Vauxhall Owners Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
.......whether my head gasket has gone or my heads fu**ed or what the hell is wrong. Please help cause I've had enough of bloody Calibra's already. (well I've not I love it but its naughty!!!)

I've fully flushed the system and cleaned the pipes etc etc. Ran Radflush through it blah blah blah. When we were doing this I put my finger inside the radiator (where the top hose goes) and it feels like ther is loads of that emulsification crap in there. Its horrible. The water still seems to have that crap in it but not as bad. Thing I don't understand is I have no signs on the oil cap or dipstick!!! What else should I be looking for.

Thanks

Vince
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,712 Posts
look for white gunk on oil cap , dirty water
and check the header tank after a run to see if the water level goes down .
after this therll be burst hoses and steam through air vents overheating in a big way and car dying. :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
If a head gasket or oil gallery in head is gone you dont necesarily get water in the oil, quite often you only get oil in the water due to the pressure differentials, so you wont see white sludge.

Does the starter motor sometimes struggle to turn the engine over?

-if so it is likley that some water is leaking into the cylinder.

Get a sniffer test done, this requires specialist equipment, it analises the gas in the header tank for exhaust gases.

Your cooling system should be sealed, without the engine running, pressurise it, if the pressure drops off there is a leak. (use a gauge)

Do you have alot of white vapour from the exhaust when you start up on a cold morning.

At the end of the day, you might have to change the head gasket, and if symptoms persist get a new head.

The rad flush is good but not that good, you will find oil in the header tank for some time even if no new oil is leaking into the cooling system.

One tip I was given this weekend, run a few miles with DAZ non-biological in the cooling system. Sounds bizzare but he is a trusted mechanic who used to work for Williams F1.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
So let me get this staight.....you had oil in the coolant, so you have flushed and re-filled the system. You haven't done anything else like head off...etc..and since you've done that you appear to be getting no more oil in the coolant (appart from the odd bit that was hiding that floats to the top of the header)

If this is the case I would say that it is your gasket on the way out, you are only getting oil in water at a certain operating condition when the differential pressures are high enough to open a leak path.

A pourous head is a pourous head, dont matter what the pressure and temperature of the fluids is, it's going to leak one way or the other.

Opinions please....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So do I run it for two mins from cold then??

Yes I had something in the coolant. I don't know what it is. Its like a light brown colour and it sticks to the inside of pipes, coolant bottle, radiator etc etc. The water has always ran clear when I empty it out but it has this brown stuff which is in the bottle and follows the water out. Don't know what it is. Sorry I can't explain very well but as you may have guessed I'm not a mechanic. Wish I bloody was. Stupid car

Thanks for all your help

[ 18-07-2001: Message edited by: Vince ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Seams that there is mixture of coolant and oil.
Quickest way to check is out (as Vauxweb said) is to start the engine with the coolant bottle cap on and run it for about few minutes. Then switch it OFF, loosen the coolant cap and if you have loads of pressure in the bottle the head or head gasket maybe f**ked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Deki,
no offence but this will only prove if the gasket has completly failed. If there is no pressure build up, it does not mean the gasket is ok. just that the gasket only leaks under certain conditions. I'm still going with an intermittant gasket failure.

And yes the brown sludge is definatly oil, oribble stuff. You havent put any Radweld in your system have you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
Yes from cold. As pressure does build up naturally as it gets hot. due to the steam and the cooling system being sealed.

[ 18-07-2001: Message edited by: Vauxweb ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is why I'm confused. No White gunk on the oil cap. The water isn't dirty as such. When I empty the water out it runs clear but the header tank water has ****ty brown gunk floating in it. No the water level doesn't go down and the car seems to be running fine.

No the starter motor never struggles, I've not noticed any vapour at all. I'll have to check properly but I'm sure there isn't.

Far Too Stressful
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
Crank the engine WITH the coolant bottle cap on and run it for about 1 or 2 mins. then switch it off - loosen the coolant cap if you have loads of pressure in the bottle the head or head gasket maybe f**ked.

which ever the head has come off.

Once the head is removed check the head gasket to see if you any signs of the gasket being f**ked. if not i would suggest getting the head pressure tested and skimmed.

The "sniffer" test is just a quicker way to do the test and can be brought from any motor factor about 20 - 30 quid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,522 Posts
Hang on, he's talking about oil and water mixing here.

Carrying out a gas test to check for combustion gases or seeing if there's pressure in the cooling system won't proove anything.

