Help please - blown head gasket???

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 14:47
ThreadID: 5443 Views:3761 Replies:13 FollowUps:9
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Hi everyone,
I have a 2.8 litre diesel 4Runner, 90 model. I recently had the engine rebuilt, and since then it keeps losing about 1-2 litres of water out of the radiator every trip. There are no leaks - it is coming out of the overflow pipe, into the overflow bottle, and then overflowing that. I have been assuming that it was a problem with the radiator cap; as I live in a very remote area I haven't been able to replace it yet. But today I tried running the engine while I topped it up with water. When the radiator was completely full, a lot of water started to force itself out of the radiator filler, until it had cleared a space in the top of the radiator. I'm now thinking that maybe there is a pressure leak between a cylinder and the water jacket, probably head gasket, and that once the engine pressure has forced enough water out the overflow to create an air space in the top of the radiator, it's just sending the excess pressure out the overflow all the time. Can anyone with a bit more experience than me confirm the likelihood of this? The engine's not been overheating, and there's no water in the oil or vice versa that I can see.
Thanks, Tim Z.
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Reply By: bluehealer - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 15:26

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 15:26
try changing your thermostat if not ok creates pressure and can cause water to flow wrong way try with cap off when you start it cold
AnswerID: 22506

Follow Up By: zigglemeister - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 18:55

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 18:55
Thanks for that tip bluehealer, I just tried pulling the thermostat out and ran it with the cap off - still spitting out water, now it's foaming up a bit too. If I put the cap on it vents out into the overflow bottle virtually straight away, and once it's gotten rid of some water there's just a constant flow of air pressure. I'm getting pretty certain it's the head gasket (or worse) :-(
Thanks again, Tim
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Follow Up By: howesy - Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 18:54

Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 18:54
Put a brand new thermostat in it. Running it without one stuffs the flow. The thermo in that car has a foot on it which is designed so when the stat is closed the foot is up off it's seat allowing water to ciculate through the block. When it opens the foot lowers on to the seat and forces the water to chanel through the radiator. Sounds weird I know but I been there and had it all explained and It certainly sounds the same. No matter how weird you think it is, try it. hope this helps
P.S. go for a 92 degree stat instead of the std 98 degree.
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Follow Up By: howesy - Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 18:55

Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 18:55
Put a brand new thermostat in it. Running it without one stuffs the flow. The thermo in that car has a foot on it which is designed so when the stat is closed the foot is up off it's seat allowing water to ciculate through the block. When it opens the foot lowers on to the seat and forces the water to chanel through the radiator. Sounds weird I know but I been there and had it all explained and It certainly sounds the same. No matter how weird you think it is, try it. hope this helps
P.S. go for a 92 degree stat instead of the std 98 degree.
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Follow Up By: howesy - Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 19:02

Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 19:02
By the way, water pumps often froth up water when flow is resticted by the thermo or lack of one to direct water. Ask if they used a genuine gasket and check for any other restrictions. some mechanics have a tester that indicates exhaust gases in the water you should maybe try that too before you go doing comp tests and ripping heads off. One thing is for sure if you keep driving it with a restriction you will get hot spots and another blown head gasket. A diesel motor is not very forgiving
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Reply By: Member - Peter (WA) - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 16:43

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 16:43
try this web site forum it is for 4 runners a USA site but my help
www.yotaech.com
Born to drive a 4x4 , not a keyboard
Peter York 4x4
AnswerID: 22511

Reply By: Member - Peter (WA) - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 16:44

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 16:44
sorry site is www.yotatech.comBorn to drive a 4x4 , not a keyboard
Peter York 4x4
AnswerID: 22512

Follow Up By: zigglemeister - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 18:59

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 18:59
Thanks for that Peter, I've been looking for a site like that!
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Reply By: kezza - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 17:18

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 17:18
Check that
AnswerID: 22515

Reply By: kezza - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 17:19

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 17:19
z8igg6y - check that
AnswerID: 22516

Follow Up By: kezza - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 17:21

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 17:21
nt 9one orm6y
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Follow Up By: kezza - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 17:21

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 17:21
nt 9one orm6y
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Reply By: kezza - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 17:23

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 17:23
some th8ing b8izzare go8ing 9on
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Follow Up By: zigglemeister - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 18:57

