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Unread 02-14-2008, 06:40 AM   #1
derbydalesman
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Oil emulsion in cooling water header tank

I am experiencing a substantial build up of oily emulsion in the header expansion tank of the cooling system of my Grand Cherokee Ltd 3.1 CRD 2001 - any answers as to what it may be, and what needs doing?

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Unread 02-14-2008, 08:08 AM   #2
bluerubicon06
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Possibly a blown head gasket, how is the oil in the crankcase? Is it a little watery or foamy? Just my thoughts this early in the morning
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Unread 02-14-2008, 09:06 AM   #3
SpeedyCat3
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Could very well be a faulty head gasket.
Tint bit of oil coming into the cooling passages.
you might not see anything in the oil, as they are different passages.
You can doo a coolant flush to eliminate other possibilities.
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Unread 02-14-2008, 09:25 AM   #4
bluerubicon06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedycat View Post
Could very well be a faulty head gasket.

you might not see anything in the oil, as they are different passages.
depends on where the blow out is in the gasket if that is the problem, under the head all the passages are exposed to each other till sealed by the gasket. He may even experiance a miss fire in the engine.
I don't believe he mentioned how many mile are on the motor even though a gasket can blow at any time!
He can also check his spark plugs for excess oil or run a compression check.
Blown head gaskets can affect all sorts of things. Some things may not show up to extremes till later.
It is good he found the trace this early as he can pursue the issue soon before he gets stranded some where.
Heck it mat be nothing at all
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Unread 02-14-2008, 09:29 AM   #5
SpeedyCat3
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That is why I said "might not".
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Unread 02-14-2008, 09:38 AM   #6
bluerubicon06
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we agree
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Unread 02-14-2008, 12:11 PM   #7
derbydalesman
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Oil emulsion in cooling water header tank

Thanks for all your replies - a mechanic here in England has stated that the car had an oil leak in the transmission cooling system (same coolant as engine??) and that is where the oil is coming from - the transmission cooler was replaced, but left residual oil in the system that is now coming to the top - does that make sense? You will gather that I am a novice with regard to mechanics, but love the car, it is awesome (2001 Grand Cherokee Ltd 60th Anniversary 3.1 CRD) Further help appreciated!
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Unread 02-14-2008, 12:51 PM   #8
bluerubicon06
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sounds possible!! Oil floats on water so it should come to the top sooner or later. Specially if the trans and motor are using the same cooling system fluids. Glad it wasn't a blown head gasket. They are on the expensive side if done by someone other than yourself
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Unread 02-14-2008, 06:35 PM   #9
Aceladriver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derbydalesman View Post
- a mechanic here in England has stated that the car had an oil leak in the transmission cooling system (same coolant as engine??) and that is where the oil is coming from - the transmission cooler was replaced
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluerubicon06 View Post
Specially if the trans and motor are using the same cooling system fluids
The mechanic must have meant the transmission cooler inside the radiator cracked and leaked into the radiator coolant.

The transmission lines runs into the side tank on the radiator where there is a cooler that transfers the ATF heat to the coolant and eliminates it through the radiator. That is the only place the two come close to each other.

EDIT: The radiator would had to have been replaced to fix this problem. How long ago was this supposed to have been done and does the radiator look new/clean? Might want to check your tranny fluid condition too to make sure it isn't pink or frothy.

Keep an eye on it though in case that isn't the problem.
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Last edited by Aceladriver; 02-15-2008 at 02:50 AM..
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Unread 02-23-2008, 08:28 PM   #10
Carl40
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Hi all. Exactly the same problem with my Granny 3.1TD at 74000 miles. Head Gasket replaced. Fortunately none of the cylinder heads was damaged. it was actually the first time that I heard that my car has 5 different cylinder heads...ahhhh. Hell of a work. Might get it back on Monday. Cost....ca 1000 Pounds.
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Unread 02-24-2008, 11:20 AM   #11
Aceladriver
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It will make a big difference whether it is leftover from the ATF cooler problem or a new problem with a head gasket etc.

First you need to determine which it is. I would lean towards it having a pinkish tinge if it is actually the leftover ATF. If it has a brownish tinge I'd lean towards it being engine oil.

Also look for coolant (or an area clean of motor oil) at the bottom of the engine oil dipstick which should also give it an abnormally high oil level too.
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