Could it be anything else besides the head gasket?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Alan802, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. Alan802

    Alan802

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Well, it failed the bubble test and starts to overheat once I get on the highway at speeds above 50 mph. I just had about 3,000 dollars done on the air conditioner, distributor, igniter, complete rewiring of the electrical system, driveshaft, radiator flush and engine tune up. With the advice of my mechanic, I had most of this work done in hopes that it would stop the overheating problem. I don't know as much as most of ya'll do about cruisers but I do know that I don't want to drive anything else for the rest of my life. I will not be able to afford to do a head gasket job for a long time and am getting huge pressure from the misses to get rid of it. Does anyone have any light they could shed on the subject? What are the percentage chances of it being the hg and what is it worth without a new hg? 1993, 196,000 miles, no lockers, all stock.
     
  2. cruiserman

    cruiserman

    Messages:
    1,861
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    I'll just say that replacing the HG is not a technically challenging job. You could do it yourself with the manual and a set of tools. Rent a cherry picker to help pull the head off the motor if needed. You'd be way ahead moneywise.

    Your rig has a lot of miles on it, so I'd guess it's not worth a whole lot with a blown HG. In fact, I would probably consider a rebuild given it's got 200k miles on it, and it needs a HG.

    Good luck.
     
  3. KLF

    KLF Frame waxer SILVER Star

    Messages:
    7,499
    Likes Received:
    2,207
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2003
    Location:
    Southern NH
    Not sure what you mean by "bubble test", but if you can do a cylinder leak-down test, it will really tell you if you have a problem, and where it is. My buddy suspected he had a blown HG in his Subaru, we did a leak-down test on it on Monday, as soon as I put air to cyl #3, coolant gushed out the radiator. We pulled the engine last night, yup definite leak on #3.
     
  4. tucker74

    tucker74 Moderator

    Messages:
    4,472
    Likes Received:
    591
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Kinda strange your seeing overheating problems - of the three 1FZE HGs I've seen go, none of them were running hot until they were blowing white smoke. We did the HG in my buddies '95 in two weekends ... about $400 worth of parts from CruiserDan and $200 for the head work locally.

    Good luck!

    Tucker
     
  5. Alan802

    Alan802

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    I just talked to the mechanic and he said they did the leak-down test and a chemical test and both came up negative but I've read about a thousand threads on here the last couple days and it seems that it has to be the HG. I had the radiator flushed but could it still be clogged with the "sludge" so that it won't cool the engine? What is causing it to overheat only when I get up to highway speeds. I drove it around yesterday for about ten miles (under 45mph) in 100 degree heat with the temp at normal but as soon as I got above 50mph the temp began to rise and I cranked up the heater and the temp will move back to slightly above normal. I don't know that I am confident enough to attempt to do the work myself. I haven't done much work on engines except for rebuilding the top end of my 2-stroke dirt bike, not really the same thing as replacing the HG though. I really appreciate the help guys.
     
  6. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

    Messages:
    16,657
    Likes Received:
    530
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    US
    also ask yourself (and the Mrs) how much the truck would be selling for with a bad HG and what would happen to your recent investment...
     
  7. cruiserman

    cruiserman

    Messages:
    1,861
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    I would be inclined to trust those 2 tests over a guess. Clogged rad or underperforming water pump can cause those symptoms.

    Believe me when I say it's not a challenging job. The manual lays it all out for you.
     
  8. sixsracing

    sixsracing

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Levant, Maine
    Overheating at highway speeds is indicative of a radiator's cooling capacity to be compromised. Are the fins crumbly? When you look down from the opening does it appear to be corroded? Also, check the A/C condenser and see if the fins are full of debris, this keeps air from getting to the radiator. I don't think you have a HG problem from your description.
     
