View Full Version : RIP Headgasket

04-17-2006, 09:53 PM
Well, it finally happened today.

I went out for a 'spirited' drive with a buddy of mine, and after 5 minutes of 3rd and 4th gear running through some nice twisties the coolant temp gauge was pegged.

I was stupid and didn't notice the climbing gauge until it was too late. The headgasket is toast, I'm just hoping that nothing is warped at this point.

On the plus side I have a full gasket set and timing belt in the garage, and this will give me an opportunity to install a few other goodies I have laying around.

The engine will be coming out wednesday night, wish me luck!

04-18-2006, 10:49 PM
Good luck.

From what I've heard, it doesn't creep, it gets pegged pretty quickly when that happens, so you may not have been "ignoring" it like you think.

04-20-2006, 09:56 PM
Ok, this is really strange.

Last night we we planning to pull the motor and see what's what, but figured we'd run a compression test first.

Result: between 190 and 195 across all 4 cylinders....not bad at all.

Ok, so maybe it's got an external leak....jack up the front and inspect the outside of both heads, dry as a bone.

At this point we start wondering if maybe the headgasket isn't the problem, so we go grab a new radiator cap and 2 gallons of coolant. I already had new rad hoses and a thermostat so we drain the system, install the hoses, t-stat and cap, and fill it up.

Run the motor at ~2500rpm until it's up to operating temp, and it holds there for a few minutes. We let it cool down and top it off as per the manual, everything looks good.

So, we take the car out for a drive...temp is rock solid. Even running it pretty hard everything looks good, temp doesn't move. Pull back into the garage and let it idle...temp starts to rise steadily and we're seeing bubbles in the overflow tank.

We bleed the system again, and take it back out. Same thing, temp is steady, even driving it pretty hard. As soon as we stop the temp starts to rise again, and once more there are bubbles coming from the overflow tube.

So, the only explanation I can come up with is a pinhole leak. With the airflow through the radiator when the car is rolling it can hold operating temp, but as soon as it's still it starts to overheat.

If anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them.

04-20-2006, 10:12 PM
the headgasket might not be fully blown yet. You might be lucky.

04-20-2006, 10:14 PM
are the fans coming on?

04-20-2006, 10:14 PM
Sounds like head gasket still. I have read similar stories on the board for years, they all seem to be the headgasket.

Have the coolant tested for exhaust, that will tell you for sure. (some people can smell the coolant and tell)

04-21-2006, 07:36 AM
Yeah, the temp sender and fans are working fine.

I can't tell if the bubbles are exhaust, who would be equipped to test the coolant for exhaust?

At this stage I think I'm going to pull the motor and replace the HGs regardless, she's overdue for a timing belt and the exhaust valves need adjusting anyway.

Thanks for the input guys.