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Old 05-08-2011, 06:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Brown stuff in coolant

hey guys I'm new hear but I have a problem. I saw brown residue in my radiator after I purchased my EJ1. I thought ok maybe its rust from the radiator so I swapped out the radiator. A couple of days later I see the brown residue again. I've been reading that it's signs of a failing head gasket but could it also be anything else besides that? And if it's a failing head gasket wouldn't there be water in the oil?
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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first of all, where do you live?
2nd of all, if it was rust inside your cooling system, just replacing the radiator wont take the rusty coolant and residue out of your engine and other coolant hoses.
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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did you flush the system? or just drain, change radiator and refill
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Having kaka colored coolant is usually a sign that the headgasket is on its way out or your cooling system has cancer in it. To confirm the headgasket, one way is to have someone rev up the engine hard n quick and check what comes out of the tail end, usually whitish smoke is a sign and it should have a hint of a sweet smell. As for the cancer, do a string of flushes over the course of a couple months (ie one flush every 3-5 weeks for 10-12 weeks). To comfirm cancer, you can also pop the thermostat out and see how it and the surround area looks.
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Headgasket is on its way out!
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I remember my sisters car had some brown goop-like stuff in her radiator three years ago and she has yet to blow her headgasket.
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You can try taking your radiator cap off, leaving the hood open and starting it.
If your head gasket is going and pressure is getting into the cooling system,
your coolant will shoot out the radiator. Sometimes as high as 5-6 feet.

If it doesn't happen, it doesn't mean your head gasket isn't going. There
are a bunch of different symptoms depending on where the gasket is failing
at.

Also check the top of your oil cap for milkshake, your coolant reservoir for
oil / gunk, air continuously bubbling from the radiator, etc.
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A Honda radiator is normally aluminium as is the head and block. The only materials that can make brown rust are the steel fittings or tubes like across the back of the block from the thermostat to the water pump.

Brown sludge is almost certainly oil and almost certainly due to a current or previously blown or leaky gasket. A lot depends o where and why the gasket is leaking.
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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No bubbling in the system or sludge on the oil cap. Also I've tried the revving and no white smoke comes out. Also I drained, changed rad, and refilled.
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You need to flush it out. Pour some draino in it, and let it idle for 15 minutes or so. Then drain it. Fill it. Run it around town a lil. Drain it again. Fill it again. Good to go!!
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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DO NOT. I REPEAT DO NOT PUT DRAINO IN IT.

Draino is caustic soda. Caustic soda dissolves aluminium rapidly. You radiator, block, water pump and cylinder head are all aluminium. Draino could turn it all to shit.

Use Draino would have to be the worst single piece of advice I ever saw on here.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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You need to flush it out. Pour some draino in it, and let it idle for 15 minutes or so. Then drain it. Fill it. Run it around town a lil. Drain it again. Fill it again. Good to go!!
Seriously... who gave you posting rights?

How have you been flushing? Inline water tap into the heater hose, or just drain and refil?
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Flush it all out, put new 50/50 in there and report back in a month..
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