Hello Guest

Author Topic: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!  (Read 4943 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline wyorunner

  • Registered
  • **
  • Posts: 590
    • View Profile
Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« on: March 23, 2016, 10:28:39 PM »
Our 4Runner, 2002 3.4l 136k miles, may have a head gasket issue. Why do I think this? The stupid thing keeps emptying itself of antifreeze. I think this is the third time, possibly fourth. Yesterday wife was almost to work when she's hears a loud POP and then steam. Once the steam subsides she opens the hood to find the upper radiator hose has disconnected itself from the radiator.

While the clearest indicator would be good wetness near the block and heads, little to none really. Or possibly the chocolate milk oil, yep not there. There are no visible signs of leaking so the antifreeze has to be going somewhere. My thought is into one or more of the pistons and is getting burnt off. I have not tested for this or examined the exhaust but seems logical. However I want to be sure this is the case before I spend the money to fix it. Because if it was something else and I pulled the heads for no reason, well I?d have to have a stiff drink!

So I bought this neat little camera from amazon, pulled the plugs and shoved her in the hole? Each piston appeared to be the same, but having never experienced this I don't know if the pistons are supposed to look like this or if they are supposed to look like something else. To me they look pitted and a bit rusted (weird). Experts, or whatever you guys are calling yourselves what do you all think?

Piston 1





Piston 3



Piston 5



Piston 2



Piston 4











Piston 6



So thats what the tops of the pistons look like, number 4 has me wondering. If there was a ?wet spot? it would be on the outside of this cylinder. Let me know what you guys think. Possible courses of action are much appreciated! If anybody has a 4bt laying around that would be good to know!

Turner

Online stlaser

  • Registered
  • **
  • Posts: 5698
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 10:42:07 PM »
No white smoke from exhaust huh?

Could always run a compression test not that those are always definitive for blown head gaskets but it's a start
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 10:44:28 PM by stlaser »
Unretired, sweeping floor at GLO once again & making coffee.

Offline wyorunner

  • Registered
  • **
  • Posts: 590
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2016, 11:04:42 PM »

No white smoke from exhaust huh?

Could always run a compression test not that those are always definitive for blown head gaskets but it's a start

Yea that's true. I read about that in trying to see what it looks like on this engine. No compression tester, but I assume I could rent one from one of the places. If not, just add it to the tools I have but only get used every so often.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline KensAuto

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 4976
  • Just call me Bounty.... always absorbing abuse
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2016, 11:33:46 PM »
From here, it looks like what you're seeing in #4 that's different than the rest, is lack of carbon, except for that little piece in the left corner. lack of carbon=burning coolant/water. That's the best way to eliminate carbon from a cylinder!

..the plug on that cylinder should look slightly different from the rest....possibly a light greenish tint (if green coolant), or rust colored from extended life coolant.
Underpaid and misunderstood since 2014

Offline wyorunner

  • Registered
  • **
  • Posts: 590
    • View Profile
Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2016, 12:17:38 AM »
From here, it looks like what you're seeing in #4 that's different than the rest, is lack of carbon, except for that little piece in the left corner. lack of carbon=burning coolant/water. That's the best way to eliminate carbon from a cylinder!

..the plug on that cylinder should look slightly different from the rest....possibly a light greenish tint (if green coolant), or rust colored from extended life coolant.

That was my thinking. I use the Toyota red spendy stuff. Oddly enough, the plugs really all look very similar.
Plug 2

Plug 4



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 12:18:33 AM by wyorunner »

Offline KensAuto

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 4976
  • Just call me Bounty.... always absorbing abuse
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2016, 12:20:45 AM »
Looks like #4 has less carbon by the threads?
Underpaid and misunderstood since 2014

Offline Flyin6

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 21099
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2016, 09:43:14 AM »
I think Ken may be onto something.

Are you sure you haven't seen a spot here and there on the driveway or parking spot?

