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Steam and Water out of tailpipe


Dprocks100

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Last friday my truck started steaming and loosing a lot of water through the tailpipe. Sucked 3/4 of my coolant out of my overflow tank in a 20 minuet drive. Its got 143,xxx miles. It burns about a quart every 3-4,000 miles. Did a compression test and got 120-115 psi over all 4 cylinders. my haynes manual says that it should be 101 psi minimum but says nothing about whats considered good. What should it be? When I had the test all cylinders steadily climbed to their max in about 4 seconds. Am I right to assume its my head gasket? or is it more likely my head or block? There is no water in my oil. And the truck seems to run fine other than the excessive amount of steam and water out the back and a little less power.

If the engine is destroyed it will just move my 4.0 swap that much sooner.
 


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Probably a head gasket. There really isn't any way to be sure without tearing down, but no coolant in the oil is a good indicator. It's getting into the cylinders and burning off.
 

Dprocks100

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Thats what I thought, all my buddys kept saying I would have water in my oil so thats why I questioned the gasket. No point in tearing it down and fixing it if im just going to pull it later. Looks like its time for my 4.0 to go in. Thanks for your help man!
 

scotts90ranger

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It's either the head (they like to crack at the valve seats and let coolant out) or a gasket, but since I've had a cracked head and don't hear about a lot of bad gaskets...
 

Dprocks100

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Ill take a look at it if I tear it down, may just sell it "as is" possible head/gasket problem and not even look into it. Im currently pulling it to swap in the 4.0. If it is the head then I don't feel bad at all about not just fixing the gasket. Thanks for your input man!
 

RonD

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Coolant in the oil doesn't always happen, i.e. milkshake oil, with a cylinder leak.
Coolant passages surround each cylinder, not oil passages, so first sign of a cracked head or bad head gasket will be a pressure leak into the cooling system.

The Glove test is free and will tell you if you have a cylinder leak, i.e. cracked head or blown gasket, and can ID which cylinder.
Cold engine
Drain coolant down about 2", if it isn't low already
Remove overflow hose from radiator, plug that hole, vacuum cap works
Remove rad cap
Place a latex glove over rad cap opening and seal it to rad with rubber band, or a balloon will work, also seen it done with a condom, lol.

Disconnect coil(s), you want a no start
Crank engine and watch "glove"
If it bounces you have a cylinder leak, for sure

ID the cylinder:
Remove 1 spark plug and crank again, if glove still bounces remove next cylinders spark plug, repeat until glove stops bouncing, last cylinder you removed spark plug from has the leak, put spark plug back in to confirm.
 

Dprocks100

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I drained the coolant today in the engine, there were rainbows in it, so looks like oil in the coolant. Thanks for your help guys!
 

RonD

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Not oil, hydrocarbons from "exhaust".
When there is a cylinder leak, the highest pressure in the cylinder is when it fires(burns air/fuel) which is expelled thru the leak point, so what you are seeing in the coolant is, in essence, "exhaust" residue with some unburned fuel
 


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