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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I wonder if anyone can help, I have purchased a used 451 with 4500 miles on the clock, when I start it it will immediately throw water out of the header tank when the cap is off or after about 4 minutes with the cap on.It pump air into the cooling system constantly I have bled the system at the cylinder head many times. With the hose disconnected it will throw the water out and start steaming after 3 seconds which suggests that the cylinder head gasket has failed but there is no water in the oil and I left the car for 2 week with pressure in the system and it was still up to pressure on my return. I have done a compression test on the engine (the battery is a little lazy) cylinders or as follows 1 131psi 2 122psi 3 130psi. the only conclusion that I can arrive at is that the explosive gasses are enough to blow past the head gasket and pressurize the cooling system but the cylinder head clamping force is just enough to stop the water getting into the oil. ps the car runs fine although stationary no misfires etc. Any thoughts welcome cheers john.
 

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You can use a sniffer call "Bloc Check" to check for the presence of combustion games in the cooling system. Most auto parts stores sell the kit with simple directions or you can have a repair shop administer the test. Basically, you pour the Bloc Check liquid I to a vial, warm up the engine & remove the cap on the coolant recovery bottle. Squeeze the bulb to draw in coolant vapor into the vial. If the blue colored liquid in the vial changes color, you have combustion games in the cooling system.
 

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Hi Smart Bob. Thanks for the reply. I have already tried to use one but as soon as I start the engine water gushes through the vial and contaminates the fluid, I think I will have another try this time wait for the water level to stabilize. I am just wondering if for some reason the head bolts were not tightened to the correct angles leaving the head under torqued. I think I will have to resign myself to skim the head and fit new gaskets and bolts.The thing that's buging me is that it has such low mileage,thanks again for the reply. John
 

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One can not assume that a failed cylinder head gasket will allow coolant into the oil. Two things come to mind. Fill the coolant reservoir to the very top and leave the cap off. Remove the small coolant hose from the left end of the cylinder head and ensure there is no air in the cylinder head. Unplug the fuel injectors and ignition coils. This will use the engine compression to pressure test the cooling system. Crank the engine and see if coolant shoots out of the coolant reservoir. If so, the cylinder head gasket is leaking combustion pressure into the cooling system.

Oh, the second thing. Another way to cross-check is to fill the cooling system and use a cooling system pressure tester to pump up the system to about 15 to 16 psi. If the pressure leaks down there is a leak. With that amount of pressure it may not leak down very fast. If not, let it sit overnight and remove the spark plugs. A bore scope can be used to look for coolant in the cylinders. If the leak is bad enough cranking the engine may actually shoot coolant out of the spark plug holes.

If you take the engine apart you need to check the cylinder head for any warp on the deck surface and the cam bearing saddles. Some machine shops will resurface the head lower surface but not check the top. If it is warped across the cam bearing saddles it will cause the cam to bind when the cap bearing caps are tightened down. That would require the head to be straightened or replaced.

My biggest concern would be the lack of knowledge about how badly it may have been overheated. If it got hot enough it could have affected the piston ring tension adversely and cause a oil consumption problem. No way to know ahead of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Rustedwrench. Thanks for the reply I have just carried out the crank test and yes the water comes out of the header tank, I a carried out a pressure test on the cooling system about a week ago pressurize the system to 17 psi left it for a day and the pressure did not go down that is why I thought the head bolts may be suspect. It is now obvious that there is something amiss in the cylinder head department so I will try to make time this weekend to remove the engine and strip it down.Will report back my findings. cheers john
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi, Just an update. I striped the head off the engine the weekend, I wanted to see if as I thought the head bolt were not equally pulled down as I could not check the angle torques I resolved to gasket check using a normal torque wrench they ranged from 21 lbft to 53lbft and there are 2 slight marks in the head gasket where the gases were blowing past and pressurizing the cooling system and luckily the head is not warped so hopefully I will find time to to put it back together this weekend. John
 
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