Your upper hose blew off, which suggests one of two things to me

1. It is old and defective and may have started leaking some time ago, albeit a small leak

or

2. combustion pressure from a leaking or possibly blown head gasket pressurized the coolant system and blew it apart, at the hose to connection point, which was likely the weak link in the system.

Compression test

First dry, as is, like it is now

Then wet. Pump a few squirts of thicker motor oil in the cylinder then immediately take a compression test again

Compare the two numbers, and read up on this in the interwebz to see what all it means...

Good Luck!
Site owner    IS 6:8  Psalm 91 
NSDQ      Author: Distant Thunder

Offline wyorunner

  • Registered
  • **
  • Posts: 590
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2016, 10:30:59 AM »
I personally have never seen any wet spots... If they happen they hide amongst the gravel and or dirt as when I drive it I never park on pavement. Will compression test and hope we find an answer.

Was looking compression testers on Amazon last night, they had a pressure tester as well, or maybe they called it a leak tester. Where you screw it into the spark plug hole and put air to it. Never used one before but made me wonder... If I tried that would the kind of wet spot on the outside of the head that was the last thing I saw yesterday might drip.

Anybody ever use a leak tester of sorts like this? Thoughts? I think I'll just stick with the compression test though, as that will be more usable down the road I think.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Nate

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3823
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2016, 11:06:52 AM »
slow down for a minute please!

did you say the oil was good, as in no milky color?!
Nate

Give me coffee for the things I can change and Bourbon for the things I cannot!

Offline KensAuto

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 4976
  • Just call me Bounty.... always absorbing abuse
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2016, 12:40:14 PM »
A compression test won't show anything at this early stage (IF it's a head gasket issue). In the early stage, just the sealing ability of the gasket degrades, compression will enter the cooling system (100-130psi running pressure+combustion pressure/temperatures) which typically is designed to handle under 50psi, and regulated at 16-18 on newer cars. In this stage, the 16 or so coolant pressure is not enough to leak into the cylinder (which leads to "milkshake oil"), but the high combustion pressure can start blowing hoses and radiators. If the system holds this higher pressure, to some degree, it will allow coolant to spray back into the cylinder while running, but usually stops when engine shuts down, cools off (contracts), and "seals" the gasket back up. At this stage there is little to no smoke from the exhaust. Eventually the gasket fails completely, and coolant will free flow into the cylinder, past the piston, and into the oil, causing smoke out the rear.

To test the early stage failure, a leak down test can be performed. You have to pressurize the cylinder with air (150+psi) with the valves closed, and see if coolant, or bubbles, comes out of radiator (with cap off). It's a bit easier to detect a small change in pressure if you have a radiator pressure gauge hooked up, but if it's a sizeable leak, it will blow out coolant with the cap off. This test isn't easy to do, and Still not 100% conclusive, because you can't simulate combustion heat and pressure.

Another early way to test is by using a "Head gasket leak detector"....a chemical test. The tool sucks gasses from the cooling system, pulling them through a chemical that detects carbon dioxide, which changes the color of the liquid. I've actually had less luck from this test than with a cylinder pressure test.

..but again, if that piston is as spotless as it looks from here, there's no doubt ...it's burning coolant.
Underpaid and misunderstood since 2014

Offline wyorunner

  • Registered
  • **
  • Posts: 590
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2016, 01:35:30 PM »
Nate, that is correct. The oil is just as it should be.

Ken, CRAP! So what your kind of getting at is I may as well go ahead and disassemble in order to replace the head gaskets? I had seen the chemical test too thought about giving it a try. Wish the darned thing would just leak out the side so I could visibly see it.

What was interesting, after the hose popped off, some guy was passing by and saw my wife looking under the hood, luck would have it he had a leather man and put the hose back on for her. So she drove over to the class six and filled it up with water. Then at the end of the day drove home. She was able to get two gallons in it and then it was "full". Now, when I got into it, it was not full, and I added another 1/2 gallon or so. My thought was the thermostat was closed when she filled it so the block remained empty. Then upon warming it opened and pulled some into the block, which gave room in the radiator for more... Or else it's burning it much faster than thought.

