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Old 01-26-2014, 05:41 AM
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Thinking it might be my heads

So, I've been chasing down a coolant issue for the past couple of months. While towing my trailer to the sand, we pull a decent hill just outside of Yuma, AZ and the trailer was fully loaded. Anyway, ECT's were about 200-210 leading up to the hill and the truck was/is running great. Up until that time, no coolant loss and no puking. Pulling the hill about half way up, I get a strong smell of coolant and my ECT's just start climbing like nobody's business. My fan roars to life and temps aren't climbing as quickly. When we crest the hill, my EDGE CS is beeping like crazy (240*F) and the gauge on the dash is pegged... What did I do???

Things that are important to this story:
1) ARP head studs for 90k miles
2) Bulletproof EGR and Oil coolers and BPD water pump
3) I DID have a custom-made coolant hose from the radiator to the degas bottle (old one was cracked and I had some spare hose in the garage)
4) my degas bottle and cap were original from 2005







I have since replaced the degas bottle, the cap, and the "custom-made" hose and we took the trailer on another trip for MLK weekend. While better, my ECT's were around 230* and there was some minor puking while pulling the same hill. I also was about 1200 lbs lighter since we opted not to take the Rzr with us on that trip.

I've read about getting some "block-chek" to see if there's exhaust in my coolant, but Napa was out and it won't be there until Monday. Anything suggestions for what I can check in the meantime?
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Old 01-26-2014, 05:47 AM
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That is a rowdy puke!!! Sure hate seeing this when you have studded your truck already. I am in the process of studding here shortly...

If its puking with the new degas and cap, maybe pressure test to rule out HG failure? Surely those studs are doing their job?!? Were the heads machined when you had them off for stud job?
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Old 01-26-2014, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by TxOutlaw View Post
That is a rowdy puke!!! Sure hate seeing this when you have studded your truck already. I am in the process of studding here shortly...

If its puking with the new degas and cap, maybe pressure test to rule out HG failure? Surely those studs are doing their job?!? Were the heads machined when you had them off for stud job?
Yeah, those studs have done their job since I've gotten 90k miles out of them. Back when my HG's were done (many years ago), they were checked but not machined. If you notice in that first picture, it looks like all that residue is from the coolant hose that you see in the pic. (That's the "custom" hose... ) I figured that it wouldn't hurt to replace it and the degas bottle and cap at the same time and cross my fingers.

I've heard people mentioning pressure testing, but wouldn't that tell me what I already know? I mean, it wouldn't puke if it wasn't exceeding 16psi, right? Thanks for your feedback and with 90k miles on mine, I definitely think that studding these trucks REALLY helps them last a long time.

Here's a pic of the truck and trailer

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Old 01-26-2014, 06:03 AM
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I think the speed of increase in PSI during the pressure test is key... It leaked after you replaced the degas too, correct?

Yes, to get near 90K miles out of the studs is good, especially pulling 5er's a lot!!
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:09 AM
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Yep, although not as bad. It's the first time it has puked since having studs installed except for when I accidentally overfilled the degas bottle a couple years ago.

So the rate of increase in pressure... I'm guessing that just running normally down the road, it will probably be some "normal" pressure, but when I go WOT, it will spike up? I've never had this happen outside of towing (even when the HG's went the first time), so I'm wondering if it will even show while just driving around town? Is a coolant pressure tester something I can pick up at like Napa or O'Reilly's?
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:17 AM
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I just built one yesterday. 10' of 3/8" hose, a 0-20psi (or lowest you can find) gauge. I ended up with a 60psi... A 3/8" T Fitting, a few fittings to get the gauge to connect to 3/8 hose. Built for about 34.00. My outcome is one here from yesterday evening... I had to really work hard to make it puke in stock tune, but eventually, it bounced to 16PSI quickly from 10PSI or so...

I snapped a pic, I will add the pic of my gauge here in a few.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Eye View Post
Yep, although not as bad. It's the first time it has puked since having studs installed except for when I accidentally overfilled the degas bottle a couple years ago.

So the rate of increase in pressure... I'm guessing that just running normally down the road, it will probably be some "normal" pressure, but when I go WOT, it will spike up? I've never had this happen outside of towing (even when the HG's went the first time), so I'm wondering if it will even show while just driving around town? Is a coolant pressure tester something I can pick up at like Napa or O'Reilly's?
Shawn-

I had a very similar issue last summer on a trip to Idaho with the camper. Long story short, check your coolant pressure while towing and pulling a grade. When my boost got above 25 psi I would see up to 22 psi in the coolant system, and the degas would vent like yours. Without a load it would not do it. Mine also had the rapid over temp in ECT, which corresponded with coolant pressure. Once boost was high enough to compromise the head gasket, cylinder pressure and temp would enter then enter the cooling system. Now that I have studs, o-ringed heads, and new HGs, no more problems. I continually monitor cooling system pressure with my EDGE CTS, and see no more than 8.5 psi cooling system pressure, which is simply just the temperature expansion pressure in the cooling system.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by skanj0 View Post
Shawn-

I had a very similar issue last summer on a trip to Idaho with the camper. Long story short, check your coolant pressure while towing and pulling a grade. When my boost got above 25 psi I would see up to 22 psi in the coolant system, and the degas would vent like yours. Without a load it would not do it. Mine also had the rapid over temp in ECT, which corresponded with coolant pressure. Once boost was high enough to compromise the head gasket, cylinder pressure and temp would enter then enter the cooling system. Now that I have studs, o-ringed heads, and new HGs, no more problems. I continually monitor cooling system pressure with my EDGE CTS, and see no more than 8.5 psi cooling system pressure, which is simply just the temperature expansion pressure in the cooling system.
Thanks. Sounds like I at least need to add another pressure switch to my CS to monitor coolant pressure so I can see what's going on. It also sounds like based on your situation, BPD is gonna have my truck again... I wonder what other goodies I should buy to install at the same time??? (Wife will NEVER know!!!!)
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Eye View Post
Thanks. Sounds like I at least need to add another pressure switch to my CS to monitor coolant pressure so I can see what's going on. It also sounds like based on your situation, BPD is gonna have my truck again... I wonder what other goodies I should buy to install at the same time??? (Wife will NEVER know!!!!)
Yeh, I've added EDGE pressure sensors for LPOP, actual boost, fuel pressure, and coolant pressure, and a temp sensor for EOT leaving the BPD cooler. Thankfully the CTS now shows 9 or 10 parameters at once!
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:20 AM
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The fact that you are having higher temperatures and us not knowing the antifreeze mix boil point may not mean your HGs are burping (even though they probably are). . If you had a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water the coolant would boil @ 265 degrees with a 15 pound cap at sea level. Pulling a hill it may be possible to have localized (flash) boil that could cause what you saw. Obviously a fully blown gasket will follow the foot pedal or engine load, but a high load leak will just slowly keep building until it over-pressures the coolant system. If you know the cap is holding properly, your number is up, your goose is cooked, or, well you know, quit pulling the trailer!

Last edited by twoicebergs; 01-26-2014 at 08:28 AM. Reason: T & P
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