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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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What happened - cloud of steam, water, pump OK.


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12 replies to this topic

#1 gris1949

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Posted 05 November 2004 - 06:54 PM

(New poster here - hope I'm doing it right.) I need HELP, gotta figure out what happened. I have an '83 GL 4WD wagon great shape, had it 18 years. Late last night, after driving home, cloud of steam, water, from under the hood. Not the water pump. Hard to pin down but seemed to more from the passenger side of the engine, around the distributor, passenger side of the carb. It idled OK for awhile then stopped and been impossible to barely even start since. What happened? Probably common (I hope) but I don't know where to look what to do. Advice please!

Is this another repair that'll cost me more than the old car is worth?

Also, what do you all think of the split inner CV axle boots - I'm damned tired of paying to have the axles pulled to replace boots. and where can I get them?
Thanks.

#2 edrach

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Posted 05 November 2004 - 08:27 PM

Probably common (I hope) but I don't know where to look what to do. Advice please!


Sounds like a major leak; without water in the system and the ability to start the car it might be tough to isolate. Was the cloud of white smoke out of the exhaust pipe or did it come out from under the hood? That would help to know. It may be as simple as a bad hose but we don't know that yet.

#3 edrach

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Posted 05 November 2004 - 08:36 PM

Also, what do you all think of the split inner CV axle boots - I'm damned tired of paying to have the axles pulled to replace boots. and where can I get them?
Thanks.

I don't think the split boots are worth the time or money. I never had one last more than 6000 miles and the time an effort to mount the split boot and re-grease the joint was greater that the time it takes to pull the axle. Check my post on axle replacement (hopefully in the repair section) for some hints on how to make that job easier and quicker.

A question: Is the inner boot that you're replacing always on the passenger side (over the catalytic converter)? If so, your car is running to rich causing excess fuel to be converted in the cat and making the cat run hotter than normal which causes the inner boot on that side to fail pre-maturely. The fix is to get the carb adjusted to a leaner mixture. If that doesn't help, I had an extra air deflector mounted on the cat on one of my older cars. This left a 1/2" of air space over the cat and I set it so extra air flowed over the cat and the shield kept the heat away from the inner axle joint (DOJ). Solved that problem!

Lastly, don't buy cheap boots; OEM is best but NAPA makes a good one also.

#4 gris1949

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 10:22 AM

Sounds like a major leak; without water in the system and the ability to start the car it might be tough to isolate. Was the cloud of white smoke out of the exhaust pipe or did it come out from under the hood? That would help to know. It may be as simple as a bad hose but we don't know that yet.


Thanks for your reply. The steam was all from under the hood - seemed to be on the passenger side of the engine - distributor to carburator and spark plug. all hoses looked good. Could it be a head gasket?

#5 gris1949

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 10:29 AM

Lastly, don't buy cheap boots; OEM is best but NAPA makes a good one also.[/QUOTE]
Thanks -; kinda what I had heard already. There's one source that I found onthe internest that advertises a lifetime boot - never replace again. Ever tried one o f those?

also, the one that fails is the passenger side innner- could be the cat converter heat problem. I thought that it was maybe due to a small high spped shimmy that I have never been able to adjust out - one mechanic said that he thought I needed a different strut - he suggested an original Subaru type, not an alternative brand. I probably got 20000+ miles on this one though.

#6 grossgary

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 10:35 AM

as for the CV boots, i'd ignore them if you're sick of them, the time and the money spent. especially the inner joints. i have owned 5 XT6's.....i've driven up to 50,000 miles on a completey torn and missing front CV boot. if they start clicking while driving straight...then think about replacing them. otherwise i don't see any reason to worry about it. i have had a split rear cv for 2 years now, and that's through driving in snow, mud, off road, and about 50,000 miles. the outer front cv won't last quite as long because of all the movement. and by *last long* i just mean they will start clicking sooner - i've never actually had one fail. the only axle i ever had fail was BRAND NEW (completely blew apart into lots of pieces)?? anyway - depends on driving, you drive all highway it will last a long time...off road, less time.....in sand, very little time. like i said...i drive 10's of thousands of miles with broken boots - who cares, i just replace the entire axle when i have something else to do down there.

for the coolant....fill it up and look for the leak. you want to look for it before the engine i warm - that's when it smokes, burns and is difficult to pinpoint. when you first start it and the outside of the motor is cool, it's easier to see leaks.

1. remove oil cap and look at underside of cap and in the filler tube. see any white foamy stuff?

2. fill cooling system and look for leaks.

3. fill cooling system and start car and look for leaks. also look under car, at the exhaust manifold and out the exhaust pipe and look for coolant coming out.

4. change your oil - look for coolant mixed with the oil.

