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Discussion Starter #1
Typical symptoms of a popped HG include overheating, oil in H2O; the opposite or both, ability to create a geyser with the cap off and pressing the gas, ect...right?

OK, drove to and back from Savannah last night (hour drive) and noticed a bit of steam when I got down there. Checked the H2O before I left and all was well. Drove back, car ran a little bit warmer than normal, but no funny noises and was fine. Get home and am welcomed by a cloud of steam (car didn't overheat). OK says I, let it set and then fixed the popped hose. (I coulda sworn I replaced it when I replaced those 2 exhaust valves ) Figure while I'm in there, replace the stuck open thermostat that's been at the bottom of my to-do list. Noticed a little bit of oil in the coolant...figure maybe I spilled a little bit of oil in the ports while I had the head off last time. Start 'er up and take a ride. She warms up, but I notice a bit more acceleration and decel smoke than normal. Got home and it was steaming like mad into the overflow container, still hasn't overheated, even though it sounds like it. Little while later i yank the plugs, all are a touch rich (I figured from the comp running open loop from being cold) and no indication of a coolant leak. Do a block check with that combustion gas tester and it indicated no change. I even took it to the tailpipe to make sure it worked, and it did. Took it back out after letting it warm up, top off the coolant. It ended up puking like hell into the bottle again after a short ride.

So WTF is going on? No combustion gases in the coolant (repeated 3 times to make sure I wasn't crazy or dumb), shoots a big geyser with the cap off, even though it's puking the gauge says its not overheating, and a little bit of extra smoke. (looked rich, tried to get a whiff while it's idling with a fan of my hand, and smelt nothing of of the ordinary) Car runs fine...heat through the heater core...Next step is to yank that thermostat back out (ran outta light)and try it without one.
Ideas?
 

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Satyr of the Midwest
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Uhh....year and model? Engine?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Gah...forgot. 1988 Civic with the D15 motor. Just about exactly a year ago I did a rework of the head.
 

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Satyr of the Midwest
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I'm assuming the head was milled, and the deck checked for straightness/flatness. The next thing in my mind is an air pocket. I've had to bleed several of those setups for quite a while to be sure the air was gone, and it doesn't take much for air to enter it, either. Heck, on my little brother's Accord, the cold temperatures caused the coolant to leak past the clamps. Mind you, he's got all-original 1993 hoses, and yes I've bugged him forever to change them before they pop.

Assuming the thermostat isn't the problem, although it could be (!), how is the radiator core? Corroded? Original? If either case, it needs to be replaced.

The oil in the coolant has me concerned, though. Can you recheck the cylinder head bolt torque?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Headbolts HAVE to wait until Friday. GF has school + work, and my 19 hours of school (mostly senior classes) is whipping my ass. Radiator is a bit corroded, but still flows fine, for now. I did a flush when I did the valve job. I did my best with what I had to check the head and the block with a straightedge and feeler gauges. I'm hoping the straightedge was true...:doh0715: Head wasn't milled, $$ concerns and straightedge said it was fine...but then again I had nothing to check it on. (an old aluminum framing square that I cut the small end off)
Would an air pocket create a mess like it does with the cap off? I remember I didn't have nowhere near as much of a problem when I started it up for the first time, but it had that stuck t-stat that I left in it, mainly due to being impatient and time constrained. :twak <= me
But then again, why the hell would it run perfect for an entire year and 7-10k miles/1500mile roadtrip, and then act up out of the blue? :banghead
Definitely don't want to redo that headgasket or throw in the spare motor over spring break.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Head Gasket Leaks On
1985-95 Honda 1.5L, D15B1, D15B2 Engines

The AERA Technical Committee offers the following information on head gasket oil or coolant leaks on 1985-95 Honda Civic 1.5L D15B1 & D15B2 engines. This
condition of the head gasket will allow coolant into the combustion chamber or external oil leaks.

A head gasket allowing coolant into the combustion chamber or oil leaks externally, should be replaced by a new style head gasket and new head bolts. Honda offers the following parts to resolve either above-mentioned condition. A cylinder gasket kit: H/C ***0031 kit includes one cylinder head gasket (new-
style) Part # 12251-P01-004 H/C 4489530, cylinder head bolts (10 required to be used with new style gasket only) Part #90005-PM3-004 H/C 2894988.

