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Old 04-11-2016, 10:12 AM   #1
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She may be dead, Jim!

Boy this has been a week!
Just took my first long drive in the daily driver after putting the new radiator cap on over the weekend. Opened the trunk and it was still hissing out of the cap with condensation under the deck lid. I had run it to temp over the weekend with the D ring pulled a couple of times. Now I'm driving it with the D ring popped in the open position.
I talked to the shop who wants me to come in ASAP for a block test. Since the old coolant tank I just replaced had a failed seal at the seam, he's now suspecting a head gasket or cracked head.
It's running right at 180 at all times, and no other problems, so I'd honestly be surprised if it was a head issue.
I asked him if it could be air trapped in the system, and he said if that was the case, it should have purged all out by now.
I'm putting my Jeep Wrangler in the shop right away to get it road ready just in case I have to park this thing. If it's a head or gasket, honestly, with 170,000 miles, I'd rather use this opportunity to spend the money towards a lower mileage replacement engine with the IMS mod.

I ask this with quiet desperation: Opinions?!


Thanks!

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Old 04-11-2016, 10:41 AM   #2
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Retro, did they check to make sure your radiator fans are working? My understanding is that there is a resistor that can go bad. Good luck!
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:51 AM   #3
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Thanks!
Both fans are definitely operating. And It's not running warm at all.
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Old 04-11-2016, 11:05 AM   #4
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Did the shop change the complete coolant fluid?

How did they change ist? With an underpressure system? Or by just filling it up. And if by just filling it up, was the nose of the car lowered?

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Old 04-11-2016, 12:10 PM   #5
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I could be the bleeder (the thing next to your blue cap with 8 screws). Mine went bad a few months ago and would constantly leave condensation on the lid. the part is cheap and takes about 15 minutes to replace.
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:12 PM   #6
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Change the cap again? Run the car and let it warm up. If what I'm getting from this is correct, you're saying you drove it on the new radiator cap, and then opened up the trunk and there was coolant everywhere?

Could have been the cap failing. I can't remember if there's a gasket or o ring on the cap. But check that. Change it and see if it leaks more. Look for condensation in your oil fill tube and a milkshake in your oil or coolant. Both are the signs of intermix and/or a cracked head. IMO I think it's just the cap. Start small and work your way up. Don't replace your heads because a plastic cap got you.
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:19 PM   #7
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I read on this forum that a coolant flush at a shop should be done with the negative pressure equipment in order to get the bubbles out.

If you try to do it with the burp valve open you may need to run it that way for a week and of course water will come out occasionally in the process.

Also, if they filled the coolant tank to the top line when cold its likely to expel some coolant. Overfilled
I don't go more than half way between fill and full marks on the tank when its cold.

Statistically a head leak is unlikely as its not very common occurance.

Other worse things like the D Chunk blowout will show up as water in your oil or oil in your water.

Another possibility is that the burp valve has some loose screws or lost its gasket, but if you are driving with it open, then its possible some water will escape through it.

