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Old 04-08-2009, 07:04 PM   #1
jbspeed6
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Blown Head Gasket?

Short story, a friend of mine blew out their upper radiator hose a month or so ago. When the spark plugs were changed out last weekend they were, what looked to me, rusted/corroded (pics below). After the plugs were changed I noticed a very small amount of white smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe.

I've never actually seen the signs of a blown head gasket or spark plugs that looked that rusty. Let me know what you all think.

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Old 04-08-2009, 07:09 PM   #2
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the threads rusting doesn't mean you have a bad head gasket..that means that the valve cover gasket is/was leaking and oil ran down the oil plug hole and rusted the threads...


now for the HG, is the car loosing coolant? and if so have you checked all the hoses, res tank, thermostat housing, radiator for leaks? if all is good then a compression test is needed to determine if it is leaking..hope this helps a little
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:17 PM   #3
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Some the coolant from the rad hose blowing would, I'm sure end up in the valve cover. The coolant was at the min line when the plugs were changed.
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:21 PM   #4
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i would fill back up to the max line..check for leaks in all the componets i described..i could not see the plug prongs..were they white?
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:18 PM   #5
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That rusting is from the coolant that sprayed all over the engine and was trapped in the spark plug tubes. There was probably a lot of rust in the coolant as well. Replace the plugs, use anti-seize on the upper half of the threads. Change the oil as well, any time an engine is run hot for whatever reason, the oil should be changed.

Now as far as a head gasket problem where coolant is leaking through the gasket into the combustion chamber- wait on that for a while. Monitor the coolant usage, and of course make sure that there's not any leaks anywhere else that could be affecting the level. You can expect it to take a couple of times filling it to max before the correct amount of coolant is flowing through the engine.

When you have water in the oil, or the engine overheats within a few minutes of running, then you have reason to replace the head gasket.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:52 PM   #6
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> oil ran down the oil plug hole and rusted the threads...


Not too sure about oil rusting something, since you oil things to stop them from rusting. I vote for coolant.


P.S. If coolant is getting into the combustion chamber due to a head gasket leak, oddly enough, it frequently results in an abnormally clean looking spark plug tip!
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:56 PM   #7
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^^ True dat
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