Steaming dip stick (1 Viewer)

Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
985
I have another vehicle (not my 80 thank god) that is also a inline 6.
Runs good, radiator is holding pressure but when I pull the dip stick out while the engine is running, a steady stream of steam is pouring out the end of the tube.
Two days ago my wife calls me and says"its smoking and making funny noises"
I ask if temp is over heating and she says its below the middle.
I tell her to park it and she did while on the phone she pulled into our driveway.
When I get home an check it the radiator return hose had been blown off.
Appeared the clap was not tightened. Coolant everywhere.
I refill, tighten clamp etc test drive and no problems or so I thought.
Now we have the steaming dip stick.
Any advice I really appreciate.
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
985
thats what I was afraid of.
How can I confirm that it is definitely the HG?
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2003
Messages
1,802
Could be worse, could be a cracked head . Check for lose of coolant. Check oil for contamination. Check coolant for contamination. If the steam is coolant, could also be a cracked block.

Did you let it cool down to ambiant before refilling?
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
985
Yes it was ambient before refill.
This radiator take 2 gallons and I could only pour in 1 so I do not think she over heated.
The head was just rebuilt about 1 month ago.
I will be taking it to the mech that did the build.
I was hoping it would be good to go for a long time but evidently not.
There were a few small bubbles in the over flow but not much.
Passed sniffer for inspection but this failure may have happen after that.
I have not seen any milky stuff on the dip stick and it is not over heating (according to stock gage)
This will be a learning experience that much is certain.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2004
Messages
2,109
Location
Buffalo Grove, IL
 
 
 
You could always try to re-tourque the head bolts before you start tearing into again being as it was recently replaced. I'm assuming you didn't re-use the old head gasket when you had the head done. ;)
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2003
Messages
9,014
 
 
 
Check bottom of oil fill cap for tan accumulation. Send a sample to Blackstone Labs ASAP.

Either the huge pressure in the water jacket before the hose blew off pushed some water into the oil and a refill/tight hose will keep things fine, or the reason the water dropped was a failed HG and it will keep sipping water. Fill it as best you can. Each morning, note the level in the coolant overflow on a piece of tape. After several days, you'll have evidence of continued water use.

DougM
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
208
Location
Minnesota
 
 
One of the byproducts of combustion is water (drip drip drip out the tailpipe), so you may just be seeing that water vapor coming out the dipstick. If I pull the oil filler cap (engine off but hot) on most any vehicle, I'll see a tad bit of steam too. This is especially true in the wintertime when it's below 0F. I've never tried pulling the stick with it running due to the possilility of shooting oil out.

Time to watch the vehicle closely (and mention this to the shop that worked on it). If you refill the coolant and it isn't dropping, the exhaust doesn't smell like coolant and doesn't look like a puffy white cloud factory, the coolant doesn't smell like exhaust or have bubbles, and you don't see white buildup under the oil cap, then you're hopefully ok. These are signs of a headgasket failure, along with coolant on the plugs, low compression, chocolate milkshake oil, an idle miss during the first few minutes of startup when the engine is cold and burning off coolant that seeped into a cylinder overnight, and a visible external leak. Cracked heads can be any of these as well too. Toyota 22RE cylinder heads like to crack between the intake and exhaust valves in a cylinder causing huge white clouds, rapid coolant loss, coolant-smelling exhaust, and poor idle/running conditions. Even though the temp gauge didn't read hot, there still may have been hotspots inside the engine that developed. How long is your warranty good for on the rebuilt head job?
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Messages
3,570
Location
Virginia Beach, VA
 
 
 
I had a HG go on my 81 mini, and it blew a couple of hoses like that. Look for bubbles at the radiator cap, as that is more reliable than the overflow, That type of HG failure pushes high pressure exhaust into the cooling system and over pressurizes it. Good luck, and BTW when are you going to tell everyone that its a HEEP? :D
Dan
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
985
Thanks for the advice folks and tolerating a general question.
I greatly respect the tech knowledge on this forum.
No, no heeps for me.
I have watched my brother suffer down that route.
This is a 93 volvo 960 I got for the wife.
Thats what she wanted and I will hopefully get my cruiser back:idea:
This is no misty stream out the dip stick more like a vaporizor.
Odd thing is it runs great, I mean really good.
Does not smoke out the tail pipe at all.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top Bottom