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 18:57
LOL thanks for trying, anyway, Kezza!
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Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 20:06

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 20:06
Zigglemeister,
If you are using 1 to 2 litres of water per trip you have something wrong, if you have water being pushed into your overflow it looks as you suspect a head related issue. Have you filled the rad with water and left the radiator cap off to see if you get any air coming out of the filler? This is usually a good indication that the head is either cracked or the head gasket has developed a leak. Have you considered taking your 4runner back to the people who fixed it? This would be my first plan of attack. You need to be aware that if the leak develops and it sounds bad enough now, when you leave the engine after a run the water could drain into the offending cylinder and when you try to start the engine you might get what sounds like a dead spot when the engine turns over, this is the engine trying to compress liquid this isn't good, do you get any steam / condensation out of the exhaust? If you do this tells you the head gasket is leaking.
If you really want to get excited you could purchase a compression tester. Make sure it a high enough pressure rating, diesels are a lot higher than petrols, take all the injectors out full throttle and crank the engine over, there shouldn't be more than 50 psi difference.
I'm still of the opinion you should take the 4runner back to whoever did the repairs, you shouldn't be having this sort of problem after an engine rebuild, at least phone and let them know something is wrong, if you don't and you have a serious problem the first this they will say is "you should of told us".
Good luck with the repairs.

AnswerID: 22524

Reply By: molopaa - Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 06:05

Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 06:05
I had a similar problem with my motorcycle. It pushed coolant to the overflow reserve and out from there. It turned out that the head leaked pressure into the cooling system.

I changed the head gasket and tightened the headbolts really carefully. That fixed it.

Your symptoms appear to be the same, so the problem is most likely the same.

Take the car back to the place that performed the rebuild and explain the symptoms to them. The solution should be obvious to them, if they know anything about engines.
AnswerID: 22540

Reply By: Member - Peter (WA) - Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 10:59

Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 10:59
for more 4 runner sites try a search for JA + 4runner +topsitesBorn to drive a 4x4 , not a keyboard
Peter York 4x4
AnswerID: 22551

Reply By: Nav 80 - Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 13:50

Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 13:50
I agree with Martyn on this,One question is has it been looseing the water right from the time you had it rebuilt? if yes it is a long shot but it may have had the incorrect head gasket fitted. I have seen this happen before on rare occasions eg, it only takes one hole to be out of place different models can be close but not close enough.
AnswerID: 22563

Reply By: molopaa - Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 18:09

Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 18:09
Not necesarily an incorrect headgasket. If the headbolts are tightened in the wrong order or to the incorrect torque, it is enough to cause a leak.
AnswerID: 22577

Reply By: kezza - Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 22:43

Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 22:43
ah seems my daughter spilt a drink into the keyboard, so had some bad things happening with my previous posts.

Was just trying to say - check that there are no air locks in the head or any other part of the donk as this will cause overheating of a parcel of air/coolant and force some out sometimes violently out of the radiator.

kes
AnswerID: 22607

Reply By: zigglemeister - Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 08:11

Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 08:11
Thanks very much everyone,
The info on the thermostat is very interesting, thanks howesy. Now I'll have to see if I can find one to try... I wish I could just take it back to the place that rebuilt it, unfortunately it's not quite that simple. I'm on a pretty remote island in Vanuatu and "having the engine rebuilt" was shorthand for spending several weeks working in conjunction with the main local mechanic on the island, who does know a bit more than me but not so much that you'd notice. I'm going to ask him what he thinks, though - he may have seen it before, this is the most common engine on the island. But as far as exhaust testers, compression testers, etc go, to the best of my knowledge there are no such animals anywhere round here! I may get lucky with a thermostat, but I suspect I won't find one of them on the island either. I did check the head gasket pretty carefully when it went on, there didn't seem to be any galleries blocked anywhere by it, so I'm fairly sure it's the right one.
I don't really think it's an airlock, because when the engine is running the airflow out the rad overflow (once it's lost its obligatory one-two litres) is pretty well constant.
AnswerID: 22624

Follow Up By: Member - Robert (WA) - Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 09:32

Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 09:32
it is quit common for the 2.8 to crack heads between the valves and across to the pre com chamber only way to fix this is a new head

with the water pump try and use a genuine water pump as the impeller is closer to the back plate
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