How can I diagnose a blown head gasket? Maybe LIM gasket? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 03-15-2009, 02:37 PM   #1
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Default How can I diagnose a blown head gasket? Maybe LIM gasket?

Here'* my problem. I just put a new water pump on the car about a month ago. After I changed it a few days later I noticed a small puddle of coolant in a small crevice on top of the water pump. A mechanic told me my pump was leaking. So, I tore it back down and cleaned everything up real good, put on a new gasket. Now, the little puddle is back.

While I had everything apart i noticed the previous owner rigged the wrong hose for the bypass hose above the water pump. The hose that seems to go to the pump then into, maybe the manifold? That hose isn't shaped correctly and was forced into position and has a kink in it. I thought, maybe that kink is causing pressure and forcing a leak but i couldn't see where anything was coming out.

Today i took the car for a drive to make sure it'* still running good after the new gasket, and new crank sensor and when I got home, I popped the hood and the sun just happened to be shining just right so I noticed there was coolant on top of the engine around where this hose connects.

My logic tells me that the kinked hose is causing too much pressure and possibly a leak. But, I am getting a little worried that maybe a head gasket blew? Maybe the Lower intake manifold gasket? There is no coolant in my oil. The oil looks good.

Obviously, I'll go with the new proper bypass hose first. But, if the problem persists, how can i diagnose a LIM or head gasket problem? Or, might something else be my problem?

Thanks in advance. You guys have been so helpful so far and my car has recently ran into several different problems, i don't know what I'd do without your advice. I'll tell ya as far as car problems, when it rains, it pours. Story of my life.

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Old 03-15-2009, 03:02 PM   #2
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If you blew a head gasket...you would know. The exhaust smoke would be white and there would be the sweet smell of glycol in it. The worse the head gasket blow out, the heavier the white smoke.

Fix the by-pass hose and then top of your coolant tank. Keep an eye on your coolant level over time and if you notice the level going down, check you oil. You should be bale to smell glycol in the oil or will see a foamy residue in it.
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:55 PM   #3
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It'* unlikely you blew a head gasket, they simply don't blow very often on these engines. If you can do a compression test, that will tell you for sure.

If you found coolant on or near the water pump, it'* more then likely the coolant elbows. They are well known problems. But only cost less then $5 at autozone or any other large parts store. I just bought a set and they were hanging on a hook.
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danthurs View Post
It'* unlikely you blew a head gasket, they simply don't blow very often on these engines. If you can do a compression test, that will tell you for sure.

If you found coolant on or near the water pump, it'* more then likely the coolant elbows. They are well known problems. But only cost less then $5 at autozone or any other large parts store. I just bought a set and they were hanging on a hook.
I've heard you say something about the coolant elbows before. Are these the plastic parts that make a 90 degree angle to rout the hoses around? If there is supposed to be a plastic elbow on that bypass hose, there isn't any. Maybe that'* why the hose is kinked?

If that isn't what the elbows are that you are talking about, do you have any pics of some so i can get mine fixed? thanks.

I never thought about a compression check. i have a compression tester. How many LBS should each cylinder have approximately.
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:51 PM   #5
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Just for you I walk over to my shop and took a picture of the set I have.

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Old 03-15-2009, 09:59 PM   #6
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Being a 94 you don't have coolant elbows. (Dan..we gotta get you under the hood of a 94/95.. you'll love belt changes and hate the double pulley)

I see a couple different possibilies here.

First.. one of your hoses goes into the LIM right above the waterpump. From the factory this fitting is plastic. Yes plastic.. most parts stores sell a replacement that is metal. We'll need to search here for the correct size. It'* a pain to get out as the plastic usually breaks and leaves the threaded section in the LIM. Most mechanics have a reverse type bit that removes it nicely. As well a few people have done it themselves ...painful and time consuming to figure out what to use in getting the old part out..but have done it.

Secondly IIRC there'* some O-rings on the metal pipes as they enter the timing cover/WP area. When you did the pump, those may have gotten disturbed and are now seeping. I found a low cost o-ring kit at a Harbor Frieght nearby that worked wonders in supplying the right rings.
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:24 PM   #7
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Again guys, thanks for the advice. I have a starting point now. I'll check all those things out, and buy the proper bypass hose and go from there. I'll keep you guys updated on the progress.

Last edited by rstrunk; 03-15-2009 at 10:25 PM.
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