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Old 05-15-2011, 07:43 PM   #1
MAC the KNIFE
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horrible coolant leak, does this look like a blown head gasket to you? pix included

i'd say it was a head gasket, it started all at once. it won't leak while the car is running and i'm looking for it, but let the car cool and there will be a huge puddle.
my dad keeps saying, make sure it's not a freeze plug.
please help

while under the car, just by luck i saw 1 drop of coolant running down the block, but i can't tell exactly where it's coming from.

i tried to mark it's path and where it came from in orange in the pix.

the head gasket is green arrows,right? it dont look like the coolant has been there.

the thing in blue is the timing chain cover, right?

note. my oil still looks fine, even took the front valve cover off to inspect, and saw nothing in the oil. but obviously i'm not driving it until this is fixed.
Attachment 29830 Attachment 29831 Attachment 29832

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Old 05-15-2011, 11:00 PM   #2
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Your pictures aren't the easiest to digest, but I see what your getting at.

Don't just go assuming that things are broken and throw parts at the car.

Do a compression test on all cylinders. This will tell you if you have a blown HG.

What your seeing looks like it could be a HG. LIM gaskets usually don't blow out the side like that. It could be a leaky water pump, a leaky timing cover, hell a leaky hose.

Compression test and tell us what happens.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:59 AM   #3
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if its the DOHC your probably blown the seal on your pump...it happened in my Daewoo and the pump leaked into the timing cover didnt know it was leaking untill i over heated and on a hunch i popped the clips on the cover and coolant poured out.
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:01 PM   #4
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:36 PM   #5
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yep it's the rear head gasket...






FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU...
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MAC the KNIFE View Post
yep it's the rear head gasket...






FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU...
What led you to this conclusion?

A head gasket is all of 15-20 dollars, bolt set is 30 (and you get a set of bolts for the front too!), and lower intake gaskets are anywhere from 75-90.

So. Buy ported intakes, do both head gaskets, spend about 360 bucks, a day, a six pack, and add some performance to the car.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:33 PM   #7
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:38 AM   #8
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yup! yup! did the EXACT same job last April to my 02. Mine was the classic "LIM" failure. "Low Coolant" kept losing it internally. It was NOT nearly as bad as I thought as it was going to be. I took no chances and replaced my head gaskets while I was in there!!

I highly recommend using FEL-PRO's problem solving kit especially for the LIM gasket. Stay clear away from the GM replacements or you may be doing this job again!!

Could be a lot worse. I once did the head gasket on 89 Olds Cutlas Calias. Dual over head cam Quad 4. ARE WE HAVING FUN YET??
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:40 AM   #9
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I have had much success with the GM gaskets for a LIM job.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I have had much success with the GM gaskets for a LIM job.
GM never changed the product or supplier. With that being said, the same issue will happen again that has happened to 75% of the 3.4L on the road. There was a class action suite about it and GM was doing replacements for free, or would pay you back if you had to have it done. May be worth looking into.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:46 AM   #11
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ill i have to say is make sure u get the metal gaskets or u will be doing it all over again in less than 50000 miles
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:58 PM   #12
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can you let us know how this work's out for you.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:28 AM   #13
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Stewartfn18 spent a few hours with me taking the engine apart. these front wheel drive engine bays suck. got the LIM off, but because the radiator drain plug is stuck, you can imagine how that went. my garage floor looks like a messy orange juice factory.

i've gotta show you guys some pix of my coil packs. thinking that explains the problem i've had with higher rpm performance. and bad gas mileage.

anyway, the front head bolt that goes in near the oil dipstick wouldn't budge.
so that's as far as we got, the heads are still on.
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:09 PM   #14
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anyway, the front head bolt that goes in near the oil dipstick wouldn't budge.
so that's as far as we got, the heads are still on.[/quote]

Are you referring to the studs that grow out of the heads that nut the exhaust on?

