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Unread 04-23-2013, 04:33 PM   #1
nsgibson
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1994 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9
Trying to see if I have a blown head gasket

I pulled the dipstick on my 94 YJ and saw chocolate milkshake up and down the stick. Figured I had a head gasket problem. Pulled the oil filter and saw similar consistency and color and not all oil was draining (was heavier than a new one). However, when I drained the oil, it looked normal consistency and color which has me rethinking things.

Also, it has not overheated. I have seen nothing on the temp gauge abnormal. The coolant was low in the overflow but the radiator was full. The only evidence was the dipstick and filter issues.

What should be my next step? i obviously don't want to jump into a HG replacement unless I am sure. Some folks I have talked to speculate it could be condensation, but I am not sure what causes that.

Thanks for any tips!

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Unread 04-23-2013, 05:04 PM   #2
roadyrob
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2 things to do- !. do a compression test, if the head gasket is bad 2 cylinders next to each other will be very low. 2. fill out your profile so we know something about your jeep.
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Unread 04-23-2013, 06:38 PM   #3
nsgibson
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1994 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Ok I will try that, read up on it, seems simple enough. However from my limited understanding, if the failure of the gasket occurred such that it opened passage from an oil port to a coolant port, and not to a cylinder, wouldnt that cause brown milkshake oil but not affect compression? Did not notice any power loss either. Still trying to learn about how this works....

Thanks!

Also updated some of my jeep info.
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Unread 04-23-2013, 10:26 PM   #4
SnowdogMarc
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Another check is to pull the spark plugs out one at a time and see if any of them look like they were just installed. Water in the combustion chamber will act like a steam cleaner.
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Unread 04-23-2013, 10:36 PM   #5
rambo3489
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A compression test will tell you if your head is blown anywhere. If it is blown between cylinders or to the waterways the compression will read low no matter what. But it will also read low if you have shot valves or rings. Although not as low.

If it's blown your exhaust will smell sweet. If it's bad you will see white exhaust.

I say run a compression test and check your plugs when doing so

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Unread 04-23-2013, 10:39 PM   #6
MaddBones702
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If you take off the radiator cap and warm up check for bubbles in the water
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Unread 04-24-2013, 05:57 AM   #7
EABiker
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If you only drive short trips not allowing the engine to fully warm up, the condensation will cause the oil to look like it does as well. Any chance this could be the case?
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Unread 04-24-2013, 06:01 AM   #8
Siva283
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Do the compression test. Its quick easy and will tell you alot.
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[QUOTE=ldso;16498409]. It started with a $200 axle, and a few thousand dollars later I was done :)[/QUOTE]

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Unread 04-24-2013, 10:35 AM   #9
nsgibson
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ok, I will do the compression test over the weekend and check out the plugs also. Also, I put a quart of cheap, new oil in and then drained it, just to see what it would pull with it. It looked clean.

Also, the oil cap at the top of the valve cover didn't have any of the similar consistency oil thrown up onto it. Don't know if that would be common.

I typically drive it to work 1-2 days a week, 15 miles or so. It gets to steady state temperature.

Thanks for all the responses. I'll see what the compression test tells me and get back with you guys. -Nathan
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Unread 05-12-2013, 02:37 PM   #10
nsgibson
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Ok, I had some delays due to work and weather, but I finally got to the compression check.

First, the spark plugs were all well worn (and needing a change, which I did later!). There was NOT one that looked any better than the others ("cleaned" by coolant).

Compression Results:

Cylinder 1: 100
Cylinder 2: 125
Cylinder 3: 120
Cylinder 4: 110
Cylinder 5: 130
Cylinder 6: 130

So, there is some spread across the cylinders, and I retested #1 since it was the low one, and confirmed the result. #1 is lower than I'd like, but there are not two low cylinders next to each other.

I had already changed the oil after the original finding on the dipstick, so I put in the new plugs and I drove around the neighborhood for 20 min. Temp was stable, no noticeable issues. After driving, I let it cool and rechecked the dipstick. It was clean as a whistle, as was the oil.

Given that the ONLY indication of a potential issue was the original dipstick finding (no overheat, etc), and looking at these results, am I crazy for thinking my YJ is ok? Anyone see anything in these data that I should be concerned about? I really appreciate any further advice.
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Unread 05-12-2013, 06:47 PM   #11
50rck
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How long have you had your YJ? Just wondering if the PO could have overheated it once and put on a rebuilt head. Once a head gets warped, it will usually warp again. Only thing I can think of for you other than condensation like was posted before, but that would have to be a lot of condensation to be in all the places you describe.
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Unread 05-12-2013, 08:38 PM   #12
nsgibson
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I have had it only one year. I could try emailing the PO to find out.

I am curious also if condensation could cause what I saw...however you say "condensation in all the places you describe"...I only saw this on the dipstick. It just seems weird if it is the head gasket since there are no other clear signs (at least not to me!).

Thanks!
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Unread 05-13-2013, 08:43 AM   #13
Que89YJ
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
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You dont always get overheating with a head gasket problem. Just keep a eye on the coolant and the oil and see if you have a repeat. There is no sense in digging deeper until you see if it repeats after the oil change.
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Unread 05-13-2013, 09:22 AM   #14
Jeepsr4me
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Look down in thru the oil fill port. You will see pudding if gasket is bad or cracked head. If not change oil and keep eye on it.
compression test will not always show a bad haead gasket. Such as when between oil port and coolant. Just had that happen a few weeks ago.
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Unread 05-13-2013, 09:55 AM   #15
Siva283
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You can also get a test kit to test the coolant for the presence of exhaust gases if your that worried. As others have said the easiest and cheapest way is to keep a tight eye on your oil and coolant for a few weeks.
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1995 YJ. 2 inch BDS Spring lift. 1 inch shackle lift. 1.25 inch JKS Body Lift 33x12.5x15's. Engo 10,000 pound winch.

[QUOTE=Magnum;14117863] I gave the Jeep the required offering of $$, sweat, and blood, and everything works fine now. -- Jim[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=ldso;16498409]. It started with a $200 axle, and a few thousand dollars later I was done :)[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Luuca;16122017]diagnose the real issue before you start going all Obama on it - spending mad cash you'll need for other important things.

Ask me how I know...[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Overhead;17658665]this is also my second set of RC springs this year. I'd rather spend the money again and get something that will last.[/QUOTE]
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