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Fairtax4me

Bad head gasket!? But we just had those replaced?

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Here's something you don't want to find in your oil.

 

IMG_3529.jpg

 

Antifreeze! About a quart and a half of it. It hasn't been churned into chocolate milk just yet.

This car has probably the worst head gasket I've seen yet on a Subaru. It is literally blowing antifreeze out of the tail pipe.

 

Hard to see here but antifreeze runs out of that back corner almost continuously. IMG_3527.jpg

The other side is leaking oil.

 

Bought this 01 Legacy with 138k on it for $1000 knowing it needed head gaskets or possibly an engine. They were replaced at some point before, by the POs "mechanic" neighbor, because they were seeping oil externally. Less than a month later it started overheating. They tried all the usual things, thermostat, radiator flush, replace the radiator, another thermostat. Finally they stopped driving it and put it up for sale.

 

Going to pull the engine either this weekend or early next week. Gonna pull the oil pan and try a little trickery to see if I get the rod bearing caps off without having to split the block.

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Warped heads/block? Didn't resurface them properly? That's all I can guess. That's pretty bad...

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they probably used low grade gaskets.  

or they didn't clean/prep the surfaces very well or used a poor torque procedure (if they used one at all). 

 

i can almost view this two different ways:
 

A.  it was such a poorly maintained car, it's probably got some damage somewhere that will creep up later in the form of bearing woes. 

or

B.  the repair was so bad that the car wasn't even drivable to the extent that it caused any damage so you've got a great long block to properly reseal?!

seems like it may have had a minimal leak, poorly attempted repair - and not driven much?

 

which do you see?

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The worst of the rust is right there. Other than the exhaust being rusty the rest of the car is actually pretty clean. There is one small spot starting to form above the wheel arch on the drivers side. Rear crossmember and rear suspension are in good shape. Would not have paid for this car if it was rusted out underneath.

 

Gary I'm hoping they just used Cheapo gaskets and didn't drive the car that much after it started having problems. They didn't say it had overheated, they said it started running hotter than normal. But it was more than a half gallon low on antifreeze when I test drove it, so I'm willing to bet it was overheating and they just didn't know it because the guage wasn't showing that.

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Not surprised...

 

 

IMG_3579.jpg

 

IMG_3580.jpg

 

IMG_3577.jpg

 

Sludge... fudge... 

:horse:

Ok maybe a little surprised. I expect to see this sort of thing in a Toyota engine or a Chrysler or VW. Have seen a little sludge in a few Subaus, but nothing to this extent. The stuff was almost an inch deep in the bottom of the oil pan.  Wheres that little smiley of the green face puking?

 

Heads will roll tomorrow after work as long as I remember to bring my 14mm 12point socket with me. 

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Half a gallon low on coolant..... Going by my experience, the headgaskets are blown. 1 drive like that is all it takes.

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:horse:

Ok maybe a little surprised. I expect to see this sort of thing in a Toyota engine or a Chrysler or VW. . 

 

That is crazy train.  I've never seen anything even remotely close to that. What causes that?  

 

Do you think that engine can last, none of of the thrown bearing/rod engines i've disassembled looked even half that bad. 

 

Why do you say you'd expect it in a toyota....etc...because the heads/valves allow oil to sit up there longer/easier?

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HOLY #!@% FairTax, that's a new sight.

 

 

As far as engine sludge goes, It can all be traced to high heat/bad ventilation/poor maintenance. I can't word it as good as they can---

 

"Coke is the solid residue created when oil undergoes severe oxidative and thermal breakdown at extreme engine temperatures. The higher the temperature, the harder, blacker and more brittle the coke/deposit residue. Coking performance of oils varies based on formulation and the engine environmental conditions."

-Exxon Mobil

 

"The actual cause of the problem is an inability of the engine's crankcase ventilation system (PCV) to move the normal gases from the engine. When

these gases stay longer in an hot engine it allows deposits to form on the metal parts of the engine. When enough deposits are present "Sludge" is formed."

- http://www.yotarepair.com/Sludge_Zone.html

 

The VW's (mostly 1.8t's) have a lower oil capacity, operate at a relatively higher temperature, which then isn't helped as hot oil gets trapped in a hot turbo when the car is shut down. "Coking". If I recall correctly, VW tried to claim it was from lack of changing oil, or running dino oil in the engines, but still agreed anyway to cover the most of the sludged engines.... and their asses.

 

Fluids and gases get hot, trapped, and bothered, and then somehow show up in your wallet.

Edited by joomanburning
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Yes, lack of oil changes can lead to this. Poor crankcase ventilation is probably the biggest reason. Haven't pulled the separator plate yet, but I know its not gonna be pretty in there. 

 

Toyota had a big issue with this due to poor ventilation in the mid 90s. Saab had a major problem in their turbo 2.3L engines in the late 90s to mid 2000s. Have seen a few Saabs WAY worse than this. Some even went so long the stuff had hardened into a rocky asphalt-like crust. Google Saab sludge. 

Chrysler had problems in their 2.7 and 3.0 and 3.3 engines. IIRC. Some of the 4 bangers too IIRC. And VW has lots of problems with it, even in their newer stuff.  

 

 

The plan all along was to pull this one down to the rods at least and check those. Ill also be pulling the cams to check the cam bearing journals in the heads. Gonna take some work to get it sufficiently cleaned. If I can find a big enough container to drop the block in ill soak it in diesel and kerosene and try to get most of that shift out of there, but depends on how the rod bearings look. It may end up needing to be split, or shelved in favor of a junkyard replacement. 

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Looking at that sort of abuse - I'd be almost tempted to  throw the engine away and start again.  It maybe not worth the risk doing anything with it / spending money on it.

 

Half a gallon down on coolant and the sludge deposits says it all.

 

Then again you're doing the work and its apart for a good cleanup /checkover . MLS .headgaskets / resurface heads and TLC .it may live again. Good luck

Edited by subnz

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It ran totally quiet, other than the usual piston slap, but that went away after about 2 minutes of running. Of course the sludge may have muffled some noise...

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So... for those who are interested. This is the very beginning of rod bearing failure. See the copper streak in the center there. That means it has worn through the lead/tin alloy layer and the bearing clearance is going to be larger than it should be. Its not really visible in the pic, but there are a few score marks in this bearing that my fingernail will just barely catch on. Crank looks OK on this one, but will need to split the block to check the others.

There was no perceptible play in the rods that I could feel, but popped the cap off of number 3 just to be sure. If I put this one back together the way it is it may last another 10k, but I wouldn't bet on it.

 

IMG_3657.jpg

 

And some head gasket shots. Cheapest POS head gaskets I think I've ever seen. These are SINGLE layer metal (it might not actually be steel) coated in what looks/feels like paper. 

 

IMG_3652.jpg

 

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Which cylinder was burning coolant I wonder... 

 

The lower picture is the bottom corner that was dripping constantly. That's coolant/oil milkshake in the head bolt hole. 

Edited by Fairtax4me

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So when I said Toyotas are bad about sludge...

 

IMG_3700.jpg

 

IMG_3706.jpg

 

That is a 2007 FJ 4.0. That kinda darker circle in the center of the oil pan is a mound of asphalt like chunks that's built up about an inch. It blocked off the pickup screen and starved the engine of oil.

Glitter is pretty but not in your engine!

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