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1980 - 1986 Bullnose F100, F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Early Eighties Bullnose Ford Truck

Head Gasket Leak Steps?

 
  #1  
Old 12-19-2018, 01:34 AM
86ford1
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Head Gasket Leak Steps?

86 Ford 6 Cylinder high idle appears to have turned into white smoke blowing out exhaust and engine knocking hard. Very hard to start.
When I check oil immediately after it starts and idles, I see it up to full on the dipstick.
When I let it sit for a minute and check it again, it shows nothing on the dipstick except a tiny bit on tip.
I put in three quarts and same readings.

I topped off the coolant in the coolant reservoir as it was down maybe an inch or so. It was bright green and clean.
I drove about a mile out round trip and white smoke was billowing and engine knocking hard.
Made it back home. Looked at coolant reservoir and it was now brown and clouded. Think oil went into the coolant indicating head gasket, right?

Questions are:

1) Is the Bars Leak Head Gasket Repair worth a try on this Ford F 150? Has anyone used it or another head gasket leak repair product with any success?
We will use the truck for short necessary trips only like to the grocery store nearby.

2) If I do try a head gasket leak repair product, what are the steps? Do I drain the coolant with the oil in it first? I think I have to drain all of that oily coolant, right?
So would I drain that. Refill with clean 50/50 and put the repair product in the new coolant?

3) Since I keep putting oil in and it isn't showing on the dipstick, would I want to fill the oil AFTER I put in the head gasket leak repair product? Or any experiences with why oil going in and not showing on the dipstick.

Thanks for info from anyone who may have tried this. If I consider taking on a head gasket repair as a major project for me at some point, does anyone know how many miles I could possible get after a new head gasket? I have done a few repairs with no mechanical training to keep this truck going and I am very grateful for the help here from experienced and more knowledgeable to us ones just working to keep it running. Thanks again.
 
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:54 AM
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I would change the oil. You may find water coming out at first, then oil. What is your situation? You can't fix it correctly or get another used engine?
 
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Franklin2 View Post
I would change the oil.
x2

You should also drain the radiator and fill it with fresh 50/50 coolant. Then follow the directions for the head gasket sealer.
 
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:43 AM
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If I had a vehicle with blown head gasket and was going to try and use a magic potion, I'd remove the thermostat before I installed said magic potion. But realize any adhesive going in the engine is going to coat the inside of the radiator, etc.
 
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Old 12-19-2018, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 86ford1 View Post
When I let it sit for a minute and check it again, it shows nothing on the dipstick except a tiny bit on tip.
I put in three quarts and same readings.
Whoa! Be very careful here. My hunch is your crankcase is filling up with coolant and severely diluting the oil. You added three quarts but didn't see any change. The likely explanation is the crankcase is full of the normal amount of oil, plus the three quarts you just added, topped off by a LOT of coolant. Coolant doesn't really show up on the dipstick, so this makes it seem like that oil disappeared.

To confirm before draining the oil: Remove the dipstick and dry it thoroughly with a rag. Now insert and remove the dipstick again. Even if you don't see any oil on it, you will see some gloss from the coolant. That's the big clue.

I had an old (circa 1963) Jeep engine do something similar, but with fuel leaking from the mechanical pump into the crankcase. The dipstick didn't show any oil, but I didn't initially notice it was shiny from all that fuel. I added some oil and saw no change. That's because I was dumping a quart of oil into several gallons of fuel, which immediately diluted it and made it nearly transparent.

For your engine, there are two tests you should run.

1) Make sure the cooling system is intact and can hold pressure. Use a handheld pressure tester as seen in this video. The only thing missing is he didn't mention to pump it up and then let it sit for at least 15 minutes. A good system should hold pressure with only a slight drop, maybe a needle width or so. If you've got a bad leak, such as a blown head gasket, the gauge will drop off almost immediately:



2) Do a chemical test to find combustion byproducts getting into the cooling system:




Both test kits are available as loaners from Autozone, etc.
 
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:27 PM
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If indeed the head gasket is bad, here is an instructional video to make your own:



 
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:21 PM
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lol, too funny...

How about a compression check of your cylinders ?
 
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Old 12-21-2018, 01:54 PM
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Snake oil will only waste time and money. You ran it under load with poor or no lubrication, either no oil or water in the sump. Pull the engine and inspect it all. I assume since you're asking about snake oil products money is tight, if so you may be able to get away with a quick and dirty freshening up with rings and bearings. Probably a few hundred bucks and a weekend. Actually checking RockAuto re-ring kits start at like $60 for the 300. That's surprisingly cheap. Figure $100 all in and just freshen the thing up. You can have it done in a weekend if you really go at it and there are no surprises requiring machine work. You can do a quick and dirty on the head and block surface with a line sander and some 300+ sandpaper, but it really doesn't cost much to shave a head and deck to straight if they're warped.
 
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:30 PM
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Thanks all much for the perspectives and links. Weather got cold here for a while and decided to just let things be. It's warming up some and getting some work going in one direction or another on it is on the horizon now.

If I go with trying the stop leak, it sounds like the order of operations will be:
1) change the oil. see what comes out. (coolant water first then oil? also check dipstick prior to see if shiny.)
2) drain coolant and refill.
3) put in the stop leak

I didn't see if anyone could testify to having used a particular brand and having had it work good enough for a while?
If I do need to try it temporary, I just wondered what brand may have been vetted.