  9. powderpig

    powderpig SILVER Star

    Messages:
    1,023
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Location:
    Boulder Foothills, CO
    If you have or the previous owner had over heated your cruiser you could have the head gasket leaking to the extent you are seeing. A cylinder leak down test could not pick this up at this time. But the CO test with chemical paper should. Have you had a compression test down, If not then this may indicate some thing as well. You currently are not leaking it into the cylinder (otherwise you would have some white smoke), so a cylinder leak down test may not detect this, but it sure sounds like a past experence for me and the head gasket was gone. If the coolant is toped off properly and you are blowing bubbles into the coolant overflow tank (with the radiator cap properly tested and working right) You have a head gasket problem. Even if the radiator is clogged some and the coolant system is properly filled, and you have the bubble and no leaks any where, the bubbles have to coming from some where. I some times use a CO detector (electrical not paper) to comfirm when the bubbles are present. Any how good luck, later powderpig
     
  10. Alan802

    Alan802

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    The radiator looks normal and there are no obstructions in the a/c condenser fins. Can the sludge remain in the radiator after a complete flush and how can we find out if there is buildup deep within the radiator. BTW, gasket/block sealant has been run through the coolant system. The land cruiser specialist here in town told me to try it a while back and if my memory serves me right (i drinks a bit), that is about the time that it started overheating. Anyone had any experience with that stuff. I hope that didn't screw anything up. The shop did a compresion test also and was good. I will probably try to get a new radiator and water pump and cross my fingers. If that doesn't work then I guess we'll know she's done for a while.
     
  11. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

    Messages:
    16,657
    Likes Received:
    530
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    US
    if you *just* had the radiator flushed, is it possible that the bubbles are just normal "burping" of the trapped air?
     
  12. Alan802

    Alan802

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    The engine had probably been run a total of about 90 minutes prior to doing the bubble test. It was just a steady stream of bubbles with no time between them. I did the test as soon as engine temp reached normal and ran it at 3000 rpms. It overheated about a year ago when a hose behind the engine failed, but ran fine for almost a year after that happenned. I got it off the road as soon as my a/c cut off and noticed the temp. The shop wants me to bring it back in for more "tests" and $$$$$$. Not much more room on the mastercard.
     
  13. cary

    cary

    Messages:
    3,124
    Likes Received:
    52
    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Just sidline quarterbacking, but it sounds like a clogged radiator. You asked if the radiator could still be plugged after flushing it, the answer is yes. The only way to be sure that it is not plugged is to have it boiled and rodded. Given it is a 93, I believe you still have a brass/copper radiator that this can be done with. A good radiator shop should charge $75-150 if you bring the radiator in.
     
  14. flintknapper

    flintknapper

    Messages:
    5,311
    Likes Received:
    2,000
    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Location:
    Deep East Texas
    Too much money in it to sell IMO.

    The sealant (Fix my leaks in a can) are a bad idea IMO.

    Check to see that your thermostat is working correctly.

    Also, check your bottom radiator hose (have someone run engine up to 2500 rpm and look and see if the hose is collapsing) or has gotten soft.

    Check all hose connections to make sure they are not leaking fluid or allowing air in.

    The bubbles in the overflow sound ominous but check everything else first before concluding a HG failure.
     
  15. Rookie2

    Rookie2

    Messages:
    3,037
    Likes Received:
    88
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Location:
    Knoxville
    Might check what Robbie's opinion is, but past experience reading these kind of threads, this is a no and's, if's or but's about it conclusive test.

    Good Luck.
    Rookie2
     
  16. wsdavies

    wsdavies

    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Location:
    Sheridan, Wy
    I had the bubbles and the overheating and my '93 (180k) is in the shop right now getting a new head gasket and a valve job....If your engine is still in good shape then you should be good for another 100k if you have it done...
     
  17. Alan802

    Alan802

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Hypothetically, if I were to get the HG work done, new radiator and water pump, along with all of the other work I have had done recently, would the major engine components be back to bullet proof? Or should I get an engine rebuild also to insure the reliability is back. Due to my job, I am putting more that 20,000 miles per year on it now. Its a catch 22 situation. I can't afford much of a car payment so I am trying to get the most out of my ride but it is costing me so much to keep it on the road. Lately it seems a car payment would be better. I do construction site inspections and really rely on my tank to get around. I am forced to drive it hard but I would rather keep it in the garage and add all of the goods to it but just can't do it right now.
     
  18. Rookie2

    Rookie2

    Messages:
    3,037
    Likes Received:
    88
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Location:
    Knoxville
    With 200K on the clock and you're in that deep, I would definitely look into a rebuild. Then it's good for another 300k (or in your case 15 years). Apparently the replacement HG is a better design than the original, but it's still imparative to actively maintain servicing of your coolant system.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2005
  19. Alan802

    Alan802

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    I appreciate everyone's help today. I'll be out of town for the weekend so I won't be able to post any updates or more questions till monday. Later
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.