ruptured EGR cooler can and will steam coolant out of your exhaust and pressurize your cooling system. It can also hydrolock your motor! It is good practice to replace your oil cooler while you are in the valley doing an EGR delete/coolant change. 180 degrees is a little cool (may be a sign to replace your thermostat soon) but even at operating temp (ECT 188-192) your EOT would still be 20-25 degrees higher... get in there and replace it before you damage anything else.

Two of the most tell-tale signs of leaking HGs is coolant system pressure (relieving cap, white residue around degas cap) and loss of heat in cab. If you have a trailer or a large hill, work the engine once its up to operating temp. After the truck has been working, if you let off and idle or coast and the heat in your cab cools down this likely means combustion gases are filling up your cooling system. Since the heater core is one of the high points in your cooling system, the gases gather here first displacing the hot coolant in your heater core... luke warm or cool air instead of hot air!
I said in the original post that I have already done the EGR delete, last year, and replaced the oil cooler. I know I've got a blown head gasket, and have had for quite a while, but I've got some new symptoms lately so I'm thinking maybe the blown gasket has gotten worse and instead of only leaking one direction, maybe it's leaking in both directions now.

I'm putting my parts list together for studs and gaskets. I've got the money now to do it.
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:01 PM
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And I have replaced the thermostat, last spring I think, it's always ran low ECT's, lower than they should be. So maybe it's had a blown head gasket ever since I've owned it (2 years). Yes, with the cold weather we've had, the heater has been sucking. Until the coolant runs up to 200, then the thermostat opens and I get some heat for a little bit, but the temp quickly drops back down to the 170's.

I thought there is supposed to be no more than 10-15 degrees delta between ECT and EOT?
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:15 PM
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Well just thinking out loud, you're running a tune on compromised gaskets - the exact same thing I did, which is why mine is in a jillion parts right now. But I noticed the same thing you did, right after my truck started puking heavily (just taking a casual drive to the store without punching it would still result in some puking) - I noticed the oil temp started to rise a bit higher than the coolant temp. I chalked it up to coincidence, the oil cooler was starting to go south at the same time.

I never linked the two until a few nights ago when I rebuilt the oil cooler on my bench. Just for curiosity sake, I sprayed brake cleaner in it to see what would come out. The brake cleaner solvent came out dark grey/black - almost like exhaust smoke. Which makes sense. The combustion gasses would be entering the cooling system bc of the blown head gaskets, and my truck would black smoke a decent amount whenever I would get up on it. Who's to say the gaskets didn't let soot into the cooling system as well?

Funny part is I did a Restore/Restore+ system flush before I tore the truck down, but had to drive it a few times afterwards too.
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:58 PM
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Whatever you do make sure to have the heads resurfaced. When heads have had the head gaskets blown for a long time the surface will get worn back at the place the gases were leaking by. It will actually wear away the cast iron and it will not have a flat mating surface to seal long term. Best to take a real good look at the block as well. Never wise to continue running a engine when head gaskets are leaking. The pressure from escaping gases can cause damage to the surfaces. It's not just gases you also have fuel and coolant wearing away at the metals.

I have seen this myself when I used to work in a machine shop on cylinder heads. Trust me on this either replace them or have them milled. Make sure you take them to a shop familiar with the 6.0 PowerStroke.
The heater is your highest point in the cooling system so it gets the combustion chamber gases because it's lighter then air. Looks like its time for ARP studs and some machining. May think about ringing the heads for added reliability. If your running a tuner you absolutely have to stud it if you only want to do this once.
Do some research on how much of a tune to stay within a reliable power level.

Good luck with the project.

Last edited by mhatlen; 01-09-2014 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:27 AM
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This tune by Eric was specifically for a non-studded motor. And yes, I had planned on having the heads vatted, mag'd and milled. I'm ordering all my parts next week, trying to get an accurate list right now.
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:57 AM
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Check the hose for the EGR delete...

When the pressures are up due to the blown head gasket, it will bulge out the hose and the coolant will leak off of the back of the engine and onto the tranny pumpkin like you have seen.
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:59 AM
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Good idea. I'll look at that tomorrow.
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