Coolant/engine misfire/won't start now

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Aug 5, 2011
Good View, Colorado
I new earlier in the day that the engine smelled hot and the water was boiling in the overflow. Driving home today, the temp gauge on my 97 FZJ80 started jumping up and down and I had a rough idle at lower RPMs. After trying to limp it home, the top of the radiator (not the cap) blew out and I lost all my coolant.

I pulled the thermostat thinking that was the problem, but it was in the open position. I refilled the radiator with water since I was only a couple miles from home. The water started pouring out the top of the radiator where it blew out. I made it home with water steaming out the top of the radiator and still with a rough idle.

I checked the oil and it looks very clean without any issues. I filled the radiator again with water and let the engine cool. Now when I try to start it, it starts to turn over momentarily, but then I hear a clank and it stops. It won't keep cranking.

Head gasket? Water pump? Time for a new diesel engine? Thanks for the help.
Probably your head gasket. By driving it while it was overheating you probably warped the head. By the sound of it you may have hydrolocked the motor (cylinder full of coolant). Try pulling the spark plugs and turning it over.

You may need a new head gasket, you may need a complete rebuild or new motor.
Rule of thumb:
Do not drive a vehicle if the rad explodes.

When the head gasket is blown enough that combustion pressure is entering the cooling system, it will first bubble the overflow bottle like crazy. Then it will blow the top of the radiator.

Do not fill the cooling system without first removing ALL of the sparkplugs. Then refill and have an assistant crank the engine over for 5 sec while you stand back and watch for water spraying out the plug holes. This confirms the blown gasket.

If the truck was not driven for very long with low coolant (say, less than 5-10 minutes under minimal load) the head warpage may be low enough to be repairable.
Pulled the plugs and #6 was wet. Water shot out when I cranked the engine. Thanks for the help with figuring out the problem. now for a solution.... *sigh*

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