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Old 12-03-2008, 08:32 AM
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cracked head or head gasket????

Yesterday I worked on my 73 Mustang that has a 302 engine and noticed something not good. I been losing coolant from it and couldn't find any leaks. I notice that when the engine is running, there is a small amount of water coming out the driver side exhaust pipe. While the engine is running, I can stick my finger in the drivers side exhaust pipe and it is soaking wet, the passenger side pipe is dry and hot. At first I though it was condensation blowing out when I started the engine, but there is just too much water coming out. There is no water in the oil and it is not getting hot unless it gets low on water. The water pump is new, the radiator has been cleaned and rebuilt, and the heater core does not leak. Is it a cracked head or a blown head gasket?????

BTW it is a stock engine two barrel 302 out of a 77 Granada with about 90,000 miles on it.

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Old 12-03-2008, 08:40 AM
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make a tester

get an old spark plug, knock out the center and weld in a air line fitting then remove the plugs and test each cylinder and look for bubbles or hissing with rad cap removed. that will tell you which cylinder. some engines have a exhaust flapper thet sends most of the exhaust out one side when the engine is cold...if you have to pull one side I usually pull both heads and clean them up and mabe a quick valve job and new seals..
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:41 AM
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The car has headers and dual exhaust, it is on the driver side of the engines.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timothale
get an old spark plug, knock out the center and weld in a air line fitting then remove the plugs and test each cylinder and look for bubbles or hissing with rad cap removed. that will tell you which cylinder. some engines have a exhaust flapper thet sends most of the exhaust out one side when the engine is cold...if you have to pull one side I usually pull both heads and clean them up and mabe a quick valve job and new seals..
quick way ,take the compression gauge and remove the valve core and air hose will fit with out the job of welding fitting .
don't loose the valve core , there different from tire type .
remove all plugs on side at fault and fill radiator and pressure test it .
you really can't tell what is at fault till you pull head and look .
the bad cylinder will be clean of carbon and valves will not have white color .
head gasket will need a good look see for wash out .
check between valve seats for crack
to much water in cylinder and you can bend a rod on start up , water don't compress . been there myself .
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:23 PM
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leaker........

Pull the plugs on the side you think its leaking water.start from front (or rear) your choice.write compression down . when you find a low cylinder,or 2 adjacent cylinders both low,.its time to pull the intake and cylinder head. most likely a blown head gasket (or cracked head)
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebadmerc
Yesterday I worked on my 73 Mustang that has a 302 engine and noticed something not good. I been losing coolant from it and couldn't find any leaks. I notice that when the engine is running, there is a small amount of water coming out the driver side exhaust pipe. While the engine is running, I can stick my finger in the drivers side exhaust pipe and it is soaking wet, the passenger side pipe is dry and hot. At first I though it was condensation blowing out when I started the engine, but there is just too much water coming out. There is no water in the oil and it is not getting hot unless it gets low on water. The water pump is new, the radiator has been cleaned and rebuilt, and the heater core does not leak. Is it a cracked head or a blown head gasket?????

BTW it is a stock engine two barrel 302 out of a 77 Granada with about 90,000 miles on it.
Doesn't matter if it's a crack or a gasket, but odds would favor a bad gasket your going to have to open it up either way.

Anyhow, since the exhaust system isn't joined anywhere, then the water coming off the drivers side is in fact coming from somewhere on that side. You've got to pull the head whether you take the time to i.d. it as a gasket problem or not. Gaskets leaking into cylinders leave very apparent trails. Cracks are usually harder to find unless they are really big.

Of course there is one place of communication between the left and right exhaust, unless you closed it off, which is the exhaust cross over under the intake. Soaking wet exhaust is not typical, a little vapor and sometimes a bit of water up to an occasional drip is what you usually see.

Bogie
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:13 AM
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I wish it was a drip of water coming out the driver side exhaust. There is enough water blowing out the exhaust pipe to soak your hand if you put your hand in front of it. The other side is dry while the engine is running. I have another set of heads, but I won't be able to pull the heads and intake for another month or two. I hope water doesn't leak down into the cylinder before I can do this.

BTW the exhaust isn't connected so it is most likely coming from the drivers side.
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebadmerc
I wish it was a drip of water coming out the driver side exhaust. There is enough water blowing out the exhaust pipe to soak your hand if you put your hand in front of it. The other side is dry while the engine is running. I have another set of heads, but I won't be able to pull the heads and intake for another month or two. I hope water doesn't leak down into the cylinder before I can do this.

BTW the exhaust isn't connected so it is most likely coming from the drivers side.
I think the engine is living on borrowed time, trying to push it a month may end up with a complete replacement instead of a repair.

The two eventualities you're looking at is first the coolant getting into the oil where it it will take out bearings, the cam lobes and lifters, and rocker balls and rockers pretty quickly. The second is hydraulic lock where more coolant volume leaks in than there is compression volume, at that point the head, piston, and rod will be severely damaged.

Bogie
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Old 12-04-2008, 10:22 AM
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You have one other option. You can pick up a bottle of Bars Leaks Head Gasket Repair. The manufacturer claims it repairs Blown Head Gaskets and Cracked Heads. Being I am in the Auto Parts business 31 years I have sold the product to some of my repair facility customers and it continues to sell with no complaints. The product is new. Its only been out maybe the last 5 years or so. It might just do the trick for you and wouldn't hurt to give it a try. Here is a link to the product: http://www.barsproducts.com/1100.htm If you decide to try it let us know how it worked for you as I am sure many would like to know here on this forum.

Rick
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Old 12-04-2008, 10:48 AM
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I don't drive the car right now , it doesn' t have plates or insurance. About the only time I start it is to move it around, or when I am working on it. I won't start it again until I can work on it, but will coolant leak into the cylinder if I don't drain the radiator. I am kind of leery about draining it in the middle of winter since the car sit outside in the cold.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebadmerc
I don't drive the car right now , it doesn' t have plates or insurance. About the only time I start it is to move it around, or when I am working on it. I won't start it again until I can work on it, but will coolant leak into the cylinder if I don't drain the radiator. I am kind of leery about draining it in the middle of winter since the car sit outside in the cold.
that all depends if you've been adding just water .
if you added anti freeze mixed to the right mixture , i'd drain it , remove plugs and whip it over to blow all coolant out , then fill each cylinder with oil , both sides best , then put plugs back in to seal .
then never turn over till you have time to fix right , that sealant crap won't fix it for sure .
antifreeze eats it out , it's just for water only in coolant .
if you just got water in coolant , you need to drain and add straight antifreeze and then drain again , but it needs to run a little to mix with what water you have before draining .
if your oil is milk like brown , you got to rid that , before bearings stick to crank and destroy your motor .
hope it not in your oil yet , but it will end up if you keep running .
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:45 AM
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The Bars Leak stuff works. I have used it. You have to follow the dircetions. If you are not driving this car, I would drain down the cooling system. There is a good chance of water gettinto the cylinders and causing the rings to stick. That would not be a good thing. Put a note on the steering wheel do not drive no coolant.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:10 PM
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remove and examine the plugs,,,if it's just one or two cylinders it will usually show on the plugs....

remove all the plugs so the starter can spin it alot faster, ,,,,very often you will see a problem cylinder "spit" antifreeze droplets...

I wouldn't tear it down till you do identify the problem is in the head/block...

"if" the plugs do look great, "then" the wet tail pipe may be a false clue for the leak source...

(the intake exhaust crossover "and" the "H" pipe both can mis-direct you for where the problem is)
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