5. do a compression test

#7 edrach

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 10:44 AM

Thanks for your reply. The steam was all from under the hood - seemed to be on the passenger side of the engine - distributor to carburator and spark plug. all hoses looked good. Could it be a head gasket?

I've never heard of a head gasket failure producing volumes of steam from under the hood. Sounds like a hose or perhaps the intake manifold gasket. Someone else gave you some good tips on finding where....you will need to add water to the system to see where it's coming from.

As for ignoring the DOJ torn boots, you can do that, but it leaves a lot on grease thrown around in the engine compartment. Also, the inner joints don't normally click when failing as the CVJ (outer) joints do; DOJs cause a major vibration during acceleration that goes away instantly on when you let off on the gas. Sometimes the vibration is so bad you might think the transmission is falling out of the car. The mechanic that told you that you might have a bad strut on that side....I'd think about getting a new mechanic.

#8 gris1949

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 05:09 PM

OK - I figured out what it is. thanks t all who posted. I have a blown intake manifold gasket - it squirts a strong stream of coolant when idling. Good news is no water in the oil. So, next question...what to do. First is there any kind of patch stuff, permatex silicon, bar's leak type stuff that might plug the leak - at least good enough to allow me to drive to a shop (it's now parked in a kinda remote area)? Second, any shortcuts to replace this blown gasket (passenger side) or do I have to strip all above it and lift the manifold out completely to replace it. Kinda a big job for me I think and is it worth doing to an '83 with 217,000 miles and a blown inner CV boot too. thx

as for the CV boots, i'd ignore them if you're sick of them, the time and the money spent. especially the inner joints. i have owned 5 XT6's.....i've driven up to 50,000 miles on a completey torn and missing front CV boot. if they start clicking while driving straight...then think about replacing them. otherwise i don't see any reason to worry about it. i have had a split rear cv for 2 years now, and that's through driving in snow, mud, off road, and about 50,000 miles. the outer front cv won't last quite as long because of all the movement. and by *last long* i just mean they will start clicking sooner - i've never actually had one fail. the only axle i ever had fail was BRAND NEW (completely blew apart into lots of pieces)?? anyway - depends on driving, you drive all highway it will last a long time...off road, less time.....in sand, very little time. like i said...i drive 10's of thousands of miles with broken boots - who cares, i just replace the entire axle when i have something else to do down there.

for the coolant....fill it up and look for the leak. you want to look for it before the engine i warm - that's when it smokes, burns and is difficult to pinpoint. when you first start it and the outside of the motor is cool, it's easier to see leaks.

1. remove oil cap and look at underside of cap and in the filler tube. see any white foamy stuff?

2. fill cooling system and look for leaks.

3. fill cooling system and start car and look for leaks. also look under car, at the exhaust manifold and out the exhaust pipe and look for coolant coming out.

4. change your oil - look for coolant mixed with the oil.

5. do a compression test



#9 gris1949

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 05:09 PM

OK - I figured out what it is. Thanks t all who posted. I have a blown intake manifold gasket - it squirts a strong stream of coolant when idling. Good news is no water in the oil. So, next question...what to do. First is there any kind of patch stuff, permatex silicon, bar's leak type stuff that might plug the leak - at least good enough to allow me to drive to a shop (it's now parked in a kinda remote area)? Second, any shortcuts to replace this blown gasket (passenger side) or do I have to strip all above it and lift the manifold out completely to replace it. Kinda a big job for me I think and is it worth doing to an '83 with 217,000 miles and a blown inner CV boot too. thx

#10 Caboobaroo

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 05:15 PM

its really easy to replace an intake gasket. Basically take the 3 bolts out that hold it down on either side (so 6 total), scrape both of the old gaskets off, put some new ones on but only use silicone around the waterjacket, drop the intake back on and voila! you'll be back in business in no time at all!

#11 gris1949

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 05:18 PM

Thanks for the encouragement -but I must disconnect a bunch of hoses and tubes and stuff from above the intake manifold in order to lift it and clean the old gaskets off Right?

#12 Caboobaroo

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 05:23 PM

you might have too but to make it really easy on where everything goes, use a roll of masking tape and mark everything, makes reconnecting everything a snap!

#13 EmmCeeBee

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 06:56 PM

Gris, whatever you do, don't put bar's leak in the radiator. There's enough testimonials on this board to that stuff leading to the death of your radiator and/or cooling system.

I don't think any external 'permatex'-type stuff would do anything, either, although it might get you a couple miles before it lets go.
As said, it's really easy to replace an intake gasket. All you need is a couple hours with a wrench and scraper (use a hardwood stick, not metal...) Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing it's done right.

-- Mark




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