Its also quite easy to screw the coolant cap on wrong so I would take some extra care to make sure its on properly and level.
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Opened the trunk and it was still hissing out of the cap with condensation under the deck lid. I had run it to temp over the weekend with the D ring pulled a couple of times. Now I'm driving it with the D ring popped in the open position.
Not that I know much, but that really sounds like a tank or cap issue, especially if it's running at a good temp. New coolant tanks being bad is not unheard of. I'm still thinking cap. I've had one cross-threaded and that's how it was acting.
...and now to be blatantly rude and opportunistic: If she dies, can can we talk about what you are going to do with the nephrite green interior?
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:47 PM   #9
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All excellent questions! I'll ask the shop how they did it.
It's not really spilling coolant as far as I can tell, but it's squeaking small amounts of pressure and steam from around the cap, leaving dripping moisture all over the area of the deck lid that covers the service area. I can see and hear it when opening the trunk after a long highway run. I'll check the tightness of the screws around the pressure valve.
I've never had a car with a bad head gasket that didn't overheat and boil over as a result.
Hmmmm... I did top off the fluid a bit when switching out caps. It's so hard to read the gage on this new tank I could have filled it a bit too far even though I was trying not to.
Shop is doing a block pressure test in the morning so we'll see what that reveals as well.
Thank you so much for the input so far everyone!
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:50 PM   #10
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Not that I know much, but that really sounds like a tank or cap issue, especially if it's running at a good temp. New coolant tanks being bad is not unheard of. I'm still thinking cap. I've had one cross-threaded and that's how it was acting.
...and now to be blatantly rude and opportunistic: If she dies, can can we talk about what you are going to do with the nephrite green interior?
LOL!
I'm on the fence, but I'm.... Probably going to fix the car, even if it needs an engine, and try to squeak another 100,000 out of it... But still I'm on the fence. keep in touch.
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Old 04-11-2016, 03:24 PM   #11
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The condensation can only come from 2 sources - the screw on cap and the bleed valve.
Any overfilling will cause coolant to be forced out of the drain onto the ground next to the rear wheel. If you had a faulty leaking (new) tank, the coolant usually pools at the bottom of the trunk.
There's been a couple of instances on here and Rennlist where new tanks and valves have been faulty out of the box.
A pressure test should indicate where the leak is coming from, but I doubt that its a faulty cylinder head / gasket....
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Old 04-11-2016, 03:56 PM   #12
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I appreciate the input from everyone's combined experience on here!
I just talked to the mechanic who is having second thoughts about his head gasket suggestion. In 20 years, he has only replaced one, and it was from a Boxster that dumped all its coolant and the owner drove it hot. He wants to pressure test everything and see what he comes up with. I suggested a faulty new tank and he paused and sighed. Then said its a definite possibility, but he didn't want to think about it because of the enormous pain they are to replace.
So you guys are on the right track. More likely a tank or cap than a head gasket issue.
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Old 04-11-2016, 05:06 PM   #13
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My guess is that the cracked head is a low probability scenario for the same reason you cite.

I recently had my coolant tank replaced is it took a couple of weeks for the system to flush out all the bubbles before the coolant level stabilized. During that time I worried constantly that fluid was disappearing into a cylinder through a crack.

BTW: let me ask the obvious. Are you 100% sure the bleed valve is closed.

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Old 04-11-2016, 05:42 PM   #14
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I'll answer that after telling you how stupid I feel.
I took it on a hard highway run and then really got my head in there to listen to where the sound was really coming from. It was indeed the bleeder valve. If I pushed down hard on it, the sound stopped. Each of the bolts was able to be snugged up almost a full turn.
Good lord, this is why I never became a mechanic. I panic too easily.
Thank you all again, very much, and those that mentioned bleeder valve get the prize!
Now I'll go test it some more, and if it comes back I'll just replace the bleeder altogether.
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Old 04-11-2016, 05:50 PM   #15
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Yes, if you have condensation around the coolant tank, the likely suspects are the cap or bleeder valve. (or a bad tank itself).
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:54 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Retroman1969 View Post
I'll answer that after telling you how stupid I feel.
I took it on a hard highway run and then really got my head in there to listen to where the sound was really coming from. It was indeed the bleeder valve. If I pushed down hard on it, the sound stopped. Each of the bolts was able to be snugged up almost a full turn.
Good lord, this is why I never became a mechanic. I panic too easily.
Thank you all again, very much, and those that mentioned bleeder valve get the prize!
Now I'll go test it some more, and if it comes back I'll just replace the bleeder altogether.
Not sure of the correct torque value but don't gorilla the bleeder valve screws. You can easily strip the screws in the plastic bleeder body. Snug is good!
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:37 PM   #17
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Not sure of the correct torque value but don't gorilla the bleeder valve screws. You can easily strip the screws in the plastic bleeder body. Snug is good!
Double this comment. The screws go into plastic and can be easily stripped. If you do that then you have a problem.
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:46 PM   #18
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I tried to be careful with the feel of it. Snug but not pushing it. Used a screwdriver handled wrench so as not to get over-assisted leverage on the screws.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:52 AM   #19
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Had a head crack on mine - no obvious sign bar the odd plume of white smoke on changing gear, shut down ASAP. AT that stage coolant level had dropped - no obvious intermix showing on dipstick, presumably as stopped ASAP.

So from what you have described I would guess not, certainly hope it's cheaper for you!
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Old 04-12-2016, 02:23 PM   #20
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I had the same condensation with mine and the coolant was also dripping down, to under the car via the overflow. Coolant was leaking out through the bleeder valve.

After replacing the coolant cap with the latest model and replacing the bleeder valve with 996-106-347-02. Those solved it.

I am on my second tank - 1 version lower than the latest version.


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