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Unread 08-26-2013, 03:37 PM   #1
dean477
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 155
Blown Head Gasket

Ive been having overheating issues for awhile now. originally, i had a mechanic install a thermostat in a pinch and they installed it backwards. I was running warm (around 220-225) for awhile and overheated a couple times before i found the problem.

Yesterday when i checked my fluids i noticed my coolant reservoir was brown with a bit of red/tan. the coolant feels like it has oil in it. from what everyone has been telling me, it looks like i have a bad head gasket.

will a compression test confirm this? And if i have a blown head gasket, what are my options?

Its a 98 4.0 2wd with 152000 miles.

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Unread 08-26-2013, 03:56 PM   #2
zj97ltd
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Compression test could. Also pull the oil dipstick. Does the oil look like chocolate milk? If so there's coolant in it. I'd be after the "mechanic" who put the thermostat in backwards for starters.
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Unread 08-28-2013, 02:06 AM   #3
dean477
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1998 ZJ 
 
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Cant do anything about the mechanic. I threw out a lot of things when i moved back to Los Angeles, including my receipt.

So far, my oil looks and smells normal but is at the add mark now. It looks like my coolant is the only thing with oil in it.

At WOT, it misfires(maybe stutters) above 4000 rpm half the time.

If im only getting oil in my coolant, what tests can i do to see if this is the head gasket. Im hoping there is another reason for this.

Dean
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Unread 08-28-2013, 02:23 AM   #4
Oldfrog
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Has anyone ever put stop-leak in your cooling system? If so, it sometimes has a brown oily look and feel to it.
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Unread 08-28-2013, 06:24 AM   #5
Uniblurb
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Agree Oldfrog and it's not unusual for the coolant reservoir to be reddish/brown from rust from the engine anyhow. Believe I'd be flushing the whole cooling system, including back-flushing the heater core, and installing new coolant at a 50/50 mix with distilled water. Flush the heater core from the hoses towards the front of the engine and don't remove them from the core itself or you may damage the tubes.

If you want to see if oil is in your coolant before doing this buy some UV dye like below (not the AC UV dye type). Then add a small amount to your engine oil and let it run for a while until thermostat opens. Then use an ultraviolet light to inspect the coolant to see if the UV dye's in it. I bought a UV pen light with the yellow glasses kit at Autozone for $11. Looks like it's up to $16 now and they also sell the dye.

NAPA UV dye:
http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Ca...661_0361100752

UV penlight/yellow glasses from Autozone:
http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...er=424631_0_0_

UV dye from Autozone:
http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...equestid=36918

Often a an engine temp of 220-225 isn't enough to blow a head gasket. But this is the coolant temp where the heads may have become a whole lot hotter with the T-stat in backwards and no coolant flowing through the system. The miss at WOT may be a whole other problem but it's worth checking the coolant using UV dye. Good luck.
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Unread 08-28-2013, 07:33 AM   #6
zjosh93
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1993 ZJ 
 
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You can also buy or rent a kit to test for combustion gases in your cooling system. It's a syringe-like apparatus that you fill with a special blue liquid. Then you run the engine, wait for it to cool, open the radiator cap, and suck some of the air from the radiator into the syringe. It bubbles up through the blue liquid and turns the blue to yellow if any combustion gases are present. It's possible for the head gasket to fail just between a coolant passage and an oil passage and this test can't detect that but otherwise it's handy.
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Unread 08-28-2013, 04:34 PM   #7
dean477
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Ill try these tests on friday when im off. Then flush the coolant.

Thanks for your help guys
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