Signs of a Bad Head Gasket - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Signs of a Bad Head Gasket

Well, I have been having issues with a misfire in cylinder #1 (P0301) and loosing coolant. I met Tom (DrDodge) two weeks ago and we have been talking this over since then. I rented a coolant pressure tester and bought a compression gauge.
My car is a 2000 ES 3.2L with 120,800 miles.

My coolant pressure test did not hold pressure. I did a compression test, see below (PSI):
1) 120
2) 150
3) 145
4) 140
5) 160
6) 152

Re-did #1 several more times, look below:
1b) 120
1c) 160
1d) 120
1e) 160
1f) 155

Hereís what the plugs looked like.





I left the plugs out over night and Saturday morning I looked down the plug tube with a flash light, I saw fluid in #1 & #5 and the rest were dry.. I got a coat hanger and taped a piece of paper towel to the end of it. I stuck this down into the cylinder #1 & #5 and got oil out of both.


Number 1 Wetness Test


Number 5 Wetness Test


I refilled the coolant system and blew white smoke off and on at times.

Tonight Iím leaving work early to get a CO2 test or block test to confirm the out come. Iíll probably re-hook up the coolant pressure test and keep pressure on for 20+ minutes to see where the coolant is going (Iíll remove the plugs again).

The car idles rough for a short period of time and then smoothes out, after tonightís outcome, Iíll park the car and get the supplies needed.

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70mm TB, True Dual Exhaust, 3:89 Gears, 300M Special Front and Rear Sway Bars
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 12:57 PM
That rhythm is INFECTIOUS.

 
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Ouchy. Thanks for sharing the process - but reading this and seeing the pix are giving me the heebie-jeebies...

I hope the repairs end up being straightforward.
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 01:03 PM
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Definitely doesnt look good. The block test will confirm it.
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I also hope the repair process is straight forward. I need to get a parts list together and order parts.

If I didn't have the misfire, you would never know there was an issue except the for the minor coolant lost. The car runs fine (knocks on wood).

Last edited by Scooter-Man; 05-17-2010 at 01:17 PM. Reason: added knocks on wood
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 01:19 PM
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Compression is quite low in that #1. Might have some valve trouble in there too depending on how bad that head gasket is, if its blown. The deposits on the spark plug suggest coolant.
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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I also thought the plugs showed coolant issues, the oil might be from the exhaust valve stem seals.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 04:30 PM
get off my lawn

 
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yep, after seeing the plugs,, you need to pop the heads, and have them checked,, maybe a valve job is in order, #1 looks nasty,, (and why the hell are you using Bosch plugs???), the oil really bothers me,, putting pressure on the coolant system should not bring that on,, explority surgery is on order,
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 04:38 PM
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Wow that sucks, good luck on the repair!
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Confirmed by me on the way to the shop for a CO2 test that the head gasket is bad. I didn't go anywhere for lunch (worked thru lunch to leave an hour early). I left at 4:00 PM, got a bad misfire, didn't make it out of the parking lot, the car was dropping white smoke like the bug man. I ran the car 12 miles home, never going over 2500 RPM. She made it home sometimes dropping white smoke, other times perfectly fine.

Time to call a shop for a Saturday head check,
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 07:33 PM
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After finding the minor trouble of low compression, missfires, bad plug, etc... the wetness test is interesting, never thought of doing that... but anyway, wouldn't that point to some major head work, and eliminate the need for the complicated tests? I very well could be missing something, but wouldn't it be simpler to pop the heads off and have them run through the machine shop?
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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmccul View Post
After finding the minor trouble of low compression, missfires, bad plug, etc... the wetness test is interesting, never thought of doing that... but anyway, wouldn't that point to some major head work, and eliminate the need for the complicated tests? I very well could be missing something, but wouldn't it be simpler to pop the heads off and have them run through the machine shop?
Yes, but this is the daily driver and when I tear into it, I hope to button it back up soon afterwards. I hope the head isn't cracked, if it is, plan #2 needs to be formulated. Tomorrow I hope to find a local machine shop to 'test' the heads on Saturday. Hell, I'm a Machinist, I've seen cracked heads, I know how to check for flatness and have blue dye. I hope when the head is pulled, a bad gasket is found, then a quick head check.

Somehow, I have a bad feeling my December WP job is related to this. Never knew if the H.G. went back then slighty, blew excess pressure thru the coolant system, hence the WP and my windows do fog... Heater core. The windows fogged today.

Plain Jane Deceased 1/28/19
70mm TB, True Dual Exhaust, 3:89 Gears, 300M Special Front and Rear Sway Bars
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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 08:29 PM
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Gotcha... I follow ya.

Well, best of luck with it!
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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 08:56 PM
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boy,, you got a heap of work on your hands
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 09:25 PM
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wow, some huge psi differences between #1 and the rest
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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 10:11 PM
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yep you got your hands full......it's showing all the signs of a problem headgasket.....the real question is how are the heads....best case scenario I would think is a simply upper level rebuild with no head damage/cracks....keep us posted.
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