If so......when i did my LIM / Head gaskets I too had the exact same problem. I know a GM mechanic who has done several LIM/HEAD gasket's on the 3400's and he said these studs are simply hit and miss. More then likely you will snap one or more of these studs off when attempting to remove. It is almost unavoidable. They seem to seize and removing without snapping can't be done. If your doing the head gaskets NOT a big deal because the heads are coming off anyways. If your JUST doing the LIM gasket then breaking one of these forces you to remove the head. Once the head is out you simply easy out and re-tap and re-thread the holes. Some of them remove like a knife going through butter. A seized one, you will know right away

You "WILL" have to purchase new studs from the dealership as you will never find correct replacements at auto part stores. They soaked me for $9 / per stud. Thankfully I only broke 2 of them when removing. He did suggest using a thin film of "never seize" on these and all other exhaust bolts when putting things back together.

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Old 05-19-2011, 09:09 PM   #15
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no, i'm talking about the actual head bolt going into the block

thanks though. and the never seize is a good idea
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:46 PM   #16
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Damn good luck with the tear down.
Best off figuring it out once cause then after that you'll be good for all your own repairs.
I do recommend having a IN/LB torque wrench when you put it back together. I had 2 stripped rockers thanks to a half ass LIM right when I got it. (not done by me...) Just a heads up...
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC/T02 View Post
GM never changed the product or supplier. With that being said, the same issue will happen again that has happened to 75% of the 3.4L on the road. There was a class action suite about it and GM was doing replacements for free, or would pay you back if you had to have it done. May be worth looking into.
Actually GM did change the LIM gasket design and material. I should know... I've replaced enough of them on peoples cars. Still not as good the felpro premium set, but there are as good as the basic felpro set and do the job. And the class action law suit had to do with the dexcool. They might have had one for the original LIM gasket design as well. I think both were settled out of court though so there was never a verdict as to what was at fault. There was a set deadline as too how long people had to make a claim and get their LIM gaskets replaced though. It's not like people can just keep going to GM for the next 10 years to get free LIM gasket replacements.

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ill i have to say is make sure u get the metal gaskets or u will be doing it all over again in less than 50000 miles
See above. I've done several LIM repairs with the new GM gaskets and not had any more failures. I believe it has more to do with installing them properly and with doing good maintenance on the car than with the actual gasket.
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOYS View Post
What led you to this conclusion?

A head gasket is all of 15-20 dollars, bolt set is 30 (and you get a set of bolts for the front too!), and lower intake gaskets are anywhere from 75-90.

So. Buy ported intakes, do both head gaskets, spend about 360 bucks, a day, a six pack, and add some performance to the car.

He already has a ported upper.


It definitely was the head gasket though. He told me they pressurized the cooling system with nitrogen and they could see where the coolant/bubbles where coming out from between the head and block. He took the rear head off and sure enough the gasket was split right at the middle coolant passage on the side of the block.
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:46 PM   #19
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I had a similar issue just a week ago. My wife's 99 GT blew oil all through the cooling system and it came out through the coolant over flow tank drain tube. I only noticed it because of the brown puddle under her car. I popped the hood and sure enough back near the firewall was a coolant & oil sludge mixture all over where the over flow drain tube drains down. I checked the over flow tank and it was nothing but sludge.

FYI
It turned out to be the intake manifold gaskets, which is common on a car with over 100k miles.

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Old 06-11-2011, 09:25 PM   #20
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I had a similar issue just a week ago. My wife's 99 GT blew oil all through the cooling system and it came out through the coolant over flow tank drain tube. I only noticed it because of the brown puddle under her car. I popped the hood and sure enough back near the firewall was a coolant & oil sludge mixture all over where the over flow drain tube drains down. I checked the over flow tank and it was nothing but sludge.

FYI
It turned out to be the intake manifold gaskets, which is common on a car with over 100k miles.

Well, that wouldn't exactly be a similar issue then would it. You had a lower intake gasket failure, which is common on these engines with high miles or cheap gaskets. He had a coolant leak from a head gasket failure. Not quite the same thing and he didn't have any oil and coolant getting mixed.
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