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 25 Think my Head Gasket Failed (Read 5314 times)
jacob estes
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Think my Head Gasket Failed
Aug 16th, 2018 at 4:57pm
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About eight weeks ago, I backed out of the driveway, pressed the pedal to the floor and got no power, and blew white smoke out the exhaust. It died, I rolled to the shoulder, then enlisted my neighbors to push my car back into the driveway. I have done zero investigation since then, and actually did not even open the hood until this week.

I'm going to check the oil and coolant tomorrow, and do a compression test.

I had some cooling system issues this past year. I replaced the sensors / switches and the thermostat, bled the coolant, and it seemed to heat up and maintain temperature after this. I am concerned that it overheated sometime before that, or perhaps there was an air bubble and the engine temperature was inaccurate.

Resigned to pay out my nose on this and a few electrical issues that have outlived my patience and attention, I looked up the number for Music City Porsche and Audi in Nashville, TN, and found that they closed down permanently shortly after I brought my car there a couple years ago.

So after I assess the damage, I am either going to buckle up and do it all myself, or sell this thing and start saving for a 70's or 90's 911.
  

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jacob estes
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Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Reply #1 - Aug 16th, 2018 at 5:11pm
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There's an older man I met at the auto parts store who has an enormous German Shepherd named "Nelson" after Nelson Mandela because this dog was raised and trained in a women's prison. The dog was quiet and gentle and didn't need a leash. It turns out the man lives somewhere in my neighborhood, and walks his dog past my house sometimes. He recognized my car and came to talk to me about it.

I told him the car has been losing coolant, and I was worried it was getting into the oil because the exhaust was wet. We spoke about the car, and after he left I felt excited about working on this car and maintaining it again. I had lost my enthusiasm for it after years of kicked in the stomach by this car.

So I said goodbye to Nelson, hopped in my car, and sent home 4,000 RPM of disappointment.
  

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jacob estes
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Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Reply #2 - Aug 17th, 2018 at 11:10pm
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Pulled my spark plugs and found that #1 and #4 have what looks like the delicious and much sought-after Chocolate Shake.

Attempted a compression test but only got 3/4 done before the battery ran out of juice.

1- 210
2 - 135
3 - 120
4 -

I assume the absurd compression on #1 is because there is coolant in there. If not that, then perhaps I did the test incorrectly in a way I am not aware of. This is the first time I've done this on my own and the anomaly was the first one. When the battery is charged I'm going to repeat it and of course test #4.
  

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JBCB944
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Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Reply #3 - Aug 18th, 2018 at 1:59am
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Is the milkshake in the reservoir?   What does the end of the dip stick look like?
  

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jacob estes
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Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Reply #4 - Aug 18th, 2018 at 3:25am
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The reservoir actually looks empty. This is actually what had given me hope before that my coolant was just leaking, even though I saw no leaks. It seemed to lose coolant without driving it.

I stopped working on it today after removing the battery and doing some cleaning. I have an oil drain plug with a valve on it that I intended to swap out at the next oil change, but I can't find the thing.

When I find it I'm gonna get under the car and release some fluids. (Get your mind out of the gutter, sir!)
  

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WJH
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Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Reply #5 - Aug 19th, 2018 at 3:31am
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I've done 2 head gaskets on these cars. Actually, it isn't that bad. There are other things (like a clutch) that are much worse.
  
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jacob estes
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Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Reply #6 - Aug 19th, 2018 at 2:57pm
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I actually did the clutch on this car with very little experience with working on cars. This forum and Clark's Garage made it possible.

I am expecting to have to do the head gasket, the rod bearings, and probably I will go ahead and replace the timing belt since it's difficult for me to get this car indoors to work on. It's got probably another year of life on it, with very few miles on it, but I don't know if I'll get another chance to work on it otherwise.

I also have an offset cam key (if I can friggin find it), and I may do some other maintenance and upgrades. If I can choose to do some work, it might make it more fun doing the stuff I'm being forced to do haha.
  

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WJH
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Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Reply #7 - Aug 19th, 2018 at 8:41pm
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If you did the clutch, you can certainly do this. If you get new head nuts (recommended) they will be 12mm tall. Make sure to follow Clark's values for 12mm. They changed somewhere along the way. Also, it is a great time to replace the vacuum lines. It will never be any easier. I also used the opportunity to replace the AC o-rings at the passenger firewall. You'll think of other stuff when you get it apart, AOS, ICV, etc.
  
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Kentucky 951
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Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Reply #8 - Aug 20th, 2018 at 2:51pm
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WJH wrote on Aug 19th, 2018 at 3:31am:
I've done 2 head gaskets on these cars. Actually, it isn't that bad. There are other things (like a clutch) that are much worse.


Totally agree. 
  
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jacob estes
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Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Reply #9 - Aug 20th, 2018 at 11:18pm
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If you guys think so, then I'm confident I can do it. I don't think I can do it without swearing and threatening to haul it to the junk yard, but I'll get it done.
  

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jacob estes
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Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Reply #10 - Aug 21st, 2018 at 10:21pm
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Compression test #2:

1 - 235
2 - 175
3 - 170
4 - 250

Looks like coolant in the oil. If I don't find my new drain plug tonight I'll just go ahead and drain it and reuse my plug for now.
  

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jacob estes
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Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Reply #11 - Aug 22nd, 2018 at 3:32am
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Found my oil drain valve and offset cam key! I have a document bag for each of my cars, and since these were small parts I put them in there.

It's on now.
  

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jacob estes
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Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Reply #12 - Aug 23rd, 2018 at 7:27pm
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Drained the oil today. Thick, rich, milk chocolate. It actually made me hesitant to drink my coffee when I returned to my desk.

Also have a small amount of oil in the coolant reservoir. There didn't appear to be any when I first started draining the radiator, but I got my catch pan in place and removed the reservoir cap and found a small amount of oil there as well.

Gonna budget the stuff I want to do tonight.
  

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jacob estes
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Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Reply #13 - Aug 23rd, 2018 at 7:59pm
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I think also that my power steering is leaking. Saw red transmission fluid beading at the bottom of the pump.
  

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JBCB944
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Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Reply #14 - Aug 25th, 2018 at 12:55am
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jacob estes wrote on Aug 23rd, 2018 at 7:59pm:
I think also that my power steering is leaking. Saw red transmission fluid beading at the bottom of the pump.


Hopefully it's just the hose that is rotting from the atf.   I replaced my ps reservoir and hose sourced from Ian & Steve a couple of years ago, simple job even without a lift.

Sorry to hear about the milkshake.  Best of luck with the head gasket job and all the "inside" cleaning.
  

82 Volkswagen Scirocco *R.I.P. dear friend*, 02 GMC YukonXL, 05 Volvo XC90, 85.5 Porsche 944 N/A, 16 GMC 2500HD Sierra, 16 Cheverolet Suburban
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