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Unread 11-08-2010, 09:02 AM   #1
Candymancan
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1998 ZJ 
 
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What the signs of a blown head gasket ?

Im starting to suspect there is alot of **** wrong on this 5.9 that the Jeep dealership mechanics never found before i bought this sucker and im starting to get pissed and a little scared because i cant afford all these repairs... For one im pretty sure the rear end needs rebuilt, the transfercase needs fixed but i already knew that and didnt care about it, the transmission is acting weird sometimes, and now this...

I marked the coolant reservoir about 2 weeks ago it was above the Full Mark, and i noticed today while checking the TV cable that the coolant level is like a a good 1/2 inch below the mark i made.. I looked down inside and the coolant looks a little brownish.. The radiator cap tho its green (altho im not sure if it was brown before i never checked).

I opened the oil cap up and its brown i dont see any discolor in it and the oil dipstick looks brown/tan color (it was changed maybe 1k miles ago). I do have white smoke coming out the tailpipe BUT only when the engine is very cold and it is Fall and the temps are in the 40-50's, once it heats up there is Zero smoke coming out.. No black/white/blue... at least that i know off. I dont see any drips coming from the radiator either.... Could i possibly have a blown headgasket ? Or could the level on the reservoir when i marked it just been when it was hot (water expands) and i just wasnt thinking ?

I dunno man im starting to really fret over this 5.9, how do i know for sure if its blown or not ? I mean the engine runs beautifly and sounds excellent.. However im really freaking out now.

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Unread 11-08-2010, 09:13 AM   #2
PurpleZJ
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blown headgasket will turn oil into mustard. also most times coolant will come out of the tailpipe from my experience with a blown headgasket.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 09:35 AM   #3
Candymancan
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Ok, so i started the Jeep just now, its about 50f out and there was a tiny bit of white smoke coming out but it didnt smell like coolant from what i could tell, and it went away as the engine got to normal temps idling i only saw pure clean water dripping out the tailpipe for a second too but i have seen this always on any car when its cold.

I opened the radiator cap and the reservoir cap with the engine on and i didnt see any bubbles not the slightest.. The oil well smells like oil, and its a good tan/brown color from it still being kinda new.. No mustard or crud or slim..

I dunno, im going to drive the Jeep for awhile and get the radiator and coolant like an hot and check the level again... Maybe i marked the level awhile back when the engine was really hot and the level just went up from it expanding and went below my mark when it was cold.. I dunno, i still dont know why the coolant is brownish/green in the reservoir but bright green when i take the cap off... Maybe it was brownish before i bought it i wish i rememberd these things...

What else should i look for ?
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Unread 11-08-2010, 09:42 AM   #4
redfoxbody
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You know the coolant in the reservoir is going to fluctuate as the motor get's hot/cold. If it's a blown headgasket you would most certainly see bubbles in the oil. It would look like a choco milkshake. It will also blow white smoke out of the tailpipe and it could leak it like purplezj said
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Unread 11-08-2010, 10:35 AM   #5
PurpleZJ
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as for the gunky coolant tank. those things can get nasty. i took mine out awhile back and cleaned it cuz it was caked on the inside with gunk and was clogged. that is most likely why it looks to be a different color
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2001 GMC Sonoma-RIP...
2002 GMC Sierra 1500 ECSB-roadtrip/long haul vehicle
[CENTER][COLOR="Blue"]RIP Troy (bigbluezj94) you wont be forgotten[/COLOR]

[COLOR="Purple"]December 2010 GCOTM[/COLOR]

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[/CENTER]

[QUOTE=bddisi;6376248]Glad you are ok. If you were a cat, you would be down to 8.:D[/QUOTE]


[QUOTE=Greengc4x4;10782815]Everything looks great, Hellen Keller! :D[/QUOTE]


[QUOTE=rritch;10960201]plastic + Fuel + Ignition = "Bubba wake up this is gonna be good" :rofl:[/QUOTE]


[CENTER][COLOR="Purple"]RIP William Anthony Kolich(DAD)
you were the best father i could have wished for. I'll always miss you
04/28/58-2/13/11[/COLOR][/CENTER]
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Unread 11-08-2010, 10:58 AM   #6
Candymancan
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You are right i think, i think i was looking at the bottom and the bottom was gunky or something. I stuck a knife inside the reservoir and put the coolant on a rag and the coolant is almost clear/green so i guess the coolant itself is not whats brown..

I drove the heep for 40 minutes and check the level and its sorta pretty much back to the level it was on before.. I guess i freaked out when i opened the hood to check the TV cable and saw my coolant like an inch below the mark i made.. Anyway i marked the "cool" level and the "Hot" level again with a marker. I'll check it later in the upcoming weeks.

Sorry for making the thread im just getting upset over the things im discovering latetly on this Jeep.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 12:12 PM   #7
redfoxbody
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It's probably just a combination of small easy stuff to fix. Remember you have a 5.9 lifes good
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Unread 11-09-2010, 02:26 PM   #8
samseifert
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Definitely doesn't sounds like a blown head gasket.

Lol... I can't even test that on mine... Damn reservoir leaks...

Typically you'd notice a definite performance downfall if your head was blown... Really think you don't need to worry about that at the moment.

You said the rear end is going? What diffs do you have in that one? Mine's the crappy Dana 35s
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Unread 11-09-2010, 02:32 PM   #9
PurpleZJ
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i believe he said he has a 5.9. he'll have the 44a in the rear and the 30 in the front
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1995 XJ- 4.0 HO, ax-15(stolen for swap), stock
2001 GMC Sonoma-RIP...
2002 GMC Sierra 1500 ECSB-roadtrip/long haul vehicle
[CENTER][COLOR="Blue"]RIP Troy (bigbluezj94) you wont be forgotten[/COLOR]

[COLOR="Purple"]December 2010 GCOTM[/COLOR]

5spd ZJ Club Member 001
[/CENTER]

[QUOTE=bddisi;6376248]Glad you are ok. If you were a cat, you would be down to 8.:D[/QUOTE]


[QUOTE=Greengc4x4;10782815]Everything looks great, Hellen Keller! :D[/QUOTE]


[QUOTE=rritch;10960201]plastic + Fuel + Ignition = "Bubba wake up this is gonna be good" :rofl:[/QUOTE]


[CENTER][COLOR="Purple"]RIP William Anthony Kolich(DAD)
you were the best father i could have wished for. I'll always miss you
04/28/58-2/13/11[/COLOR][/CENTER]
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Unread 11-09-2010, 03:32 PM   #10
mrtosh
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Another thing to take into consideration is evaporation over time from the open reservoir tank. Granted not in the little amount of time you listed but over time it will slightly evaporate. Also in cooler temps the motor likes to suck in more coolant while cooling than in warmer temps. Here in Minnesota when its well below zero the reservoir tank can play games with your head. Soon as the warm weather comes around its back to normal.
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Unread 11-09-2010, 04:30 PM   #11
ZJ5point2GCL
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the coolant recovery tank level will fluctuate quite a bit, depending on trapped air in the system among other things. its only a concern if its consistently low.
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Unread 11-09-2010, 07:30 PM   #12
Candymancan
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K thanks. I forgot about the warm/cold thing when i made the thread. Temps are alot colder then when i marked the reservoir and when i drove it some the level went up. Your right, i just freaked when i saw the dirty looking water that looked like oil almost and the level being lower then i rememberd..

But after warming it up and putting and long object in the reservoir and wiping off the coolant i see the level is fine, and the coolant is pretty much light green/clear. Reservoir must be dirty on the bottom.
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