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Burning coolant after HG replace


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25 replies to this topic

#1 mattslote

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

So, I just fired up my scooby after replacing the head gaskets and I'm getting a lot of steam from the exhaust that smells like coolant. Is this just residual from the HG failure and/or something benign? Or is this evidence of my fear that I did it wrong.

#2 mikaleda

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:28 PM

it would help to know what engine you have.

#3 mattslote

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:37 PM

Righto. 2000 Legacy Brighton with 248k miles. I don't know if it's an EJ251 or 252.

#4 johnceggleston

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:46 PM

there is no real way to know other than to just drive it.

however....

what gaskets did you use?
did you have the heads checked / resurfaced?
was this you first head gasket job?
how does it run?

i swapped an ej22 into a 98 obw and it smoked, knocked, and stunk when first started.
none of those was what i thought they were. but it is still running well two years later.
not the same engine as yours but still a subaru.

give it a chance, it is a subaru after all.
drive it, as long as it has oil you can't really hurt it.

Edited by johnceggleston, 24 January 2013 - 06:51 PM.


#5 mattslote

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:50 PM

Update: I let her cool down while I sulked in the house for a couple hours and drank coffee. When I returned and started it back up the steaming had stopped, which is encouraging.

what gaskets did you use?
did you have the heads checked / resurfaced?
was this you first head gasket job?
how does it run?


MLS Fel-Pro gaskets
Visually checked and cleaned by me
This is my first HG...or significant car project of any sort
It fired up right away and ran like normal...except for the steam.

Though the steaming stopped it's still giving signs of that I might have botched the HG installation. I filled the coolant up to the cap and it did overflow, and I saw a couple bubbles in there too. They weren't micro bubbles like I remember reading elsewhere; just a couple straw-in-the-milk sized bubbles every minute.

I'm going to go drive it around the block and see what happens.

#6 987687

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:08 PM

First start after a headgasket job is sorta normal for it to blow weird smoke.
When you take it apart you got oil and coolant and crap in the cylinders. Even if you clean it out there's some oily coolanty shop dust stuck around the rings and whatnot. It just has to burn off.

Bubbles are normal when you just fill up a coolant system. There's still a whole bunch of air in there that has to get out. Especially if you just filled up the radiator and didn't fill the block up through the top hose.

Felpro gaskets... EHHHHHHH. Good luck there. I used felpro MLS gaskets on a franken motor build because it was an experiment with all junk parts. When it finally died due to low oil pressure (bad bearings everywhere and stuff) I tore it down. The gaskets looked like they had 100k miles on them.
I had put maybe 10k miles on it.

#7 nipper

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:09 PM

ALWAYS on any car use factory head gaskets when working with aluminum engines. Using aftermarket can cause big headaches.

Heads always go to a machine shop to be inspected and milled if needed. Not only is the flatness of the head critical, but so is the smoothness of the sealing surface.

Also doung a HG on an engine at this mileage is iffy.Restoring the sealing (and the cleaning up of the head by a machine shop) will boost the compression back to spec or better, and stress those piston rings, which can lead to blow-by.

#8 mikaleda

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:14 PM

I have done some research on felpro gaskets and I think they could work but I don't think that you can get away without doing the retorque even though they say "permatorque". I am no expert this is just my opinion

#9 nipper

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:17 PM

The deeper and more critical the engine part, the more important the need to use ONLY OE parts.

OE keeps the designs up to date, where aftermarket may not even know of a revision, or even keep up with the revisions.

Price a used low mileage engine before you delve into again.

#10 MilesFox

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:24 PM

Generally the felpro hg kit is sold with an oem gasket.

#11 mattslote

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

I have done some research on felpro gaskets and I think they could work but I don't think that you can get away without doing the retorque even though they say "permatorque". I am no expert this is just my opinion


Retorque a head gasket? That seems very inconvenient.

OE keeps the designs up to date, where aftermarket may not even know of a revision, or even keep up with the revisions.


At the time my (faulty) logic was that Subaru made the bad head gaskets in the first place, so why use one of them again. Also, the gasket was the "improved" version...not that that means anything.

Anyhow, I'm going to watch things and see if I can see any other evidence of a bad seal. Even if the job lasts me a year I'll consider it a success.

#12 mikaleda

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:01 PM

Retorque a head gasket? That seems very inconvenient.



At the time my (faulty) logic was that Subaru made the bad head gaskets in the first place, so why use one of them again. Also, the gasket was the "improved" version...not that that means anything.

Anyhow, I'm going to watch things and see if I can see any other evidence of a bad seal. Even if the job lasts me a year I'll consider it a success.


You always retorque head gaskets unless specifcly stated not to this is probably part of your problem, also did you follow the head gasket install instructions

Edited by mikaleda, 24 January 2013 - 09:04 PM.


