Given the reputation of the head gasket, it seems less likely, but here'* the situation.
Noticed the oil pressure gauge was reading a tick lower (around the 30 PSI mark instead of straight up, at 40 PSI), so I checked the oil, and found that rather quickly, it needed .5-1 quarts. Weird, it was fine about two weeks ago. I pull the cap and find what looks a lot like condensed moisture on the inside of the cap...along with a distinct rust-like colored residue.
That sinking feeling comes.
I smell the cap, and it doesn't smell just like oil.
Next step, look at the coolant reservoir. Looks not so good. It appears as though there are perceptible remnants of "scum" on at least the forward (facing) wall of the reservoir...like that of scum left on a bathtub. Most likely oil, it would appear. Smells like the stale air you get when you open the valve of a bicycle tire. The level in the coolant reservoir, however, does not appear to have gone down (yet).
My first thought was that my head gasket is blown, and the oil and coolant are now freely mixing.
Second thought, "Crap."
No external symptoms that are visible around the supercharger, the head, or the block. Or here - everything on the outside looks pretty clean like this:
Now, I have read a great many threads that pertain to it, and I understand that with supercharged vehicles the LIM can still be an issue, is far more likely than the HG - and of the two possibilities, I would much rather it was the LIM than the HG.
First off, I'm changing the oil today.
Second: Acquire - LIM gasket, seal for the intake mani & get down.
Now, I want to be as prepared as possible for this so I can get it fixed and running again ASAP and in one mech session.
I would like suggestions for what else I may need. Somebody (WillWren, I believe) mentioned that some bolts that are used, are stretch bolts. In my experience, these have only been used in securing the head to the block. Is that the case here, or do I need to pick up a set of bolts to mate the LIM to the head?
In the process of dismounting the LIM from the head, would it be wise/easier/do I have to separate the blower from the LIM? Should I do it just to replace the gasket between the supercharger and the LIM? If so, what about those bolts?
Heater Inlet pipe?
Lower Temp thermostat? 160º is the trick piece, yes?
Should I bother with the Injector seals?
Easier to replace the drive belt tensioner at the same time (sounds like bearings are wearing out)? Do the two pulleys typically come attached to the tensioner bracket?
What'* this I hear about using RVT silicone (Permatex, I assume) in addition to the gaskets?
I should probably replace the gasket between the throttle body and the blower, yeah?
Replace DexCool with Prestone LongLife (DexCool compatible) seems to be the popular lean when it comes to new coolant, yes?
Do I have to de-pressurize the fuel lines before I remove the fuel rail, or can that just remain affixed atop the supercharger? Do the fuel rail quick connectors seal the fuel lines when disconnected?
Any other suggestions?
Right now, I'm going to start looking for my compression test gauge - perhaps I can glean some more definitive information.
Oh yeah - are there any particular places that I should look for parts because they make great products and have great prices? Other than that, I'll probably just go to the dealer. Nevermind - Intense motorsports seems to have it all & is reasonably priced.
Can't find the compression test gauge - hopefully it'* just the LIM.