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  #1  
Old 03-21-2011, 12:03 PM
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Default Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket....

Hi all, I've been having this issue for a while now, and haven't been able to address the problem - myself - or through the advice of "real" mechanics.

I drive a 99 Ranger, 6cyl, 3.0. It's my primary vehicle and I've owned it since 2007. It has 160k on it.

About a year ago I noticed some abnormal engine shake. A few months later my truck started overheating periodically and I could smell (and see) a loss in coolant. I immediately took it in and had the radiator flushed. It ran fine for awhile but eventually the same problems returned. So the next time I went back to the mechanic I had gotten an error code saying the truck was not firing on CYLINDER 6, so I took it in and asked them what they thought.

The consensus was that I simply needed a new cap and spark plug, because there was no coolant in the oil, and no white smoke, and the coolant wasn't "bubbling" out of the radiator. So according to them I didn't have a blown head gasket. So I ended up replacing the factory radiator cap with a new pressure relief one - which is awesome. I also got a new spark plug for cyl 6. This fixed the problem for about two weeks.

I started seeing the same issues again, but this time, having no money, I just settled for keeping a jug of water and coolant in my truck in case my radiator decided to act up.

Eventually winter came and I had no problems. I assume because of the cold. The engine still shakes on a cold start-up but goes away after 5 minutes. I am STILL burning up coolant though, and I can smell it through the vents. I still get the misfire error code too. I top off the fluid in the radiator every five days and the truck doesn't overheat. This is my current solution.

I would like to get this fixed. Soon. Especially before it starts getting hot.

I still think I have a head gasket issue, but I'm also thinking I may need a new thermostat because I still don't see any white frothy mixture in the oil, or white smoke. I'm basically seeing HALF of the known symptoms of a blown head gasket. So now I am at a loss. I AM going to fix this problem myself, because I have been to every mechanic in the area and they all seem to just blow smoke up my ***.

Advice is wanted!!!
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2011, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket....

Oh and also I think my oil is mixing with my coolant...

...the new coolant in the reservoir is now a reddish brown color.
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  #3  
Old 03-21-2011, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket....

Have you checked your trans fluid?
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  #4  
Old 03-21-2011, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket....

Yes. It's full and clean.

I've read that a bad oil cooler can mix the coolant and oil, and can also make the radiator overheat. This doesn't account for the engine rattle, or the misfire, but it may be one of multiple solutions.
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2011, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket....

is there a milky goo in the coolant? it could be an intake gasket? are you sure the heater core isnt leaking?
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2011, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket....

Well usually you'll always see smoke coming out the tail pipe when a head gasket goes, but maybe the CATS are catching the smoke, thats what I can think of atleast. BUT the also said no bubbles in the coolant either.....


It sorta sounds like maybe the thermostat isn't opening up causing the coolant to overheat, that sorta explains why its working in the cold.

Look for any leaks, watch for bubbles in the coolant overflow tank.
Also, if you can pull the #6 spark plug and inspect it, maybe post a picture of it, it might have a story to tell
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2011, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket....

get a multimeter and check continuity on your fuel injectors,i solve my shaking and shudder by replacing a fuel injector that has a bad electrical coil,and problems gone
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  #8  
Old 03-22-2011, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket....

Run a compression check and see if old number six is lower than the rest.
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  #9  
Old 03-23-2011, 05:25 AM
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Default Re: Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket....

I think I've figured it out...

My oil level is good and clean and my head gaskets are okay. It's my AT Fluid that is mixing with my coolant through a leak in the lower addition to the radiator. I haven't figured out if I've had coolant running in my transmission yet....if so I am selling the truck. I don't think so, I think I've just had ATF circulating through my radiator.
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  #10  
Old 03-23-2011, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket....

Yea, I'd grab a good used radiator, flush the coolant - and you might want to replace your transmission filter and drop the pan just in case. Wouldn't be a big deal to change the filter and get some fresh fluid in there.
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  #11  
Old 09-26-2012, 12:53 PM
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Default Re: Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket....

Hello all. Back again some years later.

I replaced the radiator with a new one and flushed the coolant system pretty well. Also replaced the plugs/wires. Had it serviced and the check engine light stayed off. Haven't driven the truck that much because I can walk to work. This was a few months back.

A week ago I was on the road and #6 cylinder misfired. I checked the plugs and they were fine. No obvious gunk or scoring. I checked the coil and even the injectors and saw no problems. So, I took it in to the shop and they had it for a week to diagnose the misfiring. Couldn't find any problems and didn't charge me. I brought it home and let it sit for a week.

Yesterday I started it up and it overheated after 2 miles. The coolant was gone even though I had just filled it a few days prior. The entire cooling system was covered in thick brown gunk. I checked the oil cap and saw a frothy white coating inside. I drained the oil and it looked like a chocolate milkshake.

SO, my assumption is a bad gasket, coolant mixing with oil and causing the misfire and overheating. I don't what else it could be.

Please hit me with feedback. Thanks!
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  #12  
Old 09-26-2012, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket....

You seem to have all the symptoms that my mustang had minus the coolant issue, my issue was the 5 and 6 pistons were fractured. Is it possible that the cylinder wall is fractured?
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  #13  
Old 09-26-2012, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket....

^yea thats possible...along with a cracked head
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  #14  
Old 09-27-2012, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: Signs Of A Blown Head Gasket....

I am having a similar problem with my 2000. All of the same symptoms, cylinder 6 misfire, stutter in the engine at low rpms, the brownish red coolant, and smelling the coolant through the vents. So far I have replaced the thermostat, radiator cap, flushed the radiator, replaced the plugs and cables. It will run fine for a while if I clear the misfire code but it comes back after a week or two.

Background on mine though is that it overheated before all of these problems (Mom was borrowing it at the time). Since then its had these issues.
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  #15  
Old 10-03-2012, 09:39 AM
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Default

How come no one has told him to do a compression test? That will verify if the head gaskets are in good shape. Blown head baskets aren't abnormal for these vehicles.

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