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Discussion Starter #1
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

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

The car idles rough for a short period of time and then smoothes out, after tonight’s outcome, I’ll park the car and get the supplies needed.
 

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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... :nervous:

I hope the repairs end up being straightforward.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
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).
 

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I hit **** with sticks!
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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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Discussion Starter #6
I also thought the plugs showed coolant issues, the oil might be from the exhaust valve stem seals.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #9
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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1st Gen FTW - It's AutoMedic!
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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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Discussion Starter #11
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.
 

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wow, some huge psi differences between #1 and the rest
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just got a quote from the local 5 Star for $1,310.99 for both head gaskets to be changed. Labor was $955.00.

The parts include all gaskets, oil, coolant flush and head check. Not a bad price and a 3 day turn around time. Time to talk with the Wife and determine if I :baller: or spend the weekend plus a few days (head check) to save some :baller:.
 

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get off my lawn
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does that include getting the heads checked??? you know,, they could toss on a couple of gaskets and a week later,, poof,, same thing,,
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I got an extra set of wheels last night and building a parts list, the tear down will happen this weekend, maybe even Friday morning. (Yes, I'm doing the job)

Quick Question, the oil mostly likely is coming from.... Exhaust valve stem seals???
 

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I got an extra set of wheels last night and building a parts list, the tear down will happen this weekend, maybe even Friday morning. (Yes, I'm doing the job)

Quick Question, the oil mostly likely is coming from.... Exhaust valve stem seals???
Good luck with the project. I think the valve stem seals would be the likely candidate for the leaking oil.
 
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