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Thread: Blowing coolant out the overflow tank. Head gasket or block??

  1. #1
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    Default Blowing coolant out the overflow tank. Head gasket or block??

    Truck has had a small coolant leak for a few months now. Towed the camper last weekend & she was overheating quite bad. So I pulled the rad & cleaned it up & she is running cooler but now it is blowing coolant out the overflow on the overflow tank. I had my rad cap pressure tested & it failed so I put a new one on but it is still doing it. Under normal driving it doesn't seem to do it now but I towed my camper & it is still doing it under load. Upper rad hose it hard on cold start as well. Oil level is not rising & I see no white smoke. When it does it I lose about 4 litres of coolant in a matter of a few miles of driving.

    Is this enough info to determine if it is head gasket or block?

    I have read on the other site of some stuff you can dump in that will seal headgasket & craked block leaks. Thermgasket & steel seal. Anyone have any experince with either or any other additive good or bad?

    I realize that fixing the problem properly is the best solution but I am trying to find a temp fix for now.
    99 Serria 2500. 6.5TD. Heath pmd isolator. Rest is stock. 270,000 km. Running SVO 2 tank system Feb/09 60 litre poly tank w/hotfox, Walbro FBR5, 20 plate FPHE, 10 micron spin on filter with heater hose wrap, vegtherm mega, 2 3 way hydraforce switching valves, HOH, return to tank.

  2. #2
    6.5 Diesel NUTCASE Ratman's Avatar
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    The only way you are going to be able to tell what is going on is to yank the heads. Some people may prefer to pull the one side that is leaking and just replace one gasket, -I would not recommend doing that, -I'd do both.

    As far as snake-oil sealing products go, -don't waste your time or money.

    There is one exception to that though, and that would be the coolant tabs at the chevy store. they do work for small pesky leaks, but nothing as major as a head gasket.

    It could be a gasket, it could be a cracked head, or worse, a cracked block. It is most likely a gasket, but the only way to find out is to pull the heads (they gotta come off anyway).

    My .02
    Rich

    94 K2500, 6.5, NV-4500, 4.10's, GM4 closed gate,DB2 with .310", base timing @ 5°, 599 block .020" over, decked .010", ARP studs, 18:1 Mahle pistons, SCAT crank, diamond cups, HV oil pump, dual-stat/130GPM, C2 boost/pyro, 3"x4" EXH, AC 60G's,
    NO MORE DS4, NO MORE PMD'S! I RELOCATED MY PMD TO THE TRASHCAN!

    1991 Jeep Cherokee XJ, AMC 4.0L/AW4, 44 rear, 6" lift, 32's, THEFERMANATOR ENGINE WORKS IAT and CPS timing mod.

    PROUD gun owner and supporter of second amendment RIGHTS

  3. #3
    Registered User vail426's Avatar
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    X2
    1995 Silverado K2500 / 174k miles / stock / vin F / ext cab / long bed / boost gauge /60G glow plug override mod / Gray Stanadyne PMD on sink in bumper nostril / lift pump relay mod / stainless steel crossover / fuel pressure gauge / early model lift pump / Kennedy 20" fan / Hayden 2839 fan clutch / Opti-Lube XPD at every fill up

    1965 Dodge Coronet 500 426 wedge head / 4 speed / 2dr hdt coupe

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  4. #4
    Wild Blonde from Cloud Mt Missy Good Wench's Avatar
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    Missy says

    yank the engine and get it apart.

    To try and do it in the truck is a eal PITA

    The likelyhood that the 1 or 2 cylinder has blown to water are great.

    There is also a high probability that the block could be erroded at the fire ring on either of the front two cylinders.

    Pressure cold is an indicator of a coolant breach to cylinder pressure for sure..
    The other very possible issue with a 99 could be a UPPER CYLINDER CRACK on #8 cylinder.

    These can and do occur at around 8 Oclock when viewing from the RH side of the engine.

    The cracks will run radially around the cylinder about 1 inch from the top deck.

    With a cracked cylinder its basically game over. Sleaving one of these is not a great plan.


    If the gaskets are still sound and the cylinder is ok the heads can and do crack between the valves as well as from a the exhaust seats out onto the fire deck.

    A cracked head is an easy fix, just replace the set and go again.

    Doing the heads on these suckers in the engine bay can be done but is a real PITA.

    While its down and if the issues are simple, this would be a fine time to check and or replace bearings, rings and such. Rear main seal and other things like soft plugs.

    When one head gasket is gone the other is usually soon to follow.

    The miles shown in your sig suggests thatn this girl has seen her day in the sun.
    1995 GMC 3500 4x4 Crewcab DaHooooley
    6.5 Turbo diesel
    Banks exhaust
    Heath Turbo master and Heath Chip
    Custom Interior and paint by ??????????

