Head gasket leak =/ [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

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icecats87
10-16-2011, 06:13 PM
So not to long ago i pulled my heads off to extract some broken exhaust studs. Everything was good and I followed my haynes manual of putting the heads back on. I did what they said and cleaned both the heads surface and where they sit on the block. i got all the old gasket crap off etc. I got the gaskets on correctly and the heads went right on. I torqued each bolt to the exact spec it called for In the book.

Well after about a month or so its leaking in 2 spots =( Here are some pictures. Could i possibly just try tightening the 2 outside bolts just a little more? or put some head gasket leak in? I have to rip the heads off again in November so i want it to last until then. Any suggestions??

The AC compressor always looks like that but right around the gasket its hard to tell but theirs coolant spots around it.
http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y336/dvero1727/IMG_8476.jpg
The other side where its leaking
http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y336/dvero1727/IMG_8477.jpg

And idk what this is from? I opened the hood today and noticed coolant all over the hood
http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y336/dvero1727/IMG_8479.jpg

So could I tighten the bolts just a little more? I dont see any leaks anywhere else but these 2 spots. and again in November im getting ported and polished LIM and UIM and ill send my heads in to get milled and washed etc. I just want it to last!

AaronGTR
10-16-2011, 07:55 PM
If they are where torqued correctly the first time, tightening them again won't really do anything. If there is something wrong it's still going to leak. What did you use to clean the gasket surfaces with? And did you clean just the head, or the block surface too?

icecats87
10-16-2011, 10:12 PM
If they are where torqued correctly the first time, tightening them again won't really do anything. If there is something wrong it's still going to leak. What did you use to clean the gasket surfaces with? And did you clean just the head, or the block surface too?

I did both. I used some acetone, and also a gasket remover type thing with a brush on it. Both surfaces looked clean. I had my dad help install them one held gaskets in place and then one put the heads on. They went on perfectly =/ It sucks but when I replace the LIM i'm going to pull the heads again and send them in this time. I just wanna know if theirs anything i can do temporally to prevent major leaks or damage until i can get the manifolds ordered.

The car runs amazing though! I can defiantly feel a big difference with the headers. Im just upset with the heads and it leaking =(

Malaclypse
10-16-2011, 10:15 PM
What material was the brush you used?

AaronGTR
10-16-2011, 11:35 PM
You shouldn't have had to have anyone hold anything in place. There are supposed to be a couple dowel pins in the bottom corners that help align the gasket and cylinder head. Sometimes they stay stuck in the heads when you pull them off, but you ought to take them out and clean any junk out of the holes and put them back in the block.

Anyway, it's possible you might have gouged the surface or something while cleaning them if you didn't use the right tool. It's also possible that the heads are warped and should have been checked and possible decked to make them flat. No way to tell without taking them off again.


I use an electric drill and some fabric abrasive pads from 3M for cleaning all my gasket surfaces. They are a quick change style used with a rubber arbor and come in several levels of grit. You have to be careful with the edge of the pad as it can still gouge the metal, but if you hold it fairly flat on the sealing surfaces it works great. The finest grit (using light/medium pressure) will take off the softer gasket material without damaging the aluminum, and leaves a nice smooth surface. They can make a bit of a mess so you have to plug any holes you don't want the crap getting into. Then I just wipe the surface after with brake cleaner or acetone. They look like this.

http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawebserver?mwsId=66666UuZjcFSLXTtnXfyl8T6EV76E bHSHVs6EVs6E666666--

icecats87
10-17-2011, 12:30 AM
Yeah well when i do get my LIM i was gonna send my heads down to the shop for a service $100 a head. Think they mill it or flatten the surface. and clean it all up. And yeah i see those disc at work i can get some, i might have to do that next time =/ Do you recommend and kind of head gasket stop leak? Just for about a month?

chris_gt_74
10-17-2011, 12:46 AM
Can you tell if your oil and water are mixing? Or if your leaking into any cylinders? If you do have water going into your oil do not drive it! It may not be instant but it can and will severely damage the lower internals. I lost my 3100 in my old grand prix due to a LIM leak that went unnoticed. I was mixing oil and water badly.

But my last encounter with a leak did not involve my oil and water mixing. I was dumping water into my #1 causing a bad misfire but no external leak. So to be safe I'd avoid driving it cause even if your not mixing you can overheat it due to the leaks.

icecats87
10-17-2011, 01:25 AM
Can you tell if your oil and water are mixing? Or if your leaking into any cylinders? If you do have water going into your oil do not drive it! It may not be instant but it can and will severely damage the lower internals. I lost my 3100 in my old grand prix due to a LIM leak that went unnoticed. I was mixing oil and water badly.

But my last encounter with a leak did not involve my oil and water mixing. I was dumping water into my #1 causing a bad misfire but no external leak. So to be safe I'd avoid driving it cause even if your not mixing you can overheat it due to the leaks.

Car drives perfectly fine. There isnt any white smoke like there was last time my head gasket blew. So I think the coolant is just leaking in those 2 spots. Car runs at normal operating temperatures and doesn't overheat. And yeah no misfires or anything. its just dripping down the block in those 2 spots.

