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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 10-04-2007, 09:03 PM   #1
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Ways to tell a Blown Headgasket

Ok, other than the typical loss of water and blowing white smoke, how can I check for a blown headgasket? I have been getting worried recently that my 3.0 has gone the way of so many other 3VZ-E's. I found a puddle of water and coolant dripping from the back of my motor the other day, found a pinhole in a coolant line and replaced that. Started the truck up this morning and it was blowing white smoke out the back for about a minute.

Now I am hoping that the low coolant was from the pinhole, and the white smoke was just because it was cold out. The HG has been replaced by the dealership about 100k miles ago, but the motor does have close to 200k on her. What are your thoughts. Compression test? leak down test? Drive it till it pukes?
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Old 10-04-2007, 09:06 PM   #2
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compression test, make sure the pressure is even all across the cylinders. also hook it up to the smog machine. use the 4 gases exhaust test, first test your radiator. take the cap off, start the truck, and hold the probe in the radiator but NOT in the water, it will FRY the o2 sensor in the machine. there will be a indicator thats about 36 or so. if it jumps super high then you have a head gasket leak thru the radiator. next put the probe in the exhaust pipe. as far as it will go without breaking. now watch the meter. if it jumps up QUICKLY, then you have a problem.
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Old 10-04-2007, 09:16 PM   #3
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Compression test for sure. But check the oil and coolant, if its not like it should be then your screwed (as in oil/coolant mix).
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Old 10-04-2007, 09:19 PM   #4
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oh yeah, almost forgot. thanks CJM. change your oil, and check for coolant in the oil. if it looks like a milkshake, then yeah id say you got a problem
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Old 10-04-2007, 09:38 PM   #5
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pressurize your cooling system see if it leaks.

check your plugs see if one is different then the others
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:19 PM   #6
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Blown Headgasket

I know this is old school stuff but if you have coolant in your cooling system and have a blown head gasket then the vapor from your exhaust will be very sweet smelling , dead ringer for burning/vaporized coolant .
But besides milky oil and oil residue in coolant best way is to compression test all cyl's like previous posts recommend , also if its the 3VZE like mine remember you have that sensor housing in rear of motor back at firewall and there is a hose there as well as one that is metal that runs under the intake on the passenger side so coolant from the back of the motor could be one of those as well.

Don't worry what the neighbors think , smell that exhaust !
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:50 PM   #7
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If the head gasket is blown bad enough to cause low compression then you would not have any questions about it.

Checking for combustion gases in the cooling system is the best way. The gas you are looking (for but hoping not to find) is CO2
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Old 10-05-2007, 07:03 PM   #8
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I was hoping for NOS , tee hee hee
When in doubt ..............Sniff
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Old 10-05-2007, 07:12 PM   #9
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My head gasket blew between cylinder #2 and one of the oil ports. would spray a geyser of oil out the breather at full throttle.
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Old 10-05-2007, 07:31 PM   #10
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Head Gasket

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Originally Posted by hiluxforever View Post
My head gasket blew between cylinder #2 and one of the oil ports. would spray a geyser of oil out the breather at full throttle.
I have seen that before , remove a Oil Fill Cap or PCV and get a shower
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Old 10-05-2007, 07:31 PM
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