Turds! I dislike being in predicaments such as this.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline EL TATE

  • Moderator
  • ***
  • Posts: 2187
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2016, 02:12:04 PM »
I've been there buddy. don't fart around too long on it; getting that oil all mixed up with the coolant cooked my sisters main bearings in a day or so.
Husband, Father, Gear guy, Patriot.

Offline Nate

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3823
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2016, 02:17:15 PM »
ken,

I think that would be a great write up in the DIY section..............?

turner,

sounds like you may be loading that Toyota up on a trailer and driving it up to ken.....;D
Nate

Give me coffee for the things I can change and Bourbon for the things I cannot!

Offline wyorunner

  • Registered
  • **
  • Posts: 590
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2016, 02:57:03 PM »
Wish Ken was in Tucson I'd already be headed his way at to try and test it. That's ok, I'm going to try to get it figured out for certain then tear into it. And I had thought about trying to do a tech write up for it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline KensAuto

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 4976
  • Just call me Bounty.... always absorbing abuse
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2016, 03:56:23 PM »
You definately want to be 100% sure on a job that large. I would assume that if it's using coolant, that it would also still be building too much pressure...

Is it still building above normal pressure? Is it blowing coolant into the recovery tank and not sucking it back out? Was that piston as clean as I'm assuming by the pic? (i use borescopes myself, and seeing it in person is different than through a "replay" of the image.)
Have you pulled the hose back off to inspect the radiator nipple (It could have just failed...crumbled the outer lip, allowing the hose to slide off)?

The other thing...it's tough to get all of the air out of the system the old fashioned way...by just adding coolant til the t-stat opens. We actually use a vacuum tool nowadays because it's THAT difficult.

Lot of variables..."water in oil is" pretty much cut and dry! lol
Underpaid and misunderstood since 2014

Offline Nate

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3823
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2016, 04:06:29 PM »
ken is only 2 hrs from you?  and you and the wife have a 4day wknd....;D
Nate

Give me coffee for the things I can change and Bourbon for the things I cannot!

Offline JR

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 7066
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2016, 04:34:35 PM »
Yeah, but wil Ken work on his weekend even for one of us?

I think he has a compression lea too, Like Ken. It is blowing into the cooling system and the water is being pushed out via the vent or even cooking off, so no vapor seen.

As for the pistons they look great for that mileage.
Retired LEO  Lifetime NRA+  Outcast in Calif

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants"

Thomas Jefferson

Offline KensAuto

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 4976
  • Just call me Bounty.... always absorbing abuse
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2016, 04:59:41 PM »
Hey!!! I'm lazy on tthe weekends..matter of fact, I'm lazy during the week also!
Underpaid and misunderstood since 2014

Offline wyorunner

  • Registered
  • **
  • Posts: 590
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2016, 05:22:57 PM »
Well we're going to try a new radiator cap as that is cheap. Maybe it is not allowing the pressure to be released into the overflow. And we'll check compression as Napa had one on sale so... Let's hope for the best.

Going to pull the hose and check that to see if something is up there. But yea of all the Pistons that one did look clean. I'll try to get a video when I pull the plug to test compression to see if it is any different than the others. May not tell me much but worth a shot.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline JR

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 7066
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2016, 05:28:57 PM »
Have the cooling system tested with it running.
Retired LEO  Lifetime NRA+  Outcast in Calif

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants"

Thomas Jefferson

Offline Nate

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3823
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2016, 07:09:01 PM »
Hey!!! I'm lazy on tthe weekends..matter of fact, I'm lazy during the week also!

and he FINALLY ADMITS IT..................

ROFLMFAO.......................HAHAHAHAHA
Nate

Give me coffee for the things I can change and Bourbon for the things I cannot!