#13 The Dude

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:11 PM

Just out of curiosity, do Subaru Dealerships re torque the head bolts when they replace a head gasket? I'm going to guess that the answer is "no".

#14 Subruise

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:29 PM

quick answer, youre wrong. cmon man, dont be so callous. If you dont know, assume you are wrong and then find out by asking an expert. then, and ONLY then, act like you know what youre talking about. Gee, i wonder who came up with retorque requirements...... (OEM) youre gonna screw up somebodys car with an attitude like that. at least look it up, you are looking at the internet right?


To the OP.... re torque those heads and MAYBE youll be ok. dont torque them again and you are almost certain to fail. the EA82 is the ONLY subaru motor you can use permatorques on without retorque. much luck

RV

#15 mattslote

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:42 PM

Maybe I need to take a step back. What is/how do I retorque? I'm searching through the archives now...

#16 Subruise

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:51 PM

http://www.ultimates...ad.php?t=109682



BAM! google.
:brow:

#17 89Ru

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:00 PM

to limit google searches to a specific site:

head gasket retorque site:ultimatesubaru.org

#18 johnceggleston

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:21 AM

being only familiar with subarus i can't speak for other car makes and re-torquing,......

but how on earth can you re-torque the final step of ''(7) Further tighten all bolts by 80 to 90 degrees".

maybe if the spec was 125 ft lbs you could re-torque, but not 80 - 90 degrees.

#19 mikaleda

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:24 AM

Retorque a head gasket? That seems very inconvenient.



At the time my (faulty) logic was that Subaru made the bad head gaskets in the first place, so why use one of them again. Also, the gasket was the "improved" version...not that that means anything.

Anyhow, I'm going to watch things and see if I can see any other evidence of a bad seal. Even if the job lasts me a year I'll consider it a success.


I should clarify what I ment by retorque I mean the part about loosening and tightening the head bolts I wasn't sure what to call that but I have done a lot of research on subie head gaskets and you have to follow the instructions to t or you are going to have problems

I'm a converting Chevy mechanic hard to find the right terms

Edited by mikaleda, 25 January 2013 - 09:33 AM.


#20 nipper

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:44 AM

But whhich version, you dont know. ALso you don't know if the latest REV comes out what they do with all those kits.

#21 mikaleda

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:07 AM

But whhich version, you dont know. ALso you don't know if the latest REV comes out what they do with all those kits.


As stated before I AM NOT a professional, but I have done research on this and know that some people think because the felpros say perma torque that they think that they don't have to follow the part about losening and tightening the head bolts. Wich has nothing to do with the gasket but has to do with the bolts themselves.
This all stuff I have found by doing searches on this site.
Just my $0.02
Sorry for the confusion
And yes you are right I don't know

Edited by mikaleda, 25 January 2013 - 10:11 AM.


#22 987687

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:13 AM

As stated before I AM NOT a professional, but I have done research on this and know that some people think because the felpros say perma torque that they think that they don't have to follow the part about losening and tightening the head bolts. Wich has nothing to do with the gasket but has to do with the bolts themselves.
This all stuff I have found by doing searches on this site.
Just my $0.02
Sorry for the confusion


It has nothing to do with the head gasket torquing procedure. As has been stated before, only the ea82 needs a retorque after so many miles.
The permatorque gaskets are preferred there because they don't need a retorque. But all of that is irrelevant on the EJ engines.
On the ej251/2/3 the STi gaskets are preferred, that's just how it is.
Permatorque is the line of headgaskets they make. You never have to retorque EJ head gaskets. Never, it's not something you have to do.

#23 mikaleda

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:15 AM

It has nothing to do with the head gasket torquing procedure. As has been stated before, only the ea82 needs a retorque after so many miles.
The permatorque gaskets are preferred there because they don't need a retorque. But all of that is irrelevant on the EJ engines.
On the ej251/2/3 the STi gaskets are preferred, that's just how it is.
Permatorque is the line of headgaskets they make. You never have to retorque EJ head gaskets. Never, it's not something you have to do.


I thought that is what I just said. I was wrong to refer to it as retorque there is only one tourqe necessary
Sorry for the confusion

#24 mattslote

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:03 PM

You never have to retorque EJ head gaskets. Never, it's not something you have to do.


So...I don't have to re-torque my heads?

To be more specific, I followed the instructions on torquing the heads (torque, torque again, -180, another -180, torque (different for inner and outer), +80-90, and another 80-90).

If it would help, I'll definitely open it up and re-torque the heads (I've never written torque so many times in a paragraph). But if it's not going to affect anything, then I won't bother.

#25 987687

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:57 PM

No matter what gasket you use, you have to follow the Subaru head gasket dance.

If you mess with the head bolts now, you're just gonna screw it up. Leave it alone and see what happens.




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