Correct, money is factor as well as very limited experience, so though freshen rings and bearings sounds like a good plan also sounds
pretty big job from this end. If I do run into a glitch, will be stuck. Hence giving the stop leak thought. Will see what I see with the oil change. I have had some vehicles act like they are doing a big break down and then return to running proper....Had a toyota blowing white smoke, thought head gasket gone and then the smoke just stopped and it ran fine for several years. Mystery.

thanks again for sharing what you know for good here. will post next steps when i have them.

 
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:21 AM
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a quart of blue devil with slow or stop it for a short while, but that's about $50 or 60 bucks. Any head gasket repair in a bottle is a serious snake oil proposition, which will create a much worse condition than what you're in now if left in. People really only use that stuff to sell a vehicle before it fails again (if it works AT ALL).
 
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:26 AM
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You could always pull the head and put on a new headgasket and reassy and see how long that'll make it. You may be able to accomplish that in one weekend, depending on temps, ability, etc. If I had ANY intentions of keeping it, but didn't want to yank whole motor, that's what I'd do, rather than snake oil "gum up the inside of the entire cooling system" treatments. In my case, my son had blown a head gasket in a worthless $500 car. It was blown to the outside, so no water got into the oil. Yet, it still had lost compression. I did buy a quart and put it in, and it did work (blue devil) to stop the leak, however, it didn't resolve the poor compression issue. I did everything correct, to include thermostat removal, so his car wouldn't keep losing water, but still had a miss and poor idle and ran poorly (how could it not).
 
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:39 PM
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no coolant in oil, seems to run okay in low gear, white smoke not constant- is this head gasket?

1) Got the oil changed. There was no coolant in it. Just oil.

2) The truck had completely stopped starting prior to oil change. After oil change, it started right up with some carb cleaner spray in intake.
It had not been started in several months, so stalled several times. Would immediately restart with reapplication of carb spray.

3) Drove to the gas station and put some gas. Ran very rough and then almost smoothly if I manually put it in lower gear.
Please share any thoughts on what that means. As said, I have pretty limited experience, so not sure what it means concerning
possible head gasket blown if it seems to run fine in lower gears.

4) Also cannot understand the white smoke blowing. It blew a small amount after first starting and I observed what seemed to be
water in the exhaust pipe. Not green, not coolant. Then after the drive it completely stopped blowing white smoke. If it is the head gasket,
wouldn't the white smoke be consistently blowing?

Next step would be to empty coolant and try a snake oil (that I know is the least greatest thing but what I can do right now) IF IT IS STILL INDICATED that this is a head gasket with the new information:
*low gear running alright
*no coolant in the oil at all
*white smoke not blowing at all times

thanks very much.
 
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 86ford1 View Post
Please share any thoughts on what that means.
It means run some basic diagnostics as previously suggested in posts #5 and #7.

Autozone and other parts stores will loan the tools for free. Your only investment is your time. To recap:

Do a cooling system pressure test.

Check for combustion by-products at the radiator neck.

Do a compression test.

After that, buy a can of snake oil and wrap it in chicken wire. Connect a 110v power source to the chicken wire. That way, when tempted to try the snake oil, you will give yourself an extremely painful shock. Hopefully from there you will associate snake oil with severe pain and never again consider trying it.
 
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by kr98664 View Post
It means run some basic diagnostics as previously suggested in posts #5 and #7.

Autozone and other parts stores will loan the tools for free. Your only investment is your time. To recap:

Do a cooling system pressure test.

Check for combustion by-products at the radiator neck.

Do a compression test.

After that, buy a can of snake oil and wrap it in chicken wire. Connect a 110v power source to the chicken wire. That way, when tempted to try the snake oil, you will give yourself an extremely painful shock. Hopefully from there you will associate snake oil with severe pain and never again consider trying it.
I did not read this from the start but what KR posted it dead nuts on the money.
Do the tests and look at the plugs that is really all you need to do.
I little smoke at start up could be from anything. Condensation and the reason for water out the tail pipe, to oil that leaked by the valve guides to ??

As for running ruff how old is the gas in this truck? If old this could be why it will not start with out a shot of spray till the motor gets a little heat to run on its own with out stalling.
Adding fresh gas on top of bad can sometime work or not. If you had say 2 or 3 gal of bad gas them filled up with 20 gal of gas this may be ok but the only add 5 on top of the 2 or 3 bad is not enough good gas to help it run better. If you can drive it some and burn off the bad gas and top the tank up this may help.

Running ruff could also point to the motor needing a complete tune up cap / rotor, plug wires and new plugs. Now if you are going to tell me the plugs are new they could still be bad.
If you did a compression test and you know the motor has good compression, you could pull 1 plug wire off at a time and see what hole is not doing its share. BUT if you have not done the compression test the plug wire off will.
Dave ----
 
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:21 PM
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Spark Plug Stuck- how do i get it out?

Thanks to Fuzzface for a simple thing to try before proceeding to testing, I got a set of plugs, wires, cap and rotor.

I am stuck with the first plug I tried to remove refusing to budge. It is the first one closest to the cab of truck, so awkwardish spot. I can get a grip on it, but it is not budging.
I don't want to break it in there.

Please any suggestions for removing super stuck spark plug? wd40? If I can get the plugs changed, then i can move to checking the gas. Thank you. Very much.
 

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