Offline wyorunner

  • Registered
  • **
  • Posts: 590
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2016, 11:01:02 AM »
Well, I took some videos this morning before she ran off to work with it. But of course being mildly technology incompetent I can not get them to work on photo bucket...Maybe its just photo bucket and not my lack of brain cells. Either way, one of the videos I took was of the outside of the block/head underneath the exhaust manifold. Apparently my thought of a small wet spot, was not small at all. Nearly the entire length of the block is wetish, parts of it appear to go the full height of the block. Ill keep working on trying to get these videos to work so y'all can see'm.

Didn't have time to compression test anything fully or properly, so we will come back to that at a later time (hopefully this afternoon).

Online cudakidd53

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 3004
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2016, 11:08:41 AM »
I think the "whole block height wet" answers your question- pull the heads and have them redone while you're replacing the gaskets.  Ken- what you'd do correct?
2012 Silverado LTZ - Duramax
Christian since 1975 - Field Trial Brittanys - NRA Lifetime Member

"When you're dead, you don't know you're dead. Hence, dealing with this fact is not difficult. It is only hard for those still living around you.....It's the same when you're stupid."

Offline Flyin6

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 21099
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2016, 11:14:38 AM »
Hey!!! I'm lazy on tthe weekends..matter of fact, I'm lazy during the week also!

and he FINALLY ADMITS IT..................

ROFLMFAO.......................HAHAHAHAHA
Surprised Shawn wasn't all over that one!

But, by all means a DIY write-up would be great!
« Last Edit: March 25, 2016, 11:15:18 AM by Flyin6 »
Site owner    IS 6:8  Psalm 91 
NSDQ      Author: Distant Thunder

Offline wyorunner

  • Registered
  • **
  • Posts: 590
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2016, 11:33:53 AM »
Attempt number I don't know... Also of note, this durned truck still won't leave anything on the ground! Had her park on the small slice of cement we have in front of the garage door... And of course it wanted to be polite and not make a mess...

https://youtu.be/gEGpa07J_vY Inside the Piston

https://youtu.be/nlgiafPkoek Block View

I tried to embed them... Didn't work, so I apologize if this is a pain and/or not permitted. If not, please delete this post.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2016, 12:00:36 PM by wyorunner »

Offline JR

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 7066
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2016, 12:31:33 PM »
Yep, just do the heads. The water like that could just evap before it drips off the block.
Retired LEO  Lifetime NRA+  Outcast in Calif

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants"

Thomas Jefferson

Offline KensAuto

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 4976
  • Just call me Bounty.... always absorbing abuse
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2016, 12:41:55 PM »
Like these guys said, it will dry before it hits the ground ...as long as that's coolant we're looking at in the vid, and not oil.
Also looks like that piston has carbon, but the vid was too cloudy to make out (clean the tip/camera next time. :pokewyo)

If you pull the heads, make sure to resurface and pressure test at the least, possibly a valve job with seals. Just make sure it's a compitent shop, because, iirc, that engine has valve wafers for valve adjustment and they're a B**** to get right and not end up with a tick.
Underpaid and misunderstood since 2014

Offline wyorunner

  • Registered
  • **
  • Posts: 590
    • View Profile
Re: Believed Head Gasket Issue... Input Please!
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2016, 02:11:07 PM »

Like these guys said, it will dry before it hits the ground ...as long as that's coolant we're looking at in the vid, and not oil.
Also looks like that piston has carbon, but the vid was too cloudy to make out (clean the tip/camera next time. :pokewyo)

If you pull the heads, make sure to resurface and pressure test at the least, possibly a valve job with seals. Just make sure it's a compitent shop, because, iirc, that engine has valve wafers for valve adjustment and they're a B**** to get right and not end up with a tick.

Cloudiness... Yea couldn't figure that one out.  Did try though. Oh well.

Do you rebuild heads by chance? Cause that would be neat. I think there is a shop in Sierra vista that might. I imagine Tucson is where they will end up having to go... Unless I find a crack.

Also forgot to mention, exhaust smells like gas not coolant so that adds to the oddity of the problem.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk