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Coolant Puking automatically means cracked head???

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Coolant Puking automatically means cracked head???

  #1  
Old 12-07-2018, 01:56 PM
Mech 1990
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Coolant Puking automatically means cracked head???

Ok first off I have been on this forum for many years, not a big poster but a member non the less, for 14years I lived on the F150 side. 3 Years ago I bought 2004 Excursion with 6.0, been a really good truck, love this thing. Mostly it is used to tow our travel trailer but not exclusively.

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I was driving the other day and when I got to work I could smell coolant so I popped the hood and it was puking. The truck has the egr delete (had it when I bought it), I did thermostat and oil cooler and my deltas unloaded are about 3-8 degrees (upper end is unloaded and romping on it in the summer, most ever seen has been 10 towing my trailer and it has been very brief), stock head bolts don't know if it has ever had head gaskets but it does have 220K miles on the clock. Mostly the truck is driven mildly occasionally kicking it pass someone. After i got home from work I made a HERO pressure guage and T into the degas bottle. Pressures did not shoot up like some of the videos online but did climb and the stay above 16psi, it just didn't puke that time.

So I determined probably a HG issue or the start of one, so called local shop to just get a ballpark, this is where my question comes in.

Does puking coolant automatically mean cracked heads? Local guy said he doesn't even check the heads as they all crack and he has to replace them anyways, then he went on to quote me a price worth almost as much as I paid for the truck. I understand parts are not cheap and the work is not easy especially on an EX but seemed excessive and since he jumped straight to "need new heads" I have my reservations.

Any thoughts or input here? I am not saying the guy is wrong and he laid out the costs upfront etc. but I read a lot on this forum and other places about the puking and I have not seen anyone say. Puking = Cracked :Heads.
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 02:10 PM
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No, it doesn't.
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 03:36 PM
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Kind of figured otherwise I would have seen more people with that conclusion. Now to get it fixed. Not sure that I am going to tackle this one myself but if I keep getting quotes like the one i did I might have too.
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:10 PM
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Well heads should be checked. A new set of heads should be about 2600.00. A basic HG with studs should run you around 3500.00. What did the shop quote you?
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:21 PM
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No way does it mean they're cracked. I had puking as well. I pulled my heads off and they weren't even warped beyond Ford's specs. Had them machined last winter with a valve job for a little less than $500. No puking since.

Edit: Definitely have them checked!
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:03 PM
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it sounds like it's a shop that isn't willing to do the right thing and pull the heads, send them to a knowledgeable machine shop for testing, and wait for them to come back. He just wants to do what's fastest for his turnaround.

​​​​​​​Find a new shop! If this guy won't test things to see if theyre broken, and goes straight to replacing whatever he says always goes wrong with a certain engine, car, part, etc., you should not let him touch anything!
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:47 PM
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I will absolutley get the heads checked no matter where I take it! No question there!

As far as the costs go, was quoted New ProMaxx Heads $1100 or $1200 ea. and the rest of the parts labor tax etc was north of $7K, I don't remember the exact numbers as I have them at work. Like I said red flaggs went up when they said he doesn't bother checking the heads and then they wanted $`1200 for heads you can get for $895.00. Which if he "does these trucks all the time" he is probably getting a better price than $895
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:23 PM
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Near 7k absolutely not. You can do heads, full delete, bullet proof with new injectors for 8k. His price is high but its market driven.
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:53 PM
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I’m having the exact same issue and it just started this week. I started smelling a faint scent of ELC and puked running my Gearhead Tow tune so I set up a 30 psi gauge off the degas bottle and my coolant pressure slowly creeps up to 16-18psi and stays there. I understand there should be a rise in pressure when warming the truck up but not from 50 degrees to 180 at idle causing 12psi coolant pressure, let it warm up and release the degas cap to start over and as I drive the pressure rises back to 16-18psi and it will get there fast if I romp it.
I have a Dieselsite EGR delete so that can be ruled out. I have ARP studs and Motorcraft HGs with 25k on them. Razzi said if I have a slight coolant leak somewhere it could cause this to happen but I have zero coolant loss other than the one time it really puked. Every time I release the degas cap the level comes back up to the maximum coolant mark. I too am wondering about what exactly to do here.
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SmackDaddy View Post
Iím having the exact same issue and it just started this week. I started smelling a faint scent of ELC and puked running my Gearhead Tow tune so I set up a 30 psi gauge off the degas bottle and my coolant pressure slowly creeps up to 16-18psi and stays there. I understand there should be a rise in pressure when warming the truck up but not from 50 degrees to 180 at idle causing 12psi coolant pressure, let it warm up and release the degas cap to start over and as I drive the pressure rises back to 16-18psi and it will get there fast if I romp it.
I have a Dieselsite EGR delete so that can be ruled out. I have ARP studs and Motorcraft HGs with 25k on them. Razzi said if I have a slight coolant leak somewhere it could cause this to happen but I have zero coolant loss other than the one time it really puked. Every time I release the degas cap the level comes back up to the maximum coolant mark. I too am wondering about what exactly to do here.
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Which tow tune are you running? The unlimited or 8k tty bolts/12k studded?
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:09 PM
Mech 1990
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Intresting you mention a small coolant leak causing this. Around thanksgiving i saw a small puddle of coolant but could not find a leak. I will have to look it over closer now.

Also might take it into a shop i can trust and see what they say. Normally i take care of these things myself but i dont have the time right now. But at $7k it might wait until i do have time.

Will keep you posted.

And thank you to everyone for the replies and info.
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:35 PM
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The prevalent issue with combustion gas in the cooling system is head gaskets and rare to be cracked heads. Replacing heads sounds more like an admission of "I don't have a good machine shop".

Variation of "puke" might also depend on the volume of combustion gas passing the gaskets. My motor was torn down not for a cooling issue, but with the heads removed it was apparent that combustion gases were bypassing the head gaskets without the typical puke. Part of the reason may have been a lower than normal degas bottle relief cap as I never observed a high cooling system pressure monitored with a gauge. But the gaskets never "blew out", but were compromised by machining. So let's say a controlled release.

The point being condemning heads without review is a poor practice.
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Ford.Dude View Post
Which tow tune are you running? The unlimited or 8k tty bolts/12k studded?
Gearhead wrote me three custom tunes because my truck has a fair amount of mods.

Hereís what my truck has so far (I have it saved to my notes), all installed by me:
SCT X4, Gearheaded, studded, Ultra FICM/Atlas 40, Holderís 175/30ís, DD reg ret, Pmax/RiffRaff wheel, Dieselsite EGRH, CCV mod, S&B Stage 2 air filter, Dieselsite HPOP, 4" pipe, RiffRaff boots, CFS HD intercooler, DieselSite coolant/trans filter, Mishimoto alum rad, 7.3 fan clutch, 6.4 trans filter/PML pan, MTS solenoid upgrade, 6.4 MG starter, LN 230amp alt/cable upgrade, Optima Reds, updated engine/FICM harness, X/Mod Cís, Bilstein 5100 shocks, 305/70R18 Cooper Discoverer STT Pros/Weld 18x10ís, Warn manual locking hubs, Powerstop rotors/pads, Russell SS brake lines, Bilstein dual stabilizers, Rear Hellwig BigRig sway bar, Ď08 mirrors, Raptor LED headlights, dual recessed 12" Oznium LED bars, Opt7 interior LEDs, ELM327/TorquePro/Joying Android head, BumperDude full replacement grill guard
 
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:06 AM
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I'd give the water pump a full exam before condemning the head gaskets. The plastic impellar might be spinning on the shaft.......ask me how I know.
 
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:18 AM
Mech 1990
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Yeah when i saw the small puddle that was my first thought but when i crawled under did not look wet any where around there. I need to look it over again. The other thing i did was pressurize the cooling system with a tester kit amd it held, did not drop a psi for over 30mins. I have it pressurised to about 16psi.

Let me ask a question about the HERO test. Does the thermostat have to be open and coolant flowing through for it to be accurate? It is just cold here and the truck never gets over 188, been like that since i bought and i have even replaced the thermostat. When i say cold i mean below 35.
 

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