Follow the steps listed below to successfully resolve leaks and install the new-style head gasket.

1. Carefully remove all gasket material from the head and the block with gasket
solvent and a heavy-duty scraper. Head and block mating surfaces must be
clean, flat and smooth for the new gasket to seal properly.

1. Note: DO NOT use power tools or abrasives to remove the gasket material;
they would damage the head and block surfaces, causing the new head
gasket to leak.
:banghead
2. Before the gasket solvent dries, rinse any pieces of the gasket from the
coolant passages in the head and block with water. You must remove all of
the gasket material to prevent engine overheating.
3. Install the cylinder head with the new-style gasket. Do not use any gasket
sealers.
4. Apply engine oil to the threads and washers of the new cylinder head bolts.
Install the bolts, and torque them in the sequence and steps shown in Figure
1. DO NOT use the head bolt tightening steps listed in the service manual
when using this new-style gasket.

CYLINDER HEAD BOLT TORQUE SEQUENCE:

1. Tighten all 10 bolts to 14-ft lbs. (20N.m).
2. Tighten all 10 bolts to 36-ft lbs. (49N.m).
3. Tighten all 10 bolts to 49-ft lbs. (67N.m).
4. Tighten all 10 bolts to 49-ft lbs. (67N.m).

Did I fawk up royally here? I used a 4" angle grinder with a wire wheel to remove the gasket. :toothless
 

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yeah, more than likely you screwed that up. i've done a couple of those, had to use a paint scraper to get that gasket shit off, and it blew. i was 16 the first time and my grandpa wouldn't let me use any air tools to get it done.

probably need to pull the head and get it milled back to true. hopefully you didn't use the grinder on the block surface.
 

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Satyr of the Midwest
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:stupid

Yeah, that's why I asked about the deck. For now, just try to torque the sucker down a little more, but anticipate a new engine. Sorry, dude.
 

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House of Windsor 4ever!
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FYI, the milling spec for all Honda/Acura engines back then was .004" maximum for block and cyl. head, for a total of .008". So if the head warpage exceeds .004", Dude, you're screwed.
 

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Lick my
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A B18-C5 would be awesome too (Integra Vtec motor)......

Its real sad that I know all the popular swaps for cars that I hate so dearly.....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well...I yanked the new thermostat out and just checked the compression in all 4 holes today. Haven't taken it out on a long drive yet to test the thermostat, but it's still shooting a geyser out the rad cap. Hole #1,3,4 had 150psi starting out and ended up with 180psi by the 3rd test. Hole #2 had 120 and ended up at 150psi. Checked the cooling system again for exhaust and there is none. It has a bad skip under load below a certain RPM. (no tach) Idles smooth, and about the middle range of the RPM (guessing 3-4k), everything lights up and is smooth. There are bubbles at idle in the coolant. WTF is going on? I'm half tempted to throw a 150 shot at it, just to see how long it takes to pop.
 

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Satyr of the Midwest
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Put a -12AN line into the throttle bore or the PCV valve inlet.

Pay up on your life insurance.

Open the valve, have someone take pics. :chili:
 

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Well...I yanked the new thermostat out and just checked the compression in all 4 holes today. Haven't taken it out on a long drive yet to test the thermostat, but it's still shooting a geyser out the rad cap. Hole #1,3,4 had 150psi starting out and ended up with 180psi by the 3rd test. Hole #2 had 120 and ended up at 150psi. Checked the cooling system again for exhaust and there is none. It has a bad skip under load below a certain RPM. (no tach) Idles smooth, and about the middle range of the RPM (guessing 3-4k), everything lights up and is smooth. There are bubbles at idle in the coolant. WTF is going on? I'm half tempted to throw a 150 shot at it, just to see how long it takes to pop.
have you let it get up to temp with the rad cap off? the bubbles will work themselves out. my buddies CRX has a dead spot under load at 2500rpm, we can't figure it out either.

Nitrous will make all your problems worse...but if you do, post a video!
 

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Satyr of the Midwest
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my buddies CRX has a dead spot under load at 2500rpm
I've seen that before. The cause was the distributor harness wiring got chewed on by some critter, particularly the foil shield around the harness. Might be a place to start. :shrug
 
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