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That Guy
 
Techno Duck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: LI, NY
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Leaking head gasket, caused by age or some other issue?

Looking for some 2nd opinions. The headgasket on my car was leaking coolant into the #3 cylinder causing a 3-cylinder start up. Was a minor leak that only occured when the cooling system was left pressurized, coolant would drip into the cylinder. Compression test did not even turn up low #'s on the #3 cylinder because of this.

Anyhow here is a picture of the failure spot on the gasket. Again, it was on the #3 cylinder, on the side of the cylinder which is closest to the exhaust manifold.



Also im not sure if this is normal or not, but this is the only spot where the gasket seemed to be 'eaten through', atleast in a large area like this. It was also right by where the ring split in two.



Here is a shot of the cylinder head when it was removed.



I am just curious as to what you all think could have caused the fire ring to split in two like this? The engine does have 90k miles on it and to my knowledge was never opened up this far. It was never overheated either.

Does this look like it just gave up with age or should i be looking into another cause such as a lean running condition? I am running the FRWilk chip..and i am strongly leaning (no pun intended here ) towards having the car dyno'ed with a wideband O2 to see how the AFR's are. I find it hard to believe the chip caused this as ive been running with it for over 20k miles (and almost two years)..but i would like to double check for peace of mine anyhow.

This isnt entirely a disaster as it gave me the chance to address alot of things ive been meaning to do. Change the fuel lines, clean the bellhousing grounds, change the heater control valve, have the head rebuilt and clean up a few areas of the engine bay. I should have the head back tomorrow but wont be able to start working on putting it back together until the weekend. Hopefully i will have this thing running again by sunday.
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Jon - MetroNY PCA #848
1987 Zermatt Silver 924S..'The Kraut Burner' - Sold in Nov. '04
1987 Guards Red 944..'The Bratwurst Burner' - Low and Slow..Sold in Jan. '08
1988 Guards Red 944 Turbo..'Das Boost' - Powered by 5.7L LS1
1997 Arctic Silver BMW E36 M3

Last edited by Techno Duck; 10-15-2006 at 08:49 PM..
Old 10-15-2006, 08:38 PM
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Looks like a 20 year old gasket to me.

If you have had some lean spots or knocking.......... you would see a whole bunch of little dents on the fire ring itself.

It looks like time killed that one.........from what Ican see.
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Alex - PCA Polar Region - Boxster Muncher
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Old 10-15-2006, 09:10 PM
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That Guy
 
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Hey Alex, thanks for the reassurance. I was just nervous with my super high performance 147hp 4-banger, you know .

In reality i just want to prevent this from ever happening again!
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Jon - MetroNY PCA #848
1987 Zermatt Silver 924S..'The Kraut Burner' - Sold in Nov. '04
1987 Guards Red 944..'The Bratwurst Burner' - Low and Slow..Sold in Jan. '08
1988 Guards Red 944 Turbo..'Das Boost' - Powered by 5.7L LS1
1997 Arctic Silver BMW E36 M3
Old 10-15-2006, 09:13 PM
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I would dfinately agree it is the age thing.

I just pulled mine apart for the same thing. It looked a little worse off than yours, looking at it, the composite material gets disintergrated over time b/c the water jackets are fully exposed. Most engines have a deck with only ports exposed. Once the material is weakened it looks like it allows the ring to move and then it starts to weaken as well.

I was boosting mine when it happened so it really pushed the ring out and it sat overnight and hydrolocked. luckily I caught it quick and knew what it was and turned the enginge backwards to allow the coolant to escape. Yes I could have pulled the plugs but my intake makes that a little difficult so I drained it and started it to get it onto the trailer. now for the real fun
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:46 AM
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That Guy
 
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Thanks for your input blown944. What kind of PSI are you running with the M90? A good friend of mine actually has two complete Huntley Racing supercharger kits in boxes and they look very cool. Its almost like looking at a piece of 'Porsche history' if you want to call it that.

The coolant pooling in the cylinders was minimal at best, but enough to cause a 3-cylinder start. I actually drove about 400 miles with the gasket leaking like this, one trip was actually 120 miles round trip. Anyhow it was only a problem when the car was shut off but the cooling system pressurized. If it wasnt for 3-cylinder startup, i probably would have never known there were problems. There were no other indications of a headgasket issue. Compression test came back with even #'s on all 4 cylinders, no oil / coolant mixing, no over pressurized cooling system, no white smoke...etc.
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Jon - MetroNY PCA #848
1987 Zermatt Silver 924S..'The Kraut Burner' - Sold in Nov. '04
1987 Guards Red 944..'The Bratwurst Burner' - Low and Slow..Sold in Jan. '08
1988 Guards Red 944 Turbo..'Das Boost' - Powered by 5.7L LS1
1997 Arctic Silver BMW E36 M3
Old 10-16-2006, 08:03 AM
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well when I first put it together it hit 10psi pretty easy at WOT. I didn't yet have an intercooler on it and the temps outside were pretty mild 40-50's. I found though, that when it started heating up outside the IAT was pretty hot,so I put a small intercooler on where the fans used to be. The boost dropped down to about 7psi max. I thought that it couldn't be the big of a drop so after looking it over I realized I wasn't getting full throttle, once I fixed that it went up to 9psi on a warm day and 10 on a cool morning.

I drove it quite a bit at that level then I found a smaller pulley 2.81 compared to 3.125. That's when it pushed the gasket. I was able to get about 12 psi that night at WOT. I jumped in it and drove it to work the next morning and it started heating up so I drove another car home. The next morning I came down expecting to be able to drive it back home to work on it over the weekend but as soon as I went to start it it went thud . Having known that sound before I checked the coolant level and sure enough it was down so I pulled the tube off the intake and turned it backward and a gush of coolant came rushing out. So I drained it and hooked up the trailer and took it home. Looking at the gasket it looks like it had been going for some time I just gave it a big push .

After I get done putting it back together I imagine it will not get as much boost due to the porting, I am taking quite a bit out of the short side exhaust runners and opening up the bowles quite a bit so it should breath a little better. I am also refining my mess of an intake system before the blower so maybe I'll find something there. So far it has been good for little $ but not exactly what I expected so I'll continue on to get it better.
Sid
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Sid
splitting my obsessions with a crow bar.
87 DD Black 951 Holset HX40-35 custom garrett turbine, Ford MAF, Rogue tuned,SLM stroker, best ET 11.4..best mph 127
Old 10-16-2006, 10:36 AM
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:36 AM
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