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  #1  
Old 01-01-2010, 07:04 PM
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Head gasket - What's going on here?

Just got the intake/exhaust manifold off. (that bolt under the turbo wasn't actually bad at all - one extension and a 2' pipe on the ratchet and off it came)

Anyway, after getting all that out of the way, I found this. It doesn't really look that bad...at least I don't get the impression, based on the way it looks, that it's a constant flow or is a large qty of coolant. It almost looks like a leak that happened a long time ago and stopped....and I'm just seeing the remnants of the dried coolant now.

So, curious to see what others might think of this. Harmless? Keep an eye on it? Don't go any farther and replace the head gasket NOW?

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Head gasket - What's going on here?-block_leak.jpg  
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Chris
1985 300SD - 'Grace' (198K mi.)
2010 Honda Fit Sport
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1996 Lexus LS400 (Retired)
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1976 Porsche 914 (Sold)
1972 Datsun 240Z (RIP)

Last edited by whunter; 01-03-2010 at 01:46 PM. Reason: attached picture
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2010, 07:35 PM
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This is a slow external coolant leak from the head gasket as you suspect - weather or not it has slowed or stopped on its own ( which in my experience is very unlikely ) . the condition of the gasket as a whole and what is occuring internally on the head sealing surface is a function of the condition of the gasket as manifested by this external leak. So the upshot is I would definitely pull the head and replace the gasket. I will warrant that you will find a well eroded head gasket. I hope this helps - let me know if you need anything else.

regards
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  #3  
Old 01-01-2010, 07:58 PM
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Chris is correct. You have come this far, best finish pulling the head. You may just prevent a much worse failure that was about to happen.
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1967 230-6 auto parts car. rust bucket.
1980 300D now parts car 800k miles
1984 300D 500k miles
1987 250td 160k miles English import
2001 jeep turbo diesel 130k miles
1998 jeep tdi ~ followed me home. Needs a turbo.
1968 Ford F750 truck. 6-354 diesel conversion.
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  #4  
Old 01-01-2010, 09:34 PM
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I saw this exact same thing on my car. I pulled the turbo at my dads house, needing to get home I put the turbo back on and went home. I then ordered the head gasket, but before I could get around to changing I developed a rod knock.... I assume the head gasket completely gave way and it dumped all its oil, thus the rod knock.

I'd leave that car where it is and change the head gasket.... I sure wish it had
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2010, 10:18 PM
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Thanks, guys. Looks like I'll be pulling the head to take a better look at the gasket. In the meantime, I'm also looking at having the head 'serviced' while it's off.
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2010, 11:36 PM
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Wise decision. Wishful thinking has never worked too well for me when it comes to issues like this.

I tend to lay awake at night arguing with the Mercedes Gods when I take a shortcut or avoid a job. Imagine a scene from the opera Die Niebelung. And waiting for the fat lady to sing.
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2010, 11:43 PM
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Carpenter,
you need to learn to let go of these things!! Or you will be joining the Mercedes Gods far too early!!! No point worrying about things. Worrying causes 2 things; nervous break downs & stomach ulcers, neither of which help solve the problem. Dont worry be happy!! The problem will still be there for you to solve in the morning!!!
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Grumpy Old Diesel Owners Club group

I no longer question authority, I annoy authority. More effect, less effort....

1967 230-6 auto parts car. rust bucket.
1980 300D now parts car 800k miles
1984 300D 500k miles
1987 250td 160k miles English import
2001 jeep turbo diesel 130k miles
1998 jeep tdi ~ followed me home. Needs a turbo.
1968 Ford F750 truck. 6-354 diesel conversion.
Other toys ~J.D.,Cat & GM ~ mainly earth moving
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2010, 10:33 AM
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it looks to me someone in the past had a leak and put a specialized gasket sealent into it

steelseal.com

to me it looks like this stuff we have used it And it does work
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2010, 12:34 PM
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Head Leaking

Would like to know of any others who have tried this sealer to fix a blown gasket/cracked head.
Years ago we let a 56 Chevrolet sit out during winter and cracked a block, about a 2 or 3 inch crack if I remember ( it has been 30 + years ago ).We ended up using a K&W Block seal as a last resort. Actually fixed the leak, and we drove car for anothjer year os so ,traded/sold/who knows what but running when it left.
I know these sealers are a last resort, but I'm thinking : if you have a suspect leak, and either can't fix it now for weather or financial reasons, would it be a smart move to try to seal it now, before it gets really bad and hydrolocks an engine, or hope it holds till better days show up ???
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2010, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjzjz View Post
it looks to me someone in the past had a leak and put a specialized gasket sealent into it

steelseal.com

to me it looks like this stuff we have used it And it does work
In the case of the Poster, his being able to do the work and he has some of the parts removed, and the cost of the product which is close to the cost of a new Head Gasket.
I think the Poster is better off replacing the Head Gasket.

Also I believe there are other products that cost less and do the same job.
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