The only thing you can do is completely flush the cooling system, then refill and see if large amounts of this substance comes back. If it does, then you either have a porous head (XE engine), or a weeping headgasket between an oil gallery and water jacket.

What engine is it ?

Do V6's have a water cooled engine oil cooler ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've done all the flushing business and I wouldn't call whats there a large amount but there is some in there. Its a K reg 2.0 16v Calibra. Is there a way to tell one way or the other?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,522 Posts
The XE engine (what you have) are renowned for porous heads.

It sounds like either the headgasket has gone, or the head has gone porous (or both). It's best to have the head checked while it's off. Headaway have been recommended time and time again on this board.

I think Gary is the man to ask to be 100% sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,522 Posts
Try and get in touch with Gary who runs the Astrasylum site. He knows quite a bit about XE engines, and he could advise better than me.

It might not be a porous head (just head gasket), but it's best to have it checked to be 100% sure. You don't want to have to buy
a second set of head bolts and top end gasket set if it is the head at fault.

Re Headaway, call 192 and they're based in Liverpool I think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
POUROUS HEAD

RIGHT LETS GET THIS SORTED.

POUROUS HEAD IS CRACKS IN THE OIL COOLING GALLERIES YOU WILL DEFINITELY NOT GET ANY WATER IN THE OIL DUE TO DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE.

THE BROWN CRAP YOU SEEING IS EMULSIFIED OIL BASICALY A COMBO OF OIL AND WATER BELIEVE IT OR NOT.

IF YOU WANT TO CHECK YOU HEAD GASKET PERFORM A COMPRESSION TEST USING A GUAGE INSETRED IN EACH SPARK PLUG HOLE AND CRANKING THE ENGINE

REMEMBER TO DISCONNECT THE COIL BEFOR DOING THIS.

THE ACTUAL PRESSURE READ IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS THE DIFFERENTIAL BETWEEN CYLINDERS.

TYPICAL VALUES READ THE HAYNES MANUAL.

USUALY NO MORE THAN ABOUT A BAR DIFFERNCE BETWEEN CYLINDERS IS ACCEPTABLE.

THIS WILL NOT SHOW POUROUS HEAD ONE WAY OR'T OTHER IT WILL ONLY PROOVE A HEADGASKET.


TEMPERATURE IS IRRELEVANT THIS WILL OCCUR AS LONG AS OIL IS CURCULATING DUE TO THE PRESSURE

AS I HAVE STATED THE AMMOUNT OF OIL YOU WILL SEE CAN VARY BY A HUGE AMOUNT IF THE THERMOSTAT IS OPEN I.E WARM THEM THERES AN EXTRA 6 LITRES OF WATER CIRCULATING WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE OIL FROM THE RADIATOR IN IT BEFORE THE THERMOSTAT CLOSES ON SHUT OF AND THE OIL RISES TOP THE HIGHEST POINT

OIL DOES NOT LIKE THE RUBBER USED FOR COOLING HOSES THEY WILL BURST AND DUMP YOU COOLANT POSIBLE WARPING YOUR HEAD

REPLACE THEM!!

FIRST ONCE YOU HAVE DISPROOVED A HEAD GASKET WHICH IS APPARENT FROM WHATS BEEN SAID...

TAKE THE HEAD OFF STRIP OUT THE CAMS SEND IT TO HEAD WAY

HEADWAY
DEESIDE INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
FLINTSHIRE
N.WALES

TELL: 01244821921

200 QUID FOR A FIX PLUS COURIERING.


COSCAST CAN AND DO GO POUROUS .

THEY WERE CAST IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT BATCHES

ONLY HEADS THAT DONT 'ECOTECH'.


NUFF SAID


L REG 16V CALLY 1993 HEAD FIXED BY HEADWAY;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,522 Posts
Headgaskets can blow in many different ways. They can blow between:

1) Cylinders
2) Cylinder and water jacket
3) Cylinder and atmposphere
4) Oil gallery and atmosphere
5) Water jacket and oil gallery
6) Water gallery and atmosphere

A compression test will highlight the first three faults only.

Head gaskets that have blown in cases 2, 5 + 6 *may* have been caused by an incorrect level of antifreeze. In some cases using only water in the cooling system, this will corrode the head gasket over time, then if you add antifreeze the corrosion gets washed away and the gasket is weakened to a point where it blows.

Always use a 50/50 antifreeze mixture.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top