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Old 01-17-2009, 04:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Head gasket or bad radiator cap?

engine d16zc sohc vtec (vitara-eagle setup)
Boosted 12psi
Chrome tuned

About 1 year ago the car had this issue that it would overheat and push the water to the overflow tank. changed everything and resulted to be a bad head gasket.

Now, considering I put a new head gasket 1 year ago and upgraded to ARP studs, I'm having the same issue of the water in the overflow tank... but guess what? I'm having no overheats and had none before this happen.
No coolant in the oil and no oil in the coolant. No white smoke, no coolant smell.

I have a koyo rad about 2 years old installed. I bought a new rad cap but it doesn't fit very well and actually it blew more water than before.


Can it just be a faulty radiator cap?
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Old 01-17-2009, 04:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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well the rad cap is what holds the pressurized coolant in the rad, and when it reaches a specific level, it lets it by.

if the rad cap doesnt fit well, the coolant will bypass it.

was the old cap cracked or anything?

a good way to tell if your HG is blown is a leakdown test. look for bubbles in the coolant.
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Old 01-17-2009, 04:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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hi danz!
the rad cap was not craked but I knoe over time springs can loose their "spring rate" property specially if they are constantly under hot temperatures.
No sadly the new rad cap I purchased had the "thread wings" too wide and won't sit right into the rad. So I kinda forced it and I guess it doesn't mate very well the rad bottom's neck. So I swapped back the old one.

Yeah I'm looking foward to have a leakdown test as I did last time. $10 worthy vs change random ipotetical damaged parts.

Last time when the rad will be quite empty it will overheat almost immediately. This time looks I had no overheats. weird as hell.
I hope my cylinders walls are ok and may be just a bad HG.
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Old 01-17-2009, 06:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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so did the old cap help?

deck and head surface good?
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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so did the old cap help?

deck and head surface good?
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I dunno if it's the cap just broken and doesn't allow the water to return or I have a leaking HG. On monday I will def. go for a leak test
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i wouldnt worry about the overflow filling up as long as there is still coolant in the system. mine changes with the seasons....

just make sure the rad is aways full.
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Its probably the radiator cap!!!Let us know though!!!
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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No man, the overflow tank is getting full to the top and the rad empty... So tomorrow (monday) i will take the car to a Radiators shop and have it leak tested to see if my HG is bad. If OK I can assume it's just a bad rad cap and proceed to buy a new one.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=areskzc;1509548]No sadly the new rad cap I purchased had the "thread wings" too wide and won't sit right into the rad. So I kinda forced it and I guess it doesn't mate very well the rad bottom's neck. So I swapped back the old one.[QUOTE]

When you did that ^^^^^you may have stripped or messed up the radiator neck, check the top of the plastic neck for damage, if it is even a new cap won't seat correctly.
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=Pyro336;1510176][QUOTE=areskzc;1509548]No sadly the new rad cap I purchased had the "thread wings" too wide and won't sit right into the rad. So I kinda forced it and I guess it doesn't mate very well the rad bottom's neck. So I swapped back the old one.
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When you did that ^^^^^you may have stripped or messed up the radiator neck, check the top of the plastic neck for damage, if it is even a new cap won't seat correctly.
I see your point, but no damage on it.
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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yo i see this problem all the time at the shop i work at. the best thing to do is a coolant presser test, let it sit for a bout 10 min and watch it close. if you lose presser then it would be the head gasket for sure if there is no visible leaks.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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ok went to the rad shop and had the leak test.
The guyn put the tube thing on teh radiator opening and set it like 3 minutes, no bubbles. After that I went inside the car and revved to create a little boost. Still no bubbles...

I went away happy. and bought a new radiator cap. I had to buy one at advance auto aprts. and it's was a generic 16psi. ( I checked the Haynes manual and it says it good to 13 to 18psi so I got it.)
went for a ride test it... we are at the same start point!

Now I think the leakdown test sould be monitored for a full cool down cycle?
Why am I not having any overheat???
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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since the first post of yours i'm suspecting a bad hg.
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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since the first post of yours i'm suspecting a bad hg.
eddie, agx are no go for me now instead if you guys work Cometic and Bisimoto thermal gasket those are my priorities now. gimme a call!
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Well since I made the car manual I could not have some fun
- the massive oil leak FIXED
- Busted a brand new (not OEM) throw out bearing
- and now a possible HG

considering APRs are on, gasket is less than 2 years old and I'm just boosting at 12psi.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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first off i wanna know what kind of compression your getting...a leakdown test is moreso for checking for bent valves....second..did u do your pressure test when your engine was HOT, AND completely COLD?!? chances u will find something differnt....remember how aluminum acts depending on TEMPERTURE!
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Sorry I misunderstood what you guys referred to a leak down test.

I had a Combustion Leak Test which is done to the radiator.

I'm not convinced by how the guy made the test. I'm gonna get it done again at other rad shop for longer time. (at least 2 radiator water cycles).

I'm believing I may have a warped head or a gasket bad installation. I believe I'm having the water pushed to the reservoir only UNDER BOOST. So the chances are that I have a leak of combustion gasses to the cooling but not either way. Also I cheked the oil again and no milky signs. No funky smells from the exhaust. and coolant is not missing it's just moving to the tank.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Sorry I misunderstood what you guys referred to a leak down test.

I had a Combustion Leak Test which is done to the radiator.

I'm not convinced by how the guy made the test. I'm gonna get it done again at other rad shop for longer time. (at least 2 radiator water cycles).

I'm believing I may have a warped head or a gasket bad installation. I believe I'm having the water pushed to the reservoir only UNDER BOOST. So the chances are that I have a leak of combustion gasses to the cooling but not either way. Also I cheked the oil again and no milky signs. No funky smells from the exhaust. and coolant is not missing it's just moving to the tank.
yea most likely ur HG is gone....same thing was happening with my cousins car a while back...it only pushed coolant under boost and there was no symptoms like you said...is ur crankcase vented properly?
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:48 PM   #20 (permalink)
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yea most likely ur HG is gone....same thing was happening with my cousins car a while back...it only pushed coolant under boost and there was no symptoms like you said...is ur crankcase vented properly?
yes, I use a DIY made by vtecduck.
(pcv and VC vent to husky catch can and then to preturbo)
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