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Old 05-02-2011, 12:15 PM
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Posts: 39
Head gasket 1987 300TD?

Hello collective wisdom!

Pretty sure that I've got a blown head gasket, but I'm just putting it out there to see what y'all think.

Changed the tensioner assembly, which meant radiator, fan clutch, etc came off. Whilst the front of motor was exposed, I changed the lower radiator hose. Reassembled the whole she-bang and re-filled (or so I thought) with zerex coolant. Was running short on time, and in my rush, I forgot to do the whole fill on an incline thing. Went for a SHORT drive, 4 miles total. Temp was spiking, nearly off the top end. I figured that it was due to an air bubble in the cooling system ie: inaccurate reading. Drove very conservatively to my destination. Upon arrival/parking, there was a ton of engine oil puke-ing from somewhere front passenger side of block. Couldn't figure out where it was coming from due to being on freeway and oil being dispersed along the underside/left side of block.

Limped her home. Yesterday, oil spot under vehicle was pretty minimal (compared to the previous spot which was 6" x 20" spot). Wiped underside of vehicle as best I could to try to clean up oil and figure out where leak was coming from. Checked coolant level and found it low. Added water (had added 100% zerex day before). While filing reservoir, notice some oily sheen on the top of water in reservoir. Rolled up a paper towel and dunked in reservoir. Came out BLACK with oil. Ugghhh. Repeated test a number of times, same result.

Let me also mention that I have the #14 head...

Here are my questions;

I guess the only real way to tell if the HG is blown is to do a compression test, right?
In addition, I know that I can send for the oil sample test kit for the lab, I'm ordering today.
Vehicle runs nice and cool now, but obviously due to the oil in the coolant, and the #14 head, I'm very concerned.

Also, where could my strange oil leak come from? It's coming from somewhere below the level of the valve cover. Above the alternator, behind the water pump area. Plastic/fiber barrier wall between engine compartment and air filter area is soaked with oil at the very bottom...just can't seem to find the source of the leak...ideas?

Sorry for the long post, just figured I'd lump it all together since it all kinda started at the same time.

Thanks in advance,


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Old 05-02-2011, 04:02 PM
aaa aaa is offline
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Posts: 1,075
You need to know whether the gasket is blown? It is. The only question is whether the whole head is toast too, which you'd check at the machine shop after you take the head off (since it's coming off no matter what, for at least a gasket).
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:41 PM
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:30 PM
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Location: Victoria Australia - down under!!
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Well you took a short cut & didnt Finnish the original job properly.
When you have a problem you dont drive on a freeway !! You idle it home at say 25 mph or as low as it will go without it changing down.
As soon as the temp goes high you turn the car off & find out what is wrong.
You dont just watch it!!!
how much oil did you loose?
Did you make the proper water/coolant mix when you originally refilled after your work? Pure undiluted coolant is not good for cooling.
It sounds like you may be better off getting an indi to fix your car as they will know what they are doing & not try & rush things.
"Do it once & do it well"

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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