    89 K5 Blazer 4x4 5.7 Gasser
    84 K5 Blazer 4x4 6.2 Diesel

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    Thanks for everyones comments. I don't put much faith in the snake oil stuff either but for the cost of it I bought some of the coolant tabs & put them into tonight. If they will work how long should it take? It is pretty much instant or do you have to drive for a while to let it circualte?

    Missy your scarying me with some of your comments. Is there a way to tell if it is a cracked block or head/gasket without pulling everything apart?

    Also I am pretty handy & do most repairs myself but have never done head gaskets before. I have read it is pretty straight forward but is alot of work. Is there a how-to on here to help me out? One with pictures would be great.
    99 Serria 2500. 6.5TD. Heath pmd isolator. Rest is stock. 270,000 km. Running SVO 2 tank system Feb/09 60 litre poly tank w/hotfox, Walbro FBR5, 20 plate FPHE, 10 micron spin on filter with heater hose wrap, vegtherm mega, 2 3 way hydraforce switching valves, HOH, return to tank.

  6. #6
    Brain Damaged Diesel Junkie dangerousdave's Avatar
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    2x MGW (again).
    I Don't reccomend a temp fix with additives; they CAN harm otherwise good parts around the bad ones, ie the block, radiator, stick up the t-stat etc. The tabs may not help at all.

    Nice sig on the vegoil conv. All the money you save on diesel buys you a new set of head gaskets, if you're lucky.
    Bite the bullet and yank the engine, and heads. It's amazing how many details can be bettered while its out, especially with high miles on it.
    Last edited by dangerousdave; 07-07-2009 at 06:53 PM. Reason: forgot sompin'
    Not as Dangerous as I used to be Dave

    http://www.silent-warriors.com/ Veterans of America Club, member #25
    1994 Suburban 6.5TD C2500 "F", 3.73 gears, 4L80E, 265K+ miles. Heath clone bumper mount fsd, custom S&B 5x9 intake, home grown TM, Flowmaster DP and X-over, hollow soot trap, Biodiesel rated fuel lines, http://leroydiesel.com/ (Burning Oil) OPS ext. hose kit, oil cooler kit, Walbro LP. Racor pre LP filter, removed tank sock, Fuel press and boost gauges, fuel pressure gauge isolator, moved PS battery to fender, Lubrilon engine treatment, 21.2 average mpg, added air dam to improve cooling and mpg; .6mpg better now. 1 qt ND30 per 20 gallons of fuel, PS gray bottle per instructions for maintenance; keeps the injectors clean

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    Thanks Dave. The veg is working really well. Very happy with it. Yes it has saved me alot of money. Putting that money into truck repairs wasn't part of the plan though. Oh well. Is what is I guess. No sense in crying about it. Time to get my hands dirty.
    99 Serria 2500. 6.5TD. Heath pmd isolator. Rest is stock. 270,000 km. Running SVO 2 tank system Feb/09 60 litre poly tank w/hotfox, Walbro FBR5, 20 plate FPHE, 10 micron spin on filter with heater hose wrap, vegtherm mega, 2 3 way hydraforce switching valves, HOH, return to tank.

  8. #8
    I has boost, :O) turbovanman's Avatar
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    I would just yank the heads and look for cracks in the bores etc. Have the heads checked by a competent machine shop and if ok, slap it back together.

    The main webs are known for cracking but it seems to be a hit or miss situation.

    As for snake oils, if you want to do the job on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and ruin your hols, try the stuff,
    1984 G20 Diesel Get a Way Van, 6.2L turbo. 1989 rebuilt 700R4, 3.08 gears. Fluid damper, modified hummer headers, 2.5" mandrel Y-pipe to 3 inch single system, Hooker Max Flo muffler, 3 inch F350 mandrel bent tailpipe-passenger side exit, 6.5L turbo lower intake, 6.5 military IP-5149, open faced injectors set to 2500 psi, HX35W with a factory billet HX40 6 blade compressor wheel at 22psi, ARP studs, .010" head gaskets, bypass oil system. REMOTE MOUNT TURBO INSTALLED!!!! Now burning hydraulic fluid, jet fuel, WMO and WATF.

    GEP shortblock aquired and a 60mm billet, extended tip HX40 compressor wheel to be installed!


    1989 Dodge Caravan ex daily driver, 2.5L TIII DOHC Turbo, GT35R, full load with a/c, pwr windows/locks, full interior and full exhaust, 3700 lbs, 12.5@104 mph-11's are coming.