350rs
10-17-2011, 04:43 PM
do not use the stop leak. it plugs things up that arent supposed to be plugged. i would advise keeping an eye on all your fluids and topping off when needed untill you take the heads in. like stated they are likely warped. Did you have any kind of lube on the bolt threads when you tightened them down? You wont get a proper torque on the bolts if they arent lubed properly first. TTY or not, you wont get it. For that matter.. did you replace those head bolts when you did the work?

icecats87
10-17-2011, 05:58 PM
do not use the stop leak. it plugs things up that arent supposed to be plugged. i would advise keeping an eye on all your fluids and topping off when needed untill you take the heads in. like stated they are likely warped. Did you have any kind of lube on the bolt threads when you tightened them down? You wont get a proper torque on the bolts if they arent lubed properly first. TTY or not, you wont get it. For that matter.. did you replace those head bolts when you did the work?

No i did not use any kind of lube on the bolts, I didn't read anywhere that i was suppose to, And my uncle didn't do it when i watched him replace the head gasket awhile ago. And yes i bought all new bolts for LIM and heads

AaronGTR
10-17-2011, 07:34 PM
Definitely do NOT use any stop leak additives. Those things are crap and do more damage in the long run than good. They plug up and foul up your entire cooling system in the effort to stop just one leak.

It's possible that it might be leaking coolant from just those spots to the outside. May even be actually coming from the LIM gasket and you just can't see it running down the edge. But anyway, I would just keep an eye on it and look for any changes and keep the fluid topped off, and don't beat on the car until you can get it fixed.

350rs
10-17-2011, 07:51 PM
No i did not use any kind of lube on the bolts, I didn't read anywhere that i was suppose to, And my uncle didn't do it when i watched him replace the head gasket awhile ago. And yes i bought all new bolts for LIM and heads

Its not really standard operating procedure. For regular DD engines its not necessary at all. Its more of a high power high revving engine thing. But that little trick is extra insurance and takes all of 13 more seconds to do. For your engine just put a drop or two of oil on the threads and it would be fine. Several companies make different "pastes" for such a thing that GREATLY increases accurate torqueing. Just make sure your doing it in no less than 2 phases then the additional 90* IIRC.

I did it and i dont have any signs of leakage anywhere. Thats a tight engine now.

icecats87
10-17-2011, 08:04 PM
I keep checking the reservoir and It looks like barely any coolant is gone everyday. But if i let the car sit over night theirs a spot maybe 5inches wide/long of something leaking. But it doesn't happen every night. there will be a spot maybe once a week? maybe a total of 3 or 4 since in the last month and a half.

It is coming from the passenger side, right under the ac compressor and towards the radiator. Now Ive had a leak coming from there for a long time and i cannot find out where it comes from. I replaced all hoses over there, a few months ago i threw some of that sawdust type stop leak for the coolant and it stopped the leak until now. its coming from that circle thing under the radiator.

Found a picture but no its not the drain plug that's leaking. but that circle thing under is where mine always looks like its leaking. Except for me, its on the other side of the radiator. so mine leaks by the passenger side. Any idea what its from?
http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQfCb7OW0P_NJrNcHhjDZP-c2TQF0lFLkJfIRvHdmxckGm1iTsbVz5tN3Qb-A

chris_gt_74
10-17-2011, 08:24 PM
You may have a hole in the bottom radiator or in the fins along the bottom. I know if you get a crack in one of these it's hard as hell to see.

Malaclypse
10-17-2011, 10:09 PM
Here's a better alternative for abrasive discs that won't fling a bunch of grit everywhere... just plastic dust. http://www.3m.com/product/images/Bristle-Discs-300.jpg

I've been using them on engines and differentials for years without any adverse affects. Best used with a right angle die grinder.

zukiracer19
10-18-2011, 01:34 AM
You'd be surprised how much "discs" can take away aluminum... anyways... have you check to see if your heads were warped? i checked my 3400s, car only ever overheated once and they were pretty bad... machine shop + 20 bucks does wonders.

zukiracer19
10-18-2011, 01:48 AM
As for the block being soaked; That stuff dont magically get there, but for the hood... i'd be looking at anywhere near there. looks like maybe the valve where you open it up to get the air out of the lines? could be wrong but worth a try... could be something little.

icecats87
10-18-2011, 01:59 AM
I think that valve might be causing it to get on hood, it broke off a long long time ago well the top nut just broke off. And the block is just dirty as hell its always been like that

AaronGTR
10-18-2011, 05:28 PM
You'd be surprised how much "discs" can take away aluminum... anyways... have you check to see if your heads were warped? i checked my 3400s, car only ever overheated once and they were pretty bad... machine shop + 20 bucks does wonders.


Sanding discs yes... the fabric pads, not if you use the very fine ones. They aren't abrasive enough and if you just use enough time and pressure to remove the gasket material, it won't take any aluminum off and just leaves a smooth surface. As with any tool, using the incorrect one or not using it correctly can always cause damage.