    1993 CBR900RR-old race bike/street bike, needs overhauling.

    2000 GSXR750-road race bike.

  9. #9

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    Actually I don't believe in cure alls in a can either but In a bind the GM tabs work pretty damn good ON A COOLANT LEAK. You have a compression leak. My advice on a limited budget, Find a used motor and drop it in other wise do as MGW says.
    Ie: Burning water, gm tabs will work and could easily outlast the motor
    your problem, may solve it for a day or a week but probably won't and if it does it will blow out soon.
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  10. #10
    6.5 Diesel NUTCASE Ratman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acesneights1 View Post
    Actually I don't believe in cure alls in a can either but In a bind the GM tabs work pretty damn good ON A COOLANT LEAK. You have a compression leak. SNIP.......
    EXACTLY (X2)
    Rich

    94 K2500, 6.5, NV-4500, 4.10's, GM4 closed gate,DB2 with .310", base timing @ 5°, 599 block .020" over, decked .010", ARP studs, 18:1 Mahle pistons, SCAT crank, diamond cups, HV oil pump, dual-stat/130GPM, C2 boost/pyro, 3"x4" EXH, AC 60G's,
    NO MORE DS4, NO MORE PMD'S! I RELOCATED MY PMD TO THE TRASHCAN!

    1991 Jeep Cherokee XJ, AMC 4.0L/AW4, 44 rear, 6" lift, 32's, THEFERMANATOR ENGINE WORKS IAT and CPS timing mod.

    PROUD gun owner and supporter of second amendment RIGHTS

  11. #11
    9 11 Never Forget Brooklyn Tow's Avatar
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    GM Coolant Tabs have saved my a$$ many a time, they do work as advertised IMO.
    Louis

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    Ok. A friend of mine is a mechanic at a local stealer. Works for Dodge but has worked for GM in the past. He has worked on gassers & diesels but has no experince with the 6.5. Anyway told him my problem & he agrees it could be a head gasket but I also told him that I had the rad out a few days ago to clean it as my truck was running hot when towing. My problem started pretty much right after that. He asked me if I had bled it when I filled her back up. I did what I thought I was supposed to do. I filled the rad up with coolant. Started the truck up, opended the bleeder screw & once coolant came out I tightned it down & topped up the rad. I thought I got it all out but maybe not. He said air could cause my problem. He also said bad t-stat could as well. I didn't change them when I did the rad. I know I should have. My bad. Looking for more opinions on these two possible causes. He is going to bring a coolant pressure tester & a tester to check for exahust gasses in the coolant tommorow. That should give me a better idea of what's going on.

    I'm still expecting & planning for the worst but crossing my fingers.
    99 Serria 2500. 6.5TD. Heath pmd isolator. Rest is stock. 270,000 km. Running SVO 2 tank system Feb/09 60 litre poly tank w/hotfox, Walbro FBR5, 20 plate FPHE, 10 micron spin on filter with heater hose wrap, vegtherm mega, 2 3 way hydraforce switching valves, HOH, return to tank.

  13. #13

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    You really in most cases don't have to bleed them. I hate to be the one to say it but graspin at straws. Best you can hope for here is a bad headgasket. Good Luck.
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  14. #14
    I has boost, :O) turbovanman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acesneights1 View Post
    You really in most cases don't have to bleed them. I hate to be the one to say it but graspin at straws. Best you can hope for here is a bad headgasket. Good Luck.
    +2, just get it done, time is wasting away.
    1984 G20 Diesel Get a Way Van, 6.2L turbo. 1989 rebuilt 700R4, 3.08 gears. Fluid damper, modified hummer headers, 2.5" mandrel Y-pipe to 3 inch single system, Hooker Max Flo muffler, 3 inch F350 mandrel bent tailpipe-passenger side exit, 6.5L turbo lower intake, 6.5 military IP-5149, open faced injectors set to 2500 psi, HX35W with a factory billet HX40 6 blade compressor wheel at 22psi, ARP studs, .010" head gaskets, bypass oil system. REMOTE MOUNT TURBO INSTALLED!!!! Now burning hydraulic fluid, jet fuel, WMO and WATF.

    GEP shortblock aquired and a 60mm billet, extended tip HX40 compressor wheel to be installed!


    1989 Dodge Caravan ex daily driver, 2.5L TIII DOHC Turbo, GT35R, full load with a/c, pwr windows/locks, full interior and full exhaust, 3700 lbs, 12.5@104 mph-11's are coming.

    1993 CBR900RR-old race bike/street bike, needs overhauling.

    2000 GSXR750-road race bike.

  15. #15
    Wild Blonde from Cloud Mt Missy Good Wench's Avatar
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    High mile 6.5's that all of a sudden start blowin coolant usually have a failed head gasket.

    Cyls #'s 1 and 2 (front R and L) are the usual suspects.

    98- 2000 blocks will crack #8 cylinders at times.

    Rip the heads off and have a peek. I just abhore working over the fender on these so I just yank them so I can get up close and intimate.

    Good luck and keep us posted

    Missy
    1995 GMC 3500 4x4 Crewcab DaHooooley
    6.5 Turbo diesel
    Banks exhaust
    Heath Turbo master and Heath Chip
    Custom Interior and paint by ??????????

    89 K5 Blazer 4x4 5.7 Gasser
    84 K5 Blazer 4x